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In Goes Frazier! In Goes Frazier!

Yeah, the headline is lame.  I felt compelled to work the Cosell thing in somehow, though.

As I briefly mentioned yesterday, Leslie Frazier has signed on to become the 7th defensive coordinator for YOUR Minnesota Vikings in the last 9 seasons.  I also mentioned yesterday that the folks at Stampede Blue think (thought?) very highly of Coach Frazier, and by all indications, he seems to be a very good pick for the job.  Allow me to briefly run down Frazier's career.

After playing his college ball at Alcorn State University, Frazier caught on as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears in 1981.  He stuck with Chicago until 1986.  He led the Bears' defense in interceptions in each of his last three seasons, including leading the '85 Bears, one of the greatest defenses of all time, with 6.  Unfortunately, he blew out his ACL during the Bears' triumph over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX, and announced his retirement shortly thereafter.  He wound up his NFL career with 20 interceptions in 65 career games.

(For the uber-nerds out there, such as myself, this means he fell just short of being included in Tecmo Bowl.  Damn you, cruel fate.)

After a short haitus football, Frazier became the first ever coach at the NAIA School then known as Trinity (Illinois) College, and now known as Trinity International University.  He held the job for nine seasons (1988-1996) before leaving to take the job as defensive backs coach at the University of Illinois.  In 1997, he was honored by Trinity by having the college's football field named after him.

After two seasons with the Fighting Illini, Frazier moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles to become their defensive backs coach, a position he held from 1999-2002, and where he met current Vikings' head coach Brad Childress.  After that, he became the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator for two seasons.  After he was fired from that post, he was the defensive backs coach for the Colts for the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

Now he's our guy.  Frankly, I'm quite happy with this move.

First off, he has experience in the "Tampa 2" system, which is what Mike Tomlin brought in last year.  This is good, because it keeps the amount of transition involved to a minimum.  However, it's also been heard that he's going to mix in some elements of the famed "46" defense, the system he played in when he was with the Bears under Buddy Ryan, and a system he partially helped to implement in Philadelphia.  Ryan was asked about what he thought of the Vikings hiring Frazier as their defensive coordinator:

"That is a great choice," Ryan said. "Leslie played for me six years. Played a lot of bump and run and challenged people. I had him in Philadelphia and in Arizona, where he was a graduate-type assistant. He's smart, a hard worker, a great guy, and he'll be a great defensive coordinator. Every plus that you can have, he's got."

Ol' Buddy seems to know what he's talking about, particularly when it comes to running a defense.  And punching people in the face.  But mostly the defense thing.

I'm happy that Frazier is now a part of the team in Minnesota.  Now, for crying out loud, can we get the guy a pass rusher to work with, please?  Oh, and let's see if we can't get him to stay for more than one year.  That would be a nice change.

By all indications, Frazier is going to retain most, if not all, of the Vikings' current defensive coaches.  This is a good thing as well, IMO. . .don't want Woods, Pagac, or Dunbar going anywhere.  They obviously got the players to react to their coaching last season (particularly Pagac with the LBs), and it would be a shame to see them leave at this point.

Congratulations to Leslie Frazier on his new job, and congratulations to the Vikings for hiring him.

Later tonight or tomorrow, we'll take a look at a couple of "rumors" centered around the Vikings.  Start enjoying your weekend, folks!