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Are You (Probably) Ready For Another New Defensive Coordinator?

After the Vikings have played their final game, regardless of how deep into the playoffs that might be, there's a very good chance that Vikings' defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is going to be a very busy man.

According to Access Vikings, Frazier is already scheduled to talk with the Detroit Lions about their head coaching vacancy next week.  Unless the Vikings do something really crazy like. . .I don't know. . .win this Sunday.  In that case, Frazier wouldn't be able to speak with the Lions (or anybody else) until the Vikings have been eliminated from the post-season.

Apparently Frazier is also a candidate to be interviewed by the New York Jets and the St. Louis Rams as well.

Now, the more cynical types out there might start asking themselves if Frazier would be playing the role of Art Shell. . .i.e. "the guy that gets interviewed by teams so they can satisfy the requirements of the Rooney Rule."  Even though Frazier has done an outstanding job as DC for us the past couple of seasons, the thought crossed my mind as well.  However, that role appears to have been filled this season (to this point, anyway) by Cleveland defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.  That's not to say that Tucker isn't a good coach. . .he very well might be, though the Browns defense this season was not terribly good.

But Frazier's defenses have steadily gotten better over the last two seasons, and this season he's put together a good pass defense to go along with the Vikings' outstanding run-stopping ability.  He got some interviews for head coaching jobs after the Vikings were done last year, if my memory serves me correctly, and with the improvement the Minnesota defense has shown in 2008, he'll be an even stronger candidate this season.

Thus far, there are five head coaching vacancies in the NFL (Denver, New York Jets, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis), and there could be a few more coming (Kansas City, Oakland, possibly even Dallas).  Any of those teams would be well-served to give Leslie Frazier an interview and/or a chance to be their head coach.