Leslie Frazier Out As Vikings Head Coach

Published: Jan 02, 2014 18:02pm EST
By epolnoff, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Jan 02, 2014 @ 06:02pm EST


Black Monday in the NFL has come and gone and left a few lucky hot seats in their places for at least another year. I’m looking at you, Jason Garrett and Tom Coughlin. Leslie Frazier, however, wasn’t so lucky. After seven years with the Minnesota Vikings organization, six games as interim head coach and three years as head coach, Frazier was relieved of his coaching duties this past week. Frazier leaves Minneapolis with a record of 21-32-1, only making the playoffs once, losing in the Wild Card round to the Green Bay Packers; his only season with the Vikings above .500. In each other year, the team finished last in the division and with a losing record.

As of yet, the Vikings head coaching position remains vacant, and whoever they choose to fill it will become the fifth HC in Minnesota in a decade. The short list of available coaches to take the helm includes some intriguing names and could very well put them in a position to create a Kansas City-esque rags-to-riches scenario.

Denver defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio, has seen a resurgence in his stock as a head coach since taking over the Broncos leadership duties while John Fox underwent heart surgery and recovery.  The team went 3-1 under Del Rio, leading to a playoff berth and a first-round Bye, though I’m sure it didn’t hurt much that Peyton Manning was in the midst of a record-setting season under center.

Jay Gruden, the lesser known and less publicly successful of the brothers Gruden, is also up for a promotion. He had a hand in the Buccaneers Superbowl win in the 2002 season and had significant success in the arena league both as a player and a coach. For the past three seasons, Gruden has manned the playbook as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. In his time with the team, they’ve increased offensive production and worked their way to the top of the division and a playoff berth this year. Like his brother, he’s a quarterback focused coach and could bring that focus to a Vikings team sorely deficient at the quarterback position.

Though it’s Darrell Bevell, the Seahawks current offensive coordinator, who seems to be the best fit, as he was the OC for the Vikings under Brad Childress. He’s built Seattle into an offensive powerhouse, developing Russell Wilson into one of the premier quarterbacks in the league. With the Seahawks utilizing a run-first offense behind Marshawn Lynch, it would make sense to bring those same ideas to an Adrian Peterson-led Minnesota team.

When it’s decided who will take the Purple Crown, they’ll have some serious talent to work with and some serious decisions to make. With 15 players becoming free agents, including five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection DE Jared Allen, RB’s Toby Gerhart, and surging Matt Asiata, newly signed QB Josh Freeman, LB and former Packer Desmond Bishop, DE Everson Griffen, WR Jerome Simpson, QB/WR Joe Webb and six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection DT Kevin Williams, they could have a plethora of shoes to fill.

Frazier, on the other hand, seems poised to take the Defensive Coordinator position in Tampa Bay under newly anointed Head Coach, Lovie Smith; another NFC North casualty. Reportedly, Smith and the Bucs are making a run at Cowboys Defensive Line Coach, Rod Marinelli. Though, because Marinelli is still under contract with the Cowboys, bringing him into the fold could prove difficult. Chances are, Jerry Jones hangs onto Marinelli throughout his contract as a failsafe to backup The Jason Garrett Experiment and Leslie Frazier trades in Purple for Pewter and Red.


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