Back in the first week of January, when Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix had but a week under his belt in his current post, he flew to Minneapolis along with other Bills officials to interview Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier for his then-vacant head coaching position. Two weeks later, the Bills had hired Chan Gailey as their head coach.
Frazier, however, wasn't destined to wait much longer to land his first head coaching gig. He took over the Vikings on an interim basis when the team fired Brad Childress on November 22, and secured a win in his first game as an NFL head coach. (The Vikings defeated Washington 17-13 last weekend.)
Curious as to what might have been in Buffalo - but certainly not seeking something better than what we've gotten from Gailey - I asked Ted Glover of the Daily Norseman about his impressions of Frazier after a little over a week on the job.
"It's been a breath of fresh air, that's for sure," Glover told me. More Frazier opinions from Glover after the jump.
The reports from the players in the locker room have been nothing but glowing. He's a guy that is very calm, but very confident, much like Tony Dungy, who is his good friend and has heartily endorsed him for a head coaching job. Frankly, that's about all I need to know as far as his football acumen and character go. He has a philosophy of run first and is a firm believer in the Cover 2 zone with line pressure and minimal blitzing, but seems more willing to adjust on the fly to an evolving situation on the field than Brad Childress was. Last week, Washington marched right down the field and scored a TD on their opening possession, going 5/5 on third down conversions. Second series was a new look, with press coverage on the outside and more pressure from the linebackers up the middle, and the Vikings didn't give up a TD for the rest of the afternoon. On offense, he said that the Vikings were going to run the ball and stick with it, and by God they did, and did it well.
He has gotten the team to forget about all the outside distractions - and God knows there's been a gobsplenty - and just focus on the task at hand, which is the Buffalo Bills this week. I can't say for sure that he will become the full time head coach next season, but if his seven game audition goes well, I don't see how owner Zygi Wilf could bypass him for another guy. I think 4-3 or more gets him the job. Oh, and please send my thanks along to Mr. Wilson for not hiring him.