Frazier 'flattered' by Lions' interest
In the midst of preparing for Sunday's home playoff game with the Eagles, Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was asked today about his interest in becoming the next Lions head coach.
It's always good if people are checking you out and looking into you a little bit, but as you mentioned, the big focus right now is the Eagles, Frazier said. I'm flattered that Detroit would show interest. I would hope, at some point, to talk with them about their position, but not at the risk of our not going deep into the playoffs. I hope that we can win this weekend and just keep going. If something were to happen with a team when the season is over that would be outstanding, but a lot of things are out of my control.
A league source said the Lions requested permission to interview Frazier after they fired Rod Marinelli earlier this week. According to league rules, Frazier can begin interviews next week. He said he'll follow that timetable if the schedule would allow it.
We would play on a Saturday, so we'll see what happens, Frazier said.
Following up on my story examining candidates with defensive backgrounds in today's paper, Frazier, who some people wrongly assume is married to the Tampa 2 defense, said he won't necessarily use that scheme as head coach. The Lions want to get away from the system they ran while fielding the league's worst defense the last two years.
The Vikings are considered a Tampa 2 team, but they have the best defensive line in football with Jared Allen and Pat and Kevin Williams. They ranked fourth in the NFL with 45 sacks this year.
Frazier coached defensive backs for two seasons under Tony Dungy, but he also played under blitz-happy Buddy Ryan and his first job in the league was under ultra-aggressive Eagles coordinator Jimmy Johnson.
Whatever is most effective based on our personnel, Frazier said when asked what defense he'd run as head coach. Our defense, the one that we have here ... is just a combination of what I've learned with Tony and with Jim and what we did.
Frazier is also a candidate for the opening in St. Louis, though he's not expected to interview with the Rams until the second round. He interviewed last year in Miami and Atlanta, where new Rams general manager Billy Devaney was part of the search team. It's believed Frazier was runner-up with the Falcons job.