Frazier influenced by Dungy
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Wednesday, Jan. 14 2009
The Leslie Frazier comparisons to Tony Dungy are legit. Just ask Frazier.
"When I got to Indy and saw Tony handle his football team, his personality is
so similar to mine and the way he approaches things," Frazier told the
Minneapolis Star-Tribune earlier this season. "I was like, 'Wow, this is me.'
He and I laugh about that all the time. It just confirmed to me: Just be
yourself and players will respect that."
It has worked well for Frazier, 49, the Minnesota assistant head
coach-defensive coordinator who interviewed Tuesday in Los Angeles for the
Rams' head-coaching job.
Early indications Tuesday were that Frazier's interview was impressive.
The Rams are scheduled to interview Dallas assistant head coach-offensive
coordinator Jason Garrett today and New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve
Spagnuolo on Thursday.
Reports out of Denver were that Frazier was a strong runner-up to Josh
McDaniels in the just-completed job search there to replace Mike Shanahan. He
is scheduled to have a second interview later this week in Detroit, where the
Lions seek a replacement for Rod Marinelli.
Rams general manager Billy Devaney believes Frazier has what it takes to be a
head coach in the NFL. But will it be in St. Louis?
Frazier was assistant head coach-secondary coach for Dungy in Indianapolis in
2005-2006, earning a Super Bowl ring after the '06 season. Those who know
Frazier say the Dungy comparisons are valid.
Like Dungy, Frazier is soft-spoken but commands respect. Like Dungy, he's
passionate about the game, deeply religious, firm with players but
approachable, truthful and consistent.
"He's not going to be one of those guys who beats the tar out of his players,"
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen told the Star-Tribune. "He's going to make
sure a lot of good teaching goes on. Fundamentals are going to be key, and he
has a will to win."
But Dungy is not Frazier's only coaching influence. As a cornerback for the
Chicago Bears a quarter-century ago, Frazier played for one of the game's most
successful and most colorful defensive coordinators in Buddy Ryan. Ryan's
flamboyant personality didn't rub off on Frazier, but Ryan's flexibility and
willingness to listen to his players did.
Frazier led the Bears in interceptions in 1983, '84, and '85, but suffered a
career-ending knee injury running a reverse on a fake punt during Chicago's
46-10 thrashing of New England in Super Bowl XX. After the game, while the
Bears were in the locker room celebrating, Frazier was in the next room getting
his knee worked on.
He got into coaching in 1988, starting the Trinity College football program
from scratch in suburban Chicago.
After nine seasons at what is now called Trinity International University,
Frazier aimed toward NFL coaching. First came a two-year stop at the University
of Illinois, where he coached defensive backs and gained a reputation as one of
Ron Turner's top recruiters. Then, as a secondary coach in Philadelphia from
1999 to 2002, Frazier learned the aggressive blitzing schemes of defensive
coordinator Jim Johnson.
That led to his first stint as an NFL defensive coordinator in 2003-04 for
Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati. After a rocky start in '03, when the Bengals
finished 28th in total defense, they improved to 19th in '04. They also
finished tied for third in the NFL with 36 takeaways. Their five defensive
touchdowns tied a club record, and cornerback Tory James became the team's
first defensive Pro Bowler in eight years.
Frazier was fired after that season, for reasons that have never become clear.
But the Bengals have gone through two more defensive coordinators since his
Next came Frazier's two seasons with Dungy in Indianapolis, followed by two
seasons as defensive coordinator in Minnesota. The Vikings have led the NFL in
rushing defense in both of Frazier's seasons in Minnesota. They improved from
32nd in pass defense in '07 to 18th this season.
"I believe in an aggressive demeanor in how you do things as a team, the way
you play," Frazier told the Rocky Mountain News. "We talk a lot as a defense
about believing you're going to win in every situation you face. That's our
Re: Frazier influenced by Dungy
Rod Marinelli (0-16) worked longer with Dungy than Frazier.
Marinelli's mentor: 'Itís ... a mystery why it hasnít gone better' | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press
Frazier only spent two years on the same staff as Dungy.
Re: Frazier influenced by Dungy
The more I read the more I beleive that the Rams will select Frazier, providing he wants it. Consider this, he coaches the defense of a dome team, a 4-3 team and has a strong record on defending the run. Plus his demeanor seems to translate well with players.
One thing we seem to forget in our posts on the site concerning this matter, not every city in the U.S. is equal. Rex Ryan and Steve Spagnuolo may be comfortable on the East Coast. I'm sure Mike Shanahan is a West of the Mississippi guy and probably even further West than that. Frazier is a Midwest guy except for Philly, but most of his career has been in the Midwest, making St. Louis a natural landing site for him. The only obstacle I can see is that the Rams ownership situatioin may make him skittish about coming to us. Hopefully not. I think he would be a great selectioin and I hope Devanay makes it, Leslie Frazier, the new Head Coach of the Rams. Let's move forward and get some solid coordinators.
Go Rams! :helmet:
Re: Frazier influenced by Dungy
And in those two years as DB coach/Asst HC, Indy went from 15th to 2nd in passing D; no small part of the reason why Indy won the SB.
Originally Posted by Tony Soprano
I'm not saying Frazier is a slamdunk over the other candidates but comparing him to Marinelli who had never held a coordinator position anywhere in the NFL, is chalk and cheese.
for the specific needs of the Rams, i also like that he STARTED a college football program @ Trinity College in Chicago & was successful enough that they named their field after him. Sounds like a leader and an architect to me.
Here's a blurb about LF that sums up his remarkable career so far:
Professional Biography-Entering his 2nd season with the Minnesota Vikings, Leslie Frazier was named Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator for the 2008 campaign. His role will expand to include additional administrative tasks along with leading the Vikings defense.
Combining a proven track record of winning as a player and a coach, Frazier joined the Vikings in 2007, mere days after winning Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts. The Super Bowl title was the 2nd for Frazier, his 1st coming as a starting CB with the 1985 Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX. Frazier enters his 10th season as an NFL coach in 2008 and has another 11 years of collegiate coaching experience. In his 9 seasons as an NFL coach, Frazier has suffered a losing season only once- his 1st season with Philadelphia in 1999.
In his debut season with the Vikings the team maintained its dominance against the run, posting the #1 rush defense in the NFL and allowed a mere 3.1 yards per carry. The anchors of the Vikings defense- DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams were joined by S Darren Sharper as Pro Bowl honorees in 2007, the most defensive Vikings to earn trips to Hawaii since 1992.
Frazierís defense was opportunistic, scoring on 6 interception returns to tie a Vikings record and added a pair of TDs on fumble recoveries. The Vikingsí 6 scores by interception return ranks tied for 5th-most in a season in NFL history. The team scored on 3 interceptions in a key road game against the NY Giants to set a team record against the eventual Super Bowl XLII champions. The Vikings tied for 3rd in the NFL in 2007 by allowing only 7 rushing TDs and were 5th in the NFC in total offensive points allowed, an average of 17.8 points per game.
The Vikings defense responded to new faces and new positions with impressive performances in 2007. The team was led in tackles by MLB E.J. Hendersonís career-high 155 tackles in his 1st season playing MLB since 2004. Henderson added a career-best 4.5 sacks and led the team with a career-best 14 tackles for loss while earning Pro Bowl alternate honors and garnered All-Pro votes. The Vikings LBs entered 2007 with only SLB Ben Leber playing his same position from the previous year. One of the most impressive individual performances came from 2nd-year WLB Chad Greenway, who missed his 2006 rookie season with a knee injury but came back in 2007 to rank 2nd on the team with 130 tackles, led the NFL with 4 fumble recoveries and had a pair of interceptions, including scoring his 1st career TD.
The 2007 Vikings rush defense was the envy of the NFL, allowing 74.1 yards per game on the ground. The Vikings allowed 1 opponent back to break the 100-yard mark and held some of the NFLís best runners in check, including limiting 2007 NFL rushing king LaDainian Tomlinson to 40 yards. The Vikings limited Chiefs star Larry Johnson to 42 yards and Eagles 1,300-yard man Brian Westbrook to 46 yards.
Frazier came to Minnesota after coaching DBs with Indianapolis and serving as Special Assistant to Head Coach Tony Dungy for 2 seasons. The 2006 Colts defense clamped down on opponents throughout the playoff run that brought the franchise its 1st Super Bowl title since 1970. The team notched 7 interceptions, 8 sacks and took away 6 fumbles. The Indy defense allowed only 2 second-half TDs in the 4 post-season games and held the Bears out of the end zone for the final 3 quarters of Super Bowl XLI en route to the win.
In his 1st season with Indianapolis in 2005, Frazier helped S Bob Sanders earn a berth in the Pro Bowl in his 1st season as a full-time starter and became the 1st Colts DB to play in the game since 1971. The Colts ranked 11th in the NFL in total defense for the season after ranking 29th overall in 2004 and improved in yards allowed per game from 370.6 per game to 307.1.
Prior to his tenure with Indianapolis, Frazier served as defensive coordinator with Cincinnati in 2003 and í04 where he helped the Bengals go .500 in consecutive seasons for the 1st time in 12 seasons. Frazierís NFL coaching debut came from 1999-2002 with Philadelphia where he worked with the Eagles DBs while Vikingsí Head Coach Brad Childress worked on the offensive side of the ball. While with the Eagles, Frazier helped CB Troy Vincent earn 4 Pro Bowl berths, S Brian Dawkins went to the game 3 times and Bobby Taylor appear in the all-star game once. The trio all earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2002. Frazier was part of an impressive program-building project in Philadelphia that saw the team improve from a 5-11 record in 1999 to 11-5 in 2000, 11-5 in 2001 and 12-4 in 2002. The team won advanced to the playoffs in each of the final 3 seasons Frazier was with the Eagles, including winning the NFC East in 2001 and í02 and advancing to the NFC Championship game in both seasons.
Frazier had spent 11 seasons coaching at the collegiate level before returning to the NFL. In 1997 and í98 he worked with the DBs at Illinois on Ron Turnerís staff, who Frazier would face 10 seasons later in the Super Bowl. The staff was part of an impressive rebuilding project with the Illini, going 0-11 in 1997 before winning a bowl game in 1999.
Building programs was not unusual for Frazier before going to Illinois and the Eagles. He started the Trinity College football program from the ground up as the school started a football team with Frazier as head coach in 1988. Frazier turned the team into a winner, claiming Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference titles twice. The school, now known as Trinity International University, named the football field in Frazierís honor in 1997 in honor of his impact on the campus.
As a player, Frazier was part of the legendary Chicago Bears defense that keyed the Super Bowl XX win over New England. He was a starter at CB on the 1985 Super Bowl team and played for the Bears from 1981-86. He led Chicago in interceptions in 1983, í84 and í85 but his career was cut short by a severe knee injury suffered in the Super Bowl. During his career he had 20 interceptions in 65 games and returned a pair for TDs. Frazier was an All-America DB and standout baseball player at Alcorn State University. In 2007, Frazier was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame.
Frazier (4/3/59) was born in Columbus, MS and attended Columbus High School. He and wife Gale have 3 children- Kieron, Chantel and Corey. He holds a degree in business administration and was active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes throughout his playing career.
NFL History1999-2002...... Philadelphia Eagles............... DBs
2003-04.......... Cincinnati Bengals................. Defensive Coordinator
2005-06.......... Indianapolis Colts................... Special Asst. to Head Coach/DBs
He was an excellent NFL player at a position (DB) where we are desperately bad. He has earned the respect and admiration of some of the best coaches in the NFL. His units have improved under his watch, and he has a creative/adaptable approach to D that speaks to his ability to evaluate the personnel available and get the best out of them.
Using the amount of time served under Dungy or any other successful coach or in a successful program isn't as important, imo, as what the guy did in that time. The fact that he keeps getting cherry-picked by other teams is a positive, not negative, to me.
I am concerned that none of these candidates, except Haz, has any experience as an NFL HC which is why I was an early advocate of Billick, but that is a gamble I would be excited about The Rams taking with LF, given his background.