Frazier's loss is Vikings' gain

January, 17, 2009
1/17/09
10:46
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

PHOENIX -- Greetings from the Valley of the Sun, where one Upper Midwesterner realized a 100-degree difference in the span of a couple days (Yes, it was -25 earlier this week in Minnesota and it was 71 degrees upon touching down Saturday evening in Phoenix.)

The NFC Championship Game looms Sunday afternoon at the University of Phoenix Stadium, but the big Black and Blue news Saturday was that St. Louis hired Steve Spagnuolo as its next head coach. Barring a late change to another team's search, that means Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will remain with the Vikings for another season.

While Frazier is no doubt disappointed, this is good news for the Vikings: It gives them a rare chance for continuity on the defensive side of the ball. They haven't had a defensive coordinator return for a third season since Foge Fazio in 1998.

Fazio ultimately departed after the 1999 season. Over the next eight seasons, the Vikings ran through six different defensive coordinators. There were varying reasons for the near-annual changes, but the result was constant: Almost every summer, the Vikings seemed to be starting over on defense. Now, with Frazier apparently on board for another year, they actually have a chance to build on what they did the previous season -- in this case, finishing No. 1 against the run and No. 6 overall in the NFL.

If there is a silver lining to be gleaned out of Frazier's personal disappointment, that's it.

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