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Thursday, December 27, 2012
Blogger Blitz: Leslie Frazier passes test

By Kevin Seifert


I thought we could use this week's Blogger Blitz video to circle back on our April post about the "unfortunate timing" of Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier. At the time, Frazier's long-term future looked uncertain considering the Vikings' decision to purge their roster of some key veterans and commit to younger players.

That's a standard approach in the first year of a coaching tenure, but there is much more pressure if it comes in the second. Frazier already had a 3-13 record on his resume and, as we discussed in April, coaches who start off poorly usually need significant improvement in their second seasons to make it to a third.

This post reproduces the chart we used in the original post. Entering the season, 18 of the NFL's 32 coaches were in the third year of their jobs. Of that total, 14 had at least one non-losing season among their first two. And of the four that hadn't, two were established veterans -- Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins and Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks -- who were guaranteed longer tenures because of their reputations and financial commitment.

Long story short, we theorized that Frazier needed a winning season or something close to it to secure a third season. That was no sure bet given the offseason roster upheaval, but the Vikings have tripled their win total in Frazier's second season to guarantee their first non-losing season since 2009.

The video offers some thoughts on how Frazier got it done.