5 Coaches Who Could Replace Leslie Frazier Next Season

Giancarlo Ferrari-KingFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2013

5 Coaches Who Could Replace Leslie Frazier Next Season

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    Sitting at 2-7, it's safe to say this isn't what most of us expected to see from the Minnesota Vikings this season.

    Thanks to a circus-like quarterback situation and a wretched defense, the Vikings have some major issues they need to address in the upcoming offseason.

    But as usual, that change starts with the head coach.

    Since taking over the reins in Week 12 of the 2010 season, Leslie Frazier has racked up a record of 18 wins and 29 losses.

    While a lot of the Vikings' issues can't be placed directly onto the 54-year-old's shoulders, the fact remains he's still the head coach of this team.

    And being the head coach at the NFL level means when it comes down to it, you're the guy they point the finger at when things go wrong.

    Although general manager Rick Spielman recently told the Associated Press that Frazier's job is safe, the team's record this season tells a different story.

    If Frazier does in fact get the boot at season's end, the question then becomes, who should be the next head coach?

    To find out some potential answers, it's time to start the slideshow below and check out five candidates who could replace Leslie Frazier next season.

     

    *All stats courtesy of NFL.com unless noted otherwise.

Kevin Sumlin

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    Lost in all of the Johnny Manziel talk has been the outstanding job Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin has done since taking over that program.

    With 19 wins under his belt in just over a season-and-a-half, Sumlin has not only created a contender down in College Station, but the former University of Houston coach has cemented himself as a great offensive mind.

    A proponent of the Air Raid offense, Sumlin has turned the Aggies into a full-on offensive juggernaut. For an incredible breakdown of the Air Rad offense, check out Bleacher Report NFL National Lead Writer Michael Schottey's recent article.

    Posting over 7,000 yards of total offense in his first season as head coach, Sumlin has proven he possesses the type of innovative thinking the Vikings need right now.

    But it's more than just his ability to score points that makes him such a fascinating NFL coaching prospect.

    As one NFC personnel executive told Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, "His organizational skills, evaluating, the whole business approach to the game, he's going to be a highly regarded NFL coach." 

    If the Minnesota front office wants to take a chance and drastically alter the landscape of this franchise, luring Sumlin away from Texas A&M would be one heck of way to achieve that.

     

     

     

     

Pete Carmichael

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    If Leslie Frazier is shown the door at the end of the season, another intriguing name the Vikings may want to consider is New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.

    One of the architects of the Saints offense, Carmichael has proven to be one of the most dynamic minds in the NFL today.

    For a Vikings team that has been saddled with the shortcomings of offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, Carmichael's presence in Minnesota would be welcomed with open arms.

    But luring Carmichael away from Saints might prove to be too big of challenge for the Vikings.

    Talking with the New Orleans Times-Picayune earlier this year, Carmichael said it would be difficult for him to ever leave New Orleans.

    Regardless, if the Vikings decide to part ways with Frazier, Carmichael has to be at the top of their list for potential successors.

    Having a guy who helped craft an offense that's averaged 433.5 total yards over the last three seasons is something the Vikings would really benefit from.

David Shaw

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    Outside of Kevin Sumlin, is there any potential NFL coaching prospect hotter right now than Stanford's David Shaw?

    Since taking over for Jim Harbaugh after the 2011 season, Shaw has racked up a 31-5 record and put two Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards on his mantle.

    Having served on NFL coaching staffs for nine years, Shaw understands exactly what it's like to be part of an NFL organization.

    But as Peter King of TheMMQB.com pointed out, what's most intriguing about Shaw being a head coach is that he embraces the art of simplicity.

    Protect the quarterback and put points on the board. Regardless of how complicated the formations and illusions Shaw creates might be, everything always comes down to simplicity.

    For a Vikings team that has looked so disheveled this season, Shaw would be the perfect guy to bring a renowned sense of stability back to this organization.

Greg Roman

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    Out of all of the offensive minds on this list, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman may actually be the best fit for the Vikings.

    Pairing Roman, a coordinator who's helped establish one of the most dynamic running attacks in the NFL, with Adrian Peterson would be a dream come true for Minnesota's offense.

    Aside from the work he's done manufacturing a potent ground game, Roman has shown he can adapt his play-calling style to just about any type of quarterback.

    Whether it was for Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick, Roman's innovative ability to structure an offense around a quarterback's strengths is an outstanding trait to have in a head coach.

    With a tragic quarterback situation going on in Minnesota right now, Roman's history of working with quarterbacks could be exactly what this franchise needs moving forward.

Mike Zimmer

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    Leadership.

    It's a commodity that best defines a head coach at the NFL level. Some guys have it and others don't.

    One guy who oozes leadership is Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

    A passionate thinker who responds well to adversity, Zimmer is currently in charge of the NFL's fourth-ranked defense.

    Having the NFL's 30th-ranked defense, it's clear that the Vikings need a drastic overhaul on that side of the ball.

    With a 4-3 defensive scheme driven by organized confusion and loads of pressure, Zimmer's style could be exactly the type of change this team needs.

    Allowing 399.3 yards of total offense a game, there's no doubt that this defense would benefit greatly from Zimmer's expertise and dedication to his craft.

    If Frazier were to go, Mike Zimmer's leadership and defensive philosophy would provide this team with the tools it needs to turn things around next season.