Around midseason, when I first mentioned Leslie Frazier as a possible replacement for Tom Cable, not many knew much about him. As the playoffs crept closer Frazier's name picked up some momentum and he interviewed for openings in Seattle and Buffalo. While many, including Frazier himself, considered the interviews merely an effort to satisfy the Rooney rule; Frazier could be a legitimate candidate in Oakland.
Frazier tasted Superbowl victory in 1985 as safety for the the Chicago Bears. Knee injuries, probably suffered in the " Superbowl shuffle", cut Frazier's career short.
In 1988 he began his coaching career at Trinity College, his first and only head coaching job. Frazier first entered the NFL as a member of Andy Reid's staff in Philadelphia studying under the great Jim Johnson. His first defensive coordinator position came in Cincinnati, where he had relative success. After being released by the Bengals, Cincinatti's defense crumbled.
Frazier then continued his developement under the watchful eye of Tony Dungy, as a critical part of the Superbowl winning Colts defense. Dungy hand picked Frazier as special assistant to the head coach and defensive backs coach to develop a young defensive backfield in Indianapolis.
Tony Dungy has since endorsed Frazier as an NFL head coach. Frazier went as far to say he would have brought Tony Dungy to Seattle if hired. Frazier has worked for and with some of the greatest coaches the NFL has known: Mike Ditka, Buddy Ryan, Andy Reid, Jim Johnson and Tony Dungy.
Al Davis has a nose for talented coaches, keeping them around has been the problem. Recently Davis has made a habit of waiting through the playoffs to announce head coaching decisions. In the years since Gruden, Davis has interviewed, Ken Wisenhut, Josh McDaniels, Sean Payton, Jason Garrett and Winston Moss. All Assistant coaches on playoff or Superbowl teams. None were hired, hopefully that changes this year.
While Dungy may be Frazier's biggest fan he doesn't appear to think to much about the Oakland Raiders. Vick suggested this year that Dungy advised him to stear clear of Oakland when re-entering the league, it wasn't clear why.
Why would Dungy not want Vick in Oakland? There are plenty of potential reasons; Jamarcus Russell, Tom Cable, lack of coaching stability, Hackett, Tollner or just plain Al Davis.
Would Tony Dungy's advice to Vick change if he knew Vick would be working with Frazier? Would Frazier take a job not endorsed by Dungy?
Hue Jackson was reportedly in Oakland this week to interview for the offensive coordinator position in Oakland. In 2004 Frazier and Jackson served together as members of the Cincinnati Bengals' coaching staff.
In 1996 Hue Jackson was the offenive coordinator for the Califonia Golden Bears. On that same coaching staff was Mike Waufle and Tom Cable. Coincidence?
No one really knows what's going on in Alameda right now. With the Vikings season over, hopefully Frazier might land in Oakland.