Minnesota Vikings: Assessing Leslie Frazier's Crew: Can They Coach?

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Minnesota Vikings: Assessing Leslie Frazier's Crew: Can They Coach?
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has assembled his coaching staff for the 2011 season.

Of the 23 coaches that make up the staff, there will be eight changes over 2010, including Frazier as the man in charge.

There's an adage that I've heard plenty of times over the years:

Those who can't play, coach.

There are many variations of this phrase, but you get the point. 

The theory is that for those less talented players, at least those who truly love the sport they so dearly want to play, they will work so much harder than those with natural talent.

They will study the game, understanding its intricacies and nuances in order to be better prepared and use what they've learned to their advantage as they compete.

In many cases, because of their knowledge they may become an extension of the coach on the field, ultimately ending up being a coach on the sideline.

On the other end of the spectrum there are those with the natural ability, the exceptional eye, or instinct that elevates their game above all others.

These are gifted athletes, that no matter what the sport, they can adapt and excel, seemingly without effort. 

The problem is these gifted athletes cannot always translate their talent into a teachable way that allows others to excel.

An example of being able to play and not coach might be Norm Van Brocklin. In his playing career as a quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, Van Brocklin had a 61-36-4 record, a .629 winning percentage. Yet in 13 years as the head coach of the Vikings and Falcons he only had three winning seasons with a career record of 66-100-7—a lowly .398 winning percentage.

An example on the other end of the spectrum would be Marty Schottenheimer. He played six seasons in the NFL, only starting 10 games. The combined record of the teams he played for was 30-51-3, a .370 winning percentage. Yet, he is currently sixth all time in the NFL with 200 coaching victories in 21 seasons. He finished his coaching career with a .613 winning percentage.

Here's a look at the new additions to the Vikings coaching staff for 2011.

I attempt to answer the questions could they play, and can they coach?

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