Foge Fazio recently joined the Vikings as a defensive consultant on a part-time basis last week. Fazio still works for CBS radio.
Fazio is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where he played linebacker. Fazio and his wife, Norma, have one daughter, Kristen Anne and one son, Vince.
Most recently, Fazio was a special assistant in the Washington Redskins' front office. Before that he was the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Prior to that, he was a linebackers coach for the Washington Redskins in 2000. He was the Vikings defensive coordinator from 1995-99. He also has been an assistant for the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Cincinnati, Harvard University and Boston University.
Q: Looking from strictly a personnel standpoint, is this a defense that by the end of the season should be one of the NFL's top 10?
A: I think when everyone's healthy. The secondary guys are all excellent and they've all proven it. (Fred) Smoot and Antoine (Winfield) are both No. 1 picks. (Darren) Sharper has played with a winning team before and Corey Chavous is one of the smartest football players in the NFL. The defensive line is hurt a little bit, but when they develop somebody they're good enough to win the division and that's our objective — to win the division.
Q: Who, from your standpoint, has had a solid season on defense?
A: Against Chicago, I thought Pat Williams reminded me of John Randle in terms of getting in there and disturbing things all day.
Q: What concerns you more, the Vikings' pass defense or the inability to stop the run?
A: That's a tough question to answer because usually if you can't stop the run you're going to try to do whatever you can, which leaves your corners one-on-one and susceptible to long passes. But basically if you can make a team one-dimensional — it goes hand in hand. Against Chicago, if we get up 13-0 or 14-0, it would've made it very tough for them to run.
Q: Have you seen anything that would explain Kevin Williams' slow start?
A: I don't know about that. I thought that he had a very good football game. I thought against Chicago No. 93 (Kevin Williams) and No. 94 (Pat Williams) played very good. I thought they were disruptive. He pressured the quarterback and made tackles. Other than Pat, Kevin had the next best game.
Q: Raonall Smith played well Sunday at Chicago. Could we see more of Raonall on the field Sunday?
A: I think so. He has good speed. He's hungry. Naturally, as far as playing experience, he'll get better and better.
Q: On paper, a secondary with corners Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot, and safeties Darren Sharper and Corey Chavous appears to be one of the best in the NFL. Is it?
A: I said that earlier. Being associated with defenses for the last 16 or 17 years in the NFL, this secondary is very solid. The only other one that good was when I was with Washington in 2000 when we had Deion (Sanders), Champ Bailey and Darrell Green.
Q: What would Keith Newman as a starting strongside linebacker add to the Vikings defense?
A: Keith is physical. He has good size. He's smart and he's played in the 3-4 before. He can rush the passer and he can offer a lot. Plus he seems to me to have a lot of leadership out there.
Q: You had been disconnected from the Vikings for a few years. What were your thoughts when you heard Randy Moss was traded to Oakland for a first-round draft pick and linebacker Napoleon Harris?
A: I was with other teams and watching the Vikings. I wasn't in Philadelphia, I wasn't at the Redskins game and I don't know what kind of things set Randy off or what happened, but that goes along with being a great athlete and what he can contribute to the team. But I know that he was a big part of getting into the playoffs and helping them be successful. On one hand, you say maybe they got rid of a distraction. On the other hand you might say maybe they shouldn't have done that because he's such a great player. But the ownership might have gotten pressure from season-ticket holders or seat holders; I'm not sure about that part. I don't know. But it kind of surprised me, though, especially when they paid him all that money to be here.
Coaches Q&A, Part II: Fazio Talks Personnel
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