Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has been contacted by the Miami Dolphins to interview for their vacant head coach position after the firing of Cam Cameron, according to the Miami Herald.
“I'm just looking forward to sitting down and talking to Bill [Parcells] and Jeff [Ireland] and the owner [Wayne Huizenga] to get a feel what they're looking for in a head coach,” Frazier told The Miami Herald.
Frazier, 48, is an interesting choice as one of the initial candidates, mostly because he has no ties to either Parcells or Ireland. He also currently runs a Tampa 2 defensive system in Minnesota, which is different than the system run by Parcells and Ireland in Dallas. But that was also true of Mike Tomlin when he interviewed for the Steelers job a year ago.
Frazier does have a versatile defensive background, one that originated in a more pressure-oriented system as a player and a coach. He noted that he actually didn't begin learning the Tampa 2 until he joined Colts coach Tony Dungy’s staff in 2005. Prior to that he was considered more of a Jim Johnson (Eagles) disciple in terms of defensive philosophy.
“No question, a pressure-oriented system is what I came from,” Frazier said. “You'd really have to evaluate the personnel down there before any of those types of decisions would be made as far as the defense is concerned.”
Frazier was a cornerback on one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history, the 1985 Chicago Bears.
It is not yet known how many candidates the Dolphins plan to interview, but the team is steering toward keeping that number around five. Frazier said his agent had been contacted by one other team about a head-coaching vacancy, but he did not want to say which team that was.
Speculation is that team would be Atlanta.
Interviewing Frazier also will keep the team in good standing with the NFL’s Rooney Rule, designed to encourage teams to interview minority candidates, and some have speculated that a Frazier interview is just jumping through those hoops.
But Frazier appreciates the opportunity and the experience. “I don't really have a tie,” Frazier said. “I was just glad they called.'”
Speculation at this time is that Tony Sparano, the Cowboys' assistant head coach, is considered the top choice.
Other names considered include Maurice Carthon (Cardinals running backs coach), Todd Haley (Cardinals offensive coordinator), ex-Vikings head coach Mike Tice (Jaguars assistant head coach/tight ends) and Rex Ryan (former Ravens defensive coordinator).
New general manager Jeff Ireland said he and Parcells want to create a culture of winning (who doesn’t).
Ireland said the team needs a coach with a stronger character, who will lead and discipline their passionate and competitive players.