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Despite failing to land either of the jobs he interviewed for recently, Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier appears well positioned to be a top candidate for a head coaching spot next season.

Frazier’s stock on the rise

He didn’t land any of the head coaching jobs for which he interviewed, but Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier likely benefited from the experience.

Frazier interviewed with the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons for their top jobs.  Others were chosen instead, but Frazier clearly acclimated himself well during the process and gained increased visibility in the league as a result.

Another strong performance by the Vikings defense in 2008, coupled with some team success, and Frazier might be positioned for a shot at one of the top jobs a year from now.

In Miami, Tony Sparano was the clear favorite from the beginning, but Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland did have a connection with Frazier.

One common factor was late Bears scout Jim Parmer.  But Frazier and Ireland first met in 1982, when Frazier was a young cornerback with the Bears and Ireland was a first-year bellboy.

Frazier came to the Bears because, Ireland’s grandfather, Parmer, scouted him at Alcorn State and encouraged then-general manager Jim Finks to bring him in.  Ireland and Frazier spent six years together in the Bears organization.

“I've always kept in touch and followed his career,” Ireland said in a recent interview.  “I like the kind of person he is and what kind of coach he is, based on talking to people who have been around him.  He was extremely impressive in his interview with the Dolphins—more impressive than I knew from the outside looking in.  There is no doubt in my mind he will be ready for a head coaching position in the short term.”

Frazier also interviewed with the Falcons, and is seen as an up-and-comer in league circles.

“The people I've worked with have helped—Tony Dungy, Andy Reid, playing for Mike Ditka, being around Buddy Ryan,” Frazier said.  “Plus I've had some prior head coaching experience, even though it has been on a smaller level.  I've had to make decisions as a head coach.  I've been in successful situations, winning two Super Bowls.  So along the way, different things have transpired that have prepared me.”

It would appear that it is only a matter of time before Frazier gets an opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL.

Mills part of future plans?

Vikings tight end Garrett Mills was inactive for 15 of 16 games this season, not seeing any actual game time until the regular season finale at Denver.

He caught a modest two passes for 26 yards, but the coaches are said to be intrigued by his pass-catching abilities and think he could make an impact as an H-back and special teams contributor next season.

Garrett Mills (AP Photo) TE Garrett Mills (AP Photo)

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