When the Minnesota Vikings season ended on January 1st, it was assumed head coach Leslie Frazier would jettison several members of the defensive coaching staff who had presided over a unit that had slipped out of the top ten against the run and was historically bad defending the pass.
But here we are two weeks after the Vikings final game and the search for new coaching talent isn't going so well.
ESPN 1500 Vikes beat writers Judd Zulgad and Tom Pelissero had an interesting video chat about that situation that was posted on the website on Wednesday. I would advise all Viking fans to watch the thing in full. It's quite interesting. It's also quite disturbing.
What disturbs me about Zulgad and Pelissero's comments are the following issues:
1) Frazier's handling of the coaching changes. For two straight years he's allowed certain assistants to twist in the wind and watch potential replacements interview for their jobs. If Frazier is going to treat his assistant coaches that way and not be straight about his intentions, I think that sends a bad message to any potential candidate. Why would they take a job on Frazier's staff when they could end up in the same situation someday?
2) To hear that Frazier's uncertain future beyond 2012 is impacting the search to hire new coaches on the defensive side of the ball. Because potential candidates can't be sure Frazier will be back as head coach beyond next season, that doesn't give them the kind of job security – such as it is in the NFL – they need to take a job with the Vikings.
3) To hear that Minnesota might not be a desirable landing spot for any bright defensive minds looking for work. Is the Vikings defence looking like such a mess that they can't convince anybody with a decent track record to take the defensive coordinator job?
The Vikings seem to be interested in Jacksonville's Mel Tucker, but if they can't get him, and Steve Spagnuolo takes a job in Philly, as expected, who do the Vikings hire to replace current coordinator Fred Pagac?
Does linebacker coach Mike Singletary – who the current players consider incompetent – get the job by default? Or do they have to stick with Pagac? (all things considered, this might not be a terrible thing, especially if it keeps Singletary from getting the job.)
It all adds up to a bit of a smozzle for the Vikings and Leslie Frazier. And as we head into the most important offseason the Vikings have had in franchise history, the amateurish nature of this coaching search doesn't fill me with confidence that Frazier and the Vikings can make any of the other moves required to get this team back to contending for a playoff spot.
Give me some good news here. After a 3-13 season, I need it.