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Frazier Article

John Murphy

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Leslie Frazier interviewed for one head coaching position this week and heard his name mentioned as a candidate for another. In between, the Vikings' busy defensive coordinator hasn't exactly quit his day job.

As he awaited word Friday from the Miami Dolphins, who hosted him for a two-day interview this week, Frazier was jump-starting an offseason project to improve the Vikings' pass defense. After the team finished last among the NFL's 32 teams in that statistical category, Frazier said, "We're just dissecting that thing and trying to see how we can get better."

The Vikings gave up more passing yardage than any NFL team in 2007, but for the second consecutive season they also had more passes thrown against them than any other team (646 in 2007). When the yardage is considered relative to the number of attempts, the Vikings ranked at the league's midpoint (No. 16) this season by giving up 7.0 yards per attempt.

Nevertheless, Frazier said he wants to cut down on long passing plays; his defense gave up 47 passes of at least 20 yards, the eighth-worst mark in the NFL.

"There were a lot of positives and a lot of good things that happened along the way this season," Frazier said. "We were able to maintain the No. 1 ranking against the run and do a lot of other good things. But obviously, the pass defense we have to improve on, and in particular the big plays we have to eliminate next season."

That, of course, is assuming Frazier remains with the Vikings. The Dolphins reportedly are leaning heavily toward Dallas assistant Tony Sparano and also have interviewed former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is another candidate.

Meanwhile, media reports have pegged Frazier as a possible candidate for the Washington Redskins' job, but as of Friday afternoon the Redskins had not made official contact.

"I don't really have any idea how this will work out," Frazier said. "They said they're going to hire the best candidate, whoever that may be. But however it works out, I'm grateful I've had this experience. I think in the long term it will help me no matter what."

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