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Are Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings near extension?

Leslie Frazier was a coach many had pegged for the hot seat in 2012. His Minnesota Vikings widely were viewed as basement material in the NFC North, but here they are, one win away from the playoffs.

Judd Zulgad of ESPN Twin Cities believes a contract extension is close for Frazier, who always has been popular with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf.

Frazier's contract runs out after next season. He's a clear candidate for NFL Coach of the Year honor after taking a 3-13 team to 9-6 heading into Sunday's critical game with the Green Bay Packers. Frazier replaced the fired Brad Childress midway through the 2010 season, and two-plus years in, linebacker Chad Greenway has warmed up to the coach's calm demeanor.

"His speeches are real consistent, if you know what I mean," Greenway told Zulgad (a slight jab at Chilly). "I think that's good. It is such a long season, and there are so many ups and downs that I think if you have a coach that is kind of going with that; maybe he comes in Monday after a loss and he's really down and (you get a), 'This is going to ruin our season' sort of speech, and that's not what Leslie is. Obviously Leslie's the kind of guy, 'We're still in this thing. We're fighting. We're together. We're all in.' And his approach is perfect, in my mind, for what an NFL coach needs to be."

On the field, Frazier oversees a team that is lazily referred to as a one-man band on Adrian Peterson's shoulders, but that doesn't credit the Vikings for all they are this season. Much of their success hinges on a defense that has surprised opponents. Minnesota is far from vanilla in how it disrupts an offense.

The Vikings need a victory over the Packers on Sunday to make the playoffs, but win or lose, Frazier doesn't appear on his way out any time soon.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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