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Vikings defensive coordinator Frazier named assistant head coach

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- It's not quite the promotion Leslie Frazier was looking for, but he'll take it.

Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress added the title of assistant head coach to Frazier's role as defensive coordinator Wednesday.

Frazier interviewed for head coach openings in Miami and Atlanta this offseason, losing out to Tony Sparano and Mike Smith, respectively.

Childress called the promotion "a natural progression" for Frazier, who will be entering his second year running the Vikings defense after coming over from Indianapolis.

Frazier is in the mold of Colts coach Tony Dungy, a stoic figure who rarely rants and raves. But his players responded last season as the Vikings finished No. 1 in rush defense and also scored eight defensive touchdowns.

"There's different kinds of leadership," Childress said. "He's very strong, has very good resolve."

The two go back to their days as assistants on Andy Reid's staff in Philadelphia. Childress said he regularly shares ideas and strategies with Frazier, not just about the defense, but about all facets of running the team.

Frazier looked at film of free-agent quarterback Gus Frerotte during the player's visit on Tuesday at Childress' request.

"We talk about everything right now," Frazier said. "From the top to the bottom of our roster."

Frazier still aspires to be a head coach one day, and said the interviews he had gave him "the sense that when the right situation arises, I'll be ready for it."

Entering his third season as coach of the Vikings, Childress is used to having sought-after defensive coordinators. Mike Tomlin left after just one season to take over the Steelers, and Childress thinks Frazier will one day leave for a big job, too.

"I view him as a future head coach in this league," Childress said. "Yes I do."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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