Vikings' Frazier not frustrated with return as defensive coordinator

MINNEAPOLIS -- Leslie Frazier got back to work this week, resuming his role as Minnesota's defensive coordinator after interviewing -- and being passed over -- for three head coaching vacancies around the league.

Frazier, though, said he isn't at all frustrated that he's now 0-for-5. He had two interviews last year for top jobs that also went to other candidates.

"That's the way it goes," Frazier said by phone from Mobile, Ala., where he's scouting Senior Bowl practices with the rest of the Vikings coaching staff. "I just have to focus on the task at hand."

Toward the end of this season, when describing his relationship with coach Brad Childress and the latitude he has to run the defense the way he wants, Frazier called his position "the greatest job in the NFL." He reiterated that stance Tuesday.

"No question about it. I did the best I could to put myself in a position to get a head coaching job, and it didn't work out," Frazier said. "I'm just excited about the job I have. I think we're a good football team, and we have a lot to accomplish here."

Frazier, who will turn 50 in April and return for his third season with the Vikings, was interviewed by Miami and Atlanta last year. He was a finalist for the openings in Denver, Detroit and St. Louis, and --- according to some reports -- the favorite for the Rams job by a few of their top officials. But each team ultimately picked another candidate.

"The fact that it didn't work out just means I'm supposed to be in Minnesota at this time in my life," Frazier said.

It also means Childress won't have to search for yet another defensive coordinator. The first person in that position during Childress' time in Minnesota, Mike Tomlin, left after one season to become Pittsburgh's head coach.

"Throughout this process he's been pulling for me," Frazier said. "At the same time, we have a very good relationship. I think it's good that we'll get to continue working with each other."

The Vikings have allowed the fewest yards rushing in the league for three straight years. Their only notable free agent on defense is safety Darren Sharper.

Tuesday was just another day on the job for Frazier, with one historic exception. He watched President Barack Obama's inauguration on TV during a lunch break with special admiration, as a fellow black man.

"I've been reflecting from the very moment he was elected in November," Frazier said. "I'm just thankful to be able to witness it."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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