Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said his focus this week is on his team's playoff game Sunday against Dallas and not the two head coaching interviews he had last week with the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks in the Twin Cities.
Frazier reportedly impressed Bills officials and is a top candidate for that job. The Seattle situation was interesting because Frazier interviewed after reports had surfaced that Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll was going to get the job. Carroll, in fact, was named the Seahawks coach shortly after Frazier went through a four-plus hour interview on Saturday.
"It's probably better that I don't go there," Frazier said when asked about the situation with the Seahawks. "There would be a time I'd love to talk to you about it."
Although Frazier has now interviewed for seven head coaching jobs in the past three years, the feeling among many was the Seahawks simply wanted to talk to Frazier so they were in compliance with the Rooney Rule. That rule states that a team must interview at least one minority candidate for a head coaching position. Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the Seahawks were in compliance but did not go into detail.
Asked about the Rooney rule, Frazier said: "You just hope when you go in for an interview it's legit and you try to decipher ahead of time if it is. You shouldn't have to do that. It should be on merit. And when they invite you in you'd like to believe it's for real and that's the way I've approached it. They've got enough people in the league trying to make sure that they are for real and it's not someone pulling the wool over your eyes. So you either do it or you don't."
Frazier, who held his weekly news conference Thursday, attempted to keep the focus on the Cowboys game and not his future. "One of the things I really wanted to do throughout this week was put all my energy and focus in Dallas and what happened a week ago is really in my rear-view mirror," he said. "My focus is really on trying to get our guys ready to play on Sunday. There will be a time to talk about what happened a week ago but I don't know if this is necessarily the most appropriate time."
Frazier also said he had no trouble keeping his focus: "I'd like to get a third ring and it's not hard for me to move on beyond that. Not hard at all. I promise you. These opportunities are just so rare in the National Football League for players and coaches and for me just to be in this situation again and know that we're just a couple games from reaching our goal as a team. No, it's not hard at all [to remain focused]."
A finalist last year for the Denver and St. Louis jobs, Frazier made it clear he would like to be a head coach but that isnt' where his focus is at right now. "I'm at a point now in my career that this is the most important time," he said. "Having a chance to win this championship. If I don't get a chance to be a head coach, I get a third ring. I can live with that. "
As for being the favorite in Buffalo, Frazier said: "I don't put much credence in anything I hear, brother. Believe me. I don't care who says top candidate. This or that. It doesn't mean anything to me."