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By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - With 10 other losses already notched under his belt this season, it was interesting to see the way that the normally even tempered Leslie Frazier handled Sunday's 35-32 loss to the Denver Broncos. Typically a glass half-full sort of guy, Leslie was visibly frustrated following the game and boy did that ever shine through during his post game interviews.
"It's inexcusable, some of the breakdowns that we had in our secondary," Frazier told KFAN's Greg Coleman in the locker room following the loss. "Just not being able to do basic things that you have to be able to do when you have a lead like we had."
Having watched Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos fight back into the game multiple times throughout the afternoon, Leslie Frazier seemed to have a bone to pick with the Vikings' secondary.
Already having their numbers decimated due to the legal troubles surrounding Chris Cook and injuries to Antoine Winfield and Asher Allen, the Vikings' secondary on Sunday included a handful of wide-eyed role players who were excited to have finally gotten their chance. If Coach's words are able to shed any light on his assessment of their performance, some of them did not take advantage of the opportunity that they were given.
"You’ve got to take you hat off to our guys that are fighting," Frazier continued. "It’s just a small few that are not doing their job and it’s costing us. We’ve got to find the right guys and get them out there."
Normally a coaches criticism following a tough loss can be chalked up to the passion of the game overflowing in the presence of defeat. In this case, these particular words from coach might be a little more damning as coach knows a thing or two about the position. Back in his day, coach Frazier was a pretty darn good cornerback for the Chicago Bears.
As a member of the Chicago Bears 1985 Super Bowl team, Frazier started in all 16 games of the regular season and picked off 6 passes from opposing quarterbacks, taking 1 back for a score. After suffering what would turn out to be a career ending knee injury in the second quarter of the Super Bowl, Leslie's contribution was relegated to the sidelines where he could watch others play the sport that he had dedicated so much time and effort towards.
Through these observations Leslie quickly developed a keen eye for technique. Before you know it he had cracked into the coaching ranks of the NFL as a defensive backs coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. After spending time with the Eagles, Frazier moved on to be a defensive coordinator with the Bengals. From Cincinnati it was off to Indianapolis where he served as Defensive Assistant and Defensive Back's coach under Tony Dungy with the Colts. Then it was up to Minnesota where he held the defensive coordinator's role with the Viking for four seasons before accepting the head coaching position earlier this year.
Defense, defense, defense! Looking at his track record, it might be safe to say that Leslie tends to have a more critical eye towards the cornerbacks and safeties on this Vikings' squad. That being said, Leslie was still fuming after Sunday's game.
"We’re just playing a basic coverage with a lead, and to not be able to execute that is a bad thing," Frazier continued. "When you’re out there as a professional athlete, you have to find a way to do your job. We did not find a way to do our job."
It remains unclear what coach Frazier means when he says "we've got to find the right guys and get them out there" as injuries and off the field issues have affected depth leaving the Vikings secondary bone dry. We'll learn more when Frazier talks around lunch time today, but expect to see some younger players seeing more time and some veteran players play with a little bit extra motivation Sunday against Detroit.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjMansourKFAN
*Photo By: Aj Mansour