Q and A: Post-game with Vikings defensive coordinator
MINNEAPOLIS Whenever I've asked him about interest in a college coaching job, Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier always has said he would like to be an NFL head coach someday. So it was a bit surprising to see a report Sunday that Frazi...
Whenever I've asked him about interest in a college coaching job, Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier always has said he would like to be an NFL head coach someday.
So it was a bit surprising to see a report Sunday that Frazier might be the leading candidate for the Gophers job now that Tim Brewster has been fired.
I caught up with Frazier after the Vikings' 24-21 victory over the Dallas Cowboys and asked him if he would like to be the Gophers' next coach.
BS: There's a report you're interested in the Gophers job. Are you?
LF: I'm the Minnesota Vikings' defensive coordinator. Period. End of story.
BS: How about your defense? Happy with the way it played?
LF: Those (two) turnovers were big. We gave up a few more points than we're accustomed to, but, hey, we won the game. I'm happy.
BS: How happy were you with E.J. Henderson and his two interceptions?
LF: Turned the game around. They were momentum turners. I think they had a turnover or two, so we had to match their turnovers. (The Cowboys recovered a fumble and that was it.) We talk about it all week long: We have to come up with some turnovers to match what other teams are doing. We felt that way against the Jets. They got some turnovers. We didn't. We felt like that was the difference in our game. We had to match the turnovers, and we did.
BS: At the end of the game, were you concerned about (Cowboys quarterback) Tony Romo, or did you feel
your defense had things locked down pretty good?
LF: We've played against some good quarterbacks. He moves around and runs around. That's the only thing that gives you some trouble. Our guys stood up and made the plays when they had to.
BS: Did you say anything to (cornerback) Lito Sheppard after he gave up three touchdowns?
LF: I wish he had caught it. It went right off his fingers (before Dez Bryant caught a 31-yard TD pass to tie the score 21-21.) I said, "Come on, man, get that interception." He was in pretty good position. It tipped off his fingers into the receiver's hands.
BS: Overall, though, your defense played well.
LF: They played well. They played hard. They kept us right where we needed to have a chance to win at the end.
BS: Are the turnovers what have been missing from your defense?
LF: In our losses, I think that's what has been missing. We've been talking about scoring on defense.
BS: You almost did (on Henderson's first interception).
LF: We're hoping that happens next.
BS: But it's still good when your defense sets up the offense for scores, right?
LF: Exactly right. It puts our offense on a short field and, hopefully, they'll convert it into seven points. (The Vikings scored a touchdown and field goal after Henderson's interceptions.) So, you're right. It's just as good.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.