The Indianapolis Colts currently employ Jeff Saturday as head coach, a man who may not necessarily be the skipper in 2023. The franchise terminated former head coach Frank Reich in early November after a 3-5-1 (.388) start to the season.
Insert Saturday, who won his first game as the boss but has lost three straight, including an absolute drubbing courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys, 54-19, last weekend.
Accordingly, Saturday may not be the long-term solution for Indianapolis at head coach unless the Colts ownership privately adores the ex-NFLer or if Saturday rattles off successive wins to close out the regular season. And if Saturday is not the guy, the Colts may be interested in a former Vikings head coach — Leslie Frazier.
Frazier is the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator at the moment, a job he’s held since 2017. The Colts may peek at Frazier for 2023, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano. He wrote about the possibility of Fraizer to Indianapolis, “Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has been brought up to me by more than one person lately as a name to watch for the Indianapolis Colts’ head-coaching position once the season is over.”
The NFL is growing more offense-coach-happy as of late, but Frazier has evidently turned heads by propelling Buffalo’s defense to one of the best in the business. Per EPA/Play since Frazier arrived five years ago, the Bills defense has ranked as follows:
2017 = 21st
2018 = 3rd
2019 = 5th
2020 = 15th
2021 = 1st
2022 = 9th (thru Week 13)
“Frazier has an ally in Tony Dungy, whose word carries some weight in Indy. Frazier is a former head coach who has administered one of the league’s best defenses for several years now and likely deserves another chance. The questions in Indy would be who’s going to play quarterback and who’s going to run the offense,” Graziano added about the likelihood of Frazier to Indianapolis.
Frazier certainly didn’t thrive with the Vikings, but people are afforded second chances in life and sports. The man has unmistakably excelled in Buffalo and perhaps could lead another team with more success than Frazier did with the Vikings from 2011 to 2013. In those seasons, Minnesota posted an 18-29-1 (.385) record, the eighth-worst in the NFL during the timeframe. Too, Frazier was hired as a defensive guru, and the Vikings defense ranked 28th in the league per EPA/Play from 2011 to 2013. It was not a fit for either party.
The coaching carousel obviously won’t get cracking until January, but ESPN seems to believe Frazier to the Colts would be a fit.
The Vikings play the Colts in eight days at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).