Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is on the hot seat. That's what happens when your team is 4-9-1 a year after making the playoffs. It's just life in the NFL.
And Frazier understands that, although he believes that the modern-day NFL coach has a much harder time holding onto a job for a lengthy amount of time. He also believes -- and he said as much on Sirius XM NFL Wednesday -- that the media manages "to influence owners" when it comes to firing coaches.
"It's changed so much with the way the job has evolved over the years. A lot has to do with the popularity of the sport," Frazier said. "So many people with opinions -- whether it be the Internet, talk radio, blogs -- those different outlets, they seem to influence owners. You just have to be careful."
Frazier then went on to provide a specific example of a team that's been patient with their coaching selections. It was not the Vikings.
"I know Coach [Tony] Dungy and I talk about this all the time. The patience that a franchise like the Pittsburgh Steelers and a few others have shown over the years and the results they've gotten from that," Frazier said. "Where they haven't knee-jerked after a tough season with their coaches. It's a good model but it's not one that everyone adheres too. Things are changing. You're on a short leash now it seems in the National Football League and that's part of it when you sign that contract to become a head coach."
To me these comments are fascinating. Frazier makes it clear that he fully understands how short his leash is and that he could potentially be fired this offseason. It's an interesting way to deliver the message -- and not even really a subtle one -- to his bosses that if they're patient they'll be rewarded.
But naturally the media will influence an owner's decision. Owners don't like bad press or unhappy fans and when a team's struggling, that's what you're going to get from the media.
That being said, it was refreshing to hear Frazier sound so candid about the topic, particularly given where he is right now with his current job situation.
Unfortunately for Frazier if the Vikings don't close out strong, it's quite possible the negative media might be too much. Fair or unfair, such is life in the NFL.