MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings’ bid for a win Sunday involves the past.

Leslie Frazier was the head coach last year at this time. He is now the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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His return provides a mixture of memories and incentive. It’s not been great, but make no mistake — the Vikings defense has improved.

Maybe the Vikings’ defense can help the Vikings’ offense?

“I mean, if anyone has any questions, I still remember a lot of the stuff,” said safety Harrison Smith. “I haven’t really watched our defense too much, so I don’t know exactly what they’re doing.”

Maybe the meeting between the Vikings and Frazier will be described as “misery loves company” this season.

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The Buccaneers have struggled on that side of the ball. But when you talk about Frazier, you’re talking about a man who helped develop many of the Vikings — and not just as football players.

“He’s helped me, you know, grow and develop as a player, and not only that – as a human being,” said defensive end Brian Robison. “You’re always thankful to have coaches like that.”

So what they’re trying to say is simple: This is the NFL.

“I was with Coach Frazier for four years now, and you know he was a great dude,” said defensive end Everson Griffen. “He taught me a lot of things and, you know, now he’s with Tampa and, you know, our whole purpose is to go out there and beat ’em.”

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The Vikings face the Buccaneers Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Kickoff is at noon.