A disappointing record was likely a large factor in the Vikings deciding to part ways with Brad Childress and name Leslie Frazier the interim head coach. A disappointing record also has the Vikings far out of the playoff picture – not mathematically eliminated but certainly needing a drastic improvement to get back into the thick of things.
But Frazier said during his introductory press conference on Monday that he expects maximum effort from his players, regardless of record.
“In our league as a professional player, in my case both having been one and now in a coaching role, you understand that every game you’re being judged on performance,” Frazier explained. “The challenge that our players have is to understand that other people around the League are going to look at that tape. You owe it to your teammates and to your family to go out and play hard every single snap. It’s my job, along with our assistant coaches, to get those guys to play hard every single snap, regardless of record.”
Frazier did not shy away from expectations. He’s taking over a team that’s fallen to 3-7, but he’s also ready to take on the challenge of winning games, starting this Sunday in Washington.
“The best way to judge myself, the assistant coaches and the players, is wins and losses, period,” he said. “Along with the effort that we give on Sunday afternoons. I hope that you will never question the effort of our players, because that’s a reflection on me personally. We’re going to go out and do what is necessary to put ourselves in a position to win every Sunday. That’s the goal and that’s how we’ll approach it.”
– Frazier said that Brett Favre will be the Vikings starter on Sunday in Washington. “There is no hesitation for me in that regard,” Frazier said.
— Asked about individuals he might lean on during his time as head coach, Frazier said: “No question that Tony (Dungy) and I will be talking often in the days and weeks to come. He called me earlier and I haven’t been able to speak to him yet, but we will definitely be conversing over the days and weeks to come, without question.”
— Frazier said he was able to speak with Childress earlier on Monday. “Brad and I had a chance to talk and it was a difficult moment, without question,” Frazier explained. “We both gave one another a hug and just tried to encourage each other. He knows that I’m going to pick up the phone from time to time and call him up and ask him questions about various matters. I just wish he and his family nothing but the best.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 109 Comments »
Several Vikings players have provided their thoughts on the Vikings coaching change. Here’s what they had to say…
DE Jared Allen
“Today is really a mix of emotions. I’m going to miss Coach Childress. Brad brought me here back in 2008, and I’m thankful for that. I wish him nothing but the best. At the same time, Leslie is a stand-up guy who has our respect. He helped turn this defense into a top ten unit year in and year out. Now this will be a chance for him to lead the organization. Leslie’s great at managing players and coaches, and I know the guys will play hard over the next six weeks.”
LB Heath Farwell
“Coach Frazier is very capable of stepping into this role. He’s an even-keel type of guy who has the respect of the locker room. This is a great opportunity for him to showcase his skills as a head coach, and I support him 100%. I feel bad for Coach Childress. Unfortunately he’s the guy that took the fall for us as players who haven’t been playing as well as we should. I have a lot of support for Brad and I wish him and his family the best moving forward.”
QB Brett Favre
“Leslie is a respected, knowledgeable coach and a quality person. I’ve enjoyed being around him the past couple years and I know he’s going to take this opportunity and make the most of it. What you see is what you get with Leslie. He has a background of winning Super Bowls as a player and coach and he knows what it takes to win in the NFL. He can relate to players having been in their shoes himself and will prepare the team well. Brad Childress is a good guy, a man with strong faith and a great family; I wish him the best in the future. I think we all, starting with me, could have done more to make this a successful season.”
LB Chad Greenway
“I’m saddened and humbled by the firing of Coach Childress. He gave me the opportunity to play for this organization and was responsible for bringing me into the NFL. He shouldn’t have to take the fall for our performance on the field, but now we have to move on. I have a lot respect for Coach Frazier. Leslie is a guy we’re very comfortable with. He’s never too up and down, and he does a good job with game-planning and preparing for opponents. He deserves the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL.”
G Steve Hutchinson
“It’s a tough day because I respect the work that Brad Childress put into this team. Nobody in this locker room would have thought we would be in this position at the start of the season but we have to try to make the most of it now. Brad wanted to win more than anybody, and for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened. I have confidence that Leslie will do a great job moving forward. He’s a standup guy and has a great demeanor. I know Leslie will be a positive presence for the guys on the team and we’re going to be behind him.”
K Ryan Longwell
“I’m excited for Coach Frazier to have an opportunity to be a head coach. At the same time, it’s disheartening to see Coach Childress go. Ultimately this game comes down to players playing, and we weren’t getting the job done.”
RB Adrian Peterson
“Leslie is a good man and will do a great job as the interim coach. He’s got great football smarts and players can relate to him and vice versa. He has a certain vibe and energy that everyone can feel when they’re around him. When he speaks, guys perk up and tune in. I feel for Coach Childress today. I’ve got the utmost respect for him and I will always owe him. One of my goals when I was drafted here was to win a championship with Coach Childress. He took a chance on me and I’ve always wanted to accomplish our ultimate goals together; I’m sad it didn’t work out that way.”
DT Kevin Williams
“We’re excited to go into the rest of the season with Leslie. We’re ready to roll from here and get back on the field. I wish Brad the best in the future. He and his family were always great to me and my family. As players, we’ve got to move forward from here with a new focus.”
DT Pat Williams
“I’m sad to see Coach Childress leave. I respect him as a coach and a person, but we have to keep fighting as a team for the remainder of the season. Leslie has my full support. He’s a good person and a good coach. He deserves to be a head coach in this league. Whether it’s here or somewhere else after this season, he deserves the opportunity.”
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, Heath Farwell, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, Ryan Longwell, Steve Hutchinson
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 347 Comments »
Although it comes one day after a game we’d all like to forget, the decision to part ways with Brad Childress and name Leslie Frazier the interim head coach will go down as an important day in Vikings history. The Vikings have a proud history and through nearly 50 seasons have hired just 7 head coaches – Frazier has a chance to be named the 8th head coach in team history.
But before we kickoff the Leslie Frazier era with a 3:00 p.m. CT press conference this afternoon, I wanted to take a moment to wish Childress well. He’s come under heavy fire from fans recently and was never fully embraced, but there’s no denying that he put every fiber of his being over the last 5 years toward making the Vikings better. And he did make the Vikings better.
Under Childress the Vikings improved their win total by 2 each year, going from 6 wins in 2006 to 12 wins in 2009 and a trip to the NFC Championship Game. Childress, in conjunction with VPs Rob Brzezinski and Rick Spielman, won back-to-back division titles, built a stingy defense and boasted one of the most productive and entertaining offenses in the NFL during the 2009 season. Childress was also a big part in adding quality character players to the locker room and improving the veteran leadership. Over the last 3 years, each player on the 53-man roster has participated in at least 1 community outreach initiative.
“The past five years have been a tremendous experience for my family and I as the Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings,” Childress said on Tuesday. “I have a great respect for the players and coaches who I have worked with and for their dedication to each other and to the organization. I am proud of our accomplishments and believe the foundation of this football team is stronger today than when I became Head Coach in 2006. I appreciate the opportunity that Zygi, Mark, and the whole Wilf family afforded me and wish them success as they move forward.”
As great as the 2009 season was under Childress, the 2010 season has been every bit as disappointing. And as head coach, the buck stopped with Childress. The result is what happened today – Childress being dismissed and Frazier being promoted. Regardless of your feelings about the 2010 Vikings season and the reasons you’ve assigned to the inadequacies, it’s appropriate to wish Childress well as he goes forward. From a personal standpoint, I’m thankful to Childress for many reasons and I’m also thankful to him from a professional standpoint.
In Frazier, the Vikings have a coach who has been to the top in the NFL. Frazier has won a Super Bowl both as a player and coach and he’ll look to rely on his past experiences as well as his past 3+ seasons with the Vikings to try and turn the Vikings in the right direction.
Frazier’s first steps have likely been taken today as he met with coaches and players. His next step is to meet with the media, which he’ll do shortly. From there, it’s time to prepare for the Washington Redskins and welcome a new era of Purple Pride.
Tags: Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 68 Comments »
The Vikings announced today that they have relieved Brad Childress of his duties and have named Leslie Frazier the interim head coach. Childress was hired in 2006 and finishes his Vikings tenure with a 39-35 (.527) regular season record – including back-to-back division titles – and a 1-2 mark in the postseason.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and Frazier will address the media at 3 p.m. CT Monday at Winter Park.
Frazier was originally hired by the Vikings before the 2007 season as defensive coordinator to replace Mike Tomlin, who left the team to take the head coaching job in Pittsburgh. The Vikings promoted Frazier to assistant head coach/defensive coordinator before the 2008 season. Frazier’s defenses have been stout against the run and improving against the pass since ’07. They led the NFL in 2009 with 48 sacks and the team ranks 3rd in the NFL with 131 sacks since ’07.
With the unique perspective of a Super Bowl winner as a player and coach, Frazier has a proven track record of success. Hist first title came as a starting CB with the 1985 Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX and he also won a title as a member of Tony Dungy’s staff in Indianapolis.
The 2010 season is Frazier’s 4th with the Vikings, his 12th in the NFL and his 23rd overall in coaching.
1977-80 – Alcorn State (DB)
1981-86 – Chicago Bears (DB)
1988-96 – Trinity International University
1997-98 – University of Illinois
1999-02 – Philadelphia Eagles
2003-04 – Cincinnati Bengals
2005-06 – Indianapolis Colts
2007-Present – Minnesota Vikings
Tags: Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 285 Comments »
By this time of year, divisional races tend to form into relatively concrete molds and that is truly the case with the NFC North.
The Packers thrashed the Vikings 31-3 in front of a disappointed Mall of America Field crowd on Sunday, seemingly wiping out any remaining playoff hopes for the Purple. With the win, Green Bay moved into a 1st-place tie with the Chicago Bears atop the division at 7-3 – 4 games ahead of the Vikings with 6 remaining.
We won’t delve into the Vikings loss since it’s been well-chronicled over the past 20 hours, but it’s clear that the Packers may have doused the pilot light on the Vikings playoff flame. But regardless of Sunday’s outcome, let’s take a look around the division.
The Bears played their Week 11 game on Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium and came out victorious by a mark of 16-0.
Just 4 days removed from a home victory over the Vikings, the Bears defense continued its dominance by shutting out the Dolphins and holding them to 187 total yards of offense.
Chicago tallied 6 sacks in the contest, led by DE Julius Peppers with 3.0. LB Lance Briggs recorded a team-high 7 stops and CB Charles Tillman grabbed an INT.
K Robbie Gould provided most of the Bears points with 3 FGs from 46, 24 and 50 yards while RB Matt Forte ran in the lone TD on a 2-yard plunge.
The Bears will host the red-hot Philadelphia Eagles (7-3) next Sunday in a matchup between NFC divisional leaders.
On the other spectrum of the NFC North, the Detroit Lions couldn’t manage to climb out of their losing rut by falling to the resurging Dallas Cowboys 35-19 in Arlington, Texas.
Despite holding a 5-point lead midway through the 3rd quarter, the Lions couldn’t take advantage of punt placed near the goal line as it was batted out of the endzone and then bounced into the hands of Dallas’ Bryan McCann, who returned it 97 yards for the go-ahead TD.
Dallas tacked on 3 more TDs after the punt return, dropping the Lions to 2-8. Detroit has now lost an NFL record 26 road games in a row dating back to the 2007 season.
The Lions will host the New England Patriots (8-2) in their annual Thanksgiving Day game this Thursday at Ford Field.
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 92 Comments »