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
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