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Vikings In Good Shape With Frazier, Spielman Working Together

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 25, 2011 – 2:27 pm

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier and VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman have worked together in the draft preparation process since Frazier was hired as defensive coordinator back in 2007. But their working relationship is much different this year because Frazier is now the club’s head coach and therefore will work much more closely with Spielman and his personnel staff.

And while this is the tandem’s first run-through with the draft, it seems as if everything is running smoothly. Spielman has been effusive in his praise of Frazier’s leadership and communication style in recent weeks and on Friday at the Combine Frazier was just as complimentary of Spielman’s style.

“It’s been good working with Rick and that six-week period helped me a lot, just to see how he goes about things and what his expectations are and for him to get a feel for me as well,” Frazier said.

The 6-week period Frazier referenced is the period of time in which Frazier served as interim head coach following Brad Childress’ departure. During that time, Frazier and Spielman worked together to manage the day-to-day operations of the Vikings roster as they closed out a disappointing 2010 season.

But even during that rough stretch for the franchise, Frazier’s message to everyone who was listening was that those tough times would ultimately be looked back upon as the beginning of something great. Frazier’s mantra is and was that at some point in the near future, when the team had accomplished its goals, the team would look back at the end of the 2010 season and say “That’s where this started.”

“That was very beneficial for both of us,” Frazier said of working with Spielman for the final 6 weeks of the 2010 season. “It’s probably helped us to be further along than we would’ve been if I had been hired in February coming from somewhere else.”

Frazier was asked on Friday if he would defer to Spielman during the draft process. It’s a fair question because Childress held final say over the 53-man roster, but the Vikings have no revealed if Frazier has final say over the roster as a part of his contract as head coach. Ultimately, the “final say” aspect that many people lament over doesn’t matter, and it’s because Frazier and Spielman enjoy a respectful, working relationship.

“I have trust in Rick and the scouts,” Frazier explained. “They’ve done the homework on these players. While we were out trying to win games on Sunday, they were on college campuses gathering information.

“Myself and the coaches, we’ll spend mid-January to April getting to know them (the players), but not nearly to the degree that our scouts will have or Rick. So we’re going to trust them.”

Frazier also explained that while he and his coaching staff will trust the scouts’ research, they also know the scouts will rely on the coaches in the process.

“One of the good things about our relationship is they’re relying heavily on the coaches’ opinions,” Frazier said. “They’re not saying, ‘Okay you’ve got to coach this defensive lineman. You’ve got to coach this offensive lineman’ without the coaches’ input.”

Frazier said the coaching staff has had a chance to explain to the personnel staff what they’re looking for from certain positions.

“That kind of communication gives you a chance to be successful to the point where you trust a Rick Spielman because he’s educated on what our staff wants on Sundays,” Frazier said. “I have no problem if Rick says ‘Hey, this guy is an A+ player versus this guy being a C player. He’s done the background check, he’s done the homework, so I have confidence that he’ll have a good recommendation.”


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23 Responses to “Vikings In Good Shape With Frazier, Spielman Working Together”

  1. By iavikefan on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    i dnt think enough people on these blogs are talking about how lucky we are to have frazier as are head coach! before the childress drama i was afraid of losing him to another team as there head coach and now that we have named him minnesota head coach im excited in his leadershipand the direction he is taking this team. go vikes!

  2. By Titus on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    AMEN TO THAT! Frazier is a winner.

  3. By Parody on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    As is his coaching staff. Everybody who he has added to the group of coaches has some experience in the Super Bowl.

  4. By Titus on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    And that is what true winners do– they assemble the best team and then trust their input– what a refreshing change from the past few years. Frazier is confident in himself and his team.

  5. By iavikefan on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    finally u guys r making sense. what really matters is we have an excellent head coach who has assembled an excellent coaching staff. im confident in the decisions they will make in the draft and free agency. lets just hope to god the owners and the union pull there heads out of there – and we get a 2011 season that im excited and looking forward to. go vikes!

  6. By Stoney on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    Great comments! Anyone want to give their opinion? I think Spielman should get the nod for the draft if push comes to shove.

  7. By Parody on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    I doubt it’s going to be a push-shove situation. Leslie has expressed confidence in allowing each of the coaches underneath him to make sound decisions without him forcing their hands, so I doubt the relationship with Spielman will be any different.

    What I’d like to know is how much pushing and shoving there was between Spielman and Childress on each draft decision. This is just so I can understand how much violence was involved in some of the more questionable decisions (i.e. Jackson, Loadholt, trading down in round 1 2010 to get the unknowns of Cook and Gerhart when we had a need for a safety and future QB who were both still available before the move).

  8. By iavikefan on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    childress couldnt see past his own shadow. didnt matter what anybody said or wanted even if it was for the best of the team. it was chillys way or no way. thats why we had the dismall season we had. and thats why hes gone. im just lookin forward to a season with a coach who surrounds himself with talent players and coaching staff both. if the powers to be figure this cba situation out im REALLY looking forward to the draft and the 2011 season. go vikes!

  9. By Titus on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    BAROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  10. By Ricefield on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    Not trying to defend Chilly but one thing he had right was Frazier on his coaching staff.

    Frazier is a winner. He’s a guy that players can look at and say, “This guy knows what he’s talking about. He’s been there. He gets it and he’ll make sure we get it too.”

    GO VIKINGS!!!

  11. By Titus on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    Childress did not get a head coaching job in the NFL because he was an imbecile.
    He did take the Vikings to the championship quite fast, considering the Tice saga.

  12. By Frederick Jones on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    @Titus,

    I agree with what you said about Childress. There have been 100s of coaches in the NFL that didn’t make it to their 5th season in row. He actually made alot more correct decisions than bad ones.

    He has been unpopular since 2006. What he did to deserve it, I don’t know. I never went to Vikings.com then, or even watched pre game shows very much. So I missed all that, and didn’t have a grudge against him.

  13. By Parody on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    My grudge against Childress began with the 12-man in the huddle debacle and grew through the draft and got worse and worse as the season wore on, until the week he cut Moss and then I just dispised him.

    Before all that though he never really rubbed me the right way, but I was still always defending him because the team was constantly improving. I had a strange feeling in my gut about him when Birk (MN Native, NFL Man of the Year Runner Up, Harvard Grad) chose to sign with the Ravens for a pretty similar contract to the one we offered him. I felt that something must have been sour with the way the coach was running things. But I remained happily ignorant because my team was improving.

    From the comments I’ve read from others in here, it seems to me the biggest reason that people didn’t like him from the get-go was based off of his move to draft TJack.

  14. By Shawn on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    I am so glad we made Frazier head coach, I would have been so frusterated if our 3rd DC went somewhere else and won a championship …. Chilly was the equivalent of a comedian in the coaching ranks, funny to listen to but hard to believe in, Frazier has had a plan and been all business and I cant wait for the CBA to be done so we can see this guy build the Vikings into the 11th-12th century nightmare history remembers them as

    SKOL VIKINGS

    and as Titus would say BAROOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  15. By Mr. Fan on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    we are absolutely lucky to retain frazier, imagine if we fired childress a few years back and promoted tomlin

  16. By Shawn on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    O I forgot …….

    84 life BBM

  17. By Shawn on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    @Mr.Fan … Exactly

  18. By Titus on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah, Childress obviously had some credentials ( he had to, to make it to that position, no debate there) and was interesting to listen to, for a while, BUT his main issue was he could not delegate– and in a complex organization with high caliber athletes, his style did not work– he was not brilliant enough to make every decision– not many people are, nor should they be.
    Had he let go a bit, it might have been very different. It’s one of those ironies– the more you want to control others, the less control you have.

  19. By Coach Childress on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Well there’s still a lot of football left and anything else is conjecture working backwards.

    Im not sure what he was thinking. You cant throw a pick 6.

    He was a non programmic fit.

  20. By Shawn on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    84 life BBM

  21. By Jeremy on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Good call, Shawn! I’ve wondered why the Vikes couldn’t model themselves after the legendary Nordic Vikes of old~ It’s bothered me for years! I keep in mind, now that Frazier has a thorn in his side that may never leave in being injured in the Super Bowl, years ago. I am also relieved, and had to cheer, he brought in Singletary! I hope their relationship can only get better. I like the fact that Frazier values players’ input and doesn’t just play the “Nasty Dictator,” which is what I’m used to! GO VIKES!!

  22. By Bigfan1 on Feb 28, 2011 | Reply

    Our coaching staff is championship level and I’m confident within a few years we’ll be right back on track.

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