Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier has been cognizant of the mental approach his team has taken during each week of the season, and he hasn’t been afraid to share his observations publicly. Following the Vikings Week 3 home win over the San Francisco 49ers, Frazier acknowledged that his team did not handle very well the success they saw in a Week 1 win over Jacksonville. The result was a Week 2 letdown loss at Indianapolis.
In his post-game press conference following the 49ers win, though, Frazier explained that his team had gotten back on the right track in terms of preparation. He sang the same tune after the Vikings win over Detroit a week ago, saying his team’s Friday practice that week was the best Friday practice of the season.
So, following the Vikings most recent win, what was Frazier’s assessment of his team’s mental approach?
“The preparation that we put in during the week and then to go out and play as hard as we played, I take my hat off to our players and our coaching staff for preparing them to go out and play hard, play smart football, play tough football, disciplined football, which we want to embody,” Frazier said immediately after the Vikings win over Tennessee. “We want our team characteristics to show up every time we play. I thought our guys and our coaches did a great job of coming into this game with the right frame of mind.”
After starting the season 3-1, a mark that included victories over a pair of 2011 playoff teams in San Francisco and Detroit, many outside the organization wondered if the upstart Vikings would overlook an opponent with an inferior record. The Titans entered this week’s contest with a 1-3 mark and they had lost their three games by an average of 24.3 points per game. But Frazier’s constant monitoring of his team’s mindset and his willingness to express both pleasure and disappointment in that mindset will more times than not prevent the Vikings from becoming complacent.
“For us, the previous wins were against teams that people on the outside probably didn’t think that we would have much of a chance to win,” Frazier said. “Then you come back at home against a team that they’re hearing from their friends, saying ‘Oh, you guys got this. You got this.’ And what tends to happen, you can have a lull in your preparation, you can have a lull in the emotion and necessary tools to go out and win a game like this.
“Every team in this League can beat you on any given Sunday, so it was important for us from a maturity standpoint to show that we can win a game against what we thought, and we still believe, has a chance to be a very, very good football team. For us to go out and dominate in so many ways, that’s a good sign about our football team.”
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