Vikings leave Dome with coaching uncertainty

The Vikings shut down the Metrodome with a win, but the leadership of the team is very much in doubt.

The Vikings have fired head coach Leslie Frazier.

Frazier was scheduled to meet with players at 9 a.m. Monday, a day after his team finished the season 5-10-1 with a 14-13 win over the Detroit Lions.

"We have tremendous respect and appreciation for Leslie and what he has done for the Minnesota Vikings," owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement issued by the team. "He stepped in and established a strong, positive culture here and he has been the consummate professional as our head coach and in this community. Making this change is difficult, but what we determined is best for the organization."

The Vikings have called a 2 p.m. press conference to discuss the move and players are available to the media for their annual day-after season exit interviews after talking with their coaches.

"Unfortunately, we did not achieve consistent success and did not achieve the progress we expected," general manager Rick Spielman said. "We believe a coaching change is needed to help build a successful team moving forward."

Frazier compiled a 21-32-1 regular-season record in his three-plus years as head coach, including the final six games of the 2010 season as interim head coach.

The Vikings tied for the worst record in franchise history at 3-13 in his first full season as they made the transition from a veteran roster to developing younger players. In 2012, they went 10-6 and made the playoffs, losing in the first round without starting quarterback Christian Ponder available. A 1-7 start to the 2014 season ended with a 5-10-1 record and featured four losses and one tie when they had the lead with a minute or less.

Frazier said after Sunday's win he was proud of his résumé with the Vikings.

"Absolutely. I have done everything I can do in my tenure here as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings," Frazier said. "I just know, as I've mentioned earlier, in our league you need to get that quarterback position fixed. You can talk about defense, you can talk about offense, you can talk about special teams."

Frazier started with the Vikings as their defensive coordinator under head coach Brad Childress in 2007 before his promotion to head coach in 2010. Frazier and his coaching staff were under contract through the 2014 season.

His low-key style was quickly embraced by players. Despite two losing seasons in the last three years, Adrian Peterson said he would voice his support of Frazier to ownership.

"I think he's a great coach and I would love to see him stay around," Peterson said after Sunday's game. "He's just a man of God, first off, great coach. When you sit there and listen to him talk, and I do every time we're in meetings, you always gain knowledge from him. We've just got to be able to hold onto that and listen and understand where he comes from. A lot of people like the rah-rah type guy, I'm more about words and what's being said.

"I feel like he does a great job of being a teacher. I feel like that's what this organization needs."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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