Frazier to return as Vikings coach next season

Stepping Over the Goal Line - TouchdownNot a big surprise but the Minnesota Vikings have removed the interim tag from Leslie Frazier and he will be the Vikings 8th coach in the teams 50-year history. Frazier took over from Brad Childress and led the Vikings to a 3-3 record. under the 51-year-old after a 3-7 start.

“Our players and entire organization have great respect for Leslie,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement released by the team. “He has a vast knowledge of the game, both as a former player and as a coach, and he has a terrific way with those who play for him and work with him.”

Frazier took over a fractured Vikings locker room and seem to bring some cohesiveness to the Vikings and quickly earned the respect of the players:

“He’s a great leader. He’s a player’s coach, and he’s somebody people would like playing for,” wide receiver Percy Harvin said before the news became official.  He’s always seemed like a head coach ever since he took over that role,” left tackle Bryant McKinnie said. “He knows how to talk to you, and he respects you.”

Frazier did a remarkable job as Vikings interim head coach. The team was a pre-season Super Bowl contender but fell to 3-7 under Childress. After Frazier took over the Vikings lost starting quarterback Brett Favre to a shoulder injury Dec. 5. Then, the roof of the Metrodome collapsed a week later, which resulted in the Vikes having back-to-back home games moved. And then their scheduled December  26 game at Philadelphia was pushed back two days by a snowstorm.

The season could easily have been a disaster in Minnesota but Frazier kept things under control and had the Vikings playing hard. Not an easy thing to do with all the distractions.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Bjorn Hanson

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