Frazier in place as coach, but Vikings face uncertain futureby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Over his career, Leslie Frazier has had success both as a player and as a coach. Frazier won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears, and he was an assistant coach for the Indianapolis Colts when the Colts won a Super Bowl in 2007.
But Frazier has been unsuccessful in seven attempts to land a head coaching job - until now. Frazier said he was in the right job at the right time.
"It gives me a head start on a lot of things," Frazier said. "As opposed to coming in to a new organization right about now, and having to learn that organization in the offseason, I get a jumpstart because of my history here in Minnesota. So this is the perfect situation."
Frazier joined the Vikings in 2007 as the defensive coordinator. Under Frazier, the Vikings defense reminded some of the Purple People Eaters of old. The Vikings won division titles in 2008 and 2009, but the team stumbled this year and finished at the bottom of the division.
Frazier said he believes the Vikings can return to the playoffs next year. But first, they'll need to figure out who will be the team's starting quarterback. Brett Favre has already retired twice before. However, he said this time, it's for real, and Frazier said he won't try to coax Favre out of another retirement.
"I can not think of any circumstance where I would pick up the phone and say 'Brett do you want to come back next season?' I can't think any circumstance where that would occur," he said.
The Vikings also face an uncertain future for other reasons. For one, the team will likely lose a lot of familiar faces to free agency during the offseason. Plus, the team is still looking for a replacement for the Metrodome -- which showed its vulnerability to the elements this season.
The Vikings had to play two home games on foreign fields after a blizzard collapsed the dome's roof.
However, team owner Zygi Wilf said Frazier has proved he can handle adversity.
"Over the last six weeks, and as you know how difficult the last six weeks have been for our team, Leslie lead the way in getting our team motivated and working very hard," Wilf said.
Over those six weeks, Frazier led the Vikings to a three and three record.
Frazier, 50, hails from Columbus, Mississippi. He and his wife have three children, including a son who plays football at Rice University in Texas.
- Morning Edition, 01/04/2011, 8:45 a.m.