For the past couple of years Vikings fans had two main themes: 1) Brad Childress is not up to standards as an NFL coach. 2) Leslie Frazier is a talented assistant and we’d hate to see him get away. Childress tried to do his best with an offense that was anything but k___ a__ (with the exception of 2009) while Frazier quietly orchestrated his defense to being one of the best 10 in the league from 2008 to 2010. This is also the same fanbase that saw former assistant coaches in Tony Dungy, Brian Billick and Mike Tomlin go on to not only get head coaching positions, but also win a Super Bowl ring while Ragnar’s fingers remain bare.
So the week following Vikings 31-3 thrashing by the Super Bowl bound Green Bay Packers (pains me to write that), owner Zygi Wilf finally fired Childress and Frazier was finally given the opportunity to be a lead a team after interviewing with several in previous seasons. Us Vikings fans rejoiced as we watched a press conference where Zygi Wilf stuck a script and introduced Frazier while giving him the interim head coaching title. As for what Frazier said, two messages were conveyed: Brett Favre will remain the starting quarterback and all we our focused on is our next opponent.
The team immediately showed more heart. Brett Favre scrambled us to victory in our first game versus the Washington Redskins, both Kevin Williams and Jared Allen showed flashes of their old form to the point one of them may have said “As much as I hate Childress, I will keep playing” to Sean Jensen now of the Sun Times, we stunned the Philadelphia Eagles in a primetime matchup where rookie quarterback Joe Webb displayed more athleticism than Mike Vick and we finished winning 3 of our last 6 games in what was a lost season.
Shortly after the season ended, Wilf immediately removed the interim tag from Frazier’s position making him 9th head coach in team history. Much will be observed and written about this offseason about our new head honcho and the direction of this team, but this much is certain… Frazier provides a steady hand and the days of the Vikings being the leagues most dramatic team are over.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig