Leslie Frazier will coach his first home game as interim Vikings coach on Sunday against Buffalo and he hopes to see Mall of America Field rocking with noise.
The environment inside the Metrodome was much different during the last home game, a 31-3 loss to the Packers that included several rounds of "Fire Childress" chants.
“We need our fans to be loud and boisterous in a positive way, of course,” Frazier said. “That’s what I expect. We’ve got great fans here. I’ve witnessed it. You’ve witnessed it. We all have. I can remember coming here as a player. Hated to come here because of the noise. I remember our playoff game against Dallas saying, ‘How will their offense function with this noise?’ I’m hoping we have that same deal on Sunday.”
Frazier was asked during his Wednesday press conference if his team has to earn that support rather than ask for it.
“No, you’ve got to ask for it,” he said. “We plan on earning it. We’re asking. I’m begging. Whatever it takes. We’re going to show that we’re worthy of it by our play.”
Frazier had several interesting and revealing answers about his first week as interim coach. He said the events of last week reiterated to him that the NFL remains a “players’ game.”
“I’ve always believed that players really make this thing work,” he said. “You can always draw circles on a board and say, ‘If you step here, this is going to happen.’ It’s about players making plays in our business and really getting them to believe in the message and understand what it takes to be successful.”
Frazier said being able to manage players on an individual basis is a critical part of the job.
“That, in this role, is as important as anything,” Frazier said. “As the head coach, to be able to touch every guy and make him feel as if he’s important to this ball club -- whether he’s a practice guy or your starting quarterback or wide receiver -- that takes some doing but that’s the way it has to be.
“You might be Toby Gerhart, who hasn’t had 20 carries in a game, and all of a sudden you’ve got to go perform [when Adrian Peterson got injured Sunday]. If you believe that the coaches believe in you, you don’t feel like, ‘Oh man, what are they thinking when I get in the game? I’m not Adrian Peterson.’ You actually believe, ‘These coaches believe in me. They trust me.’ Being able to manage people is paramount in the role that I’m in.”
Frazier said he talked to Brad Childress after the game but declined to give details, other than to say that Childress watched the entire game on TV.
Frazier also said he has not talked to owner Zygi Wilf about next season and has no immediate plans to do so.
“I’ve experienced some things in this league both as a player and a coach,” he said. “My faith gets me through a lot of those moments where I’ve seen where it may seem a little bit dark for a moment and light arrives. So I’m not in the least concerned about what happens [beyond] our final game of the season. Things will work out just fine.”