The Vikings gathered in a 9 a.m. team meeting after the team announced head coach Leslie Frazier was fired. Frazier spoke to the team, along with owner Zygi Wilf and general manager Rick Spielman, and the players strolled in to the locker room to pack their belongings in what many described as a somber day.
“Everybody was really kind of quiet and really just took it all in,” cornerback Chris Cook said. “He got a round of applause when he walked out of the room. I feel like everyone is sad to see him go.”
“At the end of the day, we’re all people and we all have feelings,” safety Jamarca Sanford said. “I just hate to see a good man hurt like he was hurting this morning.”
"Coach Frazier addressed the team and that takes a lot of guts to address the team after something like that," defensive end Jared Allen said. "I thought that was really cool. And you move forward."
Sanford said Frazier didn’t cry however during the meeting and remained composed while wishing the team the best of luck moving forward. Sanford said Frazier previously told the team this season not to worry about him because would be fine no matter the circumstance.
“Probably most coaches, they would have got up there and said they went in a different direction and they would end it with that, but he wished us the best of luck,” Sanford said. “Coach Frazier, he made that message, he made that known that anything we need in life, just you can always contact him and he would do anything to help us.”
Many players saw Frazier as a father figure during his tenure as head coach. Linebacker Erin Henderson planned to call Frazier once he left the locker room to share his appreciation.
“I’m sure he’s probably got all kinds of stuff coming today, but I think it’s important he knows how I really feel and how much I appreciate all he’s done for me in all six years I have been here,” Henderson said. “As rocky as it may have been, I know he’s always had my best interests at heart and that means a lot to me.”