Frazier made the quarterback switch after consulting with Vikings ownership and General Manager Rick Spielman on Monday. Frazier said he has ultimate authority to make that call, but he noted that a quarterback change is an organizational decision.
“When you’re talking about the quarterback position, which affects your entire franchise, this is not a decision that you make alone,” he said. “I informed them of what I was thinking and why I was thinking this and why I wanted to do it, and they signed off on it. But you don’t make these kinds of decisions on an island. I need their support and I need them to understand why.”
Frazier said he felt comfortable that Freeman’s learning curve would be minimal after watching him run the offense in a post-practice session with younger players Oct. 9.
“The way he functioned that day, it was far different than what I expected, than what any of our coaches expected,” Frazier said. “From the moment he stepped in the building, he wanted to learn. And the way he handled himself in that practice, it changed my mind-set about the possibilities. We had a time frame in mind originally but watching what he did from the day he arrived, that cemented it for me that sooner was a possibility.”
At age 25, Freeman will make his 60th career start Monday night. He credited his coaches and teammates for helping make a potentially awkward situation a relatively “smooth adjustment.”
“It really hasn’t been that difficult,” he said. “It’s been an opportunity to come in here and just focus on football.”
Football took a back seat to the soap opera he lived with Tampa Bay. Reports emerged almost daily about missed team photos and the fractured relationship between Freeman and coach Greg Schiano.
Given the negative attention he received before being released, Freeman was asked if he’s approaching this new opportunity extra motivated to prove that he can become an elite quarterback.
“That’s a lot of the underlying questions that I’ve been getting from a lot of people,” he said. “Do I have a chip on my shoulder? Sure I do. But I think it’s more deeply rooted than just the past six months, 12 months. It’s just wanting to go out and wanting to be great.”