Vikings head into days of wonder

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 29, 2013 - 8:28 AM

Why couldn’t things have played out differently? Now the Vikings face a lot of uncertainty.

 

Leslie Frazier finished fourth in NFL Coach of the Year voting in 2012. He received leaguewide praise for directing the largest turnaround in Vikings history, a year-to-year increase of seven victories. His benevolent approach served as a soothing influence for an organization that often produces the kind of goofy drama found in daytime soaps.

That same coach might lose his job.

A year removed from so many accolades, Frazier’s relatively short tenure as Vikings coach could end following Sunday’s season finale against Detroit in the Metrodome farewell.

Frazier’s contract expires after the 2014 season, but it’s unlikely that Vikings ownership would allow Frazier to coach a lame-duck season. That arrangement would create obvious distractions, and it would be unfair to have Frazier and his players face questions and speculation about the coach’s job status on a weekly basis.

Several national outlets have reported that the organization already has initiated conversations with potential replacements.

Frazier’s admission this week that he has not talked with Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf or General Manager Rick Spielman about his status does not bode well, either, because silence in these situations usually means change is forthcoming.

There’s no indication that Spielman’s job is in jeopardy, too, even though a few of his personnel decisions adversely impacted Frazier’s ability to win.

After all, Christian Ponder didn’t draft himself, Antoine Winfield didn’t cut himself and Josh Freeman didn’t sign himself.

In today’s pass-happy, high-scoring NFL, teams need to be solid at quarterback and in the secondary. The Vikings faced significant deficiencies in both areas. Frazier acknowledged his team’s issues at those positions and said “you better get those right” nowadays, but he politely declined to delve much deeper on that subject.

“It’s probably better for me to keep focused on getting the guys that we have playing to play,” Frazier said. “I think they’re playing hard and doing everything they can to help us to win.”

Frazier’s record reflects the level of fan frustration with his job performance.

He’s 20-33-1 since replacing Brad Childress with six games left in the 2010 season. A pair of long, dreary losing seasons sandwiched that surprising postseason appearance a year ago.

The fact that ownership only picked up Frazier’s one-year option rather than negotiate a contract extension last offseason underscored that this served as a “prove it” year for Frazier and his staff.

Lots of issues

Now the organization appears primed to initiate a significant makeover this offseason, one that’s not just limited to a coaching change. The Vikings likely will start over at quarterback in their never-ending quest to find stability at that position.

The drafting of Ponder 12th overall in 2011 was a huge swing-and-miss; the Freeman experiment, which started when he signed four games into the season after being released by Tampa Bay, failed; and Matt Cassel, if he chooses to return, can only be viewed as a temporary bridge until the next hopeful is in place.

The Vikings have 15 unrestricted free agents, meaning another roster shake-up looms. Their defense has only four surefire starters for next season — defensive end Brian Robison, linebacker Chad Greenway, safety Harrison Smith and cornerback Xavier Rhodes — and must be rebuilt.

  • related content

  • Souhan: Twins, not Vikings, mastered Dome's quirks

    Tuesday December 31, 2013

    To attempt nostalgia while saying goodbye to our gray-and-off-white eyesore requires an acknowledgment that it treated the Twins far better than it treated anyone else.

  • NFL Sunday Insider: Big years by Patterson, Sherels moot

    Sunday December 29, 2013

    Splashy returns on special teams are almost moot for a Vikings team with glaring defensive issues.

  • Adrian Peterson won't play against Lions

    Saturday December 28, 2013

    The Vikings have downgraded running back Adrian Peterson (foot/groin) from doubtful to out for Sunday’s season finale against the Lions at the Metrodome.

  • Week 17: The Call, Detroit at Vikings

    Saturday December 28, 2013

    28Vikings24LionsOne man’s prediction: For a game that has little meaning, this matchup features compelling story lines. This likely could be...

  • Vikings' areas of concern and of strength

    Saturday December 28, 2013

    CONCERNS1. COACHINGThis is the first question to be answered. A coaching change seems inevitable, so the Vikings likely will undergo...

  • Status of Vikings players for 2014

    Saturday December 28, 2013

    STATUS OF VIKINGS PLAYERSUnrestricted free agents: DE Jared Allen, DT Kevin Williams, LG Charlie Johnson, RB Toby Gerhart, CB Chris...

  • Besides speculation about a coaching change, the Vikings also need to consider shake-ups at quarterback and on defense, and maybe more.

  • Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is viewed as a class act, but ultimately he’ll be judged by his record — 20-33-1 since taking over in 2010.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh 4 Top 9th Inning
St. Louis 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit 5 Top 3rd Inning
Cleveland 1
Seattle 0 Top 4th Inning
Oakland 5
San Francisco 4 Bottom 9th Inning
Colorado 2
Arizona 0 Top 4th Inning
San Diego 0
San Francisco - T. Hudson 4:40 PM
Colorado - F. Morales
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 7 15:00
Calgary 8
Indiana 39 3rd Qtr
Chicago 31
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close