Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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Good news: Wilfs took no advice from players

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: December 30, 2013 - 1:56 PM

Give the Wilfs credit for this:They did not bother to take seriously any input from the players before firing Les Frazier.

Superstar Adrian Peterson vowed to make one last appeal to ownership and General Manager Rick Spielman on Monday morning in behalf of Frazier. Les was gone before sunrise (7:51 a.m.) -- making him the third head coach fired by the Wilfs in their nine seasons as owners.

This puts the Wilfs behind the pace of the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns, but on the same recent timeline for coaching changes as Washington owner Daniel Snyder (Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan gone), and ahead of Dallas owner Jerry Jones (Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips and the non-fired Jason Garrett) since the 2005 season.

When rich men enter the same stratosphere as Snyder and Jones when it comes to running through coaches, they deserve at least honorable mention in the wacky category among NFL owners.

Obviously, Spielman had pushed the Wilfs for this change -- as he had for the firing of Brad Childress with six games remaining in the 2010 season. The owners showed their belief in Spielman's personnel wisdom by giving him a promtion to all-powerful GM before the 2012 season.

They are still listening to him ... which is better than listening to the players.

The most-recent example that players are an even worse source for advice on coaches than a local sports media took place in the NFL as recently as Jan. 9, 2012.

The Kansas City Chiefs had won the AFC West in 2010 with the acerbic Todd Haley as coach. They flopped in 2011. They were blown out 37-10 by the Jets in early December and Haley was fired with his team standing at 5-8.

Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was given the interim job and the Chiefs won two of the last three -- beating Green Bay 19-14, losing in overtime 16-13 to Oakland, and interrupting the magic of the Denver Tebows, 7-3, in the season finale.

The players talked of how great it was to play for a coach such as Crennel -- a true professional who treated them as men.

Twelve days after the season finale, Crennel was given a three-year contract. Crennel then coached 'em up to a 2-14 record in 2012, tying Jacksonville for the worst record in the NFL.

Crennel was fired. He was owed $7 million.

Owner Clark Hunt also fired GM Scott Pioli, since his preferred candidate -- Andy Reid -- wasn't going to take a coaching job without personnel power.

Moral of the story: Never give the players a voice in hiring a head coach. It's even more dangerous than taking pointers from the media in hiring a head coach.

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San Francisco 8 Top 9th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 3rd Prd 13:11
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
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Army
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(21) Oklahoma State
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Illinois
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Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
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Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
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(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
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(25) TCU
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(1) Florida State
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(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
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Appalachian St
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(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
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Western Ky
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(23) Kansas State
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Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
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Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
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New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
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(8) UCLA
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
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Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
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2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
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