Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Frazier: 'This is a dream come true'

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Leslie Frazier Updated: January 3, 2011 - 6:00 PM

Leslie Frazier showed his emotions during his introductory press conference as the Vikings new head coach. Frazier called it a "special day" several times and a "dream come true" after Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf removed the interim tag from his title.

Frazier interviewed for seven head coaching jobs with other organizations the past three years and was a finalist four times. He was promoted from interim head coach after going 3-3 under difficult circumstances after Brad Childress was fired.

"This is a special day for a lot of reasons," Frazier said. "I couldn’t think of a situation I would rather be in than the one I’m currently in. You know sometimes in life, you have dreams, you have aspirations and sometimes you achieve those and sometimes you fall short. But for me, this is a dream come true."

Frazier touched on a number of different subjects during his 20-minute press conference. Here are some of the highlights:

-- On possible changes to his staff

Frazier: "We’re going to get together as a staff and discuss everybody’s role. One of the things you want to do in this role that I’m in is look at everything from top to bottom and try to figure out what do we have to do to not be in the situation that we ended up in this season. That’s one of the things I mentioned to our team in our meeting this morning.

Every single guy, go back and do a little personal inventory. What do you have to do to make us a successful team next season? I’ve got to be able to do the same thing. Just go back to our staff and ascertain what’s the best thing to do going forward. We’ll figure out what’s best. We’ve got a great staff. We’ve got a lot of great guys on our staff. And we’re going to try to make this work.

-- On what kind of offense he wants to run

Frazier: "I’ve been a part of the West Coast system here and other places as well. It’s a very good system. The one thing I want to do with our personnel, I want to do the same thing with our offense, our defense, our special teams, just go back and evaluate where we are right now and what’s best for us going forward with the personnel we have. I don’t want to be married to anything. I want to really open it up and make sure we’re doing the right thing that ensures that we have the best chance at being successful last fall."

-- On whether he's moving forward without Brett Favre, even if Favre changes his mind about retirement
 
Frazier: "Yeah, I cannot think of any circumstance of where I would pick up the phone and say, 'Brett, do you want to come back next season?' I can’t think of any circumstance where that would occur."

-- On whether he sees next year as a rebuilding job

Frazier: "One of the things that gets me excited about my job here in Minnesota is the fact that I don’t think we’re that far away. I really believe -- there are some things that we’ll address this offseason -- we’re right back in the hunt for the NFC North Championship and the NFC Championship as well. I really believe that in my heart. Just knowing our roster, knowing our division, understanding what you have to do to win in our division. I don’t think we’re depleted, and obviously there’s some people that we want to be able to retain, but our roster’s going to turn over, there’s no question about it. But we’re not that far away." 

 
-- On how much being a former player helps him connect with players
 
Frazier: "It’s been huge. It gives me instant credibility with our players. They know I sat in the same type of meetings that they have, I’ve played in the same conditions that they’ve played in, been through the ups and downs that they’ve faced. It gives me tremendous credibility. That being said, if you don’t follow through on certain things you can lose that credibility like that [finger snap]. But it definitely makes a difference."



Wilfs discuss hiring

Zygi and Mark Wilf talked to beat writers after the press conference about Frazier. The owners were asked what they saw in Frazier that they liked. 

Zygi: “Well, we’ve seen Leslie over the last four years under circumstances where we had just lost a defensive coordinator with Mike and he came aboard and really we didn’t miss a beat. In fact, I think our defense kept on growing and improving and he was a great communicator and he had the trust of his players. I think that was one of the major attributes that we felt was necessary to lead us into the future. It was very important to have that continuity. He brought that. The last six weeks, as you know how difficult it was, he really worked together with everyone in the organization and especially his focus on the team to have them focused under difficult circumstances. It was a pleasure to see him operate and if we had not known it before we certainly knew it then that he was going to be our head coach.”
 
Mark: “He’s a winner, he’s won as a coach and a player and is a natural leader so from that perspective he’s earned the job, he’s the best mean for the job based on how he is as a person and how he’s been as an assistant.”
 

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