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.


Spielman on Frazier's firing: 'That decision came down on ownership'

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: December 30, 2013 - 4:14 PM

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman touched on the decision to fire Leslie Frazier as head coach during Monday’s press conference. Here’s some of what he had to say on Frazier and his assistant coaches:

On the decision to fire Frazier …

“That decision came down on ownership. The ownership hired Leslie. I was not the general manager at the time. We had a long extensive talk last night through it. But ultimately that comes down to our ownership.”

On what to do with assistant coaches…

“I talked to all the assistant coaches today. They are all currently under contract. I will meet with them on an individual basis. In order for them to go on to another team, they have to get a written permission. I will look at that on a case-by-case basis to see if that permission is granted or not.”

On why the organization decided to fire Frazier…

“Just going back and looking from when he took over. We went 3-3 I think his interim year. We were 3-13 the following year. There are some things that pop up when you look. Our road record has not been the best. The way we’ve lost some games this year, as well, but I think it’s just taking that whole body of work and digging down and analyzing everything to try to make this difficult decision.”

On what Frazier could’ve done to save his job…

"You know what, we talked about it with ownership last night. This decision -- I know there's been a lot of rumors floating around out there -- this decision was not made until this morning. We went through the process last night with the ownership, and just looked at the whole body of work since Leslie's been here. He's done a lot of very good things, but we felt, as an organization, it was the right thing to do to move forward. We have the utmost respect for Leslie and what he's brought to this organization, but again, we have to look for consistency year-in and year-out. And that's what we're going to be looking for when we bring in a new head coach: the consistency year-in and year-out, that we are competitive on the field."

On Frazier’s reaction to decision…

“Very disappointed, as anyone would be. I know he spoke specifically to Mark and Zygi today. But it’s hard, it’s extremely hard, it’s not only hard to get the news, but it’s hard to give the news as well. 

“I think Leslie was a great man. He did a very good job while he was here. I know he was well respected in this building. That’s what makes the decision so difficult.”

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