Oct 29

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Leslie Frazier: Silent Waters Might Run Deeper Than We Think

Frazier's Head Coaching Approach... I'm Watching Him!

I’ve been critical of Leslie Frazier since he became the interim coach of the Vikings. I said repeatedly last year that he shouldn’t be offered the full-time head coaching position. I’ve not held back on my criticism of him this season, either.

I’m not reversing my opinion on Frazier. I think he’s over-matched by a head coaching gig. I think he was foolish to support McNabb as long as he did. Of course, I think he was foolish to lobby to bring McNabb onto the team in the first place (handing over draft picks for an obviously washed up QB?) – although I can partially understand the logic of doing so with the shortened off-season.

I think it was misguided to restructure Berrian’s contract in the off-season when clearly his attitude was bad and his production was worse as his tenure increased with the team. Frazier still has almost no perceptible ability to adjust during half-time. I could go on and on about the deficiencies we have in the head coaching position. However, what I want to do with this post is talk about how I see some changes in Frazier’s approach that I like. These recent decisions make sense to me:

Bernard Berrian. Former Viking.

1) Benching Berrian the first time. When Berrian couldn’t be bothered to show up to team meetings the night before a game, Frazier benched him. Absolutely the right decision. As a leader, you cannot allow people to usurp your authority. Frazier showing Berrian that he was going to be held accountable is exactly what needed to occur.

2) Benching McNabb in Chicago and staying the course. Frazier watched Donovan struggle week after week. Reports emerged that McNugget wasn’t putting in the time necessary to be successful. I believe we all saw evidence of that on the field, no matter how much McNabb and Frazier denied the stories. Frazier had finally seen enough as the Bears completely embarrassed the Vikings on national TV. After the game, Frazier, despite his loyalty to McNabb, stayed true to his decision and started Ponder against the Packers.

3) Benching Berrian a second time. I don’t believe any of us know what the last straw was right before the Green Bay game but surely that’s when “it” occurred. It was enough for Frazier to strike through Berrian’s name on the Active Roster and no one can say that Berrian was missed during the game.

Cook: Cut him loose, Frazier! (Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

4) Finally cutting Berrian last Tuesday. I’m not aware of anyone who thought this wasn’t a stupendous move. Well – probably Berrian doesn’t like the move, but who cares?

Berrian is still a “free agent”. It’s interesting to see that no other NFL teams are interested in the fashion guru and Tweeter extraordinaire. He made it right through waivers after the release. Well – good riddance to him!

5) Indefinitely suspending Chris Cook after he was arrested for felony assault by strangulation. The Vikings lead the league… in ARRESTS since 2000. That’s deplorable and I’m glad to see Frazier taking a hard line on this type of thing. The next decision I expect to see here is cutting Chris Cook from the squad, which will hopefully herald the demise of his career. Yeah – for you people who keep wanting to wait for Cook to make it through the criminal justice system – innocent until proven guilty, etc… let’s just admit that it’s highly unlikely that Cook’s girlfriend choked herself until she had petechiae (hemorrhaging) in her eye. I see no need to wait for the trial. He’s been formally charged and we’ve all read the police reports. He’s guilty and his side is indefensible.

All of the above has me watching Frazier carefully. I’m always willing to change my opinion if evidence is presented that supports a different conclusion. Certainly there is still the glaring 1-6 record we currently sit with that doesn’t do Frazier any favors. Right now what I see is that Frazier might make a heck of a GM dealing with personnel.

For me to completely reverse my opinion on Frazier, he needs to do the following things:

McNabb Can't Stop Talking. Time for him to go!

1) Start Winning!

2) Cut Chris Cook. Much sooner rather than later.

3) Bench Kevin Williams next time he makes noise in the media about Frazier & calling out the defense for lack of effort. Maybe Frazier addressed the first episode behind the scenes but I thought Williams should have been benched for his lack of class.

4) Cut McNabb. McNabb is all over the place right now, talking about how he should still be the starter. Well ya know what, McNugget: you suck. You’re done. Sit down and be quiet. Frazier needs to  cut him from  the team. He’s clearly becoming a cancer in the locker room.

4) Start showing some “go for the kill” attitude. Frazier is too cautious. Slow and steady rarely wins the race in the NFL.

Let’s watch the next 9 games and see what happens!

Vikings vs Panthers tomorrow, Purple Nation! Skol!


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