Each week we focus on a Vikings player or coach who is most under the microscope. This week it is interim head coach Leslie Frazier.
It took seven head-coaching interviews, including one or two that might not have been legit, for Leslie Frazier to get his chance. And this situation might not have come about the way he or anyone else at Winter Park would have liked, but Frazier has a real chance to earn the permanent job in Minnesota.
it starts this week. He likely has a checklist of things he would like to accomplish right away, and honestly a win, as nice as it would be, isn't the end-all, be-all thing many people think it is.
If he gets his team to play hard, play focused and execute anywhere close to where its potential is, a victory isn't completely essential. Nice, yes. Critical, no.
The Vikings are not making the playoffs. Dreams of a six-game win streak should be left to Christmas wishes for next season. No, what fans should hope for this week is some renewed purpose and energy. Jason Garrett made his immediate stamp on the Cowboys, and Frazier can do the same here.
He's facing a Redskins team that is quite up and down as well, and the Vikings can win this weekend. But they would start with a complete game. The Vikings haven't had one since Week Three's win over the Lions, and even that wasn't all that pretty, come to think of it.
The players, especially the ones who figure into the future plans, need something to believe in. They need a direction. They sure could use something to hang their hats on. And really, Frazier really could use his team to show up down the stretch. This is his chance. There might be a few openings in the offseason, but his best opportunity by far will be with the Vikings. Who knows if he'll be just another token interview like he was with the Seahawks this past offseason?
Frazier is a very good football coach who has paid his dues. He's bright, serious and well-respected. He can earn this gig, starting with a good effort on Sunday. The wins and losses might be fairly irrelevant if the effort is there.