Chillyference would be announced within the hour.
Minnesota Vikings Coach Brad Childress was fired by owner Zygi Wilf, who named Leslie Frasier (Defensive Coordinator) interim Head Coach. In my opinion, the ownership group waited about three weeks too long and maybe a year.
Let’s be honest, what saved Chilly in 2009 was the deep penetration into the playoffs. The Vikings were defeated by the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game. The signing of street free agent Bret Favre was the key component in getting the Vikings as far as they got.
When Childress walked through the doors of Viking headquarters located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, he was given carte blanche over all personnel matters. This included roster moves, draft decisions, and free agency. In the personnel business this is called final say. He instilled discipline in the locker room, and cleaned up the embarrassing off field issues that plagued the organization for several years.
What really sealed his fate, though, were the poor decisions not on the football field, but on the personnel side of the house. He is a good football coach who is well respected by his peers as an X & O man. He was surrounded by two top NFL personal men in Rick Speilmen (VP Player Personnel) and Scott Studwell (Director of College Scouting), but chose to make decisions without consulting anyone.
Several years ago, he played the lead role of the Grinch, on Christmas Eve when cutting receiver Marcus Robinson. The lack of communication with the front office, personnel department, and ownership tarnished his authority on having final say. Having continued success (six win season, eight, ten, and then the NFC Championship game) is what saved his gig (he also received a contract extension thru 2013 despite a few personnel blunders).
Injuries to Percy Harvin, their playmaker suffering from migraines, and Sidney Rice (hip surgery) robbed the Vikings of their vertical playmaker. Coach Childress traded a 2011 third round pick to the New England Patriots for Randy Moss. The Moss experiment lasted just long enough for a few cups of coffee, and he didn’t enjoy the buffet.
Moss was soon waived, and growing concern in the locker room (like a virus) was that Chilly slowly lost the respect of the players. Several arguments on field and behind closed doors led to a strong and growing hatred in the locker room for their head coach.
In the Chilly Era, the one piece of the puzzle that eluded him in his tenure was the inability to draft a franchise quarterback. Forty-one year old Bret Favre saved his job in 2009. With Bret’s performance this season, poor and inconsistent leadership and undermining of the head coach, Chilly was doomed several weeks ago.
The Viking fan base has hit rock bottom. The players and employees were tired and extremely frustrated with the direction in which the team was headed. There were lackluster performances over the past five weeks. The lack of effort on the field and the dysfunctional locker room gave the ownership group no choice but to remove the man they hired after purchasing the team and firing Mike Tice.
The Vikings 2009 mojo has been lost and can’t be found in the first three quarters of the 2010 season. As each NFL season brings something new and is much different then the next. The 2010 season started off whacky and finds the Vikings sitting at 3-7, out of the playoffs, with the locker room in total chaos.
I’m cheering for Leslie Frazier, not because he is a minority coach that is receiving a chance to coach a very talented football team. I’m cheering for him because he is a disciple of Tony Dungy, a good football coach and is truly, one of the good guys in this business.