Minnesota Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman on Leslie Frazier Firing
It was the day many had speculated was coming: the day when Leslie Frazier was fired as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
The results in three plus seasons made it seem like a no-brainer: a pair of last place finishes in the NFC North sandwiched around a playoff season in 2012.
But that didn’t make the decision any easier for Vikings management, including general manager Rick Spielman, who spoke at a Monday afternoon press conference:
This was an extremely, extremely difficult decision when you sit there and evaluate and go through the process.
You look at the whole body, not this or that.
As we sat there and evaluated it, we felt that change was needed for the organization to take a step forward.
And while the Vikings have clarity now on the future of Leslie Frazier, they’re still no closer to solving the #1 issue on offense: the quarterback situation.
Christian Ponder seems to finally have moved into the ‘failed experiment’ category, while Matt Cassel proved valuable at times, but doesn’t feel like a long term solution.
Then there’s Josh Freeman, who was signed by the Vikings after being cut by Tampa Bay earlier in the season. Freeman, who supposedly came to Minnesota to compete for the starting job, played in exactly one game, sitting for ten others. He becomes a free agent in March.
At Monday’s press conference, Spielman addressed the quarterback situation:
I have the confidence that we’ll get the quarterback situation resolved.
Those answers will all come in time.
Right now we’ll be working on getting the next head coach in place.
I wish that you could get a quarterback easily.
It’s probably the most difficult position to fill.
As for the coaching search, Spielman says that process starts in the next several days. He says he hopes to have a new head coach named by the college Senior Bowl game later this month.
Meanwhile, one high profile coach is already taking his name out of the running for the Vikings job.
Jon Gruden telling the Pioneer Press:
I don’t want to be considered for anything.
There are plenty of good candidates out there.
I’m just sick for the guys who can no longer coach their teams. … I’m hoping to do the best I can to hang on to my job (at ESPN).
I wish him (Frazier) the best.
He’s a class act.
He showed a lot with the way they played down the stretch.
They took the Ravens to the brink, beat the Philadelphia Eagles decisively, and closed with a win.
Gruden’s brother Jay, the current offensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals, is considered to be a prime candidate for a head coaching position in the NFL next season.