EDEN PRAIRIE —
Frazier took over with six games left in a lost season, then had to hold the team together after the Metrodome’s roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow — forcing the Vikings to play one home game in Detroit and another at the University of Minnesota’s stadium — and Favre’s streak came to an end.
Then came the lockout, which prevented his newly assembled staff from working with the players all summer long. The Vikings went 3-13 in his first full season, yet avoided the implosion that often comes with so many losses. Now, the unflappable Frazier has guided the team to a 9-6 record in what many expected to be a rebuilding year.
“Leslie’s the kind of guy, ‘We’re still in this thing. We’re fighting. We’re together. We’re all in,”’ linebacker Chad Greenway said. “And his approach is perfect, in my mind, for what an NFL coach needs to be. He’s really consistent. He knows what he wants from his players. He hires high-character guys to have in the locker room and it seems to be working pretty well.”
That’s always been Frazier’s nature, dating to his playing days under fiery coaches such as Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan.
“Just going back to my playing days and just being around coaches who sometimes, they could be so up and down, you just didn’t know when you walked in the building what you were going to get from day to day and that’s hard,” Frazier said.
“That’s hard on a team over the course of a long season. There are so many ebbs and flows during a season and as a player, if you’re not certain what your leader’s message will be or how he’s going to react in certain situations, you can be walking around on pins and needles and be more concerned about how he’s going to deal with certain situations as opposed to focusing on the task at hand, which is your next opponent.”