It was only last November when the Packers defeated the Vikings 31-3 in the last game Brad Childress would serve as head coach for the Minnesota Vikings. What should have been a close game turned into blowout on home turf. The Vikings were 3-7, and it was time for an upgrade.
So upgrade they did.
The Monday after the Vikings-Packers game, Childress was fired. No more fights on the sidelines, no more shots being fired at the starting quarterback, no more poor play calls that “break” the game—at least not from Childress.
For the remainder of the season Leslie Frazier— the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach—was named Interim Head Coach. After their season came to an end, the Vikings officially made Frazier Head Coach.
There are three reasons why Frazier is an upgrade from Childress:
One of Childress’ biggest faults was being unable to connect with his players on a personal level. This connection is one of they few ways a coach has to encourage and motivate his players. Childress was known for having a cold shoulder toward players and occasionally fired shots when an individual didn’t have his best game. This behavior definitely broke the trust between players and the coach. It even pushed some players, like quarterback Brett Favre, to call his own plays instead of following Childress’ orders.
Leslie Frazier is not like that. He has built a good rapport with the team. Valuable individuals, like Adrian Peterson, trust his football knowledge and take note when he’s ready to inspire them with his expertise.
Reason 2: He focuses on the now but knows how to plan for the tomorrow
After first taking the interim position, Frazier was bombarded with questions regarding whether or not he would become the new head coach. Frazier wasn’t even worried about it. He made a point to focus on turning the team around. While he went 3-3 to wrap up the 2010 season, Frazier had many challenges to face alongside coaching football. With the collapse of the Metrodome roof and lack of team camaraderie, Frazier had his hands full.
Frazier knows when to worry about the now, but he also looks ahead at what’s best for the team. Bringing in veteran NFL players like Donovan McNabb might not seem like the best of ideas, but I guarantee he will benefit the team in some way or another. Frazier knows why he wants each player and how to use them to his advantage.
Reason 3: Frazier wants it
After numerous interviews for a head coaching position, Frazier finally got what he wanted in January. Dedication and patience pay off—Aaron Rodgers knows that. And now Frazier’s time to shine has come. He has become more than a temporary fix for a tattered Vikings team. He has veterans who respect him from previous years of working with him, and he has new, fresh players that he can mold into skilled assets for his team.
The Vikings are starting out with a lot of new players for the 2011 season. It’s time for a fresh start instead of trying to play with the “has-beens” like they did the previous season. Even more importantly than the new players, there is a new coach. This upgrade is deadly, and as a Packers fan I hope the rest of the NFC North is keeping their eye on the guys in purple.
Upgrade today like the Vikings did for the 2011 season and Best Buy will buy it back when you’re ready for the next big thing.