Frazier's future will come next week
A decision on Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier’s future will come next week, but it sure felt like the end arrived at Paul Brown Stadium during Sunday’s embarrassingly lackluster 42-14 beat-down loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
When the Bengals went ahead 35-7 on the opening drive of the second half, they had two more touchdowns (five) than the Vikings had first downs. The Vikings offense went 0-for-9 with zero yards and two turnovers on third downs, while the defense allowed Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to complete 7 of 10 passes to five different targets for 120 yards, five first downs and a touchdown on third downs.
The list of head-turning incompetence could continue, but let’s just say it was a debacle in every facet but rookie Cordarrelle Patterson’s electrifying kickoff returns and 35-yard touchdown run.
After the game, players came to Frazier’s defense, which has been a common occurrence down the stretch of a 4-10-1 season that has dropped Frazier to 20-33-1 in his three-plus seasons as head coach. One player with considerable clout said he would be talking to management to express his desire to see Frazier coach another season.
“I’m definitely not an individual that’s looking for dramatic change like that,” running back Adrian Peterson said. “It will hurt if he leaves.
“I’ll try and say what I have to say (to management about Frazier), but there’s a time and place for everything. With the season getting ready to wrap up, that time is coming. I’m going to give my input and see what they have to say.”
Frazier’s contract, which runs through 2014, is working against him. He won’t get an extension and coaches typically aren’t put into a lame-duck status because of the distractions that can create.
Also working against him, obviously, is two double-digit-loss seasons in a three-year span. Also, being a defensive-oriented coach, it’s not a good sign when your team has allowed a league-high 467 points and is within 18 points of unseating Les Steckel’s 3-13 team from 1984 as the worst in franchise history.
Still, Frazier is doing a fairly good job staying focused on trying to win games. A week before the Bengals fiasco, he did manage to guide the Vikings to a 48-30 upset of a Philadelphia Eagles team that was leading the NFC East.
“I think for our players, it’s important that they focus on the task,” Frazier said Monday. “That’s what I’m asking them to do, and I need to do the same thing. It’s very, very important if you want to have a chance to win these games down the stretch that I stay focused on what’s involved with leading our team and I want them to follow. It’s important I handle it the right way.”