At the Star Tribune, Jim Souhan explains why Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier deserves consideration for coach of the year … and a contract extension:
That Frazier has won eight games this season after winning three in 2011 is impressive, but it is not nearly as impressive as his ability to becalm a franchise that has given “Chaos Theory” a bad name.
In the past year or so, Frazier has dealt with a major injury to franchise player Adrian Peterson. He has dealt with the great Percy Harvin complaining during a minicamp and on the sideline in Seattle, then being lost for the season.
Frazier has managed a struggling young quarterback. He has replaced one of his hand-picked coordinators. He has faced down a midseason slump that could have unraveled the team.
Now, 14 games into his first full season following an offseason not limited by a lockout, Frazier has positioned the Vikings to compete for a playoff spot. His team is 8-6 despite Christian Ponder’s erratic play and the loss of Harvin. Young players have improved. Role players have contributed.
Frazier has accelerated the development of a rebuilding team while turning major disruptions into nothing more than minor annoyances.
He is the first Vikings coach since Grant who can turn potential controversies into footnotes. Had Harvin screamed on the sideline at Childress or Tice, the story would have become a national talking point. With Frazier, the story withered on the vine.
Frazier is giving Wilf the competitive team he craves and the class organization he demands. He is winning games in December with a team considered a year or two away from contention. He and General Manager Rick Spielman are following a methodical blueprint that should lead to sustainable success.