By Joseph Gunther
Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier felt it was necessary to address his job status.
There is wide speculation that Frazier will not be retained next season, but the third year head coach wanted to nip the rumors in the bud so it did not become an issue as the team prepares for the final game at Mall of America Field against the Detroit Lions.
“I just felt like I needed to get that addressed,” Frazier said. “Looking back at it, I probably should’ve dealt with it a week ago. I don’t want those guys to be distracted. I want them to focus on the opponent. I felt like we got a little distracted las week, and I want to make sure we’re focused on one thing, and that’s winning this game against Detroit.”
Frazier believes that the team may have been distracted by his status with the team before the team’s 42-14 drubbing at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.
Ben Goessling, the Minnesota Vikings beat reporter for ESPN.com, reported that Adrian Peterson planned to talk to the Vikings ownership to persuade them to keep Frazier as the team’s head coach. What Peterson said or the response from the owners was not reported.
Frazier is just 20-32-1 in three-plus seasons as the Vikings head coach. He took over with six games remaining in the 2010 season as the interim coach to replace Brad Childress.
The Vikings picked up the option for the 2014 season after the team went 10-6 and made the playoffs as an NFC wild card playoff participant.
The team would not discuss a long-term contract and neither Frazier nor his agent, Bob LaMonte, talked with the Vikings owners or general manager Rick Spielman about his future with the team.
Mall of America Field send off
Bud Grant ushered in the Metrodome. Sunday, he will be among the speakers saying goodbye to it.
The best coach in Vikings history – along with expected speakers Robert Smith, Matt Birk and Peterson – will address the crowd in a short ceremony upon the completion of the last game in the stadium’s history.
Grant was coaching the Vikings when the team moved from Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington to the indoor facility in Minneapolis.
“It was progress,” Grant said. “Everyone was excited to move downtown, and now we’re excited to have a new stadium. But I’m sure the fans have a lot of great memories (of the Metrodome).”
The team will also distribute a commemorative pennant to each fan in attendance. Game programs will also acknowledge the last game in the history of Mall of America Field.
“Maybe everybody will sing Auld Lang Syne,” Grant joked about what the appropriate sendoff would be for the Metrodome.
Fans are encouraged to take memories with them after the game, but the team and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority will institute a “zero tolerance policy.” The policy will aim to prevent fans from taking pieces of the stadium with them as they exit. The team has hired twice as many police officers as is usual at a typical game.
For more Vikings news and updates, visit Vikings Central.
Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. Joseph is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.