My fourth preview of the NFC North is by far for my favorite team, Minnesota Vikings. I have already written some Viking prediction posts. Links have been provided in case you did missed them.
I am very excited for the Vikings to start their season on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I would like to take a different direction for this post because Viking predictions have already been made. I would like to address the question, is Leslie Frazier the right coach for this team?
Since I can remember I have been watching the Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately watching the “Purple People Eaters” was before my time so I don’t have any memories of those teams. The very first Vikings coach I remember is Jerry Burns. I have also seen Dennis Green, Mike Tice, Brad Childress and now Leslie Fraizer try and lead the Vikings to the Superbowl. All five of these coaches have failed and Brad Childress was the closest of these five but was that really because of his coaching? My answer would be no. Minnesota Vikings fans are very lucky right now because the ownership group for the Vikings is willing and has already spent a lot of money to improve the product being put on the field. During the Childress era, we are all familiar with the Favre experience, and his cross the field pass that took the Vikings out of possible field goal range. But as information came to light, Childress was not in control of his team and the more likely scenario is, the experienced players on the team were using their leadership to get the team to play so well. But this hear say is neither here nor there. The Vikings didn’t get to the Superbowl, Childress was fired and Fraizer is now our coach. Once again was this the best move the Vikings could have made?
After watching Frazier coach now for 1 and a half years, I am still not a very big fan and wish the Vikings would have went in a new direction. What new direction? Interview other candidates, candidates not associated with the Childress era, and hire a coach with more experience. It has been reported Frazier has good rapport with his players and the players like him, but so far that relationship is not getting the team to win. It seems every four years Vikings fans have to go through the same transitions when a new coach is brought in. The teams goes 3-13, then 6-10, then 9-7, then 12-5 and no Superbowl. I’m tired of always going to the bottom. What will it take for the Vikings to be an NFC North power for many years to come? I say a more reliable coaching staff, more reliable scouting and drafting of college talent, and better off season acquisitions.
Even though I am not excited for Frazier’s coaching this year, one advantage Frazier has this year is the addition of the General Manager position. Frazier is no longer responsible or has to worry about getting players for his team. Frazier can now focus all his time on what systems he wants and what assistant coaches he can bring in to help coach the team. I did like what the Vikings did in the draft, but ultimately it boils down to if Frazier can put players in the right positions to succeed and put the right systems in place based on who Frazier has to put on the field. I don’t know if Frazier can.
Now that I have covered all four teams in the NFC North, here is how I think the NFC North will shape up at the end of the season.
Green Bay Packers 13-3
Detroit Lions 11-5
Minnesota Vikings 10-6
Chicago Bears 8-8