After finishing the 2011 season at a dismal 3-13, the Minnesota Vikings have made one of the biggest turnarounds in franchise history in 2012. Having already tied the biggest improvement in wins in the team’s 51 years, the Norsemen have the opportunity to break that record in Week 17.
Even if the Vikings falter on Sunday and fail to make the playoffs, it’s hard to believe that the front office wouldn’t see it fit to extend head coach Leslie Frazier after such an impressive 2012 campaign. Currently standing at 9-6, the Vikings are a win away from making the playoffs and silencing their hoard of doubters.
Frazier, whose contract will expire after the 2013 season, has lifted the Vikings from a bottom-of-the-barrel team to one of the NFL’s biggest up-and-comers. They’ve spent the entire year showing up unsuspecting opponents and putting up a fight that no one ever expected they were capable of.
This sudden success has many believing that the Vikings will look to keep Frazier in Minnesota beyond his current contract. At this point, it’s more a matter of “when” than “if.”
As far as the Vikings’ players are concerned – specifically linebacker Chad Greenway – Frazier has proven this season that he’s the man to return Minnesota to relevance.
“Obviously Leslie’s the kind of guy, ‘We’re still in this thing. We’re fighting. We’re together. We’re all in.’ And his approach is perfect, in my mind, for what an NFL coach needs to be. He’s really consistent. He knows what he wants from his players. He hires high-character guys to have in the locker room and it seems to be working pretty well,” Greenway said.
With the Vikings taking such a huge step in the right direction and far exceeding expectations this season, there’s no doubt that Frazier deserves the extension that is certainly coming his way at some point. With the playoffs on the line, though, it’s likely the last thing on his mind heading into a do-or-die Week 17 showdown with the Green Bay Packers.
Do you remember what happened the last time the Vikings extended what appeared to be a high-caliber head coach, though? His name was Brad Childress and he was fired shortly after. I’m just saying.