Most of the credit for the Vikings’ 9-6 record this season has gone to running back Adrian Peterson, but he hasn’t been a one-man band this year.
The Vikings have played well on defense all year and come up with ways to win games despite finding themselves playing around quarterback Christian Ponder far too often. Coach Leslie Frazier deserves credit for that and Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com, a former Vikings beat writer, believes it will come via a contract extension.
Zulgad writes that an extension is “certainly coming” for Frazier, who has a year left on his deal, after Minnesota’s sharp turnaround from last year’s 3-13 record. Linebacker Chad Greenway calls Frazier’s steady approach a big reason for the team’s success and draws an implicit distinction between Frazier and former coach Brad Childress.
“His speeches are real consistent if you know what I mean,” Greenway said. “I think that’s good. It is such a long season and there are so many ups and downs that I think if you have a coach that is kind of going with that; maybe he comes in Monday after a loss and he’s really down and (you get a), ‘This is going to ruin our season’ sort of speech and that’s not what Leslie is.”
If not for the remarkable circumstances surrounding Indianapolis’ rise from first overall pick to the playoffs, Frazier would probably be getting more support for coach of the year. He probably won’t win that award, but an extension will do quite nicely as recognition for what the Vikings have done this year.