Frazier firing shows votes of confidence are meaningless


At the start of November, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman insisted that head coach Leslie Frazier would not be fired. By the end of December, Frazier had been fired.

Spielman’s statement that “Leslie Frazier is not going anywhere” is just the latest piece of evidence that a coach getting a “vote of confidence” during the season is meaningless.

Sometimes a vote of confidence is simply a public relations move, when teams don’t want fans to think the season is hopeless. Sometimes a vote of confidence is an attempt to keep the players from tuning out the coach. Sometimes a vote of confidence is a sincere expression that the front office is behind the coach, but the coach then loses the confidence of his bosses when the team takes a turn for the worse. (That wasn’t the case for Frazier, though: He was 1-6 when he got his vote of confidence and went 4-4-1 the rest of the way, so if anything the Vikings should be more confident in Frazier now than they were when he got his vote of confidence.)

But whatever the reasons for the votes of confidence when they’re given, they don’t actually mean the coach’s job is safe. If the front office extends the coach’s contract in the middle of the season, that’s a real vote of confidence. If the front office says the coach’s job is safe during the season, those are just empty words.

67 responses to “Frazier firing shows votes of confidence are meaningless

  1. Leslie is one of the finest people anyone could hope to meet. His greatest weakness as a coach was he was too trusting of people. Spielman forced Leslie to play Ponder and then fired him because Ponder failed.

  2. At 1-6, there was quite an outcry for Fraizer to be fired at that point. I would assume the vote of confidence, meant he wasn’t going to be fired in season, which he wasn’t.

  3. Really? You are going to draw a blanket conclusion based on one event? So if Garrett doesn’t get fired, which he probably won’t, does that mean they have meaning again?

    Waste of space in this blog…

  4. The vikqueens have long been a criminal operation as evidenced by their league leading player arrest record. Why would anyone be surprised that they would lie to Frazier? Treachery and deceit are SOP for these 53 season losers.

  5. Lets be clear here and not misconstrue Spielmans words.
    At the time that statement was made, he was replying to in-season firing questions when team was struggling. And he was right…you don’t fire a coach mid-season who hasn’t lost his team like Childress did.

  6. The NFL always preaches “role model” and “setting examples” the they lie and cheat men out of their jobs, when in a lot of cases, it’s undeserving. Hypocrisy at its finest…

  7. Today’s NFL owners are ruining the game. The bottom dweller teams are constantly rebuilding because of impatience and the rule changes to inflate stats are a joke!

  8. Duh….so in the middle of the season, maybe the front office should say, “yeah, we’re firing Leslie as soon as the season ends”. Im sure that’ll go over real well. How well would you do your job if NBC said “we’re firing you in 2 months…just to let you know”.

  9. Spielman is next, his draft picks are mostly wasted drafts with the expection of a few good players. You can’t expect a coach to win when they have a QB who would barley be a backup for a JV High School team.

  10. If the Vikings would have won out, from that point in early November, Frazier would probably still be around. It’s the nature of an NFL head coaching position, these days. When your team loses as much as Frazier’s did, in the last three years, a coaching change is made. Frazier had to have known that. Fret not. NFL coaches are all on a carousel. He’ll wind up as a coordinator or position coach somewhere else, and if he succeeds, he may get another shot at a head coaching position again in the future. He has made his money, and will continue to do so. Good luck, Frazier. I am sure you will be just fine.

  11. It happens all the time, in fact, it happens so often that the vote of confidence is seen as a harbinger of things to come.

    If the Wilfs’ are stupid enough to give Spielman the cover to fire Frazier and thinks that solves the problem, then they deserve the last place finishes that will surely follow from Spielman’s inability to address the talent shortage that is of his own doing.

    2 of the last 3 years the Vikings finished last, next year is looking about the same.

  12. If he is responsible for drafting Ponder way to High, then he should have been canned. If he is not responsible, then he deserves another year.


    i don’t believe he was in FULL control at that time. it was still the “triangle of authority” then. from what i recall, Frazier was very much involved in the decision. it still technically falls more on Spielman, but let’s not forget about his successes.

    look no further than the 2012 draft which was about as good as you can get. are we really going to blame Spielman for not finding a QB? it’s not like they friggin’ grow on trees. picking one is hard. look how long the Rams gave Bradford, i believe they’ll now give up on him.

  13. What is a GM supposed to say when a member of the media asks him , “are you going to fire the Head Coach?” He really can’t say anything other than no, or a vote of confidence. If he gives any other response the media will imply that his job isn’t safe. There Telly isn’t any good response a could give.

  14. All I know is that the Viking’s GM Rick Spielman sure is a magician when it comes to quarterbacks.

    Did you see what happened to Freeman? He disappeared!

  15. I think it’s Speilman’s deflecting this issue from his own role in personnel issues. But time will tell if we continue to see the same issues happen with a new coach….eventually they gotta look for this issue elsewhere.

  16. In other news, front office people are liars and will lie to your face. Why I remember when John Elway was talking about how he was going to be helping coach up Tim Tebow in the off season after the 8 – 8 season and a playoff win. Tim was gone before the sound echo of that lie was done bouncing around the room.

  17. Of course votes of confidence are worthless. They are only given to placate the media.

    Of course it didn’t help Frazier’s cause that he has the charisma of day old bread.

  18. madtownthrowdown says: Dec 31, 2013 7:50 AM

    If he is responsible for drafting Ponder way to High, then he should have been canned. If he is not responsible, then he deserves another year


    Why does he deserve another year, what did he ever do to inspire confidence in anyone?

  19. “We will deal with off-season issues when the season is over.”

    Out & out lies are often unnecessary.

    Keep it simple!

  20. Viking fans can only hope that GM Rick Spielman gives a vote of confidence in himself. At least then you might finally have some hope of turning that rudderless ship around. Frazier was a class act, a good coach and a great human being in his time at that three ring circus that Wilf owns. Frazier wasn’t the problem – he can only work with what he was given.

  21. LOL, do you really expect a GM to say, during the season, “Well, yeah, he was a mistake, a mistake which we intend to correct at the end of the season.”?

    I doubt that any team would tell you the truth about their plans for the coach, anymore than they would tell you the truth about who they intend to draft before the draft.

  22. The whole coaching situation in Minnesota was a myriad of problems. Frazier was a fantastic person in reaching his players on a personal level, which brought out maximum effort on the field. The coordinators he hired, outside of Priefer, were subpar to say the least. The “Tampa 2” defense is a thing of the past and Musgrave is a QB coach at best. Give Frazier better coordinators and the proper personnel in a few key areas and he’d be a winning coach, IMO. The quarterback situation falls soley on Speilma as I see it. He woefully reached for Ponder when he could have picked him up in the third round, then he pressured Frazier to make him successful and take this team into the future. Ponder is extremely intelligent and athletic, but his accuracy and lack of a feel for the game will always hamper him. I feel bad for Frazier taking the axe for the soup sandwich he was given to “win” with.

  23. What!? You mean that I shouldn’t have complete faith that everything publicly uttered by coaches and front office personnel is the unfiltered truth and not simply PR spin??

    I. am. shocked.

  24. I fail to see the logic of firing the coach when you have 3 horrible QB’s riding the pine. Leslie is a good coach~!~!

    I’m not a Viking fan, but an NFL fan.

  25. This should not surprise anyone, and it’s not like it hasn’t happen numerous times with other teams.

    Honestly, if the Vikings had managed to win a couple of more games, and put in a solid effort in every game down the stretch, Frazier might have survived. But that game against the Bengals probably sealed his fate, because it was typical of so many other poor performances by the Vikings this year. Heck, this team lost on its home field to a Browns team that ended up 4-12, and blew five leads late in games that they ended up 0-4-1 in. If the Vikings win three of those games, Frazier survives. But results are what matters, and the results were not there.

    The coaching staff made many poor decisions this year; playing Freeman against the Giants, allowing Josh Robinson to continue to start at CB when he was being toasted week after week, not playing Xavier Rhodes and Cordarelle Patterson sooner were the most prominent.

    As for Spielman, well, this time he gets to have a say in drafting the QB. I like Spielman’s initiative in the last two drafts, trading back into round one to get Harrison Smith and Cordarelle Patterson, two players that should be stars in Minnesota for the next decade. But signing Josh Freeman? If I were the Wilfs, I’d probably have fired Spielman for that one, or at least asked for my money back.

    If the next coach doesn’t work out, Spielman needs to be the first guy fired.

  26. Always seemed to be a problem with the qb. You have the talent it or you go get it. Coach can only do so much with what he has. It was Speilman job to get the talent and he came up with the kid from tampa bay that made no impact. Maybe its Spielman that should go.

  27. I hate to see Frazier go. I think he’s a good coach. Unfortunately when u don’t have a competent QB is hard to keep a job in the league. (sometimes even when u do, see Detroit). I wish home the best. I would like to see Johnny football a the next QB and would love him to bring his coach also (sumlin). Just my 2 cents.

  28. Did anybody watch the press conference yesterday? Frazier was responsible for who played and all game day decisions. Frazier played Ponder. Frazier hired the assistants. Fraziers defensive scheme gave up the most points in the NFL. Frazier failed to make adjustments. He simply was not a good coach. Who cares if he’s a great guy?! Win or go home. Well, now he’s home!

  29. Spielman should have been fired WWWWAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY before Frazier. Ziggy should have fire/never hired Spielman and he should have fired the OC, Lane Kiffin style (in the airport parking lot) after Josh Freeman’s first game in which he had about 5 days to prepare and instead of running the greatest running back in the NFL, the OC decided to THROW it 52 times!

  30. oh, you mean team executives are like politicians, corporate leaders, and financial authorities..and LIE??? …shocking

  31. I think the fact that the Packers came from so far behind to tie a game that was in the bag for the Vikings is what pushed this guy out the door. Everyone knows playing the Packers is the SuperBowl for the Vikings. The Bears had the in-common games tie-breaker over the Packers. The comeback tie was a huge “win” for the Packers…..the difference between staying home, like the Vikings, or advancing to the first round. It may be as important as the victory over the Bears. The Packers may go one-and-done and if they do, so what…they made it, and it’s better than none-and-done. You think the Vikings wouldn’t like to trade places? I know Frazier would…he’d still have a job.

  32. I agree that Speilman should hit the bricks as well, mainly for the QB fiasco.

    On the other hand, Frazier chose his coordinators, developed the game plans and failed to simply overcome the passing game woes even when he had one of the best RB’s in the league. The Vikings have struggled with mediocre quarterbacks for a long time and have managed to do far better than 5 wins. Frazier might be a nice guy, but the world is full of nice guys. If it doesn’t lead to success in the NFL the result will always be the same.

  33. Frazier lacked the oversight of his staff to ensure that his players were utilized in ways that enabled them to play to their strengths. It is that simple.

    Do you think Russell Wilson would thrive under Musgrave? I don’t (not that anyone is going to make Ponder look like a solid starter). Does it appear that Alan Williams put his defenders in the best spot to succeed? No (see Harrison Smith 1:1 with Jordan Cameron at the end of the game). Are you telling me there is not a simple scheme to get Patterson the ball in open space in the first half of the season?

    I believe this is first and foremost what cost Frazier his job.

  34. Leave it to Packer fans to celebrate a come from behind tie at home against a very bad football team.

    I guess its almost as good as celebrating men’s league championships in basketball…

  35. He might have gotten fired but he isn’t going anywhere unless you consider the rotation of the Earth and your static place on it as being in a state of motion without being in a state of motion.

  36. Frazier probably deserved to be fired, but why he got canned and Spielman is still employed is very suspicious. If the Wilfs spent more time in Minnesota they would probably figure out what a snake Spielman is.

  37. Spielman is a snake in a suit, looks like a b*tch and talks like a chump. I have zero interest in paying any PSL’s while that a$$clown runs the show.

    Hire Mike Sherman or Darrel Bevell, that’ll excite the fanbase. Not!

  38. Scapegoat (not that he deserved to keep the job). This team is a mess. No QB, mediocre D that will likely get much worse with the exit of Allen and Williams, O-line that doesn’t understand the blocking part of pass protection, and entering a period of instability while waiting on the construction of a new stadium. What coach is going to want to come to MN?
    Maybe they can hire back Frazier in a couple months.

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