One can admire Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier for being an outstanding guy with a humble personality, but when it comes to doing his job, he hasn’t succeeded.
Tonight, the Vikings (1-5) handed the New York Giants (1-6) their first win of the season, 23-7. Handed is the best word to use because both teams played like they didn’t belong in the NFL out there, yet the Vikings still managed to get pummeled.
This season has been a complete wash for the Vikings, who made the playoffs last year. Quarterback play has been non-existent all season as the quarterbacks have combined to throw only six touchdown passes. The team hoped that Josh Freeman could begin to reverse that trend tonight, but Freeman wasn’t even close to being mediocre, completing 20-of-53 passes for 193 yards and an interception. Freeman’s completion percentage tonight was 37.7. That’s the worst in the NFL since 2007.
Quarterback play isn’t the only problem. The secondary has given up huge plays in every game, receivers continue to drop open passes, and the offensive play calling has been questionable at best.
All of these problems can’t be blamed on the players alone; the coaching staff should take the most heat. Frazier’s game plan is constantly over matched, his players are not disciplined, and tonight the Vikings were making mistakes on the field that even some high school players would not have made.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s game plan is always predictable. Musgrave carries around the smallest, most condensed playbook in the NFL. Is it genius, or just idiotic? The Vikings’ offensive playbook is making Musgrave look outmatched as well; maybe Musgrave should consider mixing it up and using the team’s best offensive play makers, like running back Adrian Peterson and rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson more effectively. There are not enough plays for the Vikings star rookie in the playbook.
When Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman decides to clean house in the coaching staff, he has to look for a coach with previous experience first. Brian Billick, who last coached for the Baltimore Ravens, Jon Gruden, who coached for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Bill Cowher, who coached for the Pittsburgh Steelers are all veteran coaches who know how to assemble a good coaching staff, but most of all are proven winners.
Taking the head coaching position with the Vikings is not a dead-end job. Peterson, Patterson, a talented defensive line, a group of talented receivers, coupled with a grade-A draft class make Minnesota a hot destination for a veteran coach.
For an example, just look at what Andy Reid has done with the Kansas City Chiefs (7-0). Reid, a veteran head coach who was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles last season, has brought the Chiefs from worst to first thus far.
If that plan backfires, Spielman needs to find the next right guy, maybe a successful college coach like Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes, or an assistant NFL coach shadowing a great NFL head coach.
Regardless, Frazier’s Vikings fell flat in The Meadowlands tonight and at 1-5, Spielman has to be seriously thinking whether or not Frazier is the best fit at head coach for the Vikings.
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