Vikings owner Zygi Wilf addressed players at a team meeting Monday after firing former head coach Brad Childress. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who is taking over for the rest of the season as the interim head coach, also addressed the players at a team meeting Monday afternoon.
"We had a pretty good talk with (Frazier) and everything. He told us what his outlook on the team was, what he wanted out of us," said defensive end Brian Robison. "We're either all in or we're not in at all. We've just got to go with his lead and try to make some things happen."
With a 3-7 record, players are well aware that their playoff hopes are all but over, but they are committed to trying to finish out the remaining six games of the season on a positive note.
Wilf preached respect for the organization, the game and fellow players during his address to the team.
"Just having pride and respect in the organization and the team. We've got to make sure that we stay proud of all the organization and we respect the game of football," Robison said. "Make sure that we get out there and play with respect for one another and do it for each other."
The rest of the coaching staff is believed to be intact, and Frazier and Wilf are expected to address the media at 3 p.m. Central press conference. So far, according to what Robison said, Frazier will have an open-door policy trying to move the team through the rest of the season.
"Frazier's message was that he just told us how things were going to be done in order for us to start winning, to give ourselves a chance at the end of the year. Either we're in it all the way or we're not," Robison said. "He said there's not going to be any problems if you don't feel like being in it all the way to the point where you can look at your teammate and say, ‘I'm all in.' Just come talk to him and what has to be done will be done."
Robison said players didn't get a feel for any changes that Frazier might have in mind – they would like find out more about those when they resume practice on Wednesday – but Fred Pagac would be a likely candidate to take over the defensive coordinator responsibilities if Frazier wants to concentrate more on the head-coaching duties.
After reports of Childress having run-ins with players at practices, Robison said the stress of a losing season was starting to create tension.
"I think it's just tension in general. You go 12-4 one year and then you go 3-7, where we're sitting at right now. As you know, once you go 12-4 you expect things to just get better from there," Robison said. "Things didn't happen that way. We started off the season 3-7 and frustrations were high because we were so close in so many games. We just couldn't make the plays to pull them out. Frustrations were just high all around the board."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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