Frazier insists he, Spielman are on same page
Leslie Frazier (Bruce Kluckhohn/US Presswire)
Leslie Frazier (Bruce Kluckhohn/US Presswire)
Posted Jun 10, 2012

The Vikings have been going through a lot of personnel changes, which makes it more difficult for a head coach to succeed, but Leslie Frazier says he and GM Rick Spielman are on the same page with the roster decisions being made.

The perception in Minnesota is Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is being set up to fail. Not on purpose, but rather by the timing and circumstances of a full-blown youth movement being orchestrated by new general manager Rick Spielman.

Frazier took exception to that thinking as he stood up for his importance alongside Spielman in the process of shaping the future of the franchise.

"The thing you have to understand when we're building a team, it's 'we.' It's not `Rick,'" Frazier said following an organized team activity. "Rick could not build this team without the head coach being in concert with him in doing that. That wouldn't be good for he or I."

That doesn't diminish the fact that Frazier is on the hot seat at a time when his roster is being built to win in 2013. Frazier is 6-16 as a head coach and is coming off a 3-13 mark that tied the franchise record for most losses in a season. He's also in the second year of a three-year deal. The Vikings also are done paying former coach Brad Childress after this season, meaning ownership would be more open financially to changing coaches.

Naturally, the Vikings aren't giving up on 2012. But they reside in the NFC North, one of the NFL's toughest divisions, and have an unproven second-year quarterback. They'll also have new starters on the offensive line, possibly two rookie starters at safety, new faces at nose tackle and middle linebacker and a rookie kicker who missed 14 of 35 field-goal attempts last year. And the player they've built everything around, Adrian Peterson, is coming off ACL surgery.

Although some of the offseason moves – such as releasing veteran kicker Ryan Longwell – sacrificed the near term for the long term, Frazier said he was in concert with Spielman every step of the way.

"There isn't a decision that's made that the two of us don't talk about and agree upon," Frazier said. "It would just not be good. So the decisions that have been made are decisions that were discussed and we were in agreement that this is the right thing to do. It's hard to build a team if the general manager and the head coach aren't on the same page. And we are, thank goodness."

Frazier doesn't have to make the playoffs or even have a winning record to keep his job. But it's difficult to imagine a scenario in which he survives another disastrous season. So there is pressure on him to make 2012 a step forward.

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