I read something interesting in the paper today. Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said "He was not under any directive to play Freeman" at QB Monday Night.
Yesterday... I made a claim that someone must have forced Frazier to play Freeman before he was ready. Seems like some egg on my face... BUT... Hold on...
I'm still not buying it. After all... What is Frazier supposed to say to the press?
If Frazier says... "Hey it wasn't my call... I was told to start Josh Freeman by (Blank)" What does that accomplish... That causes more problems than it solves.
A. If a superior tells Frazier to start Freeman and Frazier reveals that... He has thrown his superior under the bus. Once the press gets done with the field day that they will have with the superior. After the dust settles... There will just be the Superior and Frazier that will have to figure out how to work together. Trust issues and so forth. Think about your own work environments... Throwing people under the bus is a real bad idea no matter how bad the original bad idea was... especially if it's a superior who can fire you. Let's imagine for a second if it was the owner who made the call. Would you have the guts... or the stupidity to say to the press and therefore the public that it was the owner who made the call? Imagine how that would turn out.
B. Leslie Frazier can't make a statement like that about a player. How will that sound to the player. I didn't want to start him... I was forced to start him. After the dust settles... Frazier still has to have a working relationship with Josh Freeman. You don't start a relationship with a player by letting him clearly know that he doesn't have his back. That's how you finish a relationship. Have you ever known Leslie Frazier to make any kind of public statement that sounded like the slightest criticism of an individual player. I know that I haven't.
C. Leslie Frazier isn't going to want anyone to know... Press, Fans or Players... especially his players... that he doesn't have complete control of the decisions made that concern the team that he is coaching. What kind of message does it send to a team... Hey... It doesn't matter what I think as head coach... The Owner or General Manager is going to make me do whatever they want anyway. That's a very easy quick way to lose your team. It ain't going to happen if the coach is smart.
D. After you consider points A through C... If none of these points are true... If it truly was Leslie Frazier's decision and his decision alone like he was quoted as saying... Leslie Frazier should not be coaching football at the professional level. He isn't ready for the job because it would mean that he purposely scaled down the offense and he did so for the sole purpose of starting a QB who wasn't ready for the job when he had two healthy QB's who have been trained, coached, prepped for the nuances of the ENTIRE offense and the speed, talent and timing of teammates. Does this make sense on any planet?
I know we don't like Ponder... I know that Cassel struggled in Kansas City last year and we got killed by Carolina with Cassel at the helm. I realize that Ponder and Cassel are nowhere near Payton Manning. But... They know the offense... That is better than a guy who doesn't know the offense.
I'm sorry... I'm not buying it... I believe Leslie Frazier stood up and took it like a man. He was smart enough to do what he had to do and that was fall on the sword. It was his only option and it would be the only option for anyone with a half a brain. The alternative could only lead to continued disaster.
For Leslie Frazier's benefit... I will continue to believe that the directive to start Freeman came from over his head. If it was Wilf (The owner)... There isn't much we can do about it. Just hope that he learned a lesson. If it was Speilman (The GM)... It may be time for him to get a new coach who will think exactly like he does or simply get his nose out of the gameplans and coaching decisions and back into the scouting reports, waiver wires and contracts where it belongs.
I've been disapointed by the Vikings terrible start to the year but it happens... Many things happen during a football game and it isn't always someone's fault. The other teams that you face are trying really hard to win the game as well. I have not been looking for a head to chop off because of it... Until now... I'm looking for a head to chop off now. Whoever... truly decided to start Freeman and forced it too happen... made a decision that isn't NFL caliber and needs to be removed from the process for the health of my franchise.