EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf didn't say much to the assembled media at Winter Park the day after a disappointing Vikings season came to an end. He looked straight into more than a dozen professional video cameras and said "this is a very emotional day."
Head Coach Leslie Frazier had just been fired. No one in the media was surprised; Vikings fans probably were not either. But several former players were a little saddened by the news.
"Players completely respect him. He's one of the classiest, nicest guys in the league," former Vikings quarterback Sage Rosenfels said.
Rosenfels has a lot of experience to back up his assessment. Aside from two stints with the Vikings, he's been with four other franchises. "It's a win-first business, win-now business, and they didn't do enough over the course of the last three and a half years for him to keep his job," he told KARE 11.
"I think a lot of people just kind of saw the writing on the wall. It's unfortunate," former Vikings Linebacker Ben Leber explained.
Leber knows Frazier well. He says the fact that the coach was well-liked and a genuine nice guy has nothing to do with the team's record and he can't say things would have been different with a yelling "no nonsense" coach.
Leber and Rosenfels say there is plenty of blame to go around; that the Vikings recent record doesn't fall solely on Frazier's shoulders.
"When it comes to the day to day operations it comes down to the head coach and that's ultimately what happened in this case but we can't sit there and deny that there are some positions where he didn't have much to work with," Leber concluded.
The search for Frazier's replacement begins immediately and interviews will take place over the next three or four days, according to the Vikings General Manager.
Leber hopes the administration doesn't bring in another first timer. "I think going forward we go with a guy that's been-there, done-that, and has had experience before."
Rosenfels says the new coach won't come in to a bare cupboard, as the Vikings have some decent talent to entice a potential coach.
"I know money won't be a factor. The Wilfs have no problem going out there and spending whatever needs to be spent to find the best guy for the job," he added.