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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Do We Have A Coaching Schism In Minnesota?!?


Photo – Hannah Foslien (Getty Images)

By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
@AjKFAN

Minneapolis, MN – It’s been a while since one has surfaced amongst the Vikings, but following Sunday’s 31-30 loss to the Chicago Bears in the final seconds, we may very well have a schism at Winter Park!

With his players retracting into the locker room, dejected after a last second loss in a heated division rivalry, head coach Leslie Frazier stood in front of the microphones and took the blame for the game that got away.

“This ball game comes back to me,” Frazier told KFAN.

“I’ve got to do some things better,” he told the assembled media at Soldier Field.

But we weren’t privy to knowing what exactly it was that Frazier was beating himself up over. That is until today.

Frazier met the media Monday afternoon to recap his team’s most recent loss. Coach opened up the question and answer session once again blaming himself, opening the door for the next twenty minutes of questioning, ten minutes of which surrounded the miscommunications leading to Frazier taking the blame on the Vikings final defensive stand.

“[We] kind of got away from some things that we would ordinarily do in that situation,” Frazier said dipping his toe into the waters of what could have blown up into a tumultuous conversation. “There are just some things from my standpoint that I have to manage better.”

The confusions that Frazier was referring to took place on the final drive of the game where Jay Cutler and the Bears drove down the field unchallenged on their way into the endzone to claim a one point lead. Specifically looking at the final play of the game, you can see confusion spreading throughout the secondary as Harrison Smith directed Jamarca Sanford into position while Chris Cook, frantically waving for some support, is stuck on an island with Martellus Bennett. We all know what happened next.

“It was a call we made in the first half when we were on the goal line,” Frazier said of that particular defensive set. “We called it back to back, when they tried those fade balls. We just didn’t execute it as well and it cost us. That’s something we worked on, something we executed well in the first half, but we didn’t get it executed there.”

The play obviously resulted in a Bears touchdown, which resulted in Frazier taking the blame for the play call, which then resulted in the following question.Why would the head coach be taking the blame for the play call? Is Leslie Frazier pulling rank on defensive coordinator Alan Williams and making the play calls on the defensive side of the ball?

“No,” Leslie said frankly in response to that question. “Alan has done a great job, Bill has done a great job for us on offense and so has Prief. No, not at all. As I mentioned, our defense was well prepared.”

While Frazier said he wasn’t making the play calls himself, he did say that if he could do it over again he would have jumped in to interject with the defensive play call at the end.

“I could have helped with some strategy there,” Frazier explained. “Both [Alan] and Bill along with Prief, we have a great relationship so they understand that when I step in and say, ‘Let’s do this versus that,’ but there is a balance.”

Reading between the lines, it’s more than clear that Frazier was kicking himself after the game for not jumping in to rectify the defensive play call on that final play, or at the very least to have called a time out to further discuss and make sure the defense was on the same page.

“I kind of kicked myself on that,” Frazier said regretfully. “That was an opportunity for me to interject and to maybe help in a way, like I do with our offense, like I do with our special teams, and just have to do some things better from my standpoint in those situations.”

So there you have it. It’s no Brett Favre schism circa 2009/2010 but there is indeed a little disconnect among the coaching staff that needs to be fully ironed out before the Vikings take the field next Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN

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