Today will be Leslie Frazier's first full day on the job as interim head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
Frazier was defensive coordinator and moved to the top job yesterday after team owner Zygi Wilf fired Brad Childress.
Childress's firing came a day after the Packers thrashed the Vikings 31-3 at the Metrodome, a loss that dropped the team to 3-7, a season now in sharp contrast to last year when the Vikes were just a field goal away from a Super Bowl appearance.
Frazer has interviewed for an NFL head coaching job seven times. He finally got the top spot when Brad Childress lost the position. Frazier admitted yesterday that was a little awkward at first, given that Childress is the man who brought Frazier to Minnesota.
"But at the same time, I understood where we were," he said. "I understood what needed to happen for us to go forward, and I just embraced the opportunity."
Frazier's opportunity brings to a close a five-year run for Brad Childress -- a run that ended just months after nearly coaching the Vikings to the Super Bowl and getting a contract extension for his efforts.
Scores of fans sitting in the home stadium crowd Sunday chanted or held signs, calling for Childress to be fired. But Frazier said it's the entire team that must take responsibility for a disappointing record.
"There's nobody on our team right now that's satisfied with where we are and should be able to say 'I'm doing my part.' No, we have to do better across the board," he said.
Childress is the second NFL coach to be fired this season -- the Dallas Cowboys' Wade Phillips is the other.
Childress made no public appearances yesterday and instead issued a statement. He said he was proud of his accomplishments and believes the team has a better foundation than when he took it over in 2006.
Team owner Zygi Wilf was seen storming out of the Vikings locker room after Sunday's loss but yesterday he kept his comments general when asked why he fired Childress.
"There wasn't one component that factored into this decision," he said. "We just felt we made the best decision for the organization moving forward. We have high expectations for this team and wanted to capitalize on what's left for the season."
Even if fans feel the Vikings have no chance of making the playoffs, Frazier noted during yesterday's news conference the team has not been mathematically eliminated, so there's no reason to give up.
His first test will be Sunday in Washington, and the Vikings still haven't won on the road this year.
Frazier immediately tried to put out one fire that erupted after Sunday's loss. Quarterback Brett Favre made a vague comment about needing to digest what had happened and to re-evaluate things, but there was no talk from Frazier of replacing Favre.
"Brett Favre will be our starting quarterback on Sunday," he said.
Favre wasn't available to reporters yesterday -- in fact, none of the players were. The team instead released written statements from nine players. Most struck the tone that defensive tackle Pat Williams did in saying he was sad to see Childress leave and that Frazier had his full support.
Favre also said in his statement, "I think we all, starting with me, could have done more to make this a successful season."
The 51-year-old Frazier was born in Mississippi and brings to the Vikings the experience of having won two Super Bowls, one as a player and one as a coach. He played defense on a 1985 Chicago Bears team that will go down in football history for its dominant defense, and if you look hard enough, you can even spot Frazier in the famous Super Bowl Shuffle video wearing his No. 21 jersey.
He won his second Super Bowl ring three years ago as an assistant coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
Frazier will serve as interim coach for the rest of the season. Neither Frazier nor team owner Zygi Wilf would comment on what will happen then, or whether Frazier will get the job permanently.
Wilf only said everything will be re-evaluated after the season.
(This report contains information from the Associated Press.)