NFC North: Free Head Exam 17
January, 3, 2011
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
After the Minnesota Vikings' 20-13 loss to the Detroit Lions, here are three issues that merit further examination:
Kevin SeifertFollowing their loss to the Lions, the Vikings make their stop in the examination room.
- There are many who believe this season's collapse illustrated the Vikings' need for a single football authority, be it a general manager or a head coach with those responsibilities. But the apparent decision to elevate Leslie Frazier to the permanent coaching job means one of two things: Owner Zygi Wilf has either decided not to streamline his leadership or it has already happened. It wouldn't make sense to hire a general manager with final authority after promoting Frazier. So the only other possibility is that Wilf has already promoted either Rick Spielman (vice president of player personnel) or Rob Brzezinski (vice president of football operations) and not announced it. If I had to guess, however, I would say Wilf will retain the current committee-style leadership structure he has in place, regardless of title.
- The Vikings will be in rebuilding mode until they identify and develop a new starting quarterback. They've used the Band-Aid approach since Daunte Culpepper's career-changing knee injury in 2005, and perhaps that will continue in 2011. But none of the three quarterbacks who were active for Sunday's game -- Joe Webb, Patrick Ramsey and Rhett Bomar -- should be candidates for the No. 1 job next season. The Vikings had the NFL's third-worst team passer rating this season (67.7), and they'll have to start from scratch.
- With the season finally complete and Frazier's ascendance reported to be near complete, expect to hear a lot about the Vikings' stadium situation for the next few months. Repairs to the Metrodome roof aren't expected to be complete until March, and the team has already expressed concerns about playing there in 2011. They could move to TCF Bank Stadium as part of a larger plan to replace the Metrodome, but that would require Minnesota legislators to act on the team's long-ignored plea for some $700 million in public financing.