Future of coaching staff remains uncertain after Frazier's dismissal
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - While Leslie Frazier's future with the Vikings is sealed, the fate of the rest of the coaching staff is still uncertain.
General Manager Rick Spielman said Monday in a press conference that each member of the staff is still under contract for 2014 and that he intends to meet with each individually.
"I talked to all the assistant coaches today. They are all currently under contract," Spielman said. "I will meet with them on an individual basis. In order for them to go on to another team, they have to get a written permission. I will look at that on a case-by-case basis to see if that permission is granted or not."
That answer doesn't make it clear if any will be retained once a new coach is brought in, but wide speculation is that many, if not all of the coaches, will be dismissed.
Among all the talk in the Vikings locker room regarding Frazier's seven seasons with the Vikings -- four as defensive coordinator and three as head coach -- some Vikings players decided to express their support for Frazier's staff, who's future is yet uncertain.
"I believe there are coaches on this staff that belong here and deserve to stay here," linebacker Erin Henderson said. "And hopefully the new head coach that comes in can see that as well."
Assistants like special teams coordinator Mike Priefer and receivers coach George Stewart are widely respected by players in the locker room and both drew direct support.
"I feel like [Stewart] should be here next year. That's my coach. I never had a coach like him. He's one of those coaches you don't want to leave," receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said. "I feel like he's going to be a head coach somewhere and I promise you."
"I hope he's here next year. I feel like he needs to be here. That's my coach and I hope he be here next year."
Second-year safety Harrison Smith knows Frazier as his only NFL coach and he's aware their futures could be tied to Frazier's firing.
"I loved playing for coach Frazier, and I don't know what's going to happen with the rest of the coaches, but I loved playing for [defensive backs coach] Joe Woods, [defensive assistant] Jeff Imamura, [defensive coordinator] Alan Williams, all those guys, coach Priefer on special teams," Smith said. "So I definitely wouldn't say I've hardened myself, because I have great relationships with those people and I want to keep those."