“My personality is what it is,” he said. “I hope that I don’t become one of those guys that sometimes gets a little bit out of body because they get a title. I hope that I remain who I am and still get the most out of our players every single practice, every single meeting, every single game.”
Players were unavailable Monday to discuss the move in detail, but the team provided statements from several veterans expressing support for their new leader.
“He’s got great football smarts and players can relate to him and vice versa,” running back Adrian Peterson said. “He has a certain vibe and energy that everyone can feel when they’re around him. When he speaks, guys perk up and tune in.”
Over the last two years, Frazier has formed a trust with Favre, who often butted heads with Childress over the offensive philosophy and play-calling. Frazier quickly threw his support behind Favre at his news conference on Monday, saying the 41-year-old was the man to lead them out of the abyss.
“What you see is what you get with Leslie,” Favre said in his statement. “He has a background of winning Super Bowls as a player and coach and he knows what it takes to win in the NFL. He can relate to players having been in their shoes himself and will prepare the team well.”
He played defensive back on the 1985 Chicago Bears team that won the Super Bowl and is considered one of the greatest defenses in league history. His coaching career started at Trinity International University in 1988 and he has also been an assistant at the University of Illinois and in the pros with the Eagles, Bengals and Colts.
“He’s very smart. The players loved him. He’s an ex-player so he understands what your body is going through and he was in the BearsSuper Bowl video, so you always have to tease him about that,” Colts linebacker Gary Brackett said. “But he’s a great coach, very fundamental, so I’m excited for him.”
Dungy was delighted to see his close friend and protege finally get a chance at the job he’s been touting Frazier for for several years, but was also apprehensive about the situation that surrounds him.
“Very, very rarely do (interim jobs) work out,” Dungy said. “But I’m hoping this one does, absolutely.”
Speaking with more authority and bravado than ever, Frazier is not shying away from what he knows will be a daunting task.
“We have great fans in Minnesota. They deserve the best from our football team and we’re going to do all we can to make sure that they’re going to be proud of us when we line up and play the Washington Redskins on Sunday,” he said. “That’s what the Wilf family wants from me, that’s what they want from our football team. We’re going to make Minnesota proud of this football team. That’s the goal.”
AP Sports Writer Michael Marot in Indianapolis contributed to this report.
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