While the first head coaches fired were Houston's Gary Kubiak on December 6th and Cleveland's Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night, the first firing on the day that has come to be known as "Black Monday" is Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings. ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news on Twitter at approximately 9:00 AM ET.
Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase and Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio are both considered to be "on the Vikings radar", according to Schefter and also ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
No surprise here. Frazier took over in 2010 after the team let Brad Childress go with six games remaining. They retained him and named him head coach heading into 2011. In 3 plus seasons, Frazier compiled an unimpressive 21-32-1 record. After sneaking into the playoffs last season, there was much optimism surrounding the Vikings coming into 2013. That all came crashing down quickly as the Vikings started the season 1-7, and finished with a record of 5-10-1.
The best fantasy spin that can be put on this is that, if the Vikings can get an offensive-minded coach to replace Frazier. it could mean good things for star RB Adrian Peterson and up-and-coming WR Cordarrelle Patterson . Ultimately, the success of the next Vikings coach will be tied directly to whomever the team has as it's opening day quarterback. If Christian Ponder , Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman comprise the team's QB competition in training camp, it could be a rough inaugural season for the next coach.
Del Rio has head coaching experience, having coached in Jacksonville from 2003 to 2011. He led the Jags to two playoff appearances and won a playoff game in 2007.
Gase has definitely had a remarkable season in his first year as Denver's OC, with the team setting league records for passing yards, passing touchdowns, and total points in a season. It should also be noted that RB Knowshon Moreno experienced a resurgence this season, rushing for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. One has to wonder what a RB like Peterson could do in the same system. Of course, a little of that credit has to go to the fact that he's had a QB whose last name was Manning... and whose first name wasn't Eli.