Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Good afternoon everybody, you guys probably noticed at practice that Donovan wasn’t out here. We released him today, we had a discussion with him and we both agreed, mutually, that this was the best decision for both parties. He was a great player, and has been a great player for our League for a long, long time. We have a lot of affection and love for Donovan, he was a tremendous person, a tremendous competitor and we really wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. He did a good job for us here; he really helped our young quarterbacks, and did a good job in a lot of ways. Today in practice Adrian wasn’t able to go, but we are hoping that tomorrow we will be able to take a look and give us a little bit and see where he is.
Q: Did Donovan approach you and ask for the release?
A: We sat down and talked and just as we communicated to one another about what we thought was best for our team and him going forward, just a mutual decision, we both agreed that this was probably going to be the best thing to do.
Q: How long has this been under discussion?
A: We discussed it yesterday. Not so much the release, but just what’s best for him and what’s best for us and we mutually agreed that this was best for both parties.
Q: Do you get the sense that he sensed there will be other opportunities out there for him?
A: I’m not certain about that, I know there are some teams that are out there looking for quarterbacks, but he didn’t mention that to me.
Q: If given a chance to go back, would you rethink this move or done anything differently?
A: Looking back, and just knowing Donovan and knowing his history, I don’t think I would have done anything different. Knowing the circumstance and the situation we were in coming into the season with the off-season being what it was, that familiarity went a long ways towards making that decision. So, I don’t think I would have done it any differently.
Q: How has he been in recent weeks in the locker room and out at practice?
A: He’s been awesome. He’s been great with our players. He’s been a true pro in every sense of the word. He’s a class guy, he always has been. He’s done a good job in spite of the fact that he wasn’t our starting quarterback.
Q: What is the benefit for you guys as a team, not having him anymore?
A: One thing that it does with the structure of the way we work with our quarterbacks, Bill Musgrave and Craig Johnson (QB coach) will devote more time to both Christian along with Joe (Webb) in their development. That’s purely what it does. We have two guys we’re working with now as opposed to three guys, and their attention will be occupied by those two.
Q: Do you just go with two quarterbacks the rest of the way?
A: I’m not sure about that. We’re going to talk some more the rest of the day and determine what we’ll do at that spot and even some other spots.
A: He had a personal family matter that he had to attend to and that’s why he wasn’t out here today.
Q: Does this move
A: We’ll still talk about and discuss the best way to use him. He has some talents we’d like to display. But the fact that he’s in the number two spot right now does alter your thinking a little bit.
Q: Given the decisions to waive Donovan and to release Bernard Berrian and some of the breakdowns that have led to where you guys are at, 2-9, does that indicate that you guys maybe overestimated the talent that this roster had?
A: When you’re 2-9, there are a lot of factors that go into it. I don’t think there are one or two things you could point to. I know we’ll have to address some things when the offseason comes, but in the meantime, the guys that are on our roster are fighting every week, they’re going to fight again this week against Denver and try to give us a chance to win the game. But you’re always assessing your roster, always assessing your team and trying to determine where you are and where you want to be. But I don’t know if there are one or two things that put us where we are now.
Q: Donovan didn’t give you any indication of signing with any other team, but did he mention retirement at all to you?
A: No, he did not mention retirement to me. I’m not certain. I’m sure when he talks to his family he’ll determine what direction he wants to go. He didn’t mention the word retirement.
Q: Based on what you saw from him on the field, do you think he has a future in the League?
A: I do. I think he could still play in the right situation. I think he could still play if he chooses, if he wants to play again. I’m not sure that that’s what he wants to do, but I think he could.
Q: As a starter?
A: I’m not certain about that. It depends. Every team is so different in what their needs are. A lot depends on the team he goes to, if he goes to another team.
Q: That being said, what didn’t work here?
A: Well for us, you guys watched the games when he started, there were a lot of factors that contributed to our not winning ballgames. And as I mentioned when we made the change, it wasn’t all about Donovan. And that’s been proven along the way. There are a lot of other areas on our team that need to be going in the right direction in order for us to have success; it’s not just the quarterback position. So, that’s it in a nutshell. There are a lot of other things we need to take care of.
Q: Why release him now versus six weeks ago?
A: Just sitting down and discussing things with him and coming to the conclusion that, for both parties, this was the time, if it was going to happen, for it to happen.
Q: Was yesterday the first time he approached you about this?
A: He didn’t approach me. That question was asked earlier. It was a discussion that he and I had yesterday, discussing his situation and our situation, and as I mentioned, we both mutually agreed that it was time to part ways. And that was our first conversation regarding that.
Q: What was his explanation for wanting to leave?
A: I think when you have a guy who has been as successful as he has been in this League; he has an idea of how he wants his career to continue or not to continue. And that played a role in making that decision.