Jared Allen described Monday as a day of "mixed emotions." Brian Robison called it "very interesting."
"I've played a lot of years of football and never had a coach fired," Robison said. "It's been an interesting day for me and I'm sure for a lot of guys. But we have to keep playing and move on."
That was the message Frazier delivered in his first speech to Vikings players after he replaced the fired Brad Childress as interim coach. Players said Frazier stressed the need to be professional and not dwell on the past as they begin a new chapter in a season that has fallen well short of Super Bowl expectations.
"I think guys were surprised when it all started to come out, but after the team meeting and [Frazier's] message, I think guys were excited to come in Wednesday ready to work," veteran kicker Ryan Longwell said.
Said linebacker Heath Farwell: "I feel bad Childress had to take the fall for the losses. But moving forward, Coach Frazier will do a great job and get to show what he can do."
Frazier was highly respected in the locker room as defensive coordinator, and Longwell said he struck the right tone when addressing players as their head coach on Monday.
"I think he was very impressive," Longwell said. "I think he's a first-class man, just as an individual, before you even start talking about his football résumé. I think you can tell when someone stands up and believes in who they are before they talk. So I think there's an instant credibility there just as a man when he's talking to you.
"I think his message resonated really well with the guys in the locker room that there's really no reason to look backwards, because we're all kind of at a new stage here for this week against the Redskins."
Childress' relationship with his players received intense scrutiny this season, both locally and nationally. He upset many players when he publicly criticized Brett Favre after the first Green Bay game and then released Randy Moss after a four-game stint. He also had a heated argument with Percy Harvin in practice a few weeks ago.
Players had already departed Winter Park after Frazier completed his news conference Monday and were not made available to media members. The team distributed quotes from several key veterans that were roundly complimentary of Childress while also recognizing their role in the events that unfolded Monday.
"I'm saddened and humbled by the firing of Coach Childress," linebacker Chad Greenway said, according to the Vikings. "He shouldn't have to take the fall for our performance on the field, but now we have to move on.
"I have a lot respect for Coach Frazier. Leslie is a guy we're very comfortable with. He's never too up and down, and he does a good job with game-planning and preparing for opponents. He deserves the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL."