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Shanahan, Redskins Prepare For Vikings' New Leadership


The Minnesota Vikings may have a new leader when they come to FedExField on Sunday, but Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan does not expect them to overhaul their offense or defense.

Instead, the Redskins must be prepared for a "new mindset" from the Vikings this week," Shanahan suggested.

On Monday, the Vikings fired head coach Brad Childress and replaced him with Leslie Frazier, who was serving as the club's defensive coordinator.

Frazier, a 12-year NFL coaching veteran, takes over a talented Vikings club that has posted a 3-7 record after making it to the NFC Championship game a year ago. This is a club that had 10 Pro Bowl players last year -- and all 10 are still on the roster.

Minnesota's offense and defense has had proven success, so don't expect Frazier to make drastic changes for Sunday's game against the Redskins.

"Usually that does not happen," Shanahan said. "Whoever the head coach is, whether it's an offensive or defensive guy, he has run the system and he believes in that system.

"Sometimes they may tweak the other side of the ball a little bit or tell the offensive coordinator or defensive coordinator to get a free hand. He might tell them to run the ball a little bit more or throw a little bit more.

"Normally, since you have the same staff, usually it doesn't go too far outside the box."

A midseason coaching change could inspire players more than anything else.

Look at what happened in Week 10 when Jason Garrett replaced Wade Phillips at the helm of the talented but struggling Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 33-20 at New Meadowlands Stadium.

"I'm sure [the Vikings] will be ready to go," Shanahan said. "Most teams are. It's preparation. It's us preparing for a game Minnesota preparing for a game. There are a lot of different sidebars that go into the preparation and different mindsets.

"We've got to let them do what they do and we've got to be ready for a football team that could break out."

Frazier has long been regarded as a head coaching candidate, but he has not received an opportunity until now.

In Minnesota, Frazier's defenses have consistently been among the best in the NFL. In 2008 and 2009, the unit finished sixth in the league both years. Last year the Vikings led the NFL with 48 sacks.

As a player, Frazier was a defensive back with the Chicago Bears from 1981-86 and was part of the famed '46' defense that helped lead the Bears to a Super Bowl XX win over the New England Patriots following the 1985 season.

His career was cut short by a severe knee injury suffered in the Super Bowl.

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