Thursday, December 2, 2010
BBAO: The future of Leslie Frazier
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
As the Minnesota Vikings move into Week 2 of the Leslie Frazier era, some are already wondering what it will take for owner Zygi Wilf to give him the job for next year and beyond.
Frazier, who won Sunday in his debut as interim coach, now has three consecutive home games to pad his record, starting with this weekend's game against the Buffalo Bills. What would it take? A 3-3 record in his six-game stint? 4-2? 5-1? Has Wilf already decided to open the job to other candidates? Does he know he will hire Frazier regardless, considering the NFL's financial uncertainty in 2011?
Via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com, Frazier said he hasn't spoken to Wilf about those questions and "I don't intend to." He added: "I really want to concentrate on the Buffalo Bills and what we've got to get done to win this game, and those things will take care of themselves."
As Pelissero points out, Frazier has made a habit of speaking to a group of veteran players after practice. "Being able to manage people is paramount in the role that I'm in," Frazier said.
It's an especially important task on a veteran team like the Vikings.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Vikings quarterback Brett Favre reiterated that "I'm done" after this season. Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune has more.
- Vikings cornerback Lito Sheppard, who has struggled this season, told Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that it's tough when coaches bench him so quickly for mistakes. Sheppard: "Antoine [Winfield] knows his value to the team. I know for sure anybody else can't say that in the secondary. That allows him to go out there and play comfortably, play with confidence and do what he does. For everybody else, you can't make a mistake. Otherwise you might not see the field again."
- The Chicago Bears' offense hasn't been explosive through the passing game, notes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice, via Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune: "The thing we're doing better now than we were doing in the opener against Detroit is that our guys are earning their money now when they're called upon without any help. You can't have help every play.''
- Bears linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) sat out practice Wednesday, notes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
- The legend of Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams continues to grow, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
- Depth at linebacker has gotten scary for the Packers, who have lost four veterans to season-ending injuries, notes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the game-planning quandary for Packers coach Mike McCarthy: "On Sunday when the Packers face the San Francisco 49ers, a team that has been far better against the run than it has been the pass, McCarthy will have to decide whether it's worth trying to get his stuck-in-mud running game operational again."
- The Detroit Lions' Drew Stanton believes he is a "completely different" quarterback than he was in his first NFL start last year, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
- Current Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz tried to change Stanton's mechanics when both were with the Lions in 2007, notes John Niyo of the Detroit News. Stanton laughed and said "not a single one" of the changes stuck.
- Lions quarterback Shaun Hill (fractured finger) is holding out hope he can play again this season, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.