Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Frazier: No QB announcement until Friday
By Ben Goessling
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier announced five days before last week's game against the Green Bay Packers that Christian Ponder would start at quarterback. That didn't lead to a Vikings victory, so this week, Frazier is back to playing coy.
He said on Wednesday he has an idea about who will start between Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman on Sunday in Dallas, but wasn't going to announce anything until Friday.
"I have an idea of what direction we're going to go and how we're going to practice but I'm not in the frame of mind where I want to divulge that at this point," Frazier said. "Our team knows and I'm sure it will get out there at some point. I don't want to publicly talk about who's our starting quarterback."
Ponder went 14-for-21 in a loss to Green Bay on Sunday, throwing for 145 yards without a touchdown or an interception. During individual drills on Wednesday, Ponder was the first quarterback taking snaps, followed by Matt Cassel -- whom Frazier has already said will not start on Sunday -- and Freeman.
It's difficult to read much into that, and it's possible the Vikings will mix up the order throughout the week to throw the media off the trail during the portion of practice that is open to reporters. Whatever the Vikings can gain from another week of subterfuge at quarterback, Frazier said it doesn't hurt to try it.
"I hope it makes a difference. I don't know if it will," Frazier said. "Everybody comes in saying, 'We've got to stop N0. 28 (Adrian Peterson), so it doesn't always make a difference, but it's not necessary to have to divulge anything on Wednesday."
Freeman has been cleared to return from a concussion, but his first start -- on Oct. 21 against the New York Giants -- came just two weeks after he had signed with the team, and Frazier said the Vikings had to take him out of their meeting room last week while he was returning from his concussion.
"It definitely makes a difference when you come in as late as he did. And then to have to miss the amount of time he missed last week as you’re trying to develop him and help him learn the offense, it definitely sets him back a little bit," Frazier said. "But you really cant do anything about that. We’re working as hard as we can this week to get him back up to speed and see where he is from a physical and mental standpoint."
If Freeman is up to speed, the smart money might still be on him starting, so the Vikings can continue their evaluation of him. It's worth noting, though, that Frazier said he's not necessarily making a decision this week with the mindset that whoever starts against the Cowboys will be the quarterback for the rest of the year.
"We need to have success in the worst way and we need our quarterback to play well for us," Frazier said. "So the concentration is more about this Dallas Cowboys game.’’