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Leslie Frazier: Vikings drops “really unacceptable”

Vikings wide receiver Simpson makes a catch in front of Bears cornerback Tillman during the first half of their NFL football game at Soldier Field in Chicago Reuters

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder’s final line from Sunday’s 28-10 loss to the Bears doesn’t look particularly impressive.

It would look a good deal better if the Vikings’ receivers hadn’t dropped six of Ponder’s passes over the course of the afternoon. Jerome Simpson had three of the drops with Jarius Wright, John Carlson and Stephen Burton each adding one to the list. On Monday, coach Leslie Frazier made his displeasure at this turn of events clear.

“The number of dropped passes we had is really unacceptable in our league,” Fraizer said, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. “It’s hard to continue drives when you don’t catch the football. … I can’t recall us having that many drops in a ballgame at so many different positions. We’re going to go back and look at some things fundamentally we’ll work on this week. But it’s hard to put together some drives when you’re killing yourself with drops.”

Barring a serious turnaround over the next five weeks, Simpson’s signing is going to go down as a major disappointment for the Vikings. They knew they’d have to wait out a three-game suspension at the start of the season, but they’ve also had to deal with his complaints about being deactivated for a game because of a back injury while getting just 12 catches for their troubles.

Getting wide receiver Percy Harvin back from his ankle injury would be a boon for the Minnesota passing game, although it’s debatable how much he’ll help if the rest of the team can’t hold onto the ball.

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23 Responses to “Leslie Frazier: Vikings drops “really unacceptable””
  1. lmoneyfresh says: Nov 27, 2012 11:20 AM

    Makes it tough for a young QB to develop a rhythm and confidence when he can’t have any confidence in his receivers’ ability to catch the damn ball.

  2. hurrayforyogapants says: Nov 27, 2012 11:20 AM

    Yes, the drops are a problem, but every team has WRs who drop passes. Good teams overcome that. This is not a good team. Frazier needs to go. The Wilfs need to find a new GM and coaching staff and consider trading AD if they can get the right number of draft picks/young players. This team has little chance of making a run while AD is in his prime, so we might as start re-building from now rather than wait until AD’s value has dropped.

  3. tecmobowl34 says: Nov 27, 2012 11:32 AM

    They signed Simpson off of one highlight reel catch where he flipped into the end zone – not off a body of work. Classic Vikes free agent signing.

  4. suns11111 says: Nov 27, 2012 11:46 AM

    AD is my hero, but hes a running back and the time is ticking how long he can play at this level. Everyteam deals with drops. The QB needs to get the ball out with more MPH, if a loopy pop throw was to me…..I would hear the CB’s foot steps waiting to light me up. Step up and throw the ball! Stop pondering…..

  5. conormacleod says: Nov 27, 2012 12:04 PM

    You forgot about Kyle Rudolph dropping the TD pass. Yes, he was double covered, but the pass hit him square in both hands. He catches that ball most of the time. The Vikings then had a FG blocked after that. Instead of being 10-10, it remained 10-3, and got ugly from there.

  6. canadianvikingfaniii says: Nov 27, 2012 12:05 PM

    I’m not a Ponder fan anymore, he makes too many boneheaded mistakes that are just so stupid they blow my mind. But it also doesn’t help that the Oline can’t keep him standing. Fusco and Loadholt are terrible. John Sullivan is too small, and Charlie Johnson has not been starter worthy since his days with the Colts.

  7. vikefan284296 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:18 PM

    Ponder played really well considering who and where he was playing. Simpson’s first drop killed our second drive which started deep in Chicago territory after Forte fumbled. A touchdown there would’ve completely changed the game. Thanks for production Simpson.

  8. ezwriter69 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:33 PM

    Memo to Jerome Simpson: You can’t catch a football with your tits, next time try your hands.

  9. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Nov 27, 2012 12:39 PM

    Drops. Terrible QB play, terrible OL play, terrible DL play, terrible secondary play. It’s almost like your team is terrible. It’s gotten so bad that AD won’t even ride the team bus to the stadium.

  10. fwippel says: Nov 27, 2012 12:44 PM

    Nice to see Frazier at least address this publicly. Jerome Simpson was signed to give the Vikings a deep threat, and John Carlson was signed to a $25 million, 5 year contract with $11 million guaranteed, to give the Vikings a double TE threat ala the Patriots.

    While the Simpson move was a gamble that is going to end up not paying off, the Carlson signing may end up costing Speilman his job.

    As for Ponder, while I didn’t like the INT (horrible throw), the drops and the OL aren’t exactly helping him out. The center the Viking OL needs to be upgraded this offseason. Neither Charlie Johnson nor Brandon Fusco are starting caliber. I know the Vikings have Sullivan under a long term contract, but this team misses Matt Birk, who is a bigger, smarter and better center.

    Upgrading the OL and the receivers in the offseason need to be top priority for this offense. Hopefully, the free agent money will be spent on proven players who will produce instead of sleeper players who the team anticipates will overcome past injuries or off-the-field troubles.

    One final thought: Frazier and Speilman need to have Norv Turner’s number on speed dial; if Turner is fired as HC of the Chargers, he should be hired to replace Musgrave. Turner has had his ups and downs as a head coach, but has always been a top-notch Offenseive coordinator, something Bill Musgrave is not.

  11. funshipm174 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:58 PM

    Did you happen to watch Eli Manning his first three years?
    I’m not saying Ponder is going to be another Eli, but don’t hold him THAT accountable for some growing pain mistakes. The mistakes might not be that glaring if he had some WRs that could catch a ball.
    __________________________________

    canadianvikingfaniii says:

    Nov 27, 2012 12:05 PM

    I’m not a Ponder fan anymore, he makes too many boneheaded mistakes that are just so stupid they blow my mind.

  12. sterling7 says: Nov 27, 2012 1:26 PM

    Interesting that when the Vikings signed Jerome Simpson a Cincinnati Bengal fan blogged wishing the Vikings good luck and good riddance to Jerome Simpson stating that the only thing Jerome Simpson ever did in Cincinnati was the “end zone flip”-my God has that man ever dropped a lot of passes. Another thing is that I wonder just how good Christian Ponder really is-I’ve noticed during this entire season that an awful lot of his passes were on target and dropped by virtually everyone. It’s as if the Viking receivers get paid for dropping passes and not catching them. You would think that having a running game would open up passing lanes and the Vikings would be having a field day-but oh no not the Minnesota Vikings. And one last thing, being a Viking 4Life since 1968 is it me or do all of us Viking die hards wonder what exactly the Vikings do during Organized Team Activities, Training Camp and during the week to prepare for games-they always look so bad as if they haven’t played together for a couple of years…………and we’re sick and tired of it!

  13. wludford says: Nov 27, 2012 1:32 PM

    Vikings lost that game to the Bears almost entirely because of drops- by receivers and by AP- two fumbles.

    I’d like to see the Vikings line-up with Jarius Wright and Percy Harvin at WR, Kyle Rudolph at TE, AP in the backfield, and Rhett Ellison at either FB or TE. That’s a tough line-up with a lot of potential at all the key skill positions.

    Replacing Fusco with Schwartz at G also would be an improvement. The interior line has trouble maintaining a pocket for Ponder, and I think Schwartz will help in that regard.

    At this point Jerome Simpson looks like another Bernard Berrian. It’s not just the drops, it’s also that he struggles against bump coverage. He can compete for a back-up WR role or be let go at the end of the season.

    I think John Carlson is a bit spendy for what he brings to the table, especially as Ellison is looking good at TE, and should be traded after the season is over.

    I think Ponder did fine (not great). He still struggles with accuracy on longer throws- primarily because he doesn’t throw many. Throwing to Wright (with 4.3 speed) on deep post routes should happen a lot more often.

  14. grantgoodman93 says: Nov 27, 2012 1:49 PM

    Vikes fans,

    Just out of curiosity, do you guys like Frazier? He seems great and holds people accountable. I noticed one fan ripping on him above. Is that consensus? I would kill for him to be the Cowboys HC. Just wondering

  15. whatjusthapped says: Nov 27, 2012 2:00 PM

    Jerome Simpson is now the whipping boy for all that has gone wrong in MN this year.

    Granted, he wasn’t a good FA signing but how many of them really are? How about some accountability for drafting Ponder at #12 overall? Was that a good drafting decision?

    The Vikings have too many holes to be a contender so the early wins have clouded the judgement of the Viking fans who thought they might be arriving ahead of schedule. Hopefully the Vikes can edge out the Lions and not finish in last place, that is a step up from last year.

  16. wludford says: Nov 27, 2012 3:20 PM

    @grantgoodman93

    A couple weeks ago, Frazier was up for coach of the year. There’s still some ‘wait and see’ on Frazier, but I think his stock has been rising over the course of the year.

    Most people who don’t like Frazier want a Sean Peyton/Mike McCarthy style coach calling plays and getting animated on the sideline. That’s not Frazier’s style, who’s more like Tony Dungy or Bud Grant. But that’s a minority.

    Most fans and certainly the players have a lot of respect for Frazier- who will be around a while as head coach of the Vikings.

  17. khmer379 says: Nov 27, 2012 7:14 PM

    All will be well once we beat GB this sunday yeap you herd it i said we will beat the packers!

  18. Frazier28/7 says: Nov 27, 2012 8:19 PM

    Everyone has known since we drafted Kalil that we were going to take the best receiver available in next years draft. Looks like we’ll have a top 15 pick to do that with.

    Our receiving corp is so bad fans are clamoring for Jarius Wright to be on the field more. Who would be lucky to be on an NFL practice squad if not for the Vikings keeping him after the final cuts.

  19. vikingsgohard says: Nov 27, 2012 8:42 PM

    Lets be honest !!… Who’s job is it to get our young QB talent at WRs ?…oh yea GM,Coach etc !… It’s there fault he only has(and trust) P.Havin … Secondly I blame the OC/play caller since they tend to put CP7 in bad positions … They could actually take some cues from the bears on how to keep CP7 clean with poor line play cause we wasn’t even close to getting to Cutler!

  20. brotzelj says: Nov 27, 2012 9:26 PM

    I wish I got paid millions to fail at my job while everyone made excuses for me. It’s always some reason other than Ponder. Week in week out. Next week it will be the O line taking the blame. Ponder is probably a good person, but doesn’t have what it takes.

  21. mattyjimmy says: Nov 28, 2012 7:17 AM

    Ponder made fantastic decisions most of the game. The receivers cant beat the coverage. He doesn’t often have anywhere to throw. He does make mistakes but in this game he was pretty good. The receivers need to catch the football, and Peterson needs to hold on. This is a different game if those two things happen. I’m looking forward to the game against the bears in Minnesota. Should be much closer. Also, the FA signing of Simpson was not just a good GM move is was a fantastic GM move. He drafted a value pick in the 4th round in Greg Childs who has the same skill set. Then he went out and got a veteran with a low risk one year contract to fill the spot while the rookie developed. Both were high upside value moves. Unfortunately, both were injured and Simpson seems to be either still injured or ineffective. The point is that the GM for the Vikings is finally making consistently decent decisions even if they don’t all work out.

  22. spoonman110 says: Nov 28, 2012 11:31 AM

    I agree with mattyjimmy. I like the FA signing of Simpson. He is the definition of a boom or bust player, but i think it was smart to pick him up and start him while a player like Childs sits on the bench and learns the game for a year (yes, I realize he is hurt).

    If I was in Spielman’s seat, i’d offer a 4th or 5th round pick to KC for Bowe. Even better, a 5th or 6th rounder packaged with Carlson. The Vikes would have two dependable receivers in Harvin and Bowe, and have room to develop a 1st or 2nd rounder in 2013. Wright, Childs, Simpson and Jenkins are all good candiates to compete for a fourth or fifth string WR.

  23. larryboodry says: Nov 28, 2012 8:24 PM

    Leslie Frazier says:

    “The number of dropped passes we had is really unacceptable in our league.”

    So was what Jared Allen did to Lance Louis, but I don’t hear him addressing that.

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