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Wilfs see no reason Leslie Frazier wouldn’t return

Leslie Frazier AP

The Vikings rode running back Adrian Peterson and an opportunistic defense to a 21-14 win over the Bears on Sunday, improving their record to 7-6 and strengthening their shot at a playoff berth in the process.

It also seems to have played a role in convincing the team’s ownership to bring coach Leslie Frazier back as the team’s head coach in 2013. Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune spoke to owner Zygi Wilf and team president Mark Wilf after Sunday’s win and they both commended the job done by the coaching staff with a young team. Mark Wilf said he saw no reason Frazier wouldn’t return and Zygi Wilf made things even clearer when asked about who would be the coach next season.

“He is our coach,” the owner said.

Many of the young players came up with strong performances in Sunday’s win, including key interceptions by rookie defensive backs Josh Robinson and Harrison Smith that led to 14 points. One young player who didn’t was quarterback Christian Ponder, who was 11-of-17 for 91 yards and an interception. That makes three poor performances in a row for the quarterback and it makes the biggest question mark about the Vikings pretty obvious.

Frazier would be coaching in the final year of his contract if he doesn’t get an extension before next season, a topic the Wilfs weren’t as ready to discuss as Frazier’s implied return for another year as coach. His chances of getting one would improve quite a bit if he can figure out a way to get Ponder pointed in the right direction before ownership makes a decision on that front.

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39 Responses to “Wilfs see no reason Leslie Frazier wouldn’t return”
  1. tjacks7 says: Dec 10, 2012 10:18 AM

    Well if we’re stuck with him, please tell me you’ll dump Musgrave as soon as possible?

  2. burnz1379 says: Dec 10, 2012 10:18 AM

    as long as he kicks ponder and musgrave to the curb at the end of the season, I guess I’m fine with that…

  3. fwippel says: Dec 10, 2012 10:25 AM

    On the bright side, this team has more than doubled its win total from last year, and unlike last year, is actually in contention for a playoff spot. For that reason, bringing back Frazier makes sense.

    That said, the offense outside of AP is just plain awful. While Ponder didn’t play well yesterday, he also didn’t make the mistakes that Cutler made which cost the Bears the game. The Viking have no legitimate starting WRs outside of Percy Harvin, and that showed yesterday. The play-calling by Musgrave seems designed to protect a QB that the OC has little to no confidence in.

    If changes are to be made, I’d start with hiring Norv Turner as OC; in fact, I’d have his number on speed dial so that within five minutes after his firing, Frazier offers him the job.

    Second, whomever is responsible for the ridiculous decision to sign John Carlson and give him $11 million guaranteed instead of using that money to pursue a legitimate starting WR should be fired. John Carlson has invisible this year.

    This team needs a new offensive philosophy, new WRs and some guards who can pass-block. And yes, they may need a new QB as well. Why they haven’t put Joe Webb in during the last two games is beyond explanation.

  4. whatjusthapped says: Dec 10, 2012 10:26 AM

    The coach is the least of their problems, no QB, no real depth anywhere on the squad, and no WR’s outside of Harvin who is leaving.

    Other than that, they should compete for a Superbowl next year.

  5. spartan822 says: Dec 10, 2012 10:28 AM

    Good. Musgrave is way more to blame for the Vikings’ offensive problems than Frazier.

  6. rajbais says: Dec 10, 2012 10:28 AM

    Let him come back!! They’re WAY better than 2011.

  7. lunds007 says: Dec 10, 2012 10:41 AM

    It amazes me how narrow minded you Vikings fans can be… is it not Musgraves offense that runs all over ever team? You can’t ignore the positives and just focus on the negatives…it doesn’t work that way. The passing attack woes can’t be merely placed on Musgraves shoulders, Ponder is a QB that is way over his head, and his floater ball isn’t going to work at the NFL level no matter who is OC. Also the WRs are pathetic and create no seperation. The offense has never had this good of a running attack and he deserves some praise. SKOL!

  8. faultylogic29 says: Dec 10, 2012 10:53 AM

    It’s not Frazier’s fault that Ponder is terrible. Hell, it’s not even Musgrave’s fault that Ponder is terrible. That’s what you get for drafting a mediocre QB in the 1st round.

  9. joeyashwi says: Dec 10, 2012 10:55 AM

    Ponder may quite possibly be the worst QB to ever suit up in a Vikings uniform, and they once had Spurgeon Wynn. There isn’t an OC out there that can help this team until they put somebody different under center. Ponder is regressing week by week. The fact that Peterson has 1600 yards rushing against teams putting eight and nine men in the box is just incredible. What’s even worse is that Ponder can’t complete a pass against defenses not even trying to defend against it.
    Either put Webb in, develop Bethel-Thompson, or trade for Matt Flynn. Ponder is not the answer and Peterson’s career isn’t worth wasting with this guy attempting to run an offense.

  10. tundratommy says: Dec 10, 2012 11:08 AM

    I hope they sign him to an extension before their three game losing streak that begins next week.

  11. 7ransponder says: Dec 10, 2012 11:10 AM

    If Frazier pulls a Gardenhire and keeps Musgrave around just because he’s “one of his guys”, I’ll be at the front lines at training camp this coming summer with the “Fire Frazier” chants.

    Musgrave is Childress 2.0 when it comes to offensive play calling, and I’m sick of the lack of creativity.

  12. hurrayforyogapants says: Dec 10, 2012 11:11 AM

    He’s having just enough success to ensure Zygi will keep him around for a while. This is not good for the long term success of my squad.

  13. onlineinsite says: Dec 10, 2012 11:26 AM

    I think Frazier’s somewhat boring personality overshadows the fact that the team has had almost no drama, on or off the field, and the players seem to genuinely work hard together and like playing for Frazier. It’s easy to forget that this team has actually overachieved – a sweep of the Lions, a split with the Bears, a win over SF. If you want an old-school defensive-minded coach then Frazier’s a good choice.

  14. jimmygrahamchrisivory says: Dec 10, 2012 11:28 AM

    Sign Vick in the offseason or draft Geno/Barkley, fire Musgrave and Frazier will look like the best coach in the league and have immense job security. It’s a shame AP can possibly break the all-time season rushing record and the Vikings will still be watching the playoffs from home due to Ponder holding them back.

  15. purpleguy says: Dec 10, 2012 11:37 AM

    Frazier is just fine. He’s more than doubled the win total with 6 rookies playing starting or major roles, all with a QB that just doesn’t seem to be capable of managing an NFL game. I’m not even sure Musgrave is all that bad with the lack of WRs and decent QB play. If this team had a QB the future would look pretty solid.

  16. seals1 says: Dec 10, 2012 11:41 AM

    Leslie must do all his coaching during the week because we don’t see him do much during a game.

    With no QB how much can you really expect from a coach. You can’t fire the guy who is getting 90 yards a game from his QB.

    When will the Purple ever have the QB of the futures???

  17. technovike says: Dec 10, 2012 11:45 AM

    Fraziers confidence in Ponder being the franchise QB should be enough to fire him.

    How can he tell any other player whos playing terrible he needs to sit him when he continues to give Ponder the same chances over and over.

    Musgrave seems to finally have learned not to let Ponder throw the football in the redzone.

  18. wludford says: Dec 10, 2012 11:54 AM

    Frazier is doing an good job as head coach, and deserves a contract extension. I don’t fault Musgrave either. How good can you look as a OC when you have one of the worst QBs in the league, you’re best WR is out and the rest are mediocre? I don’t think Musgrave has done a poor job with play calling. Execution has been the issue with Ponder and the WRs primarily.

    I’m starting to feel like they ought to give more reps to Webb in practice this week, and consider starting him the rest of the games this year. Ponder just doesn’t have the arm. Webb can hand-off to AP just as well as Ponder can, but perhaps has a better chance of hitting some receivers down field. It’s a tough call, because Webb could sputter out of the block, but I don’t see Ponder mounting any kind of passing game for the Vikings.

  19. vikesfansteve says: Dec 10, 2012 12:02 PM

    8 or 9 men in the box is also a reason why AP has 1600 yards because if he makes it thru the line there is a huge gap that piles up major yards and if he makes the remaining 2 guys miss it is TD time. Ponder is atrocious. I read an article about how Russell Wilson spends hours in the tape room and on the practice field perfecting his chemistry with his receivers. I also read one about how Ponder is late to practice occasionally, isn’t in the tape room that much and doesn’t always give a strong effort and is often off target. Ponder spent the entire bye week with Samantha Steele and the Vikings got pounded by the Bears. Then how did Ponder spend the week before the Green Bay game? Setting up an elaborate proposal for his fiancĂ© and getting engaged of course. Both games Ponder stunk, same thing as yesterday. He is too busy thinking about his soon to be wife. Russell Wilson spending every waking moment thinking football and Ponder choosing to spend time finding the perfect ring and china pattern and the best place to register. Priorities. For all his good picks like Smith and Josh Robinson and Wright, Spielman also has to account for Simpson, John Carlson, and Ponder, no WR’s and not upgrading at LB and DB and nose tackle. They are not going to fire him after 1 year but another Carlson/Simpson/Ponder trifecta and he will be gone. Frazier is just doing the best with the QB he was forced to go with after playing all his cards for McNabb last year. If Donnie Fatso had decided to show up in shape and ready to play instead of 30 lbs overweight then Frazier wouldn’t have lost his credibility and right to choose the player he wants. McNabb stripped him of that opportunity. Musgrave is the weak link. Sure AP has been terrific but only to a certain point. At the end of the game the Bears were not even looking to defend the pass. Just stop the run. Even with Ponder there has got to be a way to create plays that get receivers open. Aramashodu did let a certain TD bounce off his shoulder and Wright dropped what would have been a big gain. However he has two huge TE’s in Rudolph & Carlson.Use them like the PATS do. This vanilla offense is so predictable like a TJAC roll out right jump pass. Ponder obviously has a lot to do with that aspect but still, another OC who is up in the booth seeing what opens up and what will work later in the game and the Vikings would be much better. 2 weak links, Ponder and Musgrave and a rusty lock in Spielman which lets hope some WD40 fixes and poor Frazier trying to use that while the Packers, Bears and Lions have no problem get brand new toys each year for their coach.

  20. albertmn says: Dec 10, 2012 12:02 PM

    Frazier isn’t horrible, but he seems disinterested on game days. While it is nice that he has confidence in his QB, that QB has shown no reason to be confident. Vikes are 2-1 when Ponder throws for fewer than 100 yards this season, and 0-2 in his career when throwing for over 300. When the Vikings win, they are winning in spite of Ponder, not because of him.

  21. taintedsaints2009 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:05 PM

    I don’t think Frazier is the problem. I think the receivers coach and qb coach need to be fired.

    Their defense is greatly improved and they have drafted very well. Except ponder. This years draft has been remarkable. Possibly the best draft in Vikings history.

  22. onlineinsite says: Dec 10, 2012 12:17 PM

    Part of what makes a good leader, be it in business or in coaching, is patience and a cool head. It’s also about sticking to your model/vision through thick and thin. As fans, sure, we can change our minds every week about the team because we have no accountability. But, if Frazier were to run around pulling Ponder, inserting Webb, then trying BT, then going back to Ponder, the players on the team would have no respect for him and the results would be god-awful. I think Frazier is a good leader, and is not afraid to make prudent changes in coaches or players.

  23. tjacks7 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:27 PM

    I see a lot of commenters here are looking at the stat sheet and saying that Ponder is terrible and Musgrave isn’t bad. While in fact, Ponder is terrible, Musgrave is just as terrible, or worse. Most of the play calling is predictable and horrific. Peterson ran for over 100 yards in the first quarter, then about 45 through the final 3. Chicago adjusted and put literally every defender in the box and Musgrave had nothing in his bag of tricks to take advantage of 1 on 0 coverage outside. Plus Peterson will be dead if he continues to get 30 carries every week. Whet are the Vikings going to do when they no longer have the best back in the league going off every week and no passing offense? Joe Webb in, Musgrave and Ponder out.

  24. ruvelligwebuike says: Dec 10, 2012 12:50 PM

    Musgrave needs to go? Be careful what you wish for. Any offensive coordinator would look good if he had a quarterback who didn’t underthrow a deep ball by 10 yards when the wideout beats the safety by 5 yards.

    Plus they don’t have one WR on that team that would play a snap in Green Bay. Not even sure if I’d take Harvin over Cobb.

  25. dcviking says: Dec 10, 2012 12:58 PM

    I like the thought of Norval as an OC ( but I guess I should wait until he is fire).

    I’m not sure where the blame lies — WRs don’t get open and don’t do a good jobs of catching the ball (except harvin), O-line is not very good at pass blocking, and Ponder makes bad decisions and throws more “floaters” than anyone I’ve ever seen.

  26. samanthasteeleruinedmyqb says: Dec 10, 2012 1:29 PM

    Ponder has been horrible, but the wide receivers are also terrible. I wonder if Ponder would have more confidence in himself if he had more confidence in his receivers. It seems like he’s afraid to just let the ball fly. A halfway decent wide receiver would have gone up to get the ball that Aromashadu allowed to bounce off his shoulder pad as he was falling down for no reason.

    Anyway, Frazier is a good coach and being 7-6 with no quarterback or wide receivers is evidence of that.

  27. foofeiter says: Dec 10, 2012 1:46 PM

    Isn’t that usually the last thing the owner says before firing the coach?

  28. purpwalk says: Dec 10, 2012 2:06 PM

    wilfs are playing it right, close to the vest

    ponder? smh

  29. vavikingfan says: Dec 10, 2012 2:13 PM

    I agree with all the posts that Musgrave should go as well as Ponder. But Leslie should still have to answer for refusing to switch QB’s. It’s not a question if Webb could do any better, it’s a question of could he do any worse?
    Yes, the Vikings lack receivers; Simpson and Carlson are a waste of money, but I agree with the other post about Ponder not having the work ethic to succeed and work with the receivers.
    So when does Leslie answer for this?

  30. mrstpaul says: Dec 10, 2012 2:26 PM

    28 responses to this point and nobody has mentioned Rick Spielman. He was the one who overreached and drafted Ponder far higher than he should have gone. He’s the one who urged Frazier to hand the keys to the offesnse to Ponder. The Wilfs know that, and are taking into consideration. There is no justification for firing Frazier.

  31. joeyashwi says: Dec 10, 2012 2:51 PM

    Aside from Ponder, a guy who shouldn’t have been picked in the top four rounds, Spielman has drafted very well. He wasn’t in charge when they drafted Ponder. This year was his first draft and I think he knocked it out of the park.
    The Vikings have their QB of the future on the roster right now and it isn’t Ponder or Webb. MBT looks like a young Brett Favre. Amazing arm strength and be is fearless. I would rather see him in and getting some experience than waste another down with Ponder. Ponder has already reached his ceiling as far as arm strength and awareness. MBT is going to be special if given the chance. You heard it here first.
    I don’t even know what to think of Musgrave since he probably calls his game off an index card due to his QB’s ineptitude. Maybe just direct snap to Peterson for the rest of the season. Ponder is a bad play waiting to happen.

  32. onlineinsite says: Dec 10, 2012 2:52 PM

    >>samanthasteeleruinedmyqb>>First, love the name! I think you’re hitting on the million dollar questions surrounding Ponder. And it’s probably exactly what Frazier is trying to determine as well.

    Part of the blame for the poor passing attack falls on the receiver quality. I think a good parallel is Favre with Rice, and Favre without Rice. Favre suddenly was forcing horrible throws, getting sacked, and he was but a shadow of the player he was a year before.

    But first Ponder has to control his mechanics, step into ALL of his throws, and not throw off his back foot – that’s what leads to his “floaters.” Ponder is like a golfer struggling with his swing and he’s WAY over-thinking most of the time.

  33. onlineinsite says: Dec 10, 2012 3:28 PM

    >> mrstpaul >> Spielman, in his first full draft as GM, has pretty much nailed every pick. Sure, Ponder isn’t looking hot right now, and Carlson looks like a bust, but otherwise it seems like he’s assembling a pretty good young team. I’m fine with him provided he gets out and fills the gaps in FA/draft in the offseason.

  34. pappavike says: Dec 10, 2012 4:03 PM

    The Vikes need to find a better QB coach! But anybody who thinks Webb should start is silly!! he cant read defences he has a run first mentality. And for pete sake don’t bring in Vick!!! He’s done!! Look let’s give Ponder a number one WR who can catch the ball!! Does Ponder need to play better sure!! but to cast him to the curb after two years (one full year because of the lockout) Let’s give him some help first!!

  35. stellarperformance says: Dec 10, 2012 5:15 PM

    I think the Vikings have done a great job with the talent they have. Be thankful they are in the thick of the wildcard race instead of 2-14, as many “experts” predicted. No, they don’t have a QB like the Packers, Lions, or Bears, but they’re still tough to play and those teams don’t have Peterson. Take what you can and be glad you can take it.

  36. teal379 says: Dec 10, 2012 7:20 PM

    Watching Ponder play, I’m reminded of the P Manning story of what he said to Archie 1/2 thru his rookie season.

    “Dad, no one’s open”

    Ponder still expects WR’s to be wide open in the NFL like he was used to in college. Just does NOT happen like that. He’s not ready for the NFL, not even going to discuss where he was drafted, it’s basically that he was drafted at all.

    5 games with a PR under 60, 2 of those are under 40.

    Come on man, a ham sandwich can get 40….

  37. mataaaa says: Dec 11, 2012 8:58 AM

    Ponder should be cut.

    Musgrave I believe is actually making the most of his situation given he has the WORST qb in the league. however i’m not opposed to change

    Frazier is…. meh

    Spielman is actually decent he’s the one who drafted AP and Percy (both offensive rookies of the year in back to back years) and had a great draft this year.
    Taking Ponder was a brutal pick in hindsight however at the time we desperately needed a quarterback, there was no way Sage Rosenfels or Mcnabb were gonna be the long term answers in minnesota and everyone else that he “should’ve taken” at the time turned out to suck anyways a.k.a nick fairley. So I would keep rolling with spielman.

  38. vikefan says: Dec 11, 2012 12:44 PM

    AP & Percy were drafted by Chili when he had complete authority

    not sure where blame lies with Ponder as they were still under triangle of authority then with Frasier, Spielman, & Studwell.

    Ponder is not the answer even though the team has had a great turnaround from last season. He cant throw a fade or deep ball accurately to save his life, u either have it or u dont cant be taught.

    not a musgrave fan but for once was happy with the calls, yes they were boring & predictable but at least he took ball out of Ponders hands & did not let Ponder get a chance to lose it for the team with turnovers….just ran, ran, ran learned from the mistakes @ Lambeau. if playcalling was difft, im guessing outcome would have been also.

  39. urcrap says: Dec 11, 2012 9:40 PM

    Could some of you take a little more space to write your crap? Damn I wish I was a gazillionare! When you have lemons. Make lemonade! Ponder stays and Coach Fraizer makes it work!

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