Tag:Leslie Frazier
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:23 pm

Frazier: AP will NOT start running this month

Turns out AP will not be starting a running program by the end of this month. (AP)
Eye on Football staff report

INDIANAPOLIS -- Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has talked lately about returning to a running schedule by Feb. 28 in his attempt to rehab his torn ACL/MCL from the end of last season. During his talk with reporters Friday, though, Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier threw cold water all over Peterson’s optimism.

“He’s very optimistic about where he is in his rehab and the progress he’s making,” Frazier said. “He’s come along. He’s right on schedule, and he feels he’s ahead of schedule. But we do have to temper his emotions at times.”

Frazier said he and Peterson talked about that point Thursday, and that probably stems from a radio interview Peterson conducted earlier this week when he said, “I’m definitely making improvement. I’m starting to get my muscle tone and strength back into the legs. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far. I’m extremely happy.”

Besides, Frazier knows what can happen when Peterson attempts to return to the field before he’s completely healthy. That is, after all, what happened in December when Peterson returned from a high ankle sprain so his fantasy owners wouldn’t be mad at him. Peterson ended up suffering that gruesome season-ending injury after taking a helmet to the knee (Peterson actually heard the knee go pop-pop-pop).

“He’s got to listen to what the doctors are telling him and the rehab specialists and go at their pace,” Frazier said. “There are steps to take before you actually start running. He has to go through those steps.”

First up for Peterson before he can run on land is to begin running in the pool. Considering Peterson wanted to start running four days from now without running in the pool first, that’s just not going to happen with Frazier looming over his shoulder.

So, will Peterson stop trying to get himself ahead of schedule and stay the course set by his doctors?

“He’s begun to understand that he’s got to listen to the doctors and go at the pace they expect him to and not try to force this,” Frazier said. “Because he can do more damage than he realizes.”

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:20 pm

Spielman takes over GM spot in Minnesota

Rick Spielman was named the Minnesota GM this week (AP).By Josh Katzowitz

New Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has been making the radio rounds today, and we already told you that he declared Christian Ponder to be the starting quarterback for next season (though Spielman didn’t say necessarily that Ponder was the quarterback of the future).

But you might be asking yourself this: Wait a tick, how did Spielman, the former vice president of player personnel, get promoted to the GM spot when the Vikings are coming off a 3-13 season? I commend you for thinking of that, because it’s a good question.

"I think what the ownership is doing is they see the body of work that's been done,” Spielman said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I think what they want to see is by putting this structure in place, is this going to help clarify things on how we're doing things moving forward? And I know in this role, you're going to have to prove yourself. You're going to have to make the right decisions. You're going to have to get this football team better. But that's part of making some changes and putting me in this role."

Before, the Vikings had shared authority with coach Leslie Frazier and other team executives. Now, it’ll be the traditional hierarchy of the GM controlling the personnel, the owners controlling the fate of Frazier, and Frazier controlling his coaching staff.

“With the general manager's title, you're going to be out in front more, dealing with issues that do arise,” Spielman said. “You're going to know from the standpoint of when we do make personnel moves and personnel decisions who's responsible for those decisions? It's not going to be, 'Did he do this?' Or 'Did he do that?' It's all my responsibility now. That's going to be the biggest change. Now when we start making roster moves and things like that, the coaches and everybody will be involved in that process. But I'll have the ability to make the final say on how we're going to move forward.”

Spielman was previously the GM in Miami, though his time with the Dolphins was short and unproductive. In Minnesota, he’s made some solid moves, including trading for Jared Allen and drafting Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin.

Basically, now, Spielman’s neck is on the line. If the team improves, that’s great and he'll get the credit. If not, now the fans can put a face on the organization’s failures, and it'll be the face of Spielman.

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 1:49 pm

Vikes GM: Christian Ponder is our starting QB

Ponder will start for the Vikings again in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Christian Ponder had a solid first year for the Vikings, but he wasn't necessarily guaranteed to remain the future for the Vikings, thanks to the success of Joe Webb late in the year, as well as the presence of talented quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft.

However, new Vikings general manager Rick Speilman said on Wednesday that Ponder is the guy going forward.

2012 NFL Draft

"He’s going to be our starting quarterback when everyone is back for OTAs," Spielman told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

That doesn't mean Ponder can't lose the starting job to Webb (or any other veteran the Vikings bring in). It simply means that Minnesota doesn't plan on drafting a quarterback (say, Robert Griffin III) in the upcoming draft.

Lest you say that's obvious, the Browns are already a current example of how a team can fail to commit to a high draft pick as soon as the season ends. On Tuesday, Browns coach Pat Shurmur wouldn't commit to having Colt McCoy as his starter going forward and/or the Browns not drafting a quarterback in April.

Obviously the two situations are different; Ponder was a much higher pick than McCoy and Minnesota's only seen one season of Ponder, whereas McCoy's played in two full seasons, albeit shortened ones because of Cleveland's depth chart and concussion injuries.

But the Vikings do have the third pick in the draft, and that means they're squarely in the wheelhouse for potentially landing RG3. (For what it's worth, Rob Rang and Dane Brugler have them taking Matt Kalil and Morris Claiborne, respectively, in our latest mock drafts.)

Now they're more likely to find themselves squarely in the wheelhouse of trading down with a team that wants the Baylor product, which, as long as Ponder pans out to their projections, is an enviable position indeed.

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Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:11 pm

Ponder out with injury; Joe Webb takes over


By Josh Katzowitz

Joe Webb has yet another chance to impress everybody in the Vikings organization. That’s because Christian Ponder is out of the game with an injury to what appears to be his right hip.

Webb has been like a quarterback savior this season, because every time he comes in to replace Ponder, the Vikings, for whatever reason, seem to catch a spark. He’s in the game now after Ponder took a bad hit from Chicago’s Israel Idonije. Ponder had to limp off the field, and trainers immediately began examining him.

You saw Webb’s impact last week when Ponder had to leave with a concussion and Webb came in to beat the Redskins. Earlier this month, Webb replaced Ponder and nearly erased a 17-point deficit and to almost beat the Lions.

Ultimately, Minnesota fell short, but Webb’s two-touchdown performance last week led coach Leslie Frazier to say, “Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it. It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team.”

Ponder, despite taking a 10-point lead vs. the Bears, threw a pick-6 to Charles Tillman to give the Bears a 14-10 advantage.

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Posted on: December 28, 2011 7:22 pm

Ponder back at practice, should start Sunday

C. Ponder plans not to miss any games after suffering a concussion (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Though Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has gone on record saying he was thinking about whether he should look at Joe Webb as the quarterback of the future, that future apparently won’t begin this week.

That’s because rookie Christian Ponder, the old quarterback of the future who suffered a concussion last Sunday, returned to Minnesota practice today and likely will make the team’s season-ending start.

"I feel good today," Ponder said Wednesday, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I had a slight headache Saturday night. But by Sunday and Monday I was feeling fine. I saw the neurologist yesterday and he cleared everything. And I passed all my baseline tests. I guess I actually scored higher on my baseline tests. So maybe I got some sense knocked into me."

Ponder probably is itching to return as soon as possible, because after he was knocked out of the game last Sunday, Webb threw two touchdown passes and gained 118 total yards while nearly coming back to beat the Lions after falling behind by 17 points. Webb also performed well earlier this season when he replaced an ineffective Ponder and breathed life into a bad Vikings squad.

Which led Vikings receiver Percy Harvin to say this: "Magic. He's gifted, man. He's one of the gifted players that you can't describe. You can't practice it. Not too many teams got quarterbacks that can do what he does."

And it led Frazier to say this: "Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it. It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team.”

Ponder, meanwhile, has completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 1,825 yards, 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and his 72.4 passer rating ranks 29th among starting quarterbacks. He’s no Blaine Gabbert, but he’s also no Cam Newton or Andy Dalton.

Ponder hopes to improve on those numbers this week and end the season on a positive season, especially if he has to battle with Webb next year for the right to be team’s starting quarterback for the year quarterback of the future.

“Especially for me personally, I want to finish strong and have some momentum going into the offseason," he said. "Obviously looking back on the games I've played in, we've got a lot of film to show me that I have a lot of things to work on and get better at. But it'd be great to finish on a positive note. And especially for this team, to finish with two wins going into the offseason, I don't think people realize how big of a springboard that is."

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Posted on: December 24, 2011 10:47 pm
Edited on: December 24, 2011 10:51 pm

MRI reveals Adrian Peterson tore his ACL


By Josh Katzowitz

Earlier Saturday evening, we told you about the report that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tore his ACL today. That breaking news, unfortunately for the Vikings, was accurate, and it, in fact, might be even worse.

The team announced Saturday night that an MRI confirmed that Peterson had torn his ACL and that coach Leslie Frazier would discuss the matter at his Monday afternoon news conference. ESPN 1500’s Tom Pelissero also reported that Peterson tore his MCL but did not tear his PCL.

This confirmation, of course, was what Peterson was afraid of after Redskins safety DeJon Gomes blasted him from the side and bent his knee in an unnatural direction.

"It was very severe, the pain was," Peterson said after the Minnesota win. "Once it kind of eased up, I was able to kind of roll around and kind of grasp what just took place."

More from Pelissero:
Surgery may not occur for several weeks, depending on the extent of additional ligament and/or cartilage damage.

An optimistic timetable would have Peterson returning to action no sooner than September. And recent research suggests even an athlete of Peterson's caliber may struggle to return to his previous performance level.

It is, to say the least, a terrible piece of news for Peterson and the organization.

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Posted on: December 1, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 8:28 am

McNabb clearing head and seeing what's next


Posted by Josh Katzowitz

While the Vikings decision to waive Donovan McNabb came as a bit of a surprise, it’s what Donovan McNabb wanted. And after talking it over with coach Leslie Frazier, both sides agreed it was best for both parties to move in different directions.

With Christian Ponder taking over the starting quarterback role last month, McNabb took a seat on the bench and thought about the next step in his career. And ultimately he asked for his release so he could move onto the next phase of it.

“I felt the direction in the way that things were going, it was best for Christian and Joe (Webb) to continue developing to run the offense,” McNabb said on ESPN Thursday evening. “I just wanted to be the guy who tried to add that confidence or that spiritual advice. But I thought the best move for me at this particular point was to move on, clear my head and see what’s next.”

So, he’s not going to retire voluntarily, though it seems there’s a good chance nobody will claim him off the waiver wire. And if nobody wants to sign him, he’ll move on to something else.

“There’s always plan B, but I’m not focused on that right now,” McNabb said. “Clearing the mind and getting the body back where it needs to be is the most important thing. If anything were to happen, I have a career I can look back on and be very excited about it.”

The Bears obviously need some help at the quarterback spot, and though the Texans do as well, it sounds like Houston is not interested in McNabb’s services. Why should a GM look seriously at McNabb, though?

Well, let McNabb tell you.

“You bring a veteran who has great experience to the ball club,” he said. “Athletic ability, a guy who’s not a locker room cancer, a great work ethic and only wants to win. I’m a winner and I’ve proven that.

“Taking time is very important, although I’ve spent enough time resting so to speak in these last couple weeks. I am pretty fresh. But the thing about it is you have to focus your mind on being the guy back out there again.”

Whether anybody puts him in that position again, we’ll have to wait and see.

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Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:48 pm

Peterson has high ankle sprain, could return soon

PetersonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

After watching Adrian Peterson leave the Vikings game on a cart Sunday because of an ankle injury, it wasn’t surprising to hear fans freaking about the loss of one of the game’s top players. Afterward, Peterson’s X-rays came back negative, and when asked if he thought his season was in jeopardy, he said, "No, not at all. That's not in my DNA. I'm going to try and get back as fast as I can and, God willing, I'll be up and ready to run this weekend."

It sounds like that it’s at least a possibility.

As first reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, an MRI taken today showed that Peterson has a high ankle sprain, and a few minutes later, coach Leslie Frazier confirmed it, saying that it was a grade 1 sprain with some ligament damage and that Peterson will wear a walking boot for a few days. He also said Peterson could start light football activity as soon as Friday.

Overall, it’s probably the best news for which Peterson and his fans could have hoped. His status for the Falcons game next week is unknown, but it seems clear at this point that Peterson will return this season.

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