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Frazier likes Musgrave's 'global' thinking

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  • January 20, 2011 - 11:21 AM

Admitting his strengh lies on the defensive side of the ball, coach Leslie Frazier expressed confidence this morning that new coordinator Bill Musgrave will bring new ideas to the Vikings version of the West Coast offense.

"The fact Bill was in a variety of systems, to be able to combine things he learned in the West Coast system along with things he picked up with some other coaches that he has been around," will be a positive, Frazier said during a news conference at Winter Park. "The fact he wasn't just tied to one system but could see globally, that was important to me.

"We have a multitude of weapons on our offense and sometimes you get so tied up in a system that you don't see the forest for the trees. He was able to exemplify [his ideas] in our conversation and I've seen him do it in Atlanta. Once we sat down and talked about it, I was convinced he's the right man for the job."

Frazier made it clear that Musgrave's hiring means the Vikings won't have to overhaul their offense. That's important because if the expected NFL lockout goes through the offseason, there will be very little time to alter schemes. The hope also will be that Musgrave's success with the Falcons and young quarterback Matt Ryan, will mean he will be able to help develop a quarterback in Minnesota.

While Musgrave had success with the Falcons, and was even promoted to assistant head coach, he had mixed results as an offensive coordinator with the Eagles, Panthers and Jaguars. That did not concern Frazier.
 
"One of the things that was really impressive when I talked with Bill was the fact he was able to look at the past and do the things neccessary to continue to improve in our profession," Frazier said. "The fact he learned from each experience and got better and better as a coach to a point where he was the assistant head coach in Atlanta. ... Just his history during his time in Atlanta has convinced me Bill is going to do a great job for us as an offensive coordinator."
 
As for outgoing offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Frazier admitted there wasn't one primary reason he went in a different direction.
 
"I really like a lot of things about what Darrell did for a our football team and our offense in particular," Frazier said. "I don’t know if there was any one specific thing. I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and as a person. We talked this morning and he’s going to do a great job in the next position he’s in. It isn’t any one thing I could look at and say, ‘This is why we’re going in this direction.’”
 
Frazier also announced that he has hired former Carolina offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson as his offensive line coach and Craig Johnson as his quarterbacks coach. Johnson was a longtime quarterbacks coach with the Titans before moving to running backs coach last season.

Frazier hasn't hired a running backs coach yet, but it's believed he is waiting to hear from Gene Huey. Huey was fired by the Colts and is trying to decide whether to retire or join the Vikings.

Frazier also confirmed that new coordinator Fred Pagac will continue to run a 4-3 defense with the Vikings.

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