Featuring Harvin a priority; trading up for QB possible
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- March 22, 2011 - 11:51 AM
NEW ORLEANS – The Vikings haven’t said much about how their offense is going to look with Bill Musgrave now running the show as coordinator, but coach Leslie Frazier did give some hints Tuesday during the coaches' breakfast at the NFL meetings.
We’ll use more of this in the coming days in a story that will appear in the Star Tribune, but one question asked of Frazier was if there was one guy he wanted to feature more prominently.
“I still think there are more things that can be done with Percy [Harvin],” Frazier said. “We did some things toward the end of the year where we definitely tried to isolate him, and that’s one of the reasons I pulled him off kickoff at times. I wanted to feature him more than we were. I wanted him to be a featured part of our offense.
“There’s different things we can do with him, and hopefully, Sidney [Rice is] in the fold and he’s healthy and there’s some things that we can do with him. Because of Adrian [Peterson], there are opportunities that we can do on the perimeter that a lot of teams can’t. But you still have to account for him on every single play. So, we have to be able to exploit in that sense and I think what we’re trying to do is build to be able to do that. Adrian creates a lot of good situations for our perimeter people.”
Other items of interest:
- Frazier reiterated that ideally he would find a quarterback in the draft and even mentioned potentially trading up, meaning Auburn’s Cam Newton or Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert could be in play. “The one thing you don’t know is if the one guy you like is going to be there at 12 or if you’re going to have to try to move up to try to get him or what would you have to give up to get him?” Frazier said. Asked about the potential that Joe Webb could compete for the starting job, Frazier said: “Joe did some good things. I can’t imagine a scenario where we wouldn’t add a quarterback [in the draft] at some point. If it’s not in the first or second … then at some point we’d be drafting somebody for competition. … If it doesn’t happen in the first or second, maybe it will happen in the fourth or fifth or sixth or seventh. Who knows? We’ll try to have some competition.”
- Frazier said right now the Vikings offensive line would feature few changes. Bryant McKinnie would be at left tackle, Steve Hutchinson at left guard, John Sullivan at center and Phil Loadholt at right tackle. Right guard Anthony Herrera is coming off an ACL injury and his status is a bit more uncertain. Chris DeGeare or Ryan Cook, if he is back, could be candidates to compete with Herrera for the starting spot.
- Cedric Griffin, also coming off an ACL injury, will be the starting right cornerback entering training camp if he's healthy. And, of course, if there's football.
- Two of the players who have received the most criticism from Vikings fans are wide receiver Bernard Berrian and safety Madieu Williams. Frazier was asked about each player.
- Frazier on Berrian: “We need to get him up to speed. He’s a talented guy. He can run with the best in the league and he did put up some big numbers for us a couple of years ago. So we’ve got to get him back in the fold and get him to where he’s a major contributor to our offense and we’re going to need him this next season in a big way. We had some talks right at the end of the season when they were doing the exit interviews and sat in my office. I talked to him just about that. How important it’s going to be for him to step up and be a featured player in our offense in order for us to get to where we want to go as an organization. So he understands what’s ahead and what he has to do and I’m looking forward to when he gets back. Just seeing a renewed attitude and coming back with some vigor and really trying to have a great season.”
- Frazier on Williams: “If you ask me today, you only base it on what he’s done the last, what, three years he’s been with us? Provides great leadership for us in the secondary. We’d like for him to get his hands on a few more balls, but his leadership is probably the thing that really sticks out -- just being able to control our secondary, get guys lined up correctly, understanding the system. That’s probably the biggest asset to what we do, and until we have another guy who we think can supplant him in that role, that’s the way it’ll probably be.”
- Running back Adrian Peterson’s contract will void after this season and it’s expected he would like a new deal before playing another down for the Vikings. Frazier also would like to see Peterson signed to a long-term deal. “You’d like to get him under contract, and I’m sure and I know we’re going to make every effort to get that done. He is in every sense of the word a franchise back and, in my mind, the best back in the National Football League today. So, we want him to retire a Minnesota Viking and our organization wants that to happen and we’re going to put our best foot forward when the time comes.”
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