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Souhan blog: Second-guessing Frazier on quarterbacks is silly

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • October 23, 2013 - 10:45 AM

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has been getting beaten up from all sides this week.

If you want to criticize his hiring of coordinators, or clock management, fire away.

If you're really going to keep picking on him for the way he has handled his quarterbacks, you're so far off base you must be related to Nick Punto.

Freeman and his bosses were fully invested in giving Chrisitan Ponder every chance to be their quarterback for the next five years. He failed. He failed miserably. If anyone was going to give Ponder every benefit of the doubt, it was Frazier and GM Rick Spielman. If they gave up on him, you know he's not capable of running an NFL offense.

Frazier switched to Matt Cassel at the right time, when Ponder's rib injury created a natural opening to try out the backup, and Cassel played pretty well in beating Pittsburgh.

Then, when the Vikings had the chance to pick up a talented quarterback without sacrificing a draft pick, they signed Josh Freeman, and got him ready to play as quickly as possible.

Freeman played horribly on Monday night. He showed some poise in the pocket and generally threw toward the correct receiver. He just couldn't hit the broad side of Phil Loadholt with one of his passes. As Frazier noted, Freeman's mechanics are horrible, which led to him throwing too high or too long.

The result was terrible. That doesn't mean the decision was terrible.

In fact, the decision was purely logical. So is the decision to keep Freeman as the starting quarterback.

The Vikings know exactly what Ponder is. They know exactly what Cassel is. As poorly as he played on Monday, there is still a chance that Freeman could revive his career.

In his second year in the NFL, Freeman threw 25 touchdown passes and six interceptions. The talent is there. He has the ability to avoid turnovers under the right circumstances. He has a lot of work to do, but the Vikings are right to invest in a growth stock.

Blame Frazier for the Vikings' record, but not for his quarterback decisions.

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I'll be on 1500ESPN today at noon today after doing interviews in the Vikings' lockerroom. My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

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