Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Players consistent in applauding Frazier's consistency

Posted by: Mark Craig under Injury report, Vikings, NFC, Packers, Leslie Frazier, Vikings players, Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Brian Robison, Chad Greenway, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin Updated: December 26, 2012 - 1:17 PM

Vikings players are consistent when it comes to applauding the consistency with which coach Leslie Frazier does his job. Never too high, never too low. Just delivering a consistent message week after week.

"I think it's a big deal," Frazier said when asked to describe the importance of a consistent message. "Just going back to my playing days and being around coaches who sometimes they could be so up and down. You didn't know when you walked in the building what you were going to get from day to day. That's hard on a team over the course of a long season. There are so many ebbs and flows during a season.

"As a player, if you're not certain what your leader's message is going to be and how he's going to react in certain situations, you can be walking around on pins and needles and be more concerned about how he's going to react to certain situations as opposed to focusing on the task at hand, which is your next opponent. So I think it's a big deal. They need to know what to expect from me in just about every situation. Then they can concentrate on what's important, which is trying to get a win."

FYI: They'll take the win over the record: Frazier said he wants Adrian Peterson to get the 208 yards necessary to break Eric Dickerson's NFL single-season record of 2,105 yards. However ...

"I think the biggest consideration has to be winning this game," he said. "Finding a way to get a win. If the record comes along with the win, that would be great. But not at the expense of winning the game. We got to approach this with whatever it takes to get a win. And Adrian wants that too. He'd love to have the record, but he's the ultimate team guy. He wants to get the win. I hope he gets the record but even moreso I want us to win this game."

Expecting better run defense from Cheeseheads:  Frazier said he expects a lot of teams to look at how the Texans handled Peterson on Sunday. Peterson ran for 86 yards on 25 carries, snapping a streak of eight consecutive games with at least 100 yards.

"But like I said on Monday, a lot of it in our business is personnel," Frazier said. "[Texans defenders] Antonio Smith and J.J. Watt are very good players and they did  a good job. But Green Bay, they have good personnel as well."

On Dec. 2, Peterson ran for 210 yards in a loss at Lambeau Field. The rematch -- in case you haven't heard -- is Sunday at the Metrodome.

"[The Packers] have played good defense all season long and we're going to have a tremendous challenge on our hands," Frazier said. "I'm sure they're going to put a lot of people in the box and do everything they can to not let what happened in that first game happen again. So it's going to be a challenge for our run game."

Going 4-2 without Percy Harvin has been an adjustment period: Hard to believe, but the Vikings actually are 4-2 without Percy Harvin, their second-best player.

Said Frazier: "It's been an adjustment for all of us. [Offensive coordinator] Bill [Musgrave] calling plays and for everybody involved because Percy was so integral to our success as an offense. But as a whole, we made those adjustments and we're getting better. That's what you want to see, but Percy was a big part of our success."  

From an injury standpoint, Frazier offered the following updates. We'll have more updates when the injury report is released after today's practice:

  • Defensive end Jared Allen is feeling ill and won't practice.
  • Cornerback Antoine Winfield, who broke his hand on Sunday, "won't do very much." Winfield is expected to play on Sunday, however.
  • Running back Adrian Peterson won't practice. He's being rested as a precaution, plus he's also been dealing with a nagging abdominal issue that he calls normal wear and tear.
  • Defensive end Brian Robison, who missed last Sunday's game because of a Grade 3 sprain of his right shoulder, will try to practice. "We're going to see what Brian Robison can do," Frazier said. "It will give him a chance to move around a little bit and try to determine as the days go on whether he'll have a chance to play or not. We're hoping so, but we'll have to wait and see."

Greenway wins Korey Stringer Good Guy Award: Linebacker Chad Greenway won this year's Korey Stringer "Good Guy Award," which is voted on by members of the Twin Cities media that cover the Vikings. The award goes to the player who best exemplifies the effort and positive attitude that Stringer had in dealing with the media. Stringer died Aug. 1, 2001, a day after suffering heat stroke on the field in Mankato during training camp.

"I just had a chance to talk to [linebackers coach] Fred Pagac, who recruited [Stringer] to Ohio State," Greenway said. "He said he was a great guy, not just a good guy. He was the type of guy that people wanted to be like and be around. So obviously to win an award in honor of his name is pretty exciting to me. It means a lot to me and my family to win this award."

Said Frazier: "Well deserved award by Chad. He's a super guy and does a terrific job with the media. Well deserved. A great honor, receiving that award in honor of Korey, who was a terrific player and terrific person as well." 

 

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