No doubt Matt Cassel deserved all the praise he got last week after he had a great day against the Philadelphia Eagles, winding up with a 116.6 rating in a 48-30 victory.
Well, not to be critical of Cassel, but all the Vikings quarterbacks seem to be having trouble with consistency this year. The same Cassel who was a big star in the Philadelphia victory completed only 13 of 27 for 113 yards and was intercepted three times for a 32.6 rating, the lowest of any Vikings quarterback this year, Sunday’s 42-14 loss at Cincinnati.
Now coach Leslie Frazier might have second thoughts about putting Cassel in there again next week against the Lions. He might take a look at Christian Ponder to improve the perception of Ponder before next season.
What a difference a season makes. Last year this time the Vikings were 9-6 and looking forward to a game against the Packers that would put them in the playoffs. They ended the season with a four-game win streak and that playoff spot, and it was a Merry Christmas for Vikings fans.
This year, the fans got a lump of coal.
The Vikings lost that playoff game at Green Bay to end last season, but there was certainly something to look forward to. That is not the case this year.
In the Vikings offices at Winter Park, they often have videoconferences with the principal owners of the team, Zygi and Mark Wilf, who are based in New Jersey.
There was such a meeting on Tuesday that was unusual, because the non-football executives took part.
You want a good guess what one of the topics was, in addition to updates on the stadium?
Well, look for an announcement any day that coach Leslie Frazier is going to get a contract extension. As reported in my column on Dec. 10, Frazier is going to be the team’s coach in the future, and I believe he will get a two- or three-year extension to his current deal, which expires after next season.
The Wilfs have an outstanding relationship with Frazier, one that has improved steadily since he took over as the team’s coach near the end of the 2010 season.
New thinking at U
All the talk about adding athletic facilities at the University of Minnesota has usually focused on putting those facilities around the TCF Bank Stadium-Williams Arena-Mariucci Arena area.
But Norwood Teague, the Gophers athletic director, and his new staff have different ideas. They would like to see everything built around the Bierman Building, including the basketball offices and any new basketball practice facility. The Gibson-Nagurski football building will be enlarged and remodeled, a new track will be built, among other things, if everything eventually gets approved. This is a change in thinking, but likely the way they will go.
Adrian Peterson told me today that he will play in Sunday's game at Atlanta.
Peterson is wearing a walking boot on his left foot because of a Grade 1 ankle sprain, but he was not limping and said he would definitely be in the lineup against the Falcons.
"I still have some pain," Peterson said, "but I can play with pain."
Peterson said it in the presence of Coach Leslie Frazier, who didn't appear to disagree. Peterson indicated he would be able to practice by Friday, when the Vikings next hit the field.
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