If lockout drags, Vikings might add a veteran at QB

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 3, 2011 - 11:37 PM

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said the team still is discussing whether to add a veteran quarterback to help bridge the gap for rookie Christian Ponder.

Speaking Friday at the team's playground build at Northport Elementary School in Brooklyn Center, Frazier said the team doesn't want to put Ponder or Joe Webb in a tough spot if the lockout continues to eat away at the offseason.

"We're still discussing what's the best option for us and for our quarterbacks," he said. "What you don't want to do is put a guy in harm's way to the point where his confidence is affected for the future. We've got some different things we've got to talk through and figure out based on when we start football."

If the Vikings decide to add a veteran, Frazier made it clear that it is only a short-term solution to a unique situation with the lockout.

"In our situation if we were to go that route to bring a veteran in -- whatever time that would be -- that veteran has to understand how important the chemistry of it is because eventually either Joe or Christian is going to be our long-term answer," Frazier said. "So it would have to be the right veteran. It goes beyond just knowing the system and playing in the National Football League, because you're trying to build the right locker room also. There are more dynamics involved than just a fact he's a veteran quarterback."

Frazier said his coaching staff has discussed different scenarios, all of them predicated on when the lockout ends and how much preparation time his young quarterbacks get before the season opener.

Management supported

Frazier became the latest NFL head coach to distance himself and his staff from a brief filed on behalf of NFL coaches offering support for players in the labor battle.

The NFL Coaches Association filed a brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals several weeks ago supporting the players' fight to have the lockout lifted. The coaches association -- which is not a formal union --- did not include individual coaches names on the brief.

"We weren't contacted by the coaches association," Frazier said. "We're going to always be supportive of our management. We've got great management here in Minnesota. The Wilf family has been terrific to our employees."

Frazier said he was surprised when he learned about the brief.

"Just wondering how that came about," he said. "And wondering why our team wasn't contacted and just how many teams were contacted."

Etc.

• Frazier said the team will decide next week what the drop-dead date will be for determining whether training camp can be held in Mankato if the lockout continues much longer. "We're going to probably come to a conclusion in the middle of next week as to the exact date we would say, if we don't know anything by that date, we probably won't be going to Mankato," he said.

• Frazier reiterated that he wants veteran nose tackle Pat Williams to return. Williams, a free agent, said recently that it's "50-50." Said Frazier: "I have great respect for Pat. I love Pat. He's been great for my career as a defensive coordinator. You guys know what he's like in the locker room. He's a tremendous guy in that regard, a great leader for us."

• Frazier said he saw highlights of defensive end Ray Edwards' debut as a boxer. "Kudos to Ray," he said. "He's doing something he enjoys doing." Frazier had little comment on Edwards' outspoken anger over his contract/free-agency situation.

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