Frazier challenges defense to give Allen a hand

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 16, 2011 - 10:20 PM

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier essentially issued a public challenge to all defensive players not named Jared Allen to start making some head-turning plays.


Vikings defensive end Jared Allen sacked Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Photo: Matt Ludtke, Associated Press

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Vikings coach Leslie Frazier essentially issued a public challenge to all defensive players not named Jared Allen to start making some head-turning plays.

With Allen still on pace to break Michael Strahan's NFL season record for sacks, blocking schemes are focusing more on Allen and less on everyone else. Yet everyone else isn't benefiting. At least not to Frazier's liking.

For instance, Allen and Kevin Williams play right next to each other. Each has been All-Pro multiple times. Yet they're streaking in opposite directions.

The good stat: Allen has had a sack in a franchise-record 11 consecutive games. The not-so-good stat: Williams hasn't had a sack in 23 consecutive games.

"Sometimes, there are three people [on Allen], so that definitely means somebody has some one-on-ones somewhere else," Frazier said. "We have to take advantage of that. ... We need someone to win the other one-on-ones."

Desperate for some pressure from the defensive tackles, the Vikings started rookie Christian Ballard in place of nose tackle Remi Ayodele on Monday night in Green Bay. Ballard had no quarterback pressures or sacks.

"We just need some of the guys on the inside to give us a little more push up the middle because we're getting good edge pressure from both of our ends," Frazier said.

Allen has a league-high 13 1/2 sacks, which puts him on pace for 24. Strahan had 22 1/2 in 2001. The Vikings other defensive end, Brian Robison, has 4 1/2 sacks.

Raymond won't start

The Vikings aren't ready to rush rookie free safety Mistral Raymond.

If Husain Abdullah (concussion) can't play, Frazier said he'd likely start Jamarca Sanford and Tyrell Johnson rather than give the promising Raymond his first NFL start. Sanford and Johnson share the strong safety job, while Raymond only knows the free safety position well enough to play at this time.

Raymond likely would see some time at free safety if Abdullah doesn't play.

Other players on Wednesday's injury report: guard Anthony Herrera (knee), linebacker Erin Henderson (hamstring) and long-snapper Cullen Loeffler (rotator cuff) did not practice; receiver Michael Jenkins (knee) was limited; and quarterback Christian Ponder (sore left hand) participated fully. Frazier said the team will wait until Friday or Saturday to determine whether to sign a long-snapper to fill in for Loeffler.

Silver & Black déjà vu?

In 2007, the Vikings went to Lambeau Field and suffered the worst beating (34-0) in the history of their rivalry with the Packers. They returned home the following week to face the Raiders.

If that sounds familiar, it's because that's exactly what's happening this week. The Vikings are coming off a 45-7 loss at Lambeau that topped even the 34-zip outcome four years ago. And who do they face this week? That's right. The Raiders, at home.

In 2007, the Vikings turned the ball over five times and gave up 344 yards passing to Daunte Culpepper in his first game back since the Vikings traded him before the 2006 season. Adrian Peterson didn't play because of a knee injury, but backup Chester Taylor posted 164 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 29-22 victory.

The game essentially ended when Raiders receiver Tim Dwight jumped offsides with 12 seconds left and the Raiders at the Vikings 36-yard line. The 5 yards and 10-second runoff left the Raiders with only one last desperation throw.

Then-Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp ripped Dwight after the game, saying, "Just when you think you've seen it all in 13 years, here's something else."


• The Vikings will begin using hand-held metal detectors for entrance to Mall of America Field on Sunday. In limited use Sunday, the metal detectors will replace the current pat-down procedure beginning with the Vikings-Broncos game on Dec. 4.

• Ponder, when asked how he'll put Monday's loss behind him: "I've had bad games before. I learned if you dwell on them, it's not a good thing."

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