Hartman: Frazier knows 'we have to find a way to win'

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 7, 2012 - 9:38 AM

 Vikings coach acknowledges that beating the Bears is a must for the team's fading playoff hopes.

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Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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Vikings coach Leslie Frazier realizes that any slim possibility his team has of making the playoffs will disappear if it cannot beat the Chicago Bears at the Metrodome on Sunday.

"We have to win this game to have any hope of being a playoff team. We have to find a way to win," said Frazier, who has one year left on his contract and might need a strong finish to earn an extension.

"The Giants went 9-7 a year ago and won the Super Bowl. We have to really focus on Chicago and winning this game."

With the Vikings not getting any production out of their receivers, the news that Percy Harvin, maybe the NFL's best receiver, is through for the season had to dampen the chances of winning any of their remaining four games.

"Well, he's very important to our football team," said Frazier. "There's no question about it. We have a lot of good players, but Percy is an excellent football player.

"I know we would have been a better team with him than we are without him. We'd love to have him out there. Unfortunately it just hasn't worked out."

In talking about the team's receivers, who have been the subject of some scrutiny, Frazier said, "We're having some trouble connecting with our receivers. We're not getting the kind of separation against other teams' defensive backs that we'd like, and we're not having the connection between quarterback and receivers that we'd like.

"We have to keep trying to figure out here, before we play Chicago, what we have to do to get more production out of our receivers."

Coming out of last spring's draft, the Vikings were counting on big things from fourth-round choice Greg Childs. But he suffered a serious knee injury before the season and has missed the entire year.

"We think he's going to be a good player for us [in the future]," said Frazier. "Jarius Wright [the other Arkansas wide receiver taken in the fourth round] has come on for us here of late, and we're hoping he's going to turn out to be a good player.

"With the other guys we have, [Devin] Aromashodu, Michael Jenkins, Stephen Burton, we're counting on those guys to get better. The injury to Jerome Simpson definitely set us back. He'd been fighting through some things. But it has been tough going for our receivers."

Ponder's play key

Frazier acknowledged that quarterback Christian Ponder has to perform better if the team is to win its remaining games.

"[Ponder] has had some good games for us this season, but he hasn't been consistent as we'd like him to be," Frazier said. "We have to work to get him to be a consistently good quarterback.

"I know he's capable of playing better, and we need him to play better against the Bears this coming Sunday. We need him to really play well, and we believe he will."

How can Ponder improve?

"You have to keep taking him through drills," Frazier said, "keep taking him through the different things that you know that will help him to improve. And that's what we're working on, lots of drills, watching film, doing a lot of different things to study and try to get better.

"We want him to continue to improve on his decision-making, we want him to continue to improve on his pocket presence, and we want him to continue to work on his accuracy."

Webb will stay put

Backup quarterback Joe Webb played some wide receiver in college, and Frazier was asked if there was any thought of seeing if Webb could improve the team's performance at wide receiver.

Frazier said the team can't do that, "because we're only like one injury from having Joe have to go in and play quarterback. It just would be a risk to put him out there at wide receiver. As long as he's our backup quarterback, it would just be too risky if he were to pull a hamstring or some injury."

After losing on the road to the Bears and the Packers, Frazier said that it "will definitely help playing at home in front of our fans, feeding off the energy of our fans."

The Vikings are 5-1 at home and 1-5 on the road, so the chances of beating the Bears should be good.

Majerus 'U' candidate

The late Rick Majerus, one of the all-time great college basketball coaches and a very close personal friend, was the leading candidate for the Gophers men's basketball job in 1999 before withdrawing because of family issues.

Gophers athletic director Mark Dienhart flew down to Arkansas, where Majerus was holding a basketball clinic and came back thinking there was a good chance of hiring him.

My phone rang at home around midnight a week after Dienhart had interviewed Majerus, and it was Rick telling me that because of personal reasons he had to withdraw as a candidate.

Majerus was a tremendous coach and a great man who will be truly missed.

Jottings

• Mark down former Vikings coach Brad Childress as one of the possible candidates for the University of Wisconsin's football coaching vacancy. Childress was on the staff of current athletic director Barry Alvarez for eight years and was highly recommended for the Vikings' job by Alvarez.

• Former Gophers running back DeLeon Eskridge is one of the stars for the San Jose State Spartans, who are ranked No. 24 in the country and will face Bowling Green in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27. Eskridge leads the team in rushing with 992 yards on 194 carries, good for a 5.1-yard average, with 10 touchdowns.

• Former Gophers basketball guard Devoe Joseph is playing well for Khimik-OPZ Yuzhny in the Ukraine Superleague. Joseph is averaging 11.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 22.7 minutes per game.

... Another former Gophers guard, Justin Cobbs, is second in scoring for the Cal Golden Bears at 18.7 points per game on 58.9 percent shooting. Cobbs also leads the Bears, who are 6-1, with 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

• Harvard freshman guard and Hopkins High product Siyani Chambers had 21 points and seven assists in the Crimson's 79-63 victory at Boston College on Tuesday, while sophomore forward Jonah Travis of DeLaSalle scored 14 points, going 5-for-5 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

Chambers, who has started every game, is second on the team in scoring at 12.7 points per game, and Travis is fourth at 9.9.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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Denver 7 3rd Qtr
Cincinnati 20
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Denver 82 FINAL
Charlotte 110
Portland 83 4th Qtr 8:42
Houston 100
Utah 75 4th Qtr 5:32
Memphis 77
Toronto 95 4th Qtr 7:00
Chicago 96
Atlanta 67 3rd Qtr 5:26
Dallas 48
LA Clippers 72 3rd Qtr 6:35
San Antonio 83
Sacramento 9:30 PM
Golden State
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Washington 2
Nashville 5 FINAL
Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 3 3rd Prd 2:42
Florida 3
Arizona 9:00 PM
Vancouver
San Jose 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Calgary 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
Brown 67 FINAL
Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
Northwestern 63
Ohio 49 FINAL
George Washington 77
Southern Utah 61 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 70
Elon 67 FINAL
Kennesaw St 65
Dartmouth 49 FINAL
Penn State 69
Green Bay 70 FINAL
UC Irvine 72
DePaul 68 FINAL
Colorado 82
Lewis & Clark 49 FINAL
Portland 71
SC State 59 FINAL
Abilene Christian 65
Manhattan 71 FINAL
Fordham 57
Truett-McConnell 57 FINAL
Ga Southern 90
Citadel 56 FINAL
Michigan State 82
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Ohio State 93
Gardner-Webb 89 FINAL
Purdue 84
Idaho 68 FINAL
Northern Ky 81
Fairfield 66 FINAL
Albany 77
North Dakota St 61 FINAL
Alcorn State 50
UT Martin 37 FINAL
Butler 64
SE Louisiana 65 FINAL
UCF 70
Oakland 60 FINAL
Clemson 70
Florida A&M 57 FINAL
East Carolina 75
Eastern Ky 66 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 69
IUPU-Ft Wayne 43 FINAL
Illinois State 68
Norfolk State 74 FINAL
James Madison 71
Binghamton 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 69
Towson 56 FINAL
Navy 61
Long Island 73 FINAL
New Hampshire 72
Northern Ill 66 FINAL
Notre Dame 91
William & Mary 62 FINAL
Old Dominion 69
Liberty 47 FINAL
Princeton 65
Delaware 81 FINAL
Robert Morris 84
MD-Eastern Shore 82 FINAL
St Bonaventure 80
Colgate 43 FINAL
Syracuse 78
Kansas 52 FINAL
Temple 77
Mercer 54 FINAL
Tennessee 64
East Tenn St 60 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 84
Va Military 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Bucknell 53 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
Alabama A&M 62 FINAL
Western Mich 71
New Orleans 59 FINAL
Indiana 79
Columbia 65 FINAL
Connecticut 80
Long Beach State 49 FINAL
St Johns 66
Wofford 44 FINAL
West Virginia 77
Southern U 65 2nd Half 0:14
Baylor 68
UAB 63 2nd Half 1:05
Chattanooga 82
Char Southern 54 FINAL
Colorado State 75
North Florida 70 FINAL
Iowa 80
NC Central 49 2nd Half 3:20
Jackson State 51
Rice 69 1st OT 3:41
Lamar 72
Central Mich 89 FINAL
McNeese State 56
Coppin State 56 FINAL
Michigan 72
Furman 76 FINAL
Minnesota 86
SE Missouri St 46 2nd Half 2:00
Ole Miss 75
Weber State 51 FINAL
Oklahoma 85
Grambling St 39 FINAL
TCU 80
Loyola-Chicago 62 FINAL
Texas Tech 44
Incarnate Word 47 FINAL
Tulsa 76
Penn 50 FINAL
Vanderbilt 79
Chicago State 38 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 63
Simpson 62 FINAL
Drake 84
Tenn Tech 77 2nd Half 2:11
UMKC 56
Murray State 73 2nd Half 3:44
Southern Ill 66
Oral Roberts 45 FINAL
Missouri State 52
Jacksonville St 33 2nd Half 14:38
Air Force 40
Milwaukee 24 2nd Half
Arkansas 35
Wisconsin 32 2nd Half
California 20
Coll of Charleston 15 2nd Half
LSU 35
North Dakota 29 2nd Half 18:57
Marquette 26
Northern New Mexico 20 2nd Half
New Mexico St 39
UC Santa Barbara 30 2nd Half 20:00
Oregon 36
Miami-Florida 30 1st Half 0:52
Providence 33
Northeastern 40 2nd Half
St Marys-CA 38
Kent State 37 1st Half 1:46
Texas-El Paso 41
UC Davis 30 2nd Half
Northern Colorado 29
Lewis-Clark State 30 2nd Half 20:00
Eastern Wash 43
Walla Walla 29 2nd Half 19:40
Portland State 48
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Marshall 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:30 PM
Houston
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Washington
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Hawaii
BYU 48 FINAL
Memphis 55
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 54 FINAL
Ohio State 96
UMBC 87 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 78
Cornell 79 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 61
St Bonaventure 70 FINAL
Georgetown 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Northeastern 62
Eastern Washington 67 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 63 FINAL
Texas Southern 69
Butler 72 FINAL
Illinois State 60
UC Davis 59 FINAL
(16) Stanford 71
Washington St 87 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 60
Sacramento St 94 FINAL
San Jose St 97
SIU-Edwardsville 74 FINAL
UMKC 58
Oakland 92 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 84
Belmont 43 FINAL
(14) Georgia 62
George Mason 83 FINAL
Longwood 61
Kansas 81 FINAL
Creighton 84
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Kansas State 68
UT Martin 65 FINAL
Missouri 74
Hampton 67 FINAL
DePaul 86
Florida State 65 FINAL
Tulane 54
Murray State 44 FINAL
Illinois 64
Fla Gulf Coast 74 FINAL
Arkansas State 68
BYU 27 2nd Half 16:27
Utah State 27
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