Hartman: Frazier's status worth watching

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 17, 2013 - 11:33 PM
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Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and coach Leslie Frazier.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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No doubt it has been difficult to second-guess the Wilf family over the way they have run a first-class operation since they bought the Vikings six years ago.

They spent the big money when they acquired Jared Allen and signed several players, including Adrian Peterson, to big contracts.

Among other good moves they made was to elevate Rick Spielman to the position of general manager, and it paid off with one great draft of players in 2012 and indications so far that the 2013 crop will be equally strong.

However, it is hard not to second-guess the decision they made in not extending the contract of Leslie Frazier. The Vikings picked up the option for the 2014 season, but head coaches in the NFL rarely enter the final year of a contract without an extension, so 2013 is essentially a contract year.

The Wilfs did get hurt financially when they fired Brad Childress when he had three years left on his contract.

Frazier is one of the most popular coaches among the players in the history of the franchise, and when it was revealed that he hadn’t received an extension, it upset some of the players.

As the season develops, it will be interesting to see whether Frazier’s contract extension has any effect on the record of the team. Will it have any effect on the way the players perform knowing that Frazier’s contract situation is tenuous?

Incidentally, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is operating without a contract beyond this season.

So maybe the Wilfs and the Pohlad family, owner of the Twins, had reasons for what they did.

Won’t alternate quarterbacks

Northwestern has enjoyed great success over the years running in two quarterbacks on offense.

With Philip Nelson and Mitch Leidner battling for the starting job, Gophers coach Jerry Kill was asked if he would consider a two-quarterback system.

“We’re not going to alternate every few series or anything like that,” Kill said. “We’ll have our plan. That’s all I say. We won’t be alternating quarterbacks every couple of series and things like that.

“I’ve never been real good at that, and I don’t think most people — they’re a little bit different on how they do it and everyone has their ways to do things and I’m not going to give ours away. But we’ll have a way. The best way to do it is we’ll utilize the talent we have.”

Twins miss Carroll

Twins infielders were sad the team traded veteran infielder Jamey Carroll to Kansas City last week.

“He is probably the biggest help we’ve ever had, a guy who has 11, almost 12 years in the big leagues,” second baseman Brian Dozier said. “He’s outstanding. He has a track record of being a sure-handed utility player and even with the great defense that he has he has such knowledge about the game, he’s so knowledgeable.

“He’s all the time talking to us and trying to help us with every aspect of the game. To have a guy like that sharing the same position with me and Flori [shortstop Pedro Florimon] only benefits us.”

  • related content

  • When the Vikings took the field Friday night to play the Buffalo Bills, their head coach remained on shaky ground with his contract. The team didn’t give Leslie Frazier an extension when that seemed likely during the offseason.

  • Frazier

  • Carroll

  • Pitino

  • Minnesota Vikings running back Joe Banyard (23) crossed the goal line for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com August 16, 2013, NFL Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills

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