Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Don't look for identity of defense to change much

Posted by: under Vikings, Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier, Vikings defense, Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier Updated: March 1, 2011 - 12:32 AM

Chip and I will be doing a chat at noon central today to talk about the Vikings, the NFL Scouting Combine and the fact that starting Friday there is almost certainly going to be a work stoppage. Do join. Thanks.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was asked last week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis if he and coordinator Fred Pagac will give the team's defense a different identity.

Frazier was the Vikings' defensive coordinator before being named interim coach last November when Brad Childress was fired. That move resulted in Pagac being moved from linebackers coach to interim coordinator. Both Frazier and Pagac had their interim tags removed after the season ended.

“I don’t know how much the identity will change," Frazier said. "I think we’ll always try to be a good run defense team. There’s some areas we want to improve on defense, but the characteristics of the defense won’t change a lot. We’ve got to shore up some areas and part of that will be an infusion of youth and make sure that schematically we’re doing the right things. People have seen us doing the same thing for a number of years. We’ve just got to make sure this offseason that we’re giving ourselves the best chance to be successful in the current scheme.”

The fact there wouldn't be a major change in philosophy on defense doesn't come as a major surprise considering Frazier had plenty of influence on the scheme as the coordinator.

Frazier said he will remain involved in the defense, but that it won't be to the point it was when he was the coordinator.
 
"Fred Pagac is a guy I have a lot of confidence in," Frazier said. "He’s going to be our coordinator. I’m there to assist and support. But I want to be a true head coach. I want to be able to assist Bill [Musgrave, the offensive coordinator], along with Mike Priefer, our special teams coordinator, and really manage our football team and not just be tied to one side of the ball or another. But I’ll definitely have input on defense."
 
Frazier said that Pagac called 100 percent of the defenses last season after he became the coordinator.
 
"He did a great job for us down the stretch, and I really felt that that was necessary under the circumstances that we were in at that time of the year, and I want to continue that," Frazier said. "I’ll help him during the week and I’ll do things. But we’ve got some other guys on our defensive staff that I have a lot of confidence in in [defensive backs coach] Joe Woods and [defensive line coach] Karl Dunbar."

 
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