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.


Leadership committee helps clear the air for Vikes

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Chris Kluwe, E.J. Henderson, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin, Phil Loadholt, Ryan Longwell, Steve Hutchinson Updated: September 9, 2011 - 2:29 PM

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier spent a few moments after today's practice talking to members of his team leadership committee on the field.

Percy Harvin, Chad Greenway, Chris Kluwe, Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell, Antoine Winfield, E.J. Henderson, Steve Hutchinson and Donovan McNabb were there. Kevin Williams, who is serving a two-game suspension, also is on the committee.

"I just ask those guys who are really my core leadership group to convey the message that I've been talking about all through the week in the locker room," Frazier said. "If they buy in, other guys will follow. I just have to make sure what I say, they believe in. If there's something we need to talk about within the team that could create any issues, hopefully they bring them to me and we'll be able to get it handled."

Frazier said the committee will meet with him weekly, probably on Wednesdays. He has something specific he wanted to discuss with them today, he said without elaborating.

Frazier also talks to certain members of the committee up to twice a day "just to get the pulse of the team," he said.

Winfield said he likes the way Frazier works with the leadership committee.

"Every team needs it," he said. "Most of the guys have been around here a long time, and have been with the coach the past few years. He just wants to get the vibe of the team. If we have any issues, we have that direct line to coach. I like it. There's a good feel on the team this year."

Other highlights from a pretty low-key Friday before the regular-season opener in San Diego:

  • CB Asher Allen (toe) is the only player who didn't have full participation in practice. He was limited and is questionable for Sunday's game. QB Donovan McNabb (right wrist) and CB Chris Cook (hamstring) are probable.
  • OT Phil Loadholt, who missed practice Thursday because of a family matter, returned and practiced today.
  • Rookie DT Christian Ballard will focus on the three-technique tackle position for this game. He's also played end and nose tackle in the nickle this preseason.
  • Everson Griffen is back to full-time defensive end. Frazier said there will be packages where they would move Griffen around similar to a linebacker, but the one-week experiment of moving him to weak-side linebacker is over.
  • Frazier said he hasn't decided whether to use Percy Harvin or Lorenzo Booker at kick returner on Sunday. But it sounded like he's getting fans ready for Booker to be the returner. "We have a lot of confidence in Lorenzo Booker. Lorenzo has done a great job. At the end of last season, he did a terrific job as well for us."
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