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.


Frazier laments team's inconsistent execution

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin Updated: September 12, 2011 - 1:54 PM

Coach Leslie Frazier spoke to the media this afternoon. He talked about the "many positive things that happened in" the Vikings' 24-17 loss at San Diego, "particularly in the first half."

As you know, however, it was the exact opposite in the second half as the Vikings blew a 10-point lead. The offense had two first downs and 26 yards in the second half, while the defense missed several tackles while giving up 193 yards passing and 17 points.

I asked Frazier what the difference was between the two halves.

"We wanted to be able to execute a little better," Frazier said. "We didn't always execute as well as we should have. It wasn't like they changed what they were doing coverage-wise on defense or what they were doing front-wise. It was pretty much what we expected.

"We didn't execute as well and we have to get better on third down. If you want to stay on the field, you have to convert third downs. We didn't do a good job the second half. First half, we did. The coverages weren't a lot different than what we saw earlier. We just didn't execute as well as we should have."

Then I asked him if the Vikings are hamstrung when it comes to making halftime adjustment because they have a new offense that's been together for about a month thanks to the lockout.

We have enough in to adjust to whatever we're seeing, so that wasn't a handicap for us, what transpired over the offseason or what didn't transpire," Frazier said. "We didn't do a very good job of executing in certain situations, and one of them being third down." 

Other highlights:

  • Donovan McNabb's interception on the first play of his Vikings career was an audible out of a run play, Frazier said. "It was a look that we were looking for," Frazier said. "He saw something and it's designed for him to make that decision." McNabb tried to throw quick left to Percy Harvin. Linebacker Shaun Phillips batted thee ball and then made the pick at the Vikings' 6-yard line. Frazier said left tackle Charlie Johnson is supposed to execute a cut block on that play. "He's going to try to get the defensive end's hands down if he can," Frazier said. "Shaun Phillips is a great player. He made a great play."
  • Frazier on whether the coaches will have to make changes in their pass protection schemes: “I don’t know if we have to make a lot of adjustments. Donovan threw 15 passes and the times where he did have someone in his face, it wasn’t that we needed to adjust an protection – we needed to do some things a little bit better."
  • Frazier on whether his job looks tougher considering how well the other NFC North teams did in winning their openers:"I don’t think so. It was one game. We’ve got a lot of games. The biggest thing about this game yesterday is that we aren’t going to be able to go 16-0. I don’t think it declares anybody anything other than the fact that you can’t go 16-0."
  • Frazier on the Vikings' version of the Wildcat formation being different because it's run with a quarterback: "With ours, with the way we're using Joe Webb ... it's different. Most people that put a guy back there can't throw the football as well as Joe can, so it's a little bit different. We have a legitimate quarterback running the offense when we do it. There's room to expound on what we did yesterday and we're not ready to give up on it. They did a good job defending it, but we think it has merit. ... We don't look at it as the Wildcat because of who Joe is. It would be different if we were using a position player or running back, receiver, tight end, whatever."
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