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: No changes to starting lineup

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Antoine Winfield, E.J. Henderson, John Sullivan, Leslie Frazier Updated: October 5, 2011 - 1:55 PM

Two days after saying coaches would examine whether change in personnel was necessary, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said today there will be no such changes for Sunday's game against the Cardinals at the Metrodome.

"I don't anticipate doing that," he said today. "We've gone through some things staff-wise and with our players and at this point, the starting lineup should remain the same."

Update from practice: All players were on the practice field during the portion open to the media, but cornerback Antoine Winfield and center John Sullivan were not participating. We'll have an update after practice.

Other highlights from Frazier's press conference:

  • Frazier said he and quarterback Donovan McNabb sat down and talked on Monday. "We went into detail about where we are, where we need to be and what needs to be done going forward," Frazier said. "I think we're on the same page. We know what we need to get done. I know he's eager to get back on the football field. Eager to play another football game and eager to right the ship."
  • Frazier said his relationship with McNabb going back to Philadelphia helps in tough times. "We have a history together makes it a little bit easier to be pointed in conversations and not have to dance around issues. And vice versa. To be able to communicate on that level."
  • Frazier said McNabb hasn't voiced any concern to him about being benched. "We haven't had that conversation," Frazier said. "He hasn't asked me what's his long-term prognosis, what's his future. We're really focused on winning this game against Arizona. ... No conversations beyond that."
  • Frazier said he'd like to see more chances down the field for receiver Devin Aromashodu, but added "We still don't want to get away from trying to connect with Bernard [Berrian]. We're going to work on that today in practice and we expect to take a shot again in the game on Sunday to Bernard. Hopefully, we can finally have a connection."
  • Frazier said E.J. Henderson's troublesome left knee came out of Sunday's well enough that they're going to have him do some work in practice today. Frazier said limiting Henderson's role in the nickel defense helped the knee make it through the game well on Sunday. "I think we did the right thing by taking some snaps off of him on Sunday," Frazier said.
  • Frazier said LT Charlie Johnson doesn't have a triceps tear and that he's good to practice this week.

Highlights from McNabb's press conference:

  • McNabb said he and Frazier talk all the time, but added that Monday's conversation was important. "I think it was a discussion that as a quarterback and a head coach was very important," McNabb said. "I think it's important in the situation that we're in at this point being the first quarter of the season. Just to try to figure out ways of improving. I can only speak for the offense, but certain plays and ways of attacking the defense that we're all comfortable with and have had success with over these past four games. Just staying with it and moving forward. That was a discussion I think was important. The four games are over and it's time to move on."
  • McNabb on his relationship with Frazier and how it helps: "It pays big dividends for us because we can communicate not just about what we're doing wrong, but what we're doing right. A lot of times when you have discussions with coaches, they want to focus so much on the negative and not focus on the positive. I think it's important when you discuss about what you're doing to focus on the positive and continue to stay in the positive area. Cleaning up your weaknesses and pushing more in the positive to stay in that direction. For me, being a leader of this team, I think it's important that I obviously set the tone early for the guys to see and then the other guys begin to follow."

 

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