Sunday, August 2, 2015

leslie frazier

The Minnesota Vikings have had good, spirited attendance at OTA’s so far this year by all accounts.  A few veterans have stayed away, including Percy Harvin after his shoulder presumably started to act up after attending the very beginning of OTA’s.  Jared Allen has also been away, which is not really a surprise given that is pretty much the norm for number 69.

One player that has been somewhat of a mystery has been Chad Greenway whose absence has been attributed to the vague reason of “family situation” up until this point.

According to reports, however, Greenway is indeed dealing with an unenviable and difficult situation.  His father, whom we can all remember for his words after Greenway was drafted, has been battling leukemia and is currently getting hospice care.

“I talked with him a few days ago and I don’t know if we’ll have him back for mandatory minicamp,” Leslie Frazier said. “His family situation is something he’s dealing with so we may or may not have him back for that but it’s understandable, what he’s experiencing.”

According to the reports, a number of South Dakota farmers have banded together to help Alan Greenway out by bailing his hay this season.

We here at VT would like to pass along our best wishes to Alan, Chad, and the whole Greenway family. This is surely the most trying of times for the Greenway family, and I know many of you would be eager to help out, but I have been unable to find any sort of fund being organized for Mr. Greenway.  If I find one I will be sure to pass that along.

In the meantime, Pennies for Patients has always been a standup organization to support in the battle against leukemia.

[UPDATE: It should be noted that the sixth annual Greenway’s Gridiron Gallup will be held this Sunday, Father’s Day, in Minneapolis.  The 5k run helps to raise funds for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board youth athletic programming.  For more details, you can click here.]

Stephen Burton was a late round flier that the Vikings took last year, and he didn’t get a whole lot of chances to prove himself in the post-lockout arena.

However, Burton may be benefiting from a full offseason and could be an interesting guy to keep an eye on as the preseason progresses.  According to Mike Wobschall of Vikings.com, Burton is making an impression during OTA’s and Leslie Frazier has noticed his progress.

“You can see the confidence and that’s a big thing for a receiver, big thing for any young player,” Frazier said. “He has tremendous athletic ability and he is one of those guys who can jump out of the gym and make the acrobatic catch, but his confidence, that’s the one thing that you can see is coming through now.”

Burton is 6’ 1” and weighs 224 pounds, so he has the size and athleticism to be a solid option at wide out, but Wobschall also indicates that Burton will get a chance to prove himself as a return man.

We don’t have the same video evidence as we do with Jerome Simpson (click here), but I can’t help but get a little giddy every time I hear about a young guy progressing… because that is what this offseason is all about.

I had Burton sticking to the 53 man roster in my early projections.

If you are here, then you are probably a Vikings fan.  Jerome Felton has apologized to fans for his DWI from last weekend.

Ergo, if you are reading this, then Jerome Felton has apologized to you.

Here is the full comment made by Felton on his McDonald’s DWI situation:

“Everybody on this team and in this organization has been good to me and the fans have been great.  I love it here. I can’t put myself in negative situations that don’t have a positive impact on the team and the community. That’s something that’s very important to me and I just want to sincerely apologize to the fans, No. 1, the organization and everybody around the Vikings.”

Pro football fans do not always get apologies from their players following screw ups, mainly because an apology is an admission of guilt.  Strangely, both Felton and Justin Blackmon of the Jaguars decided to proactively apologize to their teams and their fans for driving while intoxicated.

Felton is believed to have the inside track on the starting fullback position in Minnesota, but he may have a lot of work to do to gain back the trust of the coaching staff.

“We talked about some things when we got together for our first OTAs in our meetings about how we wanted to conduct ourselves,” Leslie Frazier said. “Then when a new guy comes to the club and he’s a veteran guy and something happened like it did over the weekend, it’s very disappointing. It’s something we’ll have to deal with and have to address, but you don’t want that to drown out all of the good things that some of our players are doing and what they’re doing in the community.”

Earlier this offseason I predicted that cornerback Asher Allen, a 2009 third round selection out of Georgia, would not be on the opening day roster in 2012.

What I didn’t predict:  That it would be his choice.

By now, (I know, I know, I’m late on this… Happy Memorial Day everybody!) most of you have heard that Asher Allen informed the Vikings last Thursday that he will be retiring from football after having played three seasons with the team.

At age 24, the decision is a curious one, but Leslie Frazier thinks that in time Allen will explain that decision in full.  As of right now, however, both the team and the player are leaving it up to us to speculate as to the reasons why he retired.

“He’ll talk about it more at some point, but he explained to me that this was something he wanted to do. He had given it a lot of thought and that’s what he wanted to do,” Frazier said when he announced Allen’s decision on Wednesday.

With an onslaught of concussion coverage plaguing our normal enjoyment of the NFL these days, it is reasonable to suspect that Allen had worries about his life after football.  Allen has suffered two known concussions in his three year career, including one in week 15 of last season.

“Surprised. I didn’t see that coming,” admitted Frazier, “but everybody has to make decisions that are best for them.”

While I was admittedly not sold on Allen as any sort of reliable option at the corner position, he had plenty of supporters that were hopeful he would break out in 2012, and now we will never know the extent to which he could have produced on the NFL stage.

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Long gone (umm, I hope) are the dramatic twists and turns that came with a certain ex-Packer quarterback, a inflatable roof refusing to stay inflated, mysterious hip injuries, a cross dressing head coach, a left tackle who thought he was the third sister of the famous tennis playing Williams duo, and… well, you get the point.

Apparently, the current Vikings regime would like to keep it that way.

Judd Zulgad of 1500 ESPN reports that the Vikings have turned down, for the second year in a row, the chance to appear on HBO’s awesome series titled Hard Knocks.

While it would be a blast to have that much access to our beloved Vikings as they go through the rest of the offseason, it is easy to see why Leslie Frazier and the gang would prefer to remain under the radar and low key.

Other than perhaps some financial gain, I’m not sure any team that has appeared on a season of the show could point out any actual benefit to doing so.  However, we need not look any further than Rex Ryan to understand there are plenty of reasons not to do it.

So, if you are a cheapskate like yours truly, there is no immediate need to upgrade to a premium television service.

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