Thursday, February 11, 2016

leslie frazier

Are you a wide receiver that has declared for the 2013 NFL Draft?  You are?  Well, then you can fully expect that between now and Draft Day you will be the subject of my “Draft Target” series at some point because, well, the Vikings need help at the position.

Quinton Patton, you are up next!

Patton hails from Louisiana Tech where he played for his junior and senior seasons after playing his first two seasons for the football powerhouse that is Coffeyville Community College.  Patton stands at 6′ 0″ and 200 pounds and combined for 2,594 yards and 24 touchdowns in his final two seasons.

The Vikings reportedly met with Patton during this week’s Combine, which isn’t anything surprising, but they are sure to be interested in a wide out with his skill set to try and boost their offensive production.  A guy like Patton is of particular interest because he is not expected to require a first round investment to obtain.

Patton doesn’t have elite size and he didn’t burn up the forty yard dash in Indy (4.53), but he has very soft hands and is perhaps the most refined route runner in this class.  In fact, Patton didn’t finish among the best at any Combine event other than the 20 yard shuffle, which somewhat aligns with his pedigree.

Where Patton might lack elite he speed he makes up for it with excellent fundamentals.  He gets of the line very quick which prevents an opposing corner from jamming him with success, he displays very good acceleration and body control throughout his route, and has enough wiggle after the catch to make great things happen.  Perhaps my favorite trait he possesses is his ability and willingness to go across the middle on a route with a toughness and attitude that reminds me of a young Brandon Marshall.

He also has a reputation as a player that never takes a play off, is very instinctive and intelligent on the field, and is a rare college prospect that is a proven down field blocker.  One of the best cornerbacks in this Draft class, Johnthan Banks from Mississippi State, says that Patton is the best and most complete wide out he played against in college.

“I feel like (Patton) from Louisiana Tech is the best receiver I’ve played against since I’ve been here,” said Banks. “I’ve gone against some good ones in the SEC, too, but he’s probably the most complete.”

Complete.  Now there is a word that is sure to appeal to Rick Spielman after his Head Coach’s recent comments about what he is looking for in a wide out.

“You’re always looking for speed at the wide receiver position,” said Frazier in Indianapolis. “We need an all-encompassing guy — can run by some people, make a difficult catch, run with the ball after he catches it.”

Patton just might be the “all-encompassing guy” that Frazier is after to take his passing game to the next level, and Spielman may not have to use up his first rounder to get him.

Oh, plus the guy can return kicks pretty darn good, too.

It was only a matter of time, with no NFL team really wanting to have their head coach become a lame duck, before word would emerge that Leslie Frazier received an extension from the Vikings.

Frazier took a 3-13 football team and helped transform them into a 10-6 playoff team in the span of just one year.  He received votes for the Coach of the Year Award and has been praised for his calm demeanor when facing some very tough issues.

Tuesday, word of his extension did indeed hit the internet, and some that doubt Frazier’s ability to lead a team to a Super Bowl will be relieved to hear that his contract only runs through 2014.  However, Frazier’s advocates amongst the fan base might feel like the team didn’t give him a big enough vote of confidence.

The Associated Press erroneously reported that Frazier received a multi-year extension, but the truth is that the team simply picked up an option contained within his current deal that tacks on one more year.

The Vikings announced the move Tuesday evening.

“Coach Frazier has done a remarkable job in building a strong foundation for the Minnesota Vikings and creating a very positive future,” Vikings president Mark Wilf said in the statement.  “We value his leadership and look forward to working with him for many years to come.”

Financial terms are not known, but since there is no impact on the salary cap in regards to coaching salaries, most fans will not care at all what the Vikings are paying Frazier.

Unless another deal is reached between Frazier and the Vikings, we can plan on being right back in this same position at this time next year, with Frazier once again approaching a lame duck season.

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24

What a great day Saturday turned out to be for Vikings fans.

Cris Carter getting elected into the Hall of Fame was just the beginning.

The NFL hosted their second annual awards show on Saturday night, and oddly chose to air it after everyone knew who won what, but it was still well worth watching for those of us wanting to see Adrian Peterson get what he deserved.

Peterson took home the NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year Award, the Fed Ex Ground Player of the Year Award, and the Offensive Player of the Year Award.

The big question, however, was whether or not Peterson would win the Most Valuable Player Award with considerable competition coming out of Denver in the form of Peyton Manning.  By a tally of 30.5 to 19.5 votes, Peterson indeed won the prestigious award for the first time in his decorated career.

Peterson put doubters in the corner by rehabbing his knee and then rushing for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns.  As we all know, he fell only nine yards shy of having the greatest season of any running back in history.

Peterson did lose out to Manning in the voting for the much debated Comeback Player of the Year Award.

This may not be the last time Peterson wins this award, however, as he has recently stated that his goal for next season is to rush for 2,500 yards.  At this point, it is hard to doubt the man.

Leslie Frazier also managed to get three votes in the Coach of the Year category, which ended up going to Bruce Arians for his work as an interim coach in Indianapolis.

Congratulations to Peterson on his final achievement of the 2012 season!

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18

Today, Leslie Frazier did exactly what every head coach begins a season hoping he doesn’t have to do, he gave his end of the season press conference without being able to boast an NFL Championship.

That doesn’t mean, however, that this three-win team from a year ago doesn’t have plenty of positives to hang their hat on as they leave Winter Park and Frazier made sure to point out each of those.

As anyone could predict, Frazier said all of the right things that one would expect him to say at the presser, which you can watch by clicking here.  Because of these expectations, I hardly feel that things he said are really newsworthy because we all knew exactly what would be said.

Christian Ponder is the starter next year.  Frazier would like to see everybody back to training camp no matter how old they are getting, how much they are getting paid, or how little they produced this season.  Joe Webb will compete for a backup spot again.  Percy Harvin has no attitude problems and has no reason to not come back next season.

All positive… but all predictable.

I’m not suggesting he is not genuine when touching on the positives, I simply mean to point out that not much stock should be put into his words when it comes to the touchier subjects.

I will say this, however, I cannot remember a Vikings head coach in my lifetime that presents himself as well as Leslie Frazier.  The guy is pure class, and I am excited about him getting his contract extension, which both he and Zygi Wilf indicated would be worked out at some point this offseason.

Leslie Frazier improved greatly in his second season as Head Coach and he represents the Minnesota Vikings organization about as well as, if not better than, any coach in the NFL represents their respective teams.

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11

It’s game day, gentleman (and ladies). We’re about eight hours away from the start of one of biggest game the Vikings have played in quite some time. Just rolled out of bed. Got some coffee in hand. Let’s get to those questions, shall we?

Q: Everybody knows it, but why is Adrian Peterson this year’s MVP? (Malte)

Obviously, I can’t look at the debate between Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson objectively. That being said, I do not understand the argument for Peyton Manning as MVP over Peterson. If Manning wins, it should be renamed to Most Valuable Quarterback because he is not more valuable to the Broncos than AD is to the Vikings. For one, Manning isn’t even the best quarterback in the league this year. Last time I looked over the stats for quarterbacks, I don’t remember Manning leading in a single one of them. Here’s what it comes down to: Adrian Peterson willed this team to 10 victories. He threw this team over his shoulder and carried them to seven more wins than last season running through [usually] nine defenders in the box on any given play. Especially once Percy Harvin left, Peterson was the Vikings only offensive weapon. Peyton Manning stepped onto a playoff caliber team with a great defense, great receivers and an already pretty solid foundation. Yes, he gave the team five more wins than they had last year, but I believe you put any other ‘elite’ QB in that role and Denver ends the season with the same (if not better) record. What Adrian Peterson did this season could not be done had any other running back been in his shoes. It’s that simple. That is value. Peterson deserves this award. (Alas, if I had to wager today, I would say that Manning ends up winning the dang thing.)

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