Frazier Brings His Own Style

New defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier would like the Vikings to be more of a true Tampa-2 team, but that will require some adjustments from how things panned out last year.

With Mike Tomlin having departed as the Vikings defensive coordinator after only one season to become the head coach in Pittsburgh, players are spending the offseason camps adjusting to new coordinator Leslie Frazier.

Frazier, who served as the defensive backs coach for the Indianapolis Colts the past two seasons, will continue to run the Tampa-2 system that Tomlin employed in Minnesota. However, there will be a few tweaks.

While some of the changes will come in the how plays are called and other areas that most won't notice, he does hope to make one adjustment that will be obvious.

Frazier would like to blitz less than Tomlin did last season.

Tomlin was left with little choice but to bring consistent pressure because the front four had trouble getting a consistent pass rush. Opponents exploited this weakness and the Vikings finished tied for last in the NFL against the pass. The run defense, however, was the best in the NFL.

Frazier is hoping to keep the run defense near the top of the pack but also make sure the pass defense makes significant improvement. Having to blitz less would make the Vikings more of a true Tampa-2 team, considering the defense calls for the front line to apply pressure without the aid of blitzes.

While the Vikings spent significant classroom time during minicamp doing installation, Frazier said the most important thing during the three days is to see execution.

"Just for us it's more about execution and being fundamentally where we want them to be," he said. "Getting players to learn how we want them to practice. There are still a lot of rookies that will make this team. There will be some carryover from a year ago. But there are some guys who have never lined up in a Vikings uniform. We've got to get them introduced to the way we want them to do it."

NOTES

  • Frazier said he wants to keep Kenechi Udeze anchored at left end this season. Udeze replaced Erasmus James at right end early last year after James suffered a season-ending knee injury. Udeze, however, did not record a sack during the entire season despite playing a key position in the pass rush.

    Udeze was working with the second team on the left side during organized team activities last week but was back with the first unit splitting time with Darrion Scott for the beginning of minicamp.

  • Safeties Tank Williams and Mike Doss, who are both coming off season-ending knee injuries, split the work during minicamp, with Doss practicing in the morning and Williams in the afternoon. Both practiced in Sunday's final session.

  • The Vikings tried five players on kickoff returns during minicamp, including receivers Bobby Wade, Troy Williamson, Chandler Williams, Aundrae Allison and running back Adrian Peterson.

  • Coach Brad Childress has put a new system in place in which players who commit mistakes, such as false starts, offsides and fumbles, must run the length of the field to the goal post.

  • The Vikings are doing some shuffling with their offensive linemen, getting right tackle Ryan Cook some work at center and right guard Artis Hicks some work on the left side. Cook was a center in college and, in addition to starting at right tackle, likely will be the primary backup to veteran Matt Birk this season.

  • The Vikings announced they will report to training camp in Mankato, Minn., on July 25 and hold their first practice two days later. Camp will break Aug. 16.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I put a lot of pressure on myself and that's all the pressure I really fell. Everything else is just playing football. Just doing what I love to do." — Tarvaris Jackson on if he feels pressure now that he's the Vikings' No. 1 quarterback.



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