Frazier left to deal with QB quandary

Brad Childress came to Minnesota with the tag of quarterback guru, but five seasons later, the Vikings are without a surefire starter on their roster.

The Vikings might have just started their offseason, but new coach Leslie Frazier is going to have plenty of work in front of him following a 6-10 last-place finish in the NFC North.

Frazier was named the Vikings' eighth coach one day after the regular season came to an end and has spent his time since then trying to put together a coaching staff.

Frazier is keeping much of his defensive staff intact — he was the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach before replacing Brad Childress on an interim basis in November — but is making changes on the offensive side of the ball and probably on special teams.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy remain employed but Frazier has been interviewing potential replacements.

Josh McDaniels, the Broncos' coach for the past two years and New England's offensive coordinator before that, has interviewed for the offensive coordinator's spot but it's not clear if he will take the job.

One key for Frazier will be figuring out what style of offense he wants to run. Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson is going to be the focal point but the Vikings do not have a starting quarterback for 2011 at this point.

Joe Webb finished the season as a starter but the raw rookie could find himself being moved to wide receiver next season.

The Vikings' options will include looking to draft a quarterback or signing a veteran.

Most important might be bringing in a veteran who can help develop a young quarterback and bridge the gap until the draft pick is ready.

Childress' legacy will be that he arrived from Philadelphia with the reputation for being a quarterback guru but never developed a signal-caller in Minnesota.

Childress took Tarvaris Jackson with a second-round pick in 2006 and tried a few times to plug him in as a starter but that never worked. Other than that, Childress went through a list of veterans that included Brett Favre at the end.

Favre got the Vikings to the 2009 NFC Championship Game but the short-term fixes caught up to the Vikings and helped cost Childress his job with Minnesota sitting at 3-7 on Nov. 22.

Frazier seems to realize the importance of getting a quarterback and along with vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman will look to find a solution for what has turned into a pressing issue for this organization.

Frazier has also been busy interviewing candidates to be on his coaching staff. While the former defensive coordinator has retained his staff on that side of the ball there are changes being made elsewhere.

Although Bevell and Murphy haven't been officially dismissed, Frazier did interview former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels to be his offensive coordinator.

The Vikings also interviewed Broncos special teams coordinator Mike Priefer for the same job in Minnesota.

Frazier also made three quick changes after being named coach, letting go of quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers, offensive line coach Pat Morris and assistant offensive line coach Jim Hueber.

It's expected that linebackers coach Fred Pagac will be promoted to defensive coordinator. That opening would be expected to be filled by former 49ers coach Mike Singletary, who is good friends with Frazier.


  • K Ryan Longwell has been invited to play in the Bob Hope Classic golf tournament this month in California. Longwell has talked about pursuing a career in golf when his football career is finished. Last spring he attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open.

  • DT Kevin Williams was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster as an injury replacement for Detroit Lions rookie Ndamukong Suh. Williams will be in the Pro Bowl for the sixth time in his eight-year career. Running back Adrian Peterson was the only Vikings player named to the team originally.

  • DT Kevin Williams on the potential free-agent departure of veteran nose tackle Pat Williams: "You never know with that guy. I think he'll still play, whether it's here or wherever. I think he's expressed that he would like to keep playing. If that was the last game here, we tried to go out with a bang. If not, we'll keep it going next year."

  • LB Ben Leber, an assistant player rep for the Vikings, on what the union has been telling players as the end of the collective bargaining agreement nears on March 4: "I think the overall feeling is just to prepare for a lockout. I don't think we want to give anyone false hope thinking that we're going to get something done and then we do get locked out and now we've got players that are upset because they weren't mentally prepared for it. I think at this point, we're telling everybody to prepare for the lockout, prepare with what's going to happen with insurance and prepare with what's going to happen overall. Still, there's things that we don't know that we're going to figure (out) when March 4 hits."

  • CB Lito Sheppard on whether he expects to return to the Vikings next season: "I don't know if I'll be back here but I know I'm able and healthy and can still play this game. But given the circumstances I don't necessarily want to be in this predicament as far as where they are in depth. But I definitely think I can help this team. It depends on what they're thinking." Sheppard was used primarily at left cornerback in the nickel package this season.

  • Vikings owner Zygi Wilf when asked where his team will play next season: "In Minnesota." The Vikings are waiting for a decision to be made on how the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission will go about fixing the Metrodome roof that collapsed in December after a 17-inch snowstorm. There is a chance the team could end up playing on the University of Minnesota campus at TCF Bank Stadium.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "It is a relief. I'm glad it's over because it was just a rollercoaster ride, just a whole bunch of emotions. If you really think back about all the stuff that took place this season, it's very unbelievable all this stuff took place. I felt like everybody was able to hang in there and continue to fight but this was definitely a long journey." — LT Bryant McKinnie on the Vikings' season being finished.

  • Viking Update Top Stories