Notebook: Change of plans? Not likely

Can the Vikings get a different result with the same quarterback, same coaching duties and same offensive line? Leslie Frazier is banking on it. Plus, why Shaun Prater could be a "system fit" for the Vikings and other notes.

Leslie Frazier is trying to keep his players and staff with a singular focus: the next game.

Now more than ever, however, that might be hard for the head coach to do. The Vikings are 1-5 and on a nosedive, losing their last two games by a combined score of 58-17.

Despite the lopsided 35-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers, who had one win at the time, and the 23-7 loss to the previously winless New York Giants, Leslie Frazier said he has no plans for changes in his coaching staff or their duties this week.

"We got a big game coming up this weekend, and we talk to our players all the time about concentrating on what you can control, and what you can control is their preparation for ballgames, what they do in meetings, what they do in practice," Frazier said. "From a coaching standpoint, our focus has to be on the Green Bay Packers and nothing else, and if it goes in any other direction then you end up cheating yourself in your preparation for this next opponent. So our guys have done a real good job of focusing on the task at hand, and it won't take a whole lot for our guys to be focused on this ballgame coming up this Sunday."

The Vikings face a more imposing team Sunday night on NBC's nationally televised game. The Green Bay Packers are 4-2 and have won their last three consecutive games. They have the second-ranked offense in the NFL and third-ranked rush defense.

The Packers have, however, given up yards in the passing game. That makes Frazier's decision at quarterback all the more important and he is going back to Josh Freeman, who had a 40.6 passer rating, the second-lowest of his career since his rookie season in 2009.

Frazier said he talks with veterans about his important decisions and explains to them his reasoning.

"I talk to our guys often about what we're doing, how we're doing it, our leaders on our team. At the end of the day, those guys know I'm going to make decisions I think are the best for our team," Frazier said. "Thus far they've been very supportive. You get to a point where you need to win some games to keep things going. They have been very supportive. I'm always conscious of where they are, but they also know that every decision can't be made by committee. Some have to be made by myself and coaches as well."
It was clear over the last two weeks that former starters Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel weren't thrilled with the decision to bring Freeman into the mix and have him handed the starting job after only a week of work in the team's system.

Publicly, however, they and their teammates have put their best face forward.

"One of the good things about our guys up to this point is they have been so supportive of every decision, evidenced by the way they played (Monday) night," Frazier said. "As hard as they played and competed throughout, you can tell that those guys are on board. We've just got to get a win to maintain the confidence and get some momentum going. We had opportunities (Monday) night. There is no divisiveness in the locker room. If there were, it would have showed in our play, and it didn't. We didn't make plays when we had chances to make plays."

Despite that, Frazier said he is sticking with Freeman at quarterback, won't make any changes in the coaching duties and doesn't anticipate any changes on the offensive line.


The Vikings claimed CB Shaun Prater off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles and released CB Jacob Lacey, who had just signed with the Vikings last week.

Lacey was with the Vikings during the offseason but released in August. He re-signed with them last week, was active for the New York Giants game but didn't play.

Prater played in one game with the Eagles, a Week 3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but didn't play on defense and had only four snaps on special teams.

Coming out of Iowa, he was a fifth-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals but was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury before the 2012 season began. The Bengals released him in August and he signed with the Eagles, where he was inactive for six of the first seven games before he was waived.

He was considered a true zone cornerback at Iowa and returned for his senior season when feedback that he received from the draft advisory committee was that he needed to work on his man-to-man coverage skills.

At Iowa, Prater started 35 of 48 games and recorded 171 tackles (113 solos) with a sack, 1½ tackles-for-loss, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He deflected 19 passes and intercepted seven others for 179 yards in returns (a 24.71-yard average) and two touchdowns.


  • Frazier said he would have injury updates on TE Rhett Ellison (ankle) and RB Matt Asiata (shoulder) on Wednesday after their MRIs.

  • LT Matt Kalil, who entered Monday night's game listed as questionable on last week's injury report with a lower back injury, played every snap.

    "He did pretty good. It was great to see him finish the game. He played fairly well, obviously could have done some things better, but he finished the game, which is great, because we were really concerned prior to the game whether he'd make it."

  • WR Greg Childs is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list this week, but Frazier said he doesn't expect Childs to begin practicing this week and doesn't expect a decision on Childs' roster status for a few weeks.

  • Frazier pointed to turnovers as one of the main struggles for the Vikings Monday, especially the scoring off the turnovers.

    The Vikings recovered one fumble on the Giants 31-yard line but gave it back two plays later with an interception.

    The Giants, however, had an interception and two fumble recoveries to end Vikings drives. One fumble was recovered on the 3-yard line and resulted in a touchdown after two plays and the other was recovered on the 18-yard line and resulted in a field goal for 10 points off turnovers.

    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

  • Viking Update Top Stories