Notebook: Frazier's finale?

Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier dialed up a mostly effective game plan, but will that be his final hurrah in purple? A couple of Vikings talked about that, others talked about the blitzing from both sides, Brad Childress explained some coaching decisions, and we've got more notes and quotes, including a rumor on a potential L.A. team.

The stock of Leslie Frazier continues to go up. Last week, the Detroit Lions requested permission to interview the Vikings defensive coordinator for their head-coaching opening.

Frazier's name has also surfaced in relation to the St. Louis Rams' head-coaching job – ESPN had him on their list of three coaches the Rams were interested in – and the Denver Broncos are also believed to be in the mix, according to the Star Tribune.

"It's part of the game. It seems like we have musical chairs going on with defensive coordinators. Wherever the chips fall, we have to rebound," said defensive tackle Kevin Williams. "He could get a chance and get a head-coaching job, but if not he'll be coaching the No. 1-ranked defense."

Defensive end Jared Allen said that for selfish reasons he'd like to play under Frazier for years to come.

"Frazier is an awesome coach and I love playing for him. He provides a work environment that is conducive to getting better," Allen said. "He is not the kind of guy who is going to hammer on you – he lets you do what you need to do. I have already told him that if he does get a head-coaching job, I wish him all the best. I want him to stay here and I want him to come back, at least for another five years. I know the business side of it and I had to make a business decision to come here. He is deserving of a head-coaching job. I give him my support. I hope he stays, but if not someone is going to get a hell of a coach."

With the Vikings out of the playoffs, Frazier likely will interview for at least a couple of head-coaching vacancies this week.

BLITZING BOTH SIDES

There wasn't a player who wasn't expecting the Eagles to blitz early and often. They did early, bringing the blitz on three of the first six Minnesota snaps, but when they sold out on the blitz in the second quarter, Adrian Peterson took full advantage.

The Vikings were on the Eagles 40-yard facing third-and-2, and Jim Johnson's defense sold out to the line of scrimmage. Once Peterson pierced past the initial wave, he needed only to the beat safety Quintin Demps and did so for a touchdown.

"Coming into this game, we knew they were going to bring the heat," Peterson said. "The first half, they brought the heat, but it wasn't as much as we expected. The second half they picked it up."

Center Matt Birk said he felt the blitz plenty early in the game as well.

"They blitzed a lot. I don't have the numbers. I got hit in the head a lot, but they brought it plenty," he said.

However, it appeared that as the game went further toward the Eagles' advantage on the scoreboard, the more they came after Jackson, who at one point in the second half threw seven straight incompletions.

At some point in the second half, it appeared that all the blitzing was starting to affect Jackson.

"I don't know where that exactly occurred," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "He hit a couple plays early in that third quarter. I just think the game changed there with (Brian Westbrook's) long screen pass and now you're more into a throw type of mentality. And they were bringing it every down because they really knew what had to have to occur there. Obviously not happy with the way we finished the football game. We have to get better in that area when it's a must-throw situation."

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

For those fans concerned about the Vikings moving to the Los Angeles market, the Oakland Raiders might get there first. According to ESPN's Chris Mortenson, the Raiders have been negotiating to sell off another portion of the team to a group headed by C. Dean Metropoulos, who has been reported to want to relocate a team to the Los Angeles market.

According to Mortenson's report, sources said this transaction would only be for 10 percent of the team right now, but "Metropoloulos' lead broker is trying to negotiate a purchase option on the Raiders within 3-5 years upon closing the deal."

QUESTIONING COACHING

Two of Brad Childress' decisions were being questioned during and after the game.

The first came on the Eagles' first scoring drive. After a 62-yard punt return by DeSean Jackson that set up Philadelphia on the 27-yard line, the Vikings' aggressive defense was getting to QB Donovan McNabb. Allen got a second-down sack and the Vikings forced an incompletion on a third-down pass. On that third-and-9 attempt, the Eagles were called for holding and Childress could have backed them up to the 36-yard line for third-and-19, but he elected to decline the holding penalty and avoid another third-down attempt which, if it was an incomplete pass, could have made David Akers' field-goal attempt from 53 yards.

Instead, Childress didn't want to give the Eagles another third-down opportunity.

"I talked to our special teams guy and he said, ‘He'll make it from there. He'll make it from back here, too.' So, rather than give them another swing at that down, we kind of have an idea where he can knock it in from," Childress said. "It's a sterile environment from the standpoint that there is no wind and he has a strong leg."

Interestingly, Childress second-guessed himself for not going for a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 from his own 29-yard line before punting to Jackson, whose 62-yard return actually brought the ball back to the 27-yard line.

"I kick myself for not quarterback sneaking and punting to DeSean Jackson and then having him bring it right back to the spot where it would have been had we gotten stopped on fourth down," Childress said.

Asked again about his decision to not take the holding penalty and backing them up 10 yards, he reiterated his desire to not give the Eagles a second chance on third down, even if it would have been third-and-19.

"The point is they would have played the down again. You're basically giving something to get something and nothing says that you're going to stop them for zero yards and it's going to be a 52-yard attempt," Childress said. "It's glass half-full glass half-empty. I'm not sure where that drive started, but they were moving the football and we just wanted to get the ball out of their hands and get their offense off the field."

The other decision that caused post-game discussion was at the end of the first half.

The Eagles had a 16-14 lead and were driving near midfield when Cedric Griffin intercepted a McNabb pass at the Vikings 18-yard line. The Eagles had one timeout left and Minnesota appeared content to not take any chances, running the ball on first down. But when they threw incomplete on second down, it gave Philadelphia the opportunity to stop the clock with their last timeout after a third-down run.

"We were deep in our own territory and we had one timeout if I'm not mistaken so what you want to do is you want to try and hit a play if you can and then things get different if you can get it in or around the midfield stripe or minus the 40-yard line," Childress said. "At the same time, we wanted to see how they were going to play with their timeouts. If you want to run out the clock, you run it three times in a row."

INACTIVES

DT Pat Williams (shoulder) was among the Vikings' inactives, further depleting a defensive line that was also without DE Ray Edwards. It didn't appear to affect their run defense, as the Viking held Philadelphia to 67 yards on 23 carries, a 2.9-yard average.

Other inactives for the Vikings included John David Booty (third QB), TE Garrett Mills, LB Dontarrious Thomas, T Marcus Johnson, WR Darius Reynaud, DE Ray Edwards and DT Letroy Guion.

The Eagles had their own injury problems to contend with in the starting rotation. TE L.J. Smith and guard Shawn Andrews were inactive. The Eagles' other inactives included A.J. Feeley (third QB), RB Lorenzo Booker, LB Joe Mays, DE Bryan Smith, T Chris Patrick and DE Victor Abiamiri.

NOTES

  • Darren Sharper suffered a high ankle sprain in the second quarter. He tried to return on the same drive but eventually left the game for good. "He tried to come in here and get it loosened up. He was all set to go in the second half and it wouldn't (work) for him at the level that he would've liked to have it work," Childress said.

  • The end of the season came quickly for the players, Childress said. "The finality is they're staring it right in the face. It ends fast. But they want to hang their hat on the good things and just appreciate this team and the way they went about their business this year," Childress said. "I told you guys, it was a fun team to coach. I thought that they played with great resolve. They didn't lose sight of the big picture."

  • Despite a 45.4 passer rating and completing fewer than half of his passes, Tarvaris Jackson said he wasn't nervous in his first playoff game as a pro. "No, I just treated it like it was a regular game. The tempo was a little faster," he said. "It was a pretty good team we were playing against, but we didn't want to do anything different than we normally do."

  • Running back Adrian Peterson said his first playoff game was unlike any other big game he's played in. "I don't think it compares at all to any other games that I've been a part of. This is what it's all about," he said. "Training camp, 5:30, 6: o'clock wakeup, that's all about getting us any opportunity to be in the playoffs and it hurts. I'm hurt right now, but like I said, you take a lot from this, learn, and it's good to have this experience, being in the playoffs. We're going to build from this and come back next year with a stronger team and definitely do better."

  • Defensive end Jared Allen had a bittersweet experience, enjoying the playoffs but feeling the sting of a loss that ends the season suddenly. "It's one of those things, losing hurts. It's gut-wrenching, especially in the playoffs," he said. "Playoffs are so fun. This is the second time now that I am one and done. We have to find the positives, go back and watch the film and make the corrections. Like I said, it came down to one play and hats off to them."

  • Allen isn't sure where some analysts are finding the scrambling skills of McNabb to be regressing. "I tell you what, whoever says that guy can't move still is a liar. I thought he was running around out there quite nice," Allen said. "He is a heck of a player, they've got playmakers and they ended up making the play at the right time and they won the game."


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