Frazier says Vikings coaches side with owners

Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier says Vikings coaches stand

firmly behind their owners in the NFL labor dispute and were not

consulted before the NFL Coaches Association filed a brief

supporting the players.

Frazier spoke Friday while Minnesota coaches, officials and

alumni gathered to build a playground at Northport Elementary

School in suburban Minneapolis.

The NFLCA filed a brief in court last month backing the players

in the labor fight. But Frazier says his coaching staff was never

contacted by the association and will ”always be supportive of our

management.”

”It really doesn’t in a lot of ways pertain to us because we

had no say in it as a staff. … I just know for us being

supportive of the Wilf family and the Minnesota Vikings

organization is where our staff really feels is important to us,”

Frazier said.

The brief drew some attention when it was filed because it

appeared to provide the first insight into a split between the

owners and the coaches during the labor standoff. A number of teams

have come out in recent weeks saying the same thing, including the

New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins.

”We’ve got great management here in Minnesota,” Frazier said.

”The Wilf family has been terrific to our employees. But no we

were not contacted by the coaches association regarding that

brief.”

Frazier also said the lockout is causing the Vikings to consider

canceling training camp in Mankato. Frazier said team officials

will meet next week and come up with an exact date at which point,

if there is still a lockout, that portion of training camp will be

scratched.

The Vikings have held training camp in the town 90 minutes south

of the Twin Cities for 45 years.

”We’re going to probably come to a conclusion in the middle of

next week as to the exact date we would say, if we don’t know

anything by that date, we probably won’t be going to Mankato,”

Frazier said. ”But we’re still discussing that.”

Frazier hopes it doesn’t comes to that. He’s beginning his first

full season as an NFL head coach and is breaking in a rookie

quarterback in first-round draft pick Christian Ponder. So Frazier

needs all the time he can get.

He said the Vikings are still mulling bringing in a veteran

quarterback to take over early in the season before handing things

over to Ponder. Second-year man Joe Webb is another option, but all

signs point to Ponder being the quarterback of the future in

Minnesota.

If the Vikings get back to work some time fairly soon, Frazier

said, there is a realistic chance of getting Ponder ready to start

Week 1. But if the lockout drags on, the Vikings could be forced to

go another direction at the outset.

”Each scenario kind of presents its own challenges and we’re

not married to any scenario at this point,” Frazier said. ”But

there will come a time when you get so far into it where we’ll have

to make a decision for what’s best for Christian and whether you

can put him out there without having a preseason, if that’s the

case.”