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
”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,”
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
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
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
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