On Wednesday following practice, Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier talked about his visit with new Vikings QB Brett Favre back in June.
Frazier said that he and Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress discussed the possibility of Frazier visiting with Favre while the coach was in Mississippi visiting family.
“In June, I had a chance to sit down and talk with him (Favre) about some things and try to explain to him from my perspective (and) what type of team we had,” Frazier explained. “What I thought he would mean to our football team and what we could do for him as well, if he was indeed considering coming out of retirement.”
Frazier visited Favre at the local high school where Favre was working out.
“It was more just to communicate to him from a different perspective, that this is who we are,” Frazier said. “This is what we have to offer. This is why it is a plus and this is why it might be a minus. I just wanted to answer any questions he had and for him to hear from a different voice.”
Frazier, who spent a half-day with Favre, had never visited with the QB before their June meeting. Following their conversation, Frazier thought Favre would return to play for the Vikings and then was surprised when Favre initially told the Vikings prior to training camp that he would not come back.
“I was surprised when he said, ‘No.’,” Frazier recalled. “I just felt like with all the work that he had done and all he had put into it, that it would be a very good chance that he would be a Viking and playing football again.
“One of my initial concerns, because I didn’t know him,” Frazier recalled, “was would he fit? That was a part of why I went down there. Would he fit our team, not just from a performance standpoint but in our locker room? Because in our business when you are trying to win a championship, chemistry matters also and if you don’t have the right chemistry even though you may have tremendous talent it can divide a football team. Once I left, I really felt he would fit our locker room and our team and be a positive rather than a negative. I felt like he would be a plus for our team and that is what I told Coach when we spoke.”
Frazier also said that a reason for his surprise when Favre initially decided not to come back was that he could sense a strong desire to still play from the QB. Ultimately, though, Favre decided to return and Frazier says the QB will increase the team’s level of play this season.
“You are talking about a Hall of Fame quarterback who can still perform at a high level,” Frazier said. “We have some good offensive players. I thought both Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels were doing a great job and now you bring a guy like Brett, who we are all familiar with his background, what he has achieved and his experience. You have to think that is going to raise our level of play, not only on offense but our entire team with his leadership. It should be a win-win for our football team and organization.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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As mentioned in the previous entry, former NFL head coach and current NFL Network personality Steve Mariucci was at Winter Park on Wednesday watching practice and catching up with familiar faces, including QB Brett Favre. Mariucci was the QBs coach in Green Bay during the early part of Favre’s career and the two have remained close since then.
On Wednesday, Mariucci stood on the sideline and watched the Vikings workout inside the Winter Park field house. Favre was rifling passes into receivers and Mariucci stood there shaking his head with a smile on his face.
“I had the pleasure of coaching Brett during his first four years in Green Bay,” Mariucci told me. “He was just a kid; he’s a little bit grayer now, as you’ve noticed. But when I watch practice, he seems to still have the same zip on the ball.”
Mariucci also commented on how he thought the Vikings presented a good situation for Favre because they are coming off a 10-6 record and a division title in 2008. He also said the presence of RB Adrian Peterson makes the Vikings-Favre reunion a good one for the player and team.
“Brett has had some good running backs in his career,” Mariucci said. “And they’ve always had good balance, run and pass. But Adrian is probably the best running back, I know Edgar Bennett and Ahman Green and Dorsey Levens are going ‘Wait a minute!’, and they were good, too. But this guy (Peterson) is special and Brett’s gotta learn to play with more play-action than drop back pass maybe, and that’s okay”
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Steve Mariucci
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As should probably have been expected, the media blitz that occurred yesterday following the Vikings-Brett Favre union continued today at Winter Park. Joining the regular media contingent was an even larger group of reporters and cameras from both local and national outlets.
The crowd of media members inside the Winter Park field house today was as large a crowd as I can remember following a practice. Favre wasn’t scheduled to address reporters, but everyone wanted more reaction from his teammates and coaches. Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier met with reporters following practice, and even he was asked extensively about Favre. In fact, the first 10 questions asked were Favre-related.
ESPN’s Ed Werder was here, as was NFL Network reporter Randy Moss. Another NFL Network personality, former 49ers and Lions Head Coach Steve Mariucci, was also in the house today. Mariucci and Favre remain close from their time together in Green Bay, when Mariucci was the team’s QBs coach.
“To be honest with you, I was personally hoping that he would come back and play,” Mariucci said. “I, like many millions of sports fans, enjoy watching the guy play. He drives us all crazy, he thrills us, he’s sort of an enigma. But now he’s back and there are a lot of storylines here. We all know that. He’s in the same division as the Packers, and that’s going to be blown out of proportion like crazy. He’s with a team and a coach and a system that he’s very familiar with. And he’s on a good football team. This is a division-winning football team. His intention and his hope is to try to take them to the next step or two.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier, Steve Mariucci
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 1 Comment »
The Brett Favre-Minnesota Vikings union was big news yesterday and continues to grab headlines today. But inside Winter Park, the organization is moving forward and continuing preparations for both this Friday’s preseason game against the Chiefs and also the regular season.
The team will hold 1 practice today at 11:45 inside the field house (due to inclement weather), and Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will meet with reporters following that practice.
We’ll have plenty of updates all day on vikings.com, so stay tuned here.
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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