With a win on Sunday night, the Philadelphia Eagles can clinch a playoff berth and an NFC East Championship, so needless to say, there’s a lot at stake for the NFC East leaders. But the Eagles are not the only team with something to play for this week – the Vikings will be playing for pride and look to improve upon many different things looking forward to next season.
“I really believe that our guys are mentally where they need to be as we have to focus on the Philadelphia Eagles who are a very good football team,” Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Wednesday. “They’ve got a lot to play for at this time of the year and in a lot of ways, we do as well. Our guys have really bought into the fact that we’re playing for our own personal pride, but also, we have a chance to go on the road and get a win against a very good team which would bode well for us as we go forward.”
Ever since falling out of playoff contention after the loss to the NY Giants at Ford Field 2 weeks ago, there have been questions swirling about whether players would “coast out” to finish the season. But after receiving his 2nd Korey Stringer Good Guy Award – honoring the Vikings player who is the most cooperative and has the best attitude with the media – LB Ben Leber pointed out that it his job to continue playing and leave any other concerns for the offseason.
“No, I mean it hasn’t been tough at all,” Leber responded when asked if it’s hard to finish out the season while not thinking about the future. “This is my job, this is what I’m supposed to do. I’ll have a long offseason, especially we don’t have a CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) to think about, what’s going to happen with my future. I’ll have plenty of time to think about that. Just focus on how I’m going to get myself and this team better.”
It’s safe to say that there will be some significant roster moves to a Vikings team that has fallen to 5-9 just one season after claiming their 2nd consecutive NFC North title and a conference championship appearance. Also consider the amount of free agents after this season and those looking for new contracts. But what remains a priority of Frazier’s is to stay focused at the task at hand, and that’s to beat the Eagles on Sunday night.
Frazier spent 1999-2002 with the Eagles as their DBs coach, so he holds ties back in Philadelphia, but still has his mind set on one thing – winning.
“It’s special in the fact that we get a chance to go back and see some old friends, but we just need a win so bad,” Frazier said. “I mean that’s what’s on my mind more than anything. What can we do to figure out a way to get a win against a good team on the road? That’s where my energy and focus is.”
Tags: Ben Leber, Leslie Frazier
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