In an article posted in the news headline section of vikings.com, we pointed out that Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier is going through NFL draft preparations for the first time as a head coach and that he’s handling the responsibilities with aplomb. We also explained that it should come as no surprise, given how gracefully he led the organization through the tumultuous conclusion to the 2010 season.
But now is not the time to reflect back on the end of the 2010 season. It’s time to think about the 2011 season and, more specifically and more imminently, the 2011 NFL Draft, which will begin on Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. CT.
Frazier, going through the draft for the first time as head coach, says he has a different perspective on things this year. He’s a 23-year coaching veteran, but for the first time at the NFL level he’s considering more than just the defensive side of the ball in his evaluation and decision-making.
“You go from being a defensive coordinator, where you’re working just one side of the football, although in the role of assistant head coach I would have discussions on occasion with Rick and others about other positions. But my primary responsibility was working on the defensive side of the football,” Frazier explained. “Now, to have to look at it globally when it comes to special teams, offense and defense, that’s a little bit different but it’s not something I’ve never had to do before.”
As he’s done in other areas of his life and his profession, Frazier has clearly prepared himself well for his current role. And since he’s prepared to handle the responsibilities of helping VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and Co. guide the franchise through the draft, he’s enjoying the process as well.
“I really enjoy doing it,” Frazier said. “I like being able to have some say in who we’re looking at as a return specialist, who we’re looking at at other positions other than just defense. I’ve enjoyed it, it’s been good. I’ve enjoyed it a great deal.”
Frazier also stressed that Vikings fans can enjoy this time of year also. The team is coming off a disappointing season and roster turnover is expected, but the Vikings head coach is optimistic about this year’s draft class and he knows the draft represents an opportunity for new life.
“There are a lot of good players on that board that we’re discussing,” Frazier commend, “and I’m excited about what’s going to happen in the days ahead and it should be a great time if you’re a Minnesota Vikings fan. It should be a great time.”
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft, Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 37 Comments »
Although it’s not even certain the Vikings will stand pat with the #12 pick in the 1st round of Thursday’s NFL draft, let’s take a look at the history of the 12th overall pick and see what kind of player the Vikings might be able to find.
The last 5 years of the 12th pick has been quite impressive. The best of that bunch was taken back in 2006, when the Baltimore Ravens tabbed DT Haloti Ngata with the 12th pick. After that, though, the names don’t regress much. RB Marshawn Lynch went to the Bills in that slot during the 2007 draft, OT Ryan Clady to the Broncos in 2008, RB Knowshon Moreno to the Broncos in 2009 and in 2010 RB Ryan Mathews was the pick for San Diego.
If you go back further in history, impressive names remain. LBs Shawne Merriman (2005) and Jonathan Vilma (2004) are relatively recent picks, while QB Joe Namath (1965) and Vikings legend RB Chuck Foreman (1973) represent names from the past. Other impressive names include Shaun Ellis in 2000, Warrick Dunn in 1997, Warren Sapp in 1995, Trace Armstrong in 1989 and Clay Matthews in 1978.
I’ve compiled the full list of 12th overall picks in the NFL since the Vikings inception in 1961; you can view the list by clicking here.
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft, Chuck Foreman
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 31 Comments »
As you’ve probably heard by now, there was NFL labor issue-related news late Monday afternoon. This is obviously a sensitive topic with complex issues layered on top of more complex issues, so for the time being we’re going to simply give you verbatim the update from NFL.com to keep you in the loop.
As more information becomes available and becomes appropriate to share, we’ll have it for you right here on vikings.com.
The following update is from NFL.com’s Albert Breer, who has been covering this issue for the League’s website:
The plaintiffs in the Brady et al v. National Football League case were granted an injunction on Monday by Judge Susan Nelson, lifting the NFL lockout, if temporarily.
The NFL’s stance on the matter now is that the lockout rules remain intact until Nelson, and then the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, rule on whether or not the ruling will be stayed upon appeal. In reaction to Nelson’s ruling, the league filed its appeal with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a request for a stay with Nelson on Monday night.
“We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in statement, prior to filing the appeal. “We are confident that the Eighth Circuit will agree. But we also believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the best interests of players, clubs and fans. We can reach a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations toward that goal.”
The news set the stage for an interesting Tuesday morning, with the possibility of many players reporting to their respective team’s headquarters.
Aiello said late Monday night that if players show up, they will be allowed into facilities.
“If a player comes to the facility, he will be treated courteously and with respect,” Aiello said.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 10 Comments »