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Leslie Frazier Feels Minnesota Can Return To Top Of NFC North In 2011

The Minnesota Vikings went from first to worst in the NFC North the last two seasons. That’s life in the National Football League where games are decided by razor thin margins and rules are in place to establish competitive fairness across the league. The Vikings’ nose-dive cost Brad Childress his job, opening up the door for veteran defensive assistant Leslie Frazier to try his hand as a head coach for the first time.

After righting the ship down the stretch, Frazier and the Vikings look to rebound and compete for a playoff spot in ‘11. To do so, they’ll have to receive much better quarterback play than they did last season. Hence the trade for Donovan McNabb. Obviously McNabb isn’t considered the long-term solution; that’s where Christan Ponder comes into play. But McNabb could do just fine this year playing indoors and with Adrian Peterson. He’ll have to be better than just average though if the Vikings hope to return to the playoffs. The Chicago Bears look to be better and, of course, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers won’t be an easy out.

Frazier sure sounds excited about his team’s chances at being solid. On Sunday, Frazier joined KFAN from training camp to talk about the start of camp and the Vikings’ outlook for 2011.

On the signing of Donovan McNabb:

“He was pretty excited about the opportunity. We had some discussions about a lot of different things that needed to be talked about. He was extremely excited about the opportunity to come to Minnesota with the players that we have around him. It didn’t take a whole lot of convincing.”

How concerned he is with McNabb’s struggles in Washington:

“I’ve had a chance to work with Donovan in the past. My first four years in the NFL as a coach and his first four years in the league as a player I was around him, watching his growth and saw what he did for our football team in Philadelphia and throughout his career. There were some bumps in the road in Washington and I didn’t get overly concerned or alarmed about what was happening. I feel like I know Donovan well, I know what his makeup is like, and also have an idea of what the problems were in Washington. I felt like for our football team and the circumstances that we were coming from this offseason he would be a good fit for what we needed to have done.”

On trying to get Chad Greenway and Adrian Peterson locked up long-term:

“Yeah we gotta get Chad taken care of, but Adrian is not far behind. It’s a priority to hopefully secure him in a long-term contract at some point. We will sit down with him and his agent and try to get that done sooner than later.”

Whether or not he believe Minnesota can win the division:

“No doubt about it. No doubt about it. That’s exactly what I’m gonna talk to our team about. I do believe we can win our division without question.”

(Transcription via: SportsRadioInterviews)

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.