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Recent posts by Eric Edholm
You can call him a defensive coach if you so choose, but Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier understands the need for his team to find a franchise quarterback to build around. In an interview with PFW's Andrew Struckmeyer for an upcoming story, Frazier talked about his roots with tiny Trinity International University, a start-up program he helped oversee when he first got into coaching after his playing career.
When asked how important it was to land Todd Johnson, a star quarterback for the college program, Frazier made a connection to the current Vikings.
"It'll probably be just like it will be here in Minnesota, in this draft, to get that star quarterback," Frazier told PFW. "It was everything — Todd really made a tremendous difference for us, just like Peyton Manning made for us in Indianapolis and Tom Brady does for the New England Patriots.
"It's the same way at our (NFL) level: Getting a quarterback makes a tremendous difference. And Todd did the same thing for us at Trinity."
The Vikings clearly are in the market for a new quarterback, as Frazier's allusion regarding this year's draft in the previous quotation suggests. Brett Favre has filed retirement papers (and wouldn't be back with the Vikings even if he hadn't), Tarvaris Jackson is a free-agent-to-be, and Joe Webb is a project at best.
Frazier spoke of the qualities he's looking for in his next quarterback.
"(I would) like to find a guy of high character who has leadership abilities, a strong leader in that regard," he said. "A guy who is very competitive, who has a strong desire to win. Of course, he has to have the talent to be accurate with the football. The leadership and the character, along with the competitive spirit — I mean those are the key characteristics that you look for.
"Hopefully you'll find a guy who can throw the football and do the things in the pocket with pocket presence and so on, but if he's not a guy with high character, if he's not a leader, if he's not a competitive guy, even though he may have talent, that's not good enough to lead your team to a championship."
Frazier didn't rule out Webb fitting into the equation somewhere, even though it's possible he might not be a quarterback for the long term.
"Joe has a lot of those qualities, and I'm hoping over this offseason — if we end up having an offseason (with the threat of a potential lockout) — and in the preseason as well, that he'll have more opportunities to display some of those qualities that I'm describing.
"We briefly saw some of the things that he's capable of doing, but you'd like to be able to put him out there and give him more experience. But I think he's shown that he has some of those qualities."