MINNEAPOLIS -- At least for now, the Vikings appear committed to Josh Freeman at quarterback. Coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday that Freeman will start on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers, though he added he hasn't thought far enough ahead to determine whether someone else could start at quarterback for the Vikings this season.
But as we've said all along, the Vikings didn't bring Freeman in to sit him on the bench, and they're certainly not going to throw their quarterback situation into further chaos by waffling on Freeman after two weeks of practice and one game. Doing that would be tantamount to suggesting they have no plan at the one position where a team needs a clear direction more than any other.
That means Frazier, who's done some of his best work in Minnesota when he's had to keep a team together, might have to tap into that part of his skill set again. He meets with the team's leadership council -- a group of 10 or 11 veterans Frazier uses as his liaisons to the locker room -- on a weekly basis, and Frazier said on Tuesday he's reminded the group that every decision he makes is with the best interest of the team in mind.
"Thus far they have been supportive," Frazier said. "You get to a point where you need to win some games to keep things going but they have been very supportive. But I am always conscious of where they are. But they also know that every decision can’t be made by committee. Some have to be made by myself and the coaches as well."
Running back Adrian Peterson said on Monday night the Vikings should commit to Freeman, saying the Vikings' issues weren't all about the quarterback's 20-of-53 performance on Monday night. And wide receiver Greg Jennings, who's going through week-to-week instability at the quarterback position for essentially the first time in his career, said after the game, "I'm not a personnel guy, but at some point, you've got to make a decision and stick with it."
The crucible for the Freeman decision could come in a few weeks, if he's continuing to struggle in the Vikings' offense and their 1-5 record turns into 2-7 or 1-8. The Vikings' playoff chances are essentially dead at this point, but Freeman is still new enough that the Vikings' decision-makers probably haven't exhausted players' patience with the move yet. Frazier admitted the Vikings need wins to keep that from happening, though, and the obvious factor to consider here is how many jobs -- Frazier's included -- could be riding on getting the quarterback situation figured out.
Frazier said as he looked back on the quarterback decision before Monday's 23-7 loss to the New York Giants, he wouldn't have done anything differently. And when he was asked how he keeps his moves focused on the upcoming game in light of the fact jobs might be on the line, Frazier said, "We do what we do.
"We have a big game coming up this weekend, and we talk to our players all the time about concentrating about what you can control and what they can control is their preparation for ballgames, what they do in meetings, what they do in practice," Frazier said. "From a coaches' standpoint, our focus has to be on the Green Bay Packers and nothing else. If it goes in any other direction, then you end up cheating yourself and your preparation for this next opponent. Our guys have done a real good job of being focused of the task at hand and won’t take a whole lot for our guys to be focused on this ballgame coming up this Sunday.