VIKINGS NOTES: Defensive coordinator Frazier would make great head coach, Childress says

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier would "do a tremendous job" as the new head football coach at the University of Minnesota or anywhere else in college or the NFL, his current boss said. "I don't have any doubt in m...


Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier would "do a tremendous job" as the new head football coach at the University of Minnesota or anywhere else in college or the NFL, his current boss said.

"I don't have any doubt in my mind," Vikings coach Brad Childress said Friday when asked if Frazier was open to coaching in college or, more specifically, the University of Minnesota. "There's a reason he's our assistant head coach, because he can slide right into the seat, and he would do a tremendous job."

Childress, who hired Frazier in 2007 to run his defense, said the 51-year-old one-time college coach has "got all the tools" to be a head coach.

"He's a great communicator," Childress said. "It doesn't make any difference if it's high school-age kids or college-age kids, which a lot of our pros are. Or, older guys."


Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield said Frazier "definitely will get the job done" as a head coach at any level.

"He's what you would call a players' coach," Winfield said. "He has an open-door policy. You can go in and talk to him. He's mild-mannered, unlike a lot of coaches I've been around who will cuss you out if you mess up. He will take you to the side and talk to you."

Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said Frazier "pretty much could coach anywhere."

Asked his interest in coaching the Gophers, Frazier said Thursday during his weekly news conference that while "in my heart I feel like I could be a head coach ... I haven't given

any thought to collegiate football or professional football at this point."

Frazier said his focus was on trying to help the Vikings win a championship.

Frazier has said in past seasons that he was more interested in an NFL job than coaching at the college level.

Frazier was interviewed for NFL head-coaching positions after each of his first three seasons in Minnesota. He was a finalist after last season for the St. Louis Rams job that went to Steve Spagnuolo.


If Frazier decided to pursue the Gophers' opening, he would have an advocate in former Indianapolis and Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy.

Frazier was Dungy's defensive backfield coach with the Colts, and the word is Dungy promoted Frazier for the Minnesota job before it went to Tim Brewster in 2007. On the day he fired Brewster, Gophers athletics director Joel Maturi said Dungy would be consulted in the search for a new coach.

Looking for Shiancoe: Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe caught 10 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown in the first two weeks this season but has only three receptions for 35 yards over his past three games. Moreover, he was not even thrown to in Sunday's victory over Dallas.

The lack of production can be attributed in part to the acquisition of wide receiver Randy Moss, who gives quarterback Brett Favre another red-zone target, and to scheme. Against the Cowboys, the Vikings used three tight ends to help with pass protection.

Still, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell acknowledged it is a priority to get Shiancoe, who caught a Vikings tight end-record 11 touchdown passes in 2009, more involved.

"It's something we need to rectify," Bevell said. "We need to do a better job of getting him the ball because he can open up what's going on outside."

Centers of attention: Childress said John Sullivan will start at center in Sunday night's game at Green Bay and be spelled by Jon Cooper, who earned rave reviews in his first NFL start against two-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff of the Cowboys.

"It was a great test for me," Cooper said. "I feel like I did pretty well against him. He's a great player."


Sullivan has missed the past two games and was sidelined most of the preseason by calf injuries.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Sullivan said. "I'm excited about the game this weekend. There's some hesitation (at practice) trying to favor and protect it a little bit. That all goes away on Sunday. You can't protect it in a game. That's what practice has been for this week."

Injury update: Wide receiver Percy Harvin "begged me, please" not to list him as questionable for Sunday night's game, Childress said.

Harvin is listed as probable because of a hamstring injury that limited him in practice this week.

Childress said he expects rookie cornerback Chris Cook to play. Cook, listed as probable on the injury report, has been sidelined since suffering a torn meniscus on Sept. 26 against the Lions. "We'll work him in," Childress said.

Safety Husain Abdullah (concussion) will not play, Childress said.

Listed as questionable are guard Chris DeGeare (ankle) and cornerback Lito Sheppard (hand).

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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