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A Continued Theme Defines Frazier’s Philosophy

Leslie Frazier is making his mark on the Vikings roster during his first offseason.  Even more so, he is making a statement about the team philosophy moving into the future.

After Bryant McKinnie showed up to training camp looking like he actually swallowed Lil Kim whole, Frazier and company were displeased enough with McKinnie that they decided to offer him a chance to stay in exchange for a pay cut.

When he declined the chance to take a cut, Frazier decided McKinnie wasn’t going to make the cut.

I will give the organization the benefit of the doubt and assume they tried to trade McKinnie before cutting him loose, but his sudden release sure makes more of a statement about Frazier’s mindset than a trade ever would have.

McKinnie may resurface elsewhere, and he may get into shape, and he may even play at a Pro Bowl level again, but Frazier is letting the organization know that behavior like McKinnie’s is not going to be accepted while he is running this ship.

This isn’t the first time Frazier made a point like this since becoming head coach, but the last time he did it the circumstances were flipped around.

Here is what I wrote when the Vikings chose to make Brian Robison the only Vikings free agent to receive a pre-lockout contract extension:

“[Robison] represents everything they want their future rookies to imitate in terms of hard work.  He represents an all around good football player.  They want their players to know that putting in the work like Robison will earn you that second contract.”

So, whether or not he strays from it in the future, Leslie Frazier is making a statement in his first offseason as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

That statement is that he will reward hard work while leaving laziness on the outside looking in.

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44 Responses to “A Continued Theme Defines Frazier’s Philosophy”

  1. fozz44 says:

    Good point Adam. I wasn’t a big fan of making Frazier HC, but the McKinnie move has me very pleased with his resolve in building the organization with winners.

  2. CalVkg says:

    par for the course for a newly-minted head coach and it will serve him well, i’m sure. if fraz wants a long career as a HC, like his good friend tony dungy, he had no choice in this situation. bmac should’ve known this, but he’s too arrogant

    it would’ve been better if bmac had come back in shape and contributed. instead, he came back close to 400 lbs., and then wouldn’t cut his pay, so he forced the vikes to make a move

    rosenhaus could have monitored his client, bmac, during the off-season, and had a duty to do so, imo, especially considering bmac’s irresponsible and immature character and the fact that the coaches couldn’t perform the implementing and monitoring of bmac’s physical conditioning

    rosengreedinhaus should’ve known all this, and counseled his player accordingly, but he’s too arrogant, too

    • mike b says:

      its unfathomable that an agent wouldn’t be looking to help the players he represents to be the best that they can be, wouldn’t that equate
      to more money in his pocket when they improve and prosper. I can’t help but think that he was aware and was satisfied that he got all
      he was going to get when he got that last contract for Bryant. Maybe
      now he will push Bryant so that he can shake the money tree again!

  3. Lost Viking says:

    Colt fans speak…
    ‘Charlie Johnson did a Yeoman’s job playing through injury last season, but personnel sources say Johnson is really just an average starter. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Colt didn’t re-sign him. However, they don’t have anyone left on their 80-man roster who is ready to replace him.’

    ‘CJ has played very well the last couple of seasons. The first time in his career as a lineman where he was able to practice and play the same position for 2 consecutive seasons. And I think he has the light feet, agile lower body and intelligence to be a very good LT or RT in the NFL. I do not, however, think he has the upper body strength or leg drive to be anything more than a good guard.’

    ‘I just don’t see the Colt offering up a contract that puts CJ in the top 10 for tackles and I would guess that is about where CJ would want to be getting paid. Now if he were looking at that 15-20 range, then perhaps they take on a contract with him. I just don’t see CJ as anything more than an average OLman with the ability to play avg at several positions. While being versatile makes you more money, avg is what this team has been so accustomed to over the years for the line play. If I were cutting the check, I would pay CJ no more than 3 -3.5 mil/yr even though someone will pay more than that on the open market We are kinda in a bad spot with CJ because he is good enough to keep, he is a known player to the team but someone will overpay for his avg talent since they have a problem player along their oline.’

    ‘I like Johnson. I think he does a good job. I am not saying that some Superman-type couldn’t do better, but until one of those comes along with a Bonafide guarantee, I say we stick with Charlie !’

  4. fozz44 says:

    CalVkg….I disagree with you a bit on the new head coach, par for the course comment. I think a typical new head coach might try to make a statement with a rookie or 3rd teamer, but not a high priced pro-bowler.

    Good riddance.

    • CalVkg says:

      well, i do think fraz’s hand was forced. a lot of new HC’s want to show a toughness when they start out, and this situation just presented itself. ideally, bmac would’ve come back in shape and the vikes wouldn’t have had to ask him to take a pay cut, or subsequently release him, and it’s too bad bmac was a high profile player. had fraz let him stay at his current salary, fraz and the vikes would’ve sent the wrong message, that fraz was being soft, and that it’s acceptable to slack off. we just rid ourselves of that with favre not being in camp

  5. vk4life says:

    I have never really liked Mckinney. all the way back to when he held out as a rookie for about half the season. Was a true mark of how he really is. I like Fraziers approach and don’t blame hime for wanting to make a statement about what kind of players and men he wants on this team. Kind of reminds me a little of a coach that has won a Super Bowl aka Tony Dungy. dungy always had a calm demeanor but also made it clear if you want to be on his team then you need to work hard and do the things required of you or you will be gone! Don’t need a bunch of guys thinking they are superstars just need a bunch of guys giving a super effort!!

    • VSU BlazerLady says:

      I’m definitely a fan of Coach Dungy. Have read two of his books and a Facebook fan. His latest book, the Mentor Leader, is a must read for all coaches, team captains, etc….

  6. Zag says:

    I hope this mindset sticks with us. Teams that let pedigree overrule hard work are the teams that don’t make it anywhere.

    We need to shake that mindset and ensure that we’re fielding the best players we can, both from a performance and attitude standpoint.

    Kudos to Frazier and the staff.

  7. Ole says:

    the rumor I heard was that Dugan was the only Viking man enough to physically throw McKinnie off the team

    Dugan – winning

  8. Jay says:

    That’s a big risk to take to prove a point. I wonder if they now wish they took a LT in first round (A. Castanzo) instead of Ponder…

    • B. Grant says:

      In my book, it isn’t a risk to dump a guy like “shove and watch” McKinnie. As a matter of fact, it is a risk of your QB investment to allow performances like that to continue. Like I have said, talent means squat without work ethic. We may have a less talented man at LT this fall, but he will in all likelihood still be a better player. I just don’t see a risk at all here.

      Adam has a good point on all of this, and I look forward to having the Charlie Johnsons and Brian Robisons in the trenches going all out on every play instead of the BMacs and RayRays whining, talking, and playing at whatever level suits them on any given day.

  9. Fragile Freds says:


    That is an interesting comment about “proving a point”. Time will tell if this is just a new coach coming in trying to show he is the new sheriff in town or if in fact his philosophy is hard work and team work are paramount. At this point, who knows, it’s too early. But we do know if it wasn’t just a philosophy issue or they wouldn’t have offered him the opportunity to stay for less money. So perhaps they are saying, the Vikes are cool with players coming in fat and having lazy ass attitudes if they don’t mind being paid less? Seems so. See Bernie Berrian (lazy, not fat). Bernie was offed the same sort of type deal as Brian and took it.

    I hope the offensive line will be better this year than last, effort and team work on the o line perhaps is as critical as anywhere on the field. McKinnie has shown over the past few years he is talented but the team is not a priority for him.

    Freds bets that whoever the left tackle is this year will give up more sacks than Brian McDanish would have, but Freds will cheer for effort every time. It’s entertainment, Freds wants to see a guy working to get better, not some guy who is fine with just getting by.

    • Man of the Norse says:

      Freds, you may have missed one reason why both BB and McKinnie were offered to play for less: It’s another part of Fraizer’s philosophy. If he’s anything like his good pal, Tony Dungy, then he’d be all willing to give guys second chances to fall in line with the other points of his philosophy previously stated, that way making a team of talented (because you McKinnie had it, just never did anything with it)hard workers. Of course, if you’re underperforming to the point of being offered a pay cut to stay, you better take it or there’s no use for you (seems the same think happened to Madieu Williams). I’m just saying. And your right. Charlie probably wouldn’t be as good as McKinnie. But, he had to go. And Good Riddance.

    • CalVkg says:

      i think they’re giving players with talent a second chance, albeit with lowered pay, in a new system with a new coaching staff, not condoning the fat and lazy attitudes

      • B. Grant says:

        Perhaps we should avoid any tidy and general characterization of these July/August moves. Madieu, Edwards, McKinnie, Kennedy, etc. were each released for a unique and specific set of reasons, while Berrian and others were retained for likewise unique reasons. If there is any generalization, its that Denzel & Co. are clearly willing to make the necessary moves, hold or fold, to improve the performance of this team. Simple enough.

    • Jay says:

      I’m thinking P. Manning made C. Johnson look like a better pass protector than he really is. I think we are going to see just how much potential McKinnie has been wasting all these years getting by on talent alone. Maybe they think the two TE sets in Musgrave’s offense will help the pass protection as well?

  10. sb says:

    After rewatching some of AD’s 2007 highlights, it was depressing to see how much our Oline play has declined. AP was running against 8 and 9 in the box because they had T Jack at qb and no WR and AP was still torching defences. I just don’t understand why the coaches don’t see that improving our oline to help with run blocking/pass protection will go a huge way towards winning football games. I bet you donavan would love to line up and see 8 or 9 in the box with a bit of speed out wide. I think the only way we get back to the playoffs is by improving our run blocking significantly and let AD run wild like he did in his rookie year. I feel confident McNabb could certainly take advantage of the play action with AD in the backfield.

  11. Vikadan11 says:

    Good read Adam ~ I may be one of the few but I never saw BM as a pro bowler sense Tice left~ It will be a nice change to see a LT with some feet ~ I got tired of watching him get beat by avg. DE’s ~ Same goes for Loadholt ~ Both he and BM got beat or pushed into the QB were a good OT would push the DE past the QB ~

    I also like the fact that Leslie comes from the same school of thought as Dungy ~ Good man wanting good football players who are willing to do the hard work it takes to put together a winning team ~ It may take Leslie a couple of years to get everything he wants in place ~ I do believe he is the man for the job thought ~ Only time will tell ~

  12. Vikadan11 says:

    With the lockout cutting into mid camps and team workouts I sure hope see dont see a lot of these kind of things ~

    Eagles DT Mike Patterson goes into convulsions, ambulance called
    8/3/2011 9:05:40 AM
    | More

    One of the riveting things about Twitter is the ability to report real time incidents that occur. Within the last 30 minutes, Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson went down during a defensive line drill and started convulsing. Philadelphia Daily News writer Les Bowen reported via Twitter what happened. An ambulence was called and Patterson was conscious, moving arms with Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder just stabilizing Patterson’s head.

    You can follow Bowen’s tweets about the incident on his Twitter account.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Patterson at this time.

    Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at

  13. Lost Viking says:

    Sounds like making virtue out of a necessity…

  14. Norseman66 says:

    From What I read, McKinnie was almost 400lbs when he showed up. He must have ate that personal trainer he was supposed to have this off season. Keep your eye out for any missing people posters.

  15. B. Grant says:

    For those of you who do that tweets stuff, have any players “weighed in” (hahahahaha…) on the release of BMac?

    • Tomb... says:

      Puns, Coach? Puns?


      • B. Grant says:

        OK, OK, I admit, not my strongest suit. That one just kind of happened, so I went with it. No more, I promise.

    • Wayup North says:

      Been pretty quiet on the Twitter front – I’m guessing that tweets were strongly addressed on the first day of camp (as in – you best lay low on the social media front if you know what’s good for you). At least that’s my impression . . .

  16. Lost Viking says:

    If Pat Williams wasn’t retired before yesterday he is now. Unless Pat can prove his weight is below 330 lbs he can file his papers.

  17. phil says:

    adam is tahi still a viking? and what are the odds of leonard davis signing with us

  18. krugjr says:

    Per a source with knowledge of the cap numbers, here are the seven teams that were in the red: Raiders ($17.3 million), Steelers ($11.5 million), Texans ($8.5 million), Vikings ($5.6 million), Lions ($5 million), Cowboys ($3.7 million), and Panthers ($939,000).

    from PFT

  19. CalVkg says:

    Winfield on McKinnie: Coaches had no choice

    “The message it sends is no one’s untouchable,” Winfield said. “We all understood as professionals the only thing we had to do was show up in shape. The coaches really had no choice but to do what they did. … I’m sure he is disappointed in himself. That’s kind of embarrassing. But he’s going to have to deal with it.”

    Left guard Steve Hutchinson, who played alongside McKinnie, admitted not many people saw this coming.

    “We weren’t really sure what the story was,” Hutchinson said. “We knew he was not practicing, but I think the way Leslie [Frazier] explained it was, for him to try to go out there and try to go right now it would be endangering his health, with him being out of shape and I think there were some cholesterol issues. I’m not a doctor. I can’t really speculate on all that. But I know when it comes to your health as far as stuff like that goes, that’s not a joking matter.”

    Wide receiver Percy Harvin was a friend of McKinnie’s but said he understood the decision. “Coach Frazier made it very clear that he was focused on the guys that were here and the guys that were ready to play football,” he said We’re focused on the guys here, the 53 that are going to make this team and we’re going to run with what we’ve got.”

  20. Tomb... says:

    From a Judd twat:

    JuddZulgad: Bill Musgrave on the system he will run in Minnesota: “We like to taylor make or customize our system to fit our players.”

    What a concept.

  21. Lost Viking says:

    Here’s one of Donovan’s old buddies who might be available if Vike are looking for OT help…

  22. CalVkg says:


    That said, the Ravens could decide to part ways with Birk and hand the duties over to a younger and healthier alternative.

  23. Fragile Freds says:

    Did Brian Mckinnie really fail a physical in Cincinatti? Heck, that ain’t good buddy. It’s Cincinatti, if that dog ass organization turned him down, Freds guy should dump Venus William and start doing the nasty with Jenny Craig or Richard Simmons if he happens to swing like that.

    Cut by the Bengals?

  24. Norseman66 says:

    The Vikes just resigned Ryan Cook.

  25. TexVike55 says:

    Adam, you’re giving the organization the benefit of the doubt of assuming they tried to trade him before cutting him loose? Aw, c’mon! Who would take a 400 lb. beached whale that would take who knows how long to get back into any kind of shape? Especially with his poor outing last season and even poorer attitude toward the organization itself? No, if any team was seriously trying to woo him, we’d have heard about it.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      Recently Pelissero article says they spent two days looking for a trade partner, finding none.

      • mike b says:

        Adam I think part of the problem other than Bryant weighed so much is that a trade partner wouldn’t have taken the whole 6 Mil contract that
        he carried and that would have left us with cap money on a player we
        didn’t have, as it is I believe we dumped the whole amount by releasing
        him. During the off season Coach told him how important it was to come
        in fit and ready for some football, I just don’t know why Bryant would
        blow him off like that.

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