Frazier happy with Vikings' off-field track record in recent offseason
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Any publicity is good publicity, right?
Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier knows that's not the case in the NFL and is enthused his players stayed relatively out of trouble in the offseason.
As former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez waits on trial for murder and other players across the league have been arrested for crimes of drugs and violence, it seems eons ago that running back Adrian Peterson was charged with resisting arrest (ultimately cleared) in his hometown of Houston last offseason.
"I don't take that part lightly," said Frazier on Thursday, after players had reported to training camp. "I'm definitely going to mention that to [the players] tonight. I've thought about that as I've seen different headlines across the league."
Frazier said, among other topics, he would discuss with his team Thursday night the importance of off-the-field behavior and how to represent not only themselves, but also their professional brand -- the NFL -- which is one of the most influential businesses in the world.
This was evident when 100 or so fans lined up outside Julia Sears Hall dormitory on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus hours before their favorite Vikings players would show up.
Rain showers thinned the crowd, but many remained just to meet their role models and celebrity idols for a brief moment.
Frazier knows the weight his players hold not only in the local community, but on the Vikings' payroll in playing out the contracts that cost millions - and can be thrown away with one ill-conceived thought on any night.
"That's a major part of having a chance to be successful in this league," Frazier said. "Our players have done a good job at staying out of the newspapers for negative things."