Notebook: Leslie Frazier has no concerns about his job security
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EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN. - Leslie Frazier will finish his first season as the Minnesota Vikings head coach with either three or four victories. That will either tie for the worst finish in franchise history or improve on it by one victory.
But Frazier said Thursday that he isn't concerned about his job security.
Frazier said he talks to members of ownership every day and that there is "no uncertainty" and that "nothing has changed." Frazier also good-naturedly told a reporter to "leave it alone."
"It never has been an issue," Frazier said. "I'm being completely honest with you. My job security has never been an issue other than when I'm talking to you guys. That's the truth. We're going to get this thing turned eventually. We'll get it done."
Following the Vikings' 42-20 loss to New Orleans on Dec. 18 at the Metrodome, owner Zygi Wilf said he would address all matters concerning the organization after the season.
Frazier was asked if he had broached the subject of his job with Wilf. "Why would I ask that?" he said. "Is there a reason why I would question that? No. No. ... (You wouldn't ask that) unless you don't have confidence in what you're doing and where you're going and the people that you're working for."
Told that some people might question their bosses, Frazier said: "I have confidence in my bosses. I've got great bosses and they've been very supportive. Write that. Very supportive. Even in the midst of, what are we now? A 3-12 season? They've been very supportive. Which I'm thankful for."
Time to experiment?
With Adrian Peterson lost to a significant knee injury, the Vikings might have an opportunity now to take a long look at how they run their offense.
Frazier made it clear on numerous occasions, when Peterson was healthy, that the Vikings were built around their Pro Bowl running back. However, the NFL has become a passing league and Peterson's injury could give the Vikings time this offseason to re-evaluate how they go about their business.
It doesn't appear that will happen. Or at least it doesn't appear that any type of overhaul is coming.
"You like to have a balanced offense, especially in today's NFL," Frazier said. "But when you have an Adrian Peterson in your backfield, you want to make sure you are featuring him. (He's) a very, very unique football player.
"In his absence, as we were looking at this offense and really dissecting who we are and where we might be, we've got to explore all our options for sure. But we anticipate Adrian coming back and being as good as he was before and if that is the case, I don't think you want to make him secondary in your offense.
"He still can be a primary weapon. If we can get some pieces taken care of around him, we'll have a top-notch offense that you win a championship with. I still believe you can win a championship with a balanced offense with a superstar running back."
Playing through pain
Defensive coordinator Fred Pagac rarely provides much useful information at his weekly press conference, but he did say Thursday that tackle Kevin Williams has been affected by a knee problem this season.
Williams had knee surgery last February - the procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews, who will operate on Peterson's knee Friday - and evidently continued to have pain.
"(The pain has) kind of been there," Frazier said. "Whenever we have to come in here and practice all the time (on turf), it tends to creep up. And it does every December. But he's played through it. We've monitored his practice reps because of it. But he plays through it and he still goes out and plays well on Sundays. But it is there."
Williams, who was named to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement last season but had to decline the invitation, was suspended for the first two games of this season as a result of the long-running StarCaps case and before that was dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Is this it?
Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson could be playing his final game with the Vikings on Sunday against Chicago at the Metrodome.
Henderson, a second-round choice of the Vikings in 2003, will be a free agent at the end of the season and so far there have been no talks of an extension.
Henderson, 31, said he is trying not to think about the fact this could be his final game as a member of this organization but added, "of course, it's natural," to have that go through your mind.
"Coming up on your last year, you're always wondering where you're going to be at next September, so of course it's been on my mind," Henderson said, "but I'm just trying to stay positive and hopefully in the next couple of months we can get something done and I'll still be a Viking."
Henderson said he talked to his agent before the season and was told not to be surprised if the Vikings waited to approach him until after the year about a new contract.
"I'm not really disappointed, I'm not surprised," he said. "I'm just trying to be positive and hope it works out."
Henderson said there is no question that he wants to remain in Minnesota.
Henderson was slowed by soreness in his left knee earlier this season that was the result of arthritis. Henderson broke his left leg late in 2009 and the knee issue was a side effect of the surgery.
"I think we found a good treatment plan for that and got over that little obstacle," said Henderson, who feels the knee hasn't been an issue since about midway through the season. "I was relatively healthy minus that. ... Honestly, I can say right now, I feel the best I've ever felt in Week 16."
Henderson said one reason he thinks he feels so good is that he invested in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Former Vikings safety Darren Sharper also used one and said it helped him to recover in quick fashion.
Henderson got the chamber in the offseason and sleeps in it about four days a week.
"I think it has helped everything," he said. "I think it's just a general recovery process. It helps your recovery process every night, especially if you get a chance to sleep in it five or six hours."