That relationship, built on trust and communication, has become more important than ever as criticism of both player and coach starts to mount in the wake of an 0-4 start that is the worst for the Vikings since 2002.
The two met on Monday after a 22-17 loss to Kansas City. Frazier has faced questions about some of his in-game decisions and McNabb’s inconsistency has some calling for rookie Christian Ponder to take over.
So the two old friends are leaning on each other to try to get the Vikings turned around.
“The fact that we have a history together makes it a little easier to be pointed in conversations and not have to dance around issues and vice versa,” Frazier said Wednesday. “Both of us being able to communicate on that level, it does help.”
Frazier was hired as a defensive assistant on Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia in 1999 when the Eagles drafted McNabb in the first round. They entered the league together and found common ground in their faith and levelheaded approach to a game that can include wild swings in emotion from week to week.
Frazier wanted McNabb more than any other available veteran quarterback when the Vikings went looking this summer after the retirement of Brett Favre. Convinced the lockout made it close to impossible for Ponder to be ready, Frazier wanted an established veteran who could help the Vikings avoid a rebuilding year.
“That definitely made a difference,” Frazier said at the time. “Our past, the fact that we came in the league together, my term as a first-year coach with the Eagles and his rookie year as a player. So, that made a difference in the conversation, my familiarity with him and vice versa.”
McNabb took a significant pay cut to complete the trade and come to Minnesota, hoping to revive his career and trusting his relationship with his new coach.
“I remember watching his kids grow up,” McNabb said. “Now his kids are taller than I am.”
Running a new offense without a summer to get it down, McNabb ranks 30th in the league in yards passing, 28th in yards per completion and 22nd in completion percentage.
Playing under a heavy rush on most occasions, he is completing just 37 percent of his passes on third down. That has kept the Vikings from sustaining drives, particularly in the second half as they’ve let games slip away.
That prompted the meeting on Monday, and McNabb said he also met with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson to “iron out some wrinkles” in the offense.
“We sat down on Monday and went into detail about where we are, where we need to be and what has to be done going forward,” Frazier said. “I think we’re on the same page, we know what we have to get done. I know he’s eager to get back on the field, eager to play another game and helping to right the ship.”View Entire Story
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