Vikings defensive coordinator says he is not considering Gophers job right now
ST. PAUL - Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Thursday he is not considering coaching college football, nor is he interested in the vacant University of Minnesota football job -- for now.
"In my heart I feel like I could be a head coach, but my focus is on what we're doing here in Minnesota with the Vikings, really trying to win a championship," Frazier said during his weekly news conference at Winter Park. "I haven't given any thought to collegiate football or professional football at this point."
Frazier, who was a finalist last year for the St. Louis Rams head coaching job that ultimately went to Steve Spagnuolo, said he is focusing on the Packers, whom the Vikings face Sunday night in a key NFC North Division game in Green Bay.
"It's just so hard to get a win in our league, you don't want anything to split your focus. That's where my attention is, really on us to get a win against Green Bay," he said.
Frazier, 51, has been the Vikings' defensive coordinator since 2007. He came to Minnesota after coaching defensive backs in Indianapolis under former Colts head coach Tony Dungy, a Minnesota alumnus with whom athletics director Joel Maturi is consulting to replace the fired Tim Brewster.
Tahi returning: Fullback Naufahu Tahi said his benching last week against the Cowboys was a one-time deal because of the Vikings' need to play three tight ends against Dallas' 3-4 defense.
Tahi, who played in 35 of the Vikings' 36 games before
Sunday, expects to be back in the lineup against the Packers.
"It was a better matchup as far as scheming and matchups," Tahi said about not playing the Cowboys. "I talked to coaches to make sure I understood it wasn't anything I did."
Minnesota is hoping to keep quarterback Brett Favre upright with more polished backfield blocking, something Tahi says will only improve as the season progresses. The Jets flustered the Vikings two weeks ago with delayed blitzes and gave the Vikings what Tahi calls "unscouted looks."
The Vikings can employ blocking from tight ends Jeff Dugan and Jim Kleinsasser coupled with Tahi's experience and versatility.
Injury report: Wide receiver Percy Harvin made a surprise appearance on the Vikings' injury report late Thursday afternoon after a hamstring injury limited him in practice. The severity of Harvin's injury is unknown.
Harvin was selected the NFC special-teams player of the week after a 95-yard touchdown return against the Cowboys. He looked healthy catching passes during practice's 15-minute window of media availability. He has battled hip injuries and migraine headaches in recent months.
Safety Husain Abdullah (concussion) was the only player not to practice, but the team had 12 players on the injury list.
Limited Thursday were Harvin, Favre (ankle/elbow), center John Sullivan (calf) cornerback Chris Cook (knee), Kleinsasser (groin), center Ryan Cook (wrist), cornerback Lito Sheppard (hand), guard Chris DeGeare (ankle) and linebacker E.J. Henderson.
Defensive end Brian Robison (ankle) and defensive tackle Letroy Guion (toe) fully participated.
Chris Cook, who suffered a torn meniscus on Sept. 26 against the Lions, is eager to play this week. Coach Brad Childress said the rookie cornerback is improving.
"I wouldn't have said it after yesterday's practice," Childress said. "I'd say he's making strides."