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Frazier: Erin Henderson thriving inside for Vikings

Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson is one step closer to locking down a spot in the middle of Minnesota's defense.

Coach Leslie Frazier told reporters Friday that he's satisfied with Desmond Bishop's progress at outside linebacker, while Henderson has thrived inside, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Frazier called a position switch unlikely.

It's a minor coup for Henderson, who responded to offseason criticism about his shift from the weakside to the inside by saying: "I don't think I've ever been this pissed in my entire life, to just hear people talk about stuff that they have no idea what they're talking about."

In 2012, Henderson graded out as the 17th best 4-3 outside 'backer in the NFL, per ProFootballFocus. He racked up the fourth most tackles on the roster despite playing just 60 percent of the time, but his unremarkable coverage skills have some questioning if he's an every-down player.

Likely to be flanked by Bishop and Chad Greenway, Henderson's middle linebacker duties now require him take charge of the defense. Frazier acknowledged Henderson needs work on this front.

"(Defensive coordinator) Alan (Williams) went up and talked to him about that and said 'You're in a different role now,' I couldn't say that today," Frazier told The Star Tribune. "When those guys talk to you, you have to listen and then speak almost as if you're a coach. Otherwise they'll stop asking you questions because they don't want to get in any confrontation."

This remains a position battle to watch as the Vikings open their preseason odyssey against the Houston Texans next Friday.

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