Spielmen, Frazier, and AP comment after day 2 of Mini Camp 21 Jun 12

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman

Everything that has been reported, just from our standpoint, the Minnesota Vikings have no interest at all in trading Percy Harvin. We drafted Percy Harvin here. He’s a key part of our organization, he’s a key part of our football team and any issues that are out there or reported, we always handle those internally and we’ll continue to handle those internally. We’ve had a very good offseason. I know our players have worked and our coaches have worked extremely hard. Look forward to everyone getting down to Mankato and having a great season coming up.

Q: Have you spoken with Percy?

A: I know coach (Leslie) Frazier has spoken with Percy and I have spoken with his agent a few times. Just some internal things that we’ll get worked out and we’re excited to have Percy as a part of this team and moving forward.

 

Q: When did you find out he wanted a trade?

A: Again, I’m not going to confirm or deny the trade. I know that is what has been reported but anything, any discussions that we have with any of our players regardless, we want to keep those internal.

 

Q: Is it a salary issue?

A: Again, I’m not going to get into any issues or anything that has been discussed. Those are all internal issues and we’ll deal with them and move forward.

 

Q: You did say issues.

A: Issue. I’m sorry. You said issues so I was just reaffirming what you said.

 

Q: Were you surprised that this came up?

A: It’s part of the NFL. There are always going to be some players that you’re going to have to deal with specific issues and you deal with them internally and get them resolved and move forward.

 

Q: When did you become aware that there was an issue?

A: Just some things that had came up this week, but I’m not going to put a timeline on anything either. I know it became public this week and we’ll deal with those issues.

 

Q: Are you confident he’ll be at training camp?

A: Again, he’s another player that’s under contract and we expect all of our players that are under contract to be at training camp.

 

Q: Is the timing better now than the first day of camp?

A: I know we’re looking forward to getting down to Mankato. I think we had a great offseason. Our guys have worked extremely hard. Our coaches have worked extremely hard. There are a lot of good things going on out on the field. We’re finishing up this week on a real positive note with our football team and I know everybody is excited to get down to Mankato and get ready for the upcoming season.

 

Q: Is it encouraging that he’s here?

A: Oh yeah. Percy loves football and that’s one of the reasons he’s such a great player and why he’s an important part of this organization. We’ll continue to move forward.

 

Q: How confident are you that you can work through these issues?

A: You’re always going to talk. But, I know with our organization and I know his representation and we have a close relationship and we’ll work through anything and feel confident we can work through anything that needs to be worked through.

 

Q: His snap percentage numbers have garnered some talk. Was he protected health-wise last year?

A: Again, Percy is a phenomenal player on the field and you look at the statistics he had last year and how important he is to this franchise and he’s a vital part of us moving forward with this team. He’s a young, very talented player and he got a lot of touches last year. Just like any other player, you just want to make sure that you get those guys the touches that they need and that they can stay healthy through the season and they can produce for you.

 

Q: What has been your philosophy in the past when a player has felt like they outplayed their contract?

A: Again, I’m not going to discuss whether it’s a contract issue or a non-contract issue. Our philosophy has always been as players enter the last year of their contract, we have a history of extending players going into the last year of their contract and that has been our history.

 

Q: You see him as a cornerstone player for you long-term correct?

A: Yeah, we drafted him in the first round. Everyone knows what he does on the field for us. In addition to some of the pieces we were able to add this offseason and with our young quarterback as he continues to grow and develop. We’re very excited about what he has shown form the beginning to where he is at right now. There are a lot of positive things going. We think we have a lot of playmakers on offense and again, it’s a very young group and a group that needs to grow and work together but very excited about where we are at.

 

Q: I know you like to keep it internal but how unhappy are you when a player makes it external?

A: We try to keep everything in house. Sometimes you can’t control that but it’s part of what you have to deal with sometimes. I know Percy is a very good person and we’ll get the issues resolved.

 

Q: Would you hope some of the leaders on the team would step forward and talk to him as well?

A: Again, it’s not a player issue. It’s an issue that we have to deal with Coach Frazier and myself and we’ll deal with it.

 

Q: You mentioned this came into public view this week.

A: I’m not going to get into a timeline or anything. I just know we’ll work through the issues and Percy is a very important part of this franchise and we’ll move forward.

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier

We finished with a good practice today and then tomorrow we come back for our final practice in the mandatory mini-camp and the guys have practiced with a lot of energy. They really have been attentative today. We covered a situation where, most of you guys know this, there’s a new rule now, the overtime rule is going to be different than it was a season ago in respect to what happened in the playoffs but will not happen during the season so it will be across the board, the same rule. We went through that situation at the end of practice, had a chance for our first offense to go against our first defense and expose them to a new situation, which was good for our football team. It will be something we’ll be able to coach off of on tape and hopefully, if we get into an overtime situation, we’ll be able to handle it on the offensive side and the defensive side. We tried to cover some different situations in this mandatory mini-camp along with being able to see different players at different spots and just seeing how they are able to step up. We think we’re getting some things accomplished. Tomorrow will be a big day because we’ll cover red zone with this group for the first time. We’ve covered it in our OTAs and now we’ll get a chance to hit it tomorrow which is a crucial area, an area we want to improve on and we think by hitting these situations in the mini-camp and the OTAs, by the time we get to Mankato, we’re hoping we’re going to be better because of it. We’ll continue to hit different situations in these practices and hopefully that will put us ahead when we do get to Mankato and on into the preseason.

Q: Percy Harvin was out here in the morning but not here in the afternoon. Where do things stand with him right now?

A: I know Rick (Spielman) had a chance to meet with you guys and talk to you a little bit about how we feel in regards to Percy and I’ll kind of just leave it at that. What he said is the right way to approach it.

 

Q: Do you plan to speak with him? Did you get any clarification?

A: We’re going to talk more in detail. We have a lot of things to talk about and we’ll talk more in detail.

 

Q: Was his absence this afternoon related to anything injury-wise or was it due to him being unhappy?

A: I really don’t want to get into it regarding him until we have a chance to have an extensive conversation and when we do, we’ll be glad to talk further, but for now, I think the things that Rick talked about will have to stand for us regarding Percy.

 

Q: Have you set aside time after mini-camp to have that conversation with him?

A: We will. Between now and training camp, we’ll definitely have a conversation.

 

Q: Were you surprised by this at all?

A: In our game today, there are so many things that are unpredictable and you have to deal with each and every circumstance as it occurs and this situation is no different and there could be something that’s unpredictable between now and training camp that I’ll have to deal with. Every situation is different.

 

Q: Do you think this serves as a distraction to the work you guys have been doing?

A: I’m not so sure our players are overly concerned. They seem to be really focused on what we’re doing and what they have to get done and part of that is the competition we have at various positions. It’s hard to get sidetracked by other things that are going on. Hopefully, we’ll be headed in the right direction when we get to training camp and everybody can focus on getting ready for the Jacksonville game and that’s the way it has to be. We can’t afford any outside distractions.

 

Q: What are your thoughts on the receiving corps as a group other than Percy?

A: Really been pleased with Jerome’s (Simpson) progress along with the way, Jarius Wright is beginning to come along. The fact that we’ve had Greg Childs in each of these two practices, we’re beginning to see a little bit of what he might be able to give us. We think we’ll get some other help obviously from Michael Jenkins, who was a good player for us a season ago, having him back and seems to really be improving with his knee. We think we’re going to have some quality depth with some of the young guys that we have. It’s an encouraging group. We have a lot of work to get done with our wide receivers and our quarterbacks as well as far as timing is concerned. Once we get the pads on and we can actually do something physical with our receivers and our quarterbacks and our DBs, against one another, we’ll probably have a better handle on what that receiving corps is going to look like.

 

Q: How does a player requesting a trade affect you personally?

A: I think what Rick had to say regarding that trade conversation is the way we’d approach it and really have to stand by that conversation that you guys had with Rick.

 

Q: Has Percy mentioned several aspects that he wants to resolve?

A: Eventually when we sit down and have detailed discussions, we’ll get to that but we’ll see where it goes.

 

Q: Are you as confident today as you were yesterday that things can be resolved before training camp?

A: I don’t know what could keep it from getting worked out, whatever it is. We’ll see.

 

Q: Do you expect him to be at practice tomorrow?

A: I’m not sure. Whether we talk today or in the morning, that will probably determine that. I’d really rather concentrate on the guys that are here because we have a lot of guys doing a good job and Percy is a great football player. He’s been a great football player for our team and done a lot of big things for us but I don’t want to take the focus off of these guys that are working as hard as they’re working here at our mandatory mini-camp. To have the type of participation that we’ve had and guys giving the effort they have been giving throughout the OTAs, throughout phase one and phase two of our offseason program, I don’t want to center it on one person.

 

Q: What does it mean to you to see Chad Greenway out there working with what he is going through off the field?

A: When I talked to Chad about attending, I told him early on that the most important things is to be with your family during this time and as time has gone on and things have gotten a little bit better, for him to want to be here and be around his teammates, just a credit to Chad, credit to his family. We would, of course, understand if he were not here. There’s no question about it but he’s here. He’s focused on trying to help our football team win and that’s important to him. It’s important that he’s around his teammates. He knows he is a leader on our team. He is one of our best players and I know his heart is heavy right now so for him to be here says a lot about Chad. He told me, I think it was yesterday, ‘Coach, my dad, he wants me to be here. He wants me to practice and be around the guys.’ Just a real credit to Chad and his family.

 

Q: From where Adrian Peterson is today, what do you want to see from him before camp to help you determine how much participation he can have?

A: Just in hearing (Head Athletic Trainer) Eric Sugarman talk about him today and some of the things he’s doing, he really is still on course and doing well but we need to see him cut, be able to explode out of a cut, change direction without having any residual effects from that. Then the next would be maybe putting some shoulder pads on and seeing how he takes contact and seeing how he cuts when people come at him but we’ve got to get to the point, another few weeks and months, where we’re asking him to do a little bit more and seeing how he responds. We’re too far out right now to predict where we’ll be five weeks from now, six weeks from now. There are some things we need to see before we say, ‘Okay, let’s put the pads on and go to work.’

 

Q: Is he going to be here over the next month?

A: He’ll be back and forth between here and Houston.

 

Q: Is there still a level of caution you put on Adrian Peterson right now?

A: Oh yeah, without question. We’re still a ways away although there is a regime he has to follow and he’s following that regime and he’s on course doing the things we’re asking him to do. As long as he stays within the reins that we’re working with, then you’re okay. If you have a setback, then you get a little bit concerned but we haven’t had any setbacks. He’s been able to handle everything they’ve asked him to do step-by-step. As long as we continue to see that, you can remain optimistic that his goal of being ready for the Jacksonville game is a possibility.

 

Q: Jasper Brinkley said yesterday he was going through a process with his hip. What’s your level of concern with where he’s at?

A: Now it’s a different injury. It’s a groin injury. We didn’t want to create a situation where it became something that was going to be nagging him throughout the time that we are away from football so we’ve held him out of the mandatory mini-camp. We believe that he’ll be ready to go when training camp begins but with our depth at linebacker, it is something that you have to think about from my standpoint but you can’t make him go out there and practice if you know it’s going to create some issues for him health-wise, but it does make you a little bit concerned.

 

Q: So it has nothing to do with the surgically repaired hip?

A: No.

 

Q: He said yesterday that it was the hip though.

A: We’re treating the groin, so that’s the end of the re-treating.

 

Q: Tyrone McKenzie is playing a lot behind Jasper. He was a guy that you spoke with after practice a lot, is he a guy you took under your wing?

A: It wasn’t always positive conversation, I can tell you that. He works hard and he’s been working hard in these practices and does the right things. For him, like a lot of our players, when we put the pads on, we’ll find out who they are. We have an idea about his effort and the way he’s going to practice and we have to see him with pads on and see how he does with our system under some pressure.

 

Q: Do you feel like you have a decent backup plan behind Jasper?

A: We have to identify the right guy. Tyrone is one of those guys we’re working at that spot.

 

Q: Are you comfortable enough with your depth at that position?

A: Well, I know coming in and talking with Rick and George [Paton] we’re always scouring and looking to see who’s available. That’s the only way you have a chance to get better in our league. You never want to stand pat. You want to always be aware of what’s going on around you so we’re not going to stand pat at that position or any position. We still have some things to sure up and we would like to improve our depth at linebacker, for sure.

 

Q: What was Stephen Burton’s injury?

A: Stephen was diagnosed with pneumonia this morning so that was something that kept him out of practice and will obviously keep him out tomorrow, as well. We should have him back for training camp.

 

Q: He dropped out of practice yesterday?

A: Yes.

 

Q: So he was having some sort of breathing issue?

A: That’s exactly what it was.

 

Q: How has Greg Childs looked to you?

A: His size definitely shows up. He’s a big physical receiver and should be a big target for Christian [Ponder] and he has good hands and runs good routes. He’s still a little bit behind from a conditioning standpoint, because of the time he’s missed, but also catching up to what we’re doing schematically but you can see the physical talent. The fact that he’s able to get in and out of cuts, now it’s a matter of if he can get up to speed quick enough to help us early in the season. Only time will tell and we still have a lot of time to go until we get to that first game.

 

Q: How ready is Jarius Wright?

A: Jarius has really, really come along. I was teasing him a few days ago about that rookie minicamp when he struggled just to get in and out of the huddle. Now, you’re beginning to see him take a positive step. I’m anxious to see him when we get to Mankato and see how he responds but through the OTAs and now the mandatory minicamp, he gives you some hope that we have something there so we’ll see how it goes when we get to Mankato.

 

Q: Does Kerry Taylor have a broken finger

A: Yes. We should have him at Mankato, also.

 

Q: Did Bryan Walters get hurt today?

A: He did. He turned his ankle during one of our receiver drills in practice so we won’t have him tomorrow but we should have him when we get to Mankato.

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012

Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson

Good afternoon everyone.

Q: How are things going with the rehab?

A: I’m feeling pretty good with where I’m at now. It’s pretty much wide open. I’m able to go out and do everything, cutting and different things like that. I’m feeling pretty good.

 

Q: How far away do you think you are?

A: I don’t think too far. The main thing for me right now is just really getting the strength back in this left leg, just getting the quad back strong and the hamstring and the calf. Just building those muscles and then trying to get it equal or stronger than the right leg. Flexibility is good. I’m able to open up. I’m able to cut well but there’s always room for improvement. That’s what I’m doing every day.

 

Q: Is the next big step doing football activities?

A: Yeah, I would say probably the biggest test because it’s hard to imitate actually being out there on the field and cutting on a dime. It’s football, it’s different. I think that would be an instance but I’m doing as much as I can to kind of imitate that off the field.

 

Q: Have you surprised yourself in any way through this process?

A: Not really. I’ve always had a positive mindset just going into this rehab. There haven’t been any surprises.

 

Q: Do you have any clarity on if they’re going to let you start practicing at camp?

A: I don’t know. My goal is to be able to go out and participate somewhat during training camp. That’s my goal. How much? I’m sure the staff, they’ll evaluate things and they will let me know. They will do the best thing for me. I’m just going to go with the flow and control what I can control at this time and that’s just getting back.

 

Q: Does a part of you say don’t rush it? Or is that not in your makeup?

A: That’s not my makeup. I’m always trying to get ahead. There was a point in time, you’re around a three-month period when I just had to just be slow and be patient and just deal with it and not do too much to damage the graft but now I’m wide open so I’m taking advantage of that. I’m doing as much as I can. I’ll be talking to the coaches and whispering in their ears, just trying to get out there as much as possible but we’ll see.

 

Q: When you say you’re cutting wide open, do you feel like yourself?

A: I’m working back towards being myself. It’s funny, I was talking to Percy (Harvin) and he was telling me, ‘Man, for someone to know you had ACL and MCL surgery, it would be kind of hard to see the difference,’ when I was cutting yesterday. That made me feel good but I know my body overall and I know that I’m just not there yet. It’s not just terrible but I’m not to where I know I need to be.

 

Q: How does Percy seem to be doing?

A: I actually haven’t talked to him about it. I found out yesterday laying in the bed, relaxing, and I saw it go across the screen. Whatever the issue is, I’m sure they will get things squared away.

Q: How distracting is it when a player who is that important to your offense asks to be traded?

A: I wouldn’t say distracting. It’s more bothering. It’s like, ‘You definitely don’t want to lose this guy.’ He put the emphasis on that by saying that. I don’t know. Did he say that? Did you all quote him saying that? Yes? I’m sure the organization will do whatever it has to do to keep this guy around. If it was me, I would make sure we kept him around but we’ll see.

 

Q: Are you going to talk to him between now and then to find out what’s bothering him?

A: Yeah, I’m definitely going to talk to him. Anyway I can help him, give him different advice, I’ll do that, but first I have to sit down and talk to him and see what’s bothering him. But ultimately, we’re grown men so I’m sure he’s going to do what his mind is set on and I feel like, personally, everything will work out fine. Everything will be okay.

 

Q: Were you surprised to hear this?

A: I’m never surprised that much in this League. Not really.

 

Q: Did you ever come close to asking for a trade?

A: I don’t think so, I don’t remember that (laughs).

 

Q: So you’re happy now?

A: Yeah, I’m happy.