Vikings Coordinators get ready for week 1 preseason 07 Aug 12


Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave

Good morning. We really lucked out on weather, looks like it’s going to be another great day getting all our work in.


Q: Ideally, how many snaps do you want your starting offensive to have Friday?

A: We’ve had some preliminary discussions about that, we’re going to confirm with Leslie tonight and get that all firmed up. Normally, take them as deep as we can in the first quarter and then leave time to try to get as many other guys on film as we can Friday night.


Q: Yesterday you were moving a lot of receivers with Jerome out, are you trying to look at the different contingency plans for the first three weeks?

A: We’re definitely trying to give everyone their opportunity that they deserve. A lot of rotations going on and that’s been the way it’s been since day one. We want to have a good feel for each and every one of them.


Q: How different is the preparation for this week’s game?

A: It’s distinctively different because we’re still in camp mode; we’re not in game prep mode at all. Today we’re practicing against the Minnesota Vikings defense as we are tomorrow. We’ll talk about our game plan for the 49ers, which will be a small percentage of our play book that applies to their defense but we’re definitely still in camp mode and not game prep week mode at all.


Q: Will you guys do anything with the cards for this week?

A: No, we’re going to go run our stuff and evaluate our guys and turn them loose; let them go play some football. They have a lot of good people on their defense, we’ve got good people on offense so it will be enjoyable to watch.


Q: It seemed like the offense struggled a bit, do you have any concerns about their progression in the last two weeks?

A: We always have concerns; we’re always looking to get better. Yesterday we took a step back in a couple of periods. We’re looking to make those corrections and get better the next time we’re faced with those periods for sure.


Q: What is Devin Aromashodu’s opportunity with Greg Childs out now?

A: Well Devin has been here a little bit with us and we have a good feel for him. He is a reliable veteran who has a great work ethic so we’re glad he’s in the mix and that entire receiving crew has done a good job up to this point.


Q: How big of a blow was losing Childs?

A: That remains to be seen, we feel bad for the young man. He worked tremendously hard to get back from his initial injury and now he’s faced with going through it again which is a very daunting task. Our hearts are with him and we’re counting on him as well through a football standpoint, but that’s secondary right now.

Q: With the progress Childs was making, could he have been a significant part of the offense in the first few games especially?

A: We had hoped that he would be, he was making progress like all of us were. He definitely has the ability to play at this level. It’s just a shame that it happened.


Q: Do you have any idea on his outlook long-term?

A: I do not.


Q: How important is having success for a young team?

A: I think you want to get better each and every day and the game on Friday night will be another step in that process. Regardless of what the outcome is, we definitely want to play our best football. We want to play better than we practiced today and Wednesday. It will be against different people, a different scheme of what we’ve been facing his spring and summer, so we want to be able to handle that and still execute effectively; that’s our goal.


Q: Since you play these teams in the regular season, does it affect what you do now?

A: Yeah, especially when we play these suckers early. We have them in the third game so that’s definitely a factor when we talk about what we’re going to show, what we’re going to work on, and what we could care less about.


Q: How is Jarius Wright doing?

A: Good, we’re very pleased with Jarius. He has good quickness, he’s working hard on special teams also I know. To his credit, he came out yesterday I’m sure with a swirl of emotions going through him with the injury to Greg but he performed admirably and had a really productive day of practice on Monday.


Q: Is he focusing strictly on the slot at this point?

A: Not necessarily, that’s where his skills definitely fit but he’s also working outside the numbers.


Q: How important are the four preseason games over two?

A: That would be pure speculation on my point. A lot of coaching is being able to adapt and adjust and we could adapt to whatever the schedule came out as. We’ve had to adapt to a new practice schedule with the new CBA also, going one-a-days and different OTAs and mini camps. If that would ever take place we would be ready to adapt and adjust and do our best.


Q: Do you like playing four preseason games?

A: I do because I’m familiar with it, both as a player and a coach, but I know there are positives and negatives to the current set-up.


Q: Given Jordan Todman’s ankle, will he play Friday?

A: We sure are hoping, we just don’t know. He tried to go yesterday and I think he’s going to try and go again today.


Q: What is the difference in styles between him and Lex Hilliard?

A: Lex is more of a bruiser. Lex even has some fullback background, especially the last couple years in Miami. Jordan is very quick and a little bit more elusive; different body types and different traits for sure.


Q: How important is it to have a change of pace in pass in today’s game?

A: If they’re effective, it’s not as important. It can, of course, throw the defense off a bit if they’re used to the timing of one guy and another guy comes in, it is significantly different. That is fine and good but we’re really looking for the best guy in all respects, not just running ability but pass protection, pass receiving and knowing all the adjustments that take place at the line of scrimmage as well.

Q: How much more cautious are you in the preseason given Adrian’s uncertainty?

A: We’re going to be a little more cautious with Toby but that would be about it. Everyone else we need to get a good feel for.


Q: Does Lex Hilliard have a benefit in pass protection with is NFL experience?

A: I think he probably does but that doesn’t take anything away from the way Jordan has worked so far, especially in our blitz drills. He’s shown that he will definitely bite and even though he is smaller, he doesn’t give in to any of these big backers trying to run him over in the pocket.


Q: Christian’s completion percentage has been up there, is that a sign of progress?

A: We’re pleased with the completion percentage up to this point. We definitely know that that’s an area for improvement for us so we can stay on the field, keep our defense, keep our opposing offenses on the bench where we prefer them to be, especially in our division. The more passes we complete will translate into more wins and that’s what we’re focused on.


Q: Christian will probably get a limited number of snaps in this game, what do you want to see out of him in those snaps?

A: Well we want to see what he did on Saturday night in the stadium. We want to see him operate the offense and when people are in his face, still be able to get rid of the ball when it’s not perfect and still be accurate. He’s done a great job with our checks and audibles at the line of scrimmage and we’re going to put him through some tough spots. We’re not just going to water it down to make it easy, we want to see if he can handle adverse situations, and that’s part of the growth process.






Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams

We had a good day of practice yesterday and ironed out some details in practice today in walkthrough. It was a better practice today in terms of execution. Also on my mind, looking forward to the first ball game and working with the staff in game mode. Not just a first time run through for the players, it will also be a first time run through for our staff in terms of working together and communicating.

Q: Will you be on the field Friday?

A: I will be on the field for the first ball game to see how it works out for us as a staff communicating, seeing the plays and making adjustments. So we’ll start out there for the 49ers game.


Q: Have you been on the field in Indianapolis?

A: No, I’ve been in both. Been upstairs looking at it from that vantage point and also been down on the field, so I’ve done both.


Q: Do you plan on giving it a try up in the booth?

A: If it works fine I think I’ll stay down. If it’s working, why try to fix it? So I’ll start there and see what happens and we’ll adjust.


Q: Were you pleased with the short yardage situations yesterday?

A: The production part I was pleased with because you never want to let the offense get to the end zone. But we have a lot of things to sharpen up in terms of staying in gaps, creating a new line of scrimmage and picking up guys in terms of coverage. We still have a ways to go. It may have looked like we had all phases and all cylinders running, but we still have to iron out some details and in our short yardage and our goal line defense.


Q: What have you seen and liked from Everson Griffen?

A: We are just looking for a good football player. We are trying to evaluate him and see what he does best, along with everyone else. We like his playmaking ability. We like his athleticism, his size of course, great athlete. But we want to see how he functions with the lights on to see if he can operate within the scope of the defense. We know he can pass rush effectively. So we’d like to just see once the lights are on and how he functions.


Q: Could you get it done with two preaseason games?

A: We could. I like the ability to evaluate people in a game-like situation. Whatever they give us. If they give us one, if they give us four, we’ll adjust. We’ll make do with it. We’ll come out with a good evaluation of our guys. It will cause us to be creative in terms of the evaluation process, but we’d adjust to it.


Q: Concentrating on preparation vs. quality of play for the fans?

A: No, I don’t. We can’t control that. We’re more worried about ourselves and how we execute no matter what the concentration is, whether it’s at a high level or not. We don’t get into the things we can’t control. We make due with what’s presented in front of us.

Q: Would you pay to watch one?

A: My family loves to go to the ballgames. They’d pay for sure, no question about it.


Q: What do you want to see from your cornerbacks?

A: I want to see competitiveness. Not really just from the corners, but from everybody. I want to see that they execute and hustle at a high level. That they play fast and physical and that they can finish plays. As I mentioned before, operate within the scope of the defense, alignment, assignment and technique. I want them to play situational, smart football. Every situation is different and I want to see if they recognize the situation that they are in and operate.


Q: Are there a number of guys you are planning on holding out completely?

A: I’m not sure what Coach Frazier’s plan is for our veterans. We’ll talk about that. We’ve talked about that a bit but he didn’t give us a “yay” or “nay” in terms of what those guys will be doing. In the next night or so, whatever he says about the number of reps they’ll take, we’ll follow.


Q: Given that you are new, is it more important to get reps with the first team?

A: Not necessarily. It’s not about me, it’s about us and the team. I don’t need to evaluate anyone any more or any less. We’ll take a look at the tape as a staff. Our coaches are very familiar with the guys that we have. We’ll evaluate our older guys. We’ll evaluate our younger guys and then make decisions from there.


Q: What have you seen out of Mistral Raymond?

A: He’s an athletic safety that still has cover skills that have not diminished since we put him at safety from the time that he was playing corner. He is still learning on the go though, he is a young safety. We’re looking to put him in as many situations as we can so that when it comes to play on Sundays, it’s not the first time that he has done it or seen it or been it. He still has a ways to go, but we like his potential.


Q: How much work have you seen on Kevin Williams?

A: Kevin was probably better at the end of the season than he was at the beginning. I think he’s left off at that point, where he is playing at a high level. I looked at every ball game that he played in last year. Really, I looked at all the ball games. So I’m pleased with what we are getting from Kevin. We’re getting a guy that is playing at a high level and a guy with leadership. Really, I’m not surprised. That’s what they said I would get.


Q: What have you seen from Chris Cook?

A: I’m not sure if you saw two or three days ago, he really showed what he was. There was one play where he broke downhill and made a nice interception. Then in one-on-ones, they tried to throw a deep ball on him and he intercepted that one too. If you were here yesterday, you saw in goal line that he stuck it up in there and made a tackle and stopped the guy short of the goal line. I’m seeing a complete football player, which is what you want to have. You don’t want just a cover corner. You don’t just want a guy that’s run support. You want a complete player and so far that’s what we are seeing from him. Hopefully that’s what we’ll continue to see.


Q: Have his ball skills really developed?

A: I don’t know if developed, but they are continuing. I’m pleased with how he is turning the football over. Really, that’s what you want with the defense. An opportunistic defense that turns the ball over and gives it back to the offense and allow them to do their job.


Q: Was there something missing from last year’s defense?

A: Just off. Just a little bit. There is nothing that was glaring. Just a little bit off here, a little bit off there. In the NFL, you are off just a little bit, everyone is good that they can exploit just being off a little bit. That’s what I was saying when I first came up, that we want to iron out the details and be detailed oriented in what we do and execute. Then finish after we execute.