Q: Do you feel like the receivers are in sync with Ponder right now?
A: We are close. We feel we are making a lot of connections. We’ve all been healthy, all of two-a-days. Our legs feel good. We got a lot of good things going and we feel confident going into Jacksonville.
Q: How will you treat the Houston game? Because the week before the regular season is almost like a throwaway game, isn’t it?
A: I think the starters won’t play at all. We are practicing hard and we’ll be ready for Jacksonville.
Q: Can you talk about Jacksonville? It’s crucial this team gets off to a good start.
A: We will. This team, we got a different thing going this year. Today we had a couple stumps but this team, we’ve been working hard and we’re ready for it.
Q: What’s Joe Webb’s role going to be with this team? Do you have any idea?
A: I just tell Joe to constantly be ready. You never know. Like last year, it was a play away. He’s staying sharp. We go with both quarterbacks as if both of them are starting. If I can’t talk to Christian at the time, I go to Joe. They both should be on the same page.
Q: Is Percy Harvin happy now? Is everything on the back burner now?
A: We’re ready to go. We’re ready to go.
Q: You didn’t seem to be able to establish a rhythm, stay out there a long time. Was that a growing concern as the game went on because this is kind of your “dress rehearsal” game?
A: I don’t think it was a growing concern. It was a concern. The offense was up and down. We made some good plays. It wasn’t all bad. We had two fumbles in the red zone, inside the 10-yard yard line. It wasn’t all bad. We didn’t get off to the great start we did last week but we made some plays downfield throwing the ball. We ran the ball effectively. We just got to limit our turnovers a little bit.
Q: How do you feel about offense’s body of work here through three games? Obviously this wasn’t your best night out of the three.
A: I’m loving it. This team, we’ve been grinding since day one of training camp. The receivers and quarterbacks are starting to rhythm, as far as the quarterbacks throwing before we get out of breaks, things like that. We’re coming.
Q: You and Christian looked to connect downfield deep twice. Is that something you talked about before the game? Hoping to do that?
A: We’re going to spread the field out a lot this year. We’re throwing those passes and connecting. Christian threw a great ball. That was me. We’ll get that.
Q: It drifted over your left shoulder. Is that what happened on that deep ball you couldn’t quite pull in?
A: I just kind of lost it with the lighting and the top. Like I said, he threw a great ball. If he hrows the ball like that, we are going to be alright.
Q: What kind of pressure is on the other receivers with Jerome (Simpson) being out for the first three regular season games? You need somebody else to step up.
A: I don’t know if it’s any pressure. We got guys like Mike Jenkins, who have played this game and been making plays. I told him this year his legs have looked the freshest I’ve seen them in a while. He’s moving around a lot. We got a lot of guys ready to step up but we’re going to welcome Simpson back when he comes.
Vikings Erin Henderson Linebacker
Q: With this basically being a dress rehearsal for the season, do you feel like everyone is in the right place?
A: I think so. I think when I go back and watch the tape I will be able to tell better, you know it’s hard to say when you just come off the field, because things happen kind of fast out there, and you’ve got a thousand things that you’re thinking and worried about, so when I go back and watch tape I will be able to tell. But from what we gave up and from the lack of bombs and big passes I would say everyone was doing what they were supposed to do.
Q: In the first half (the defense) had 5 sacks, you guys kept them in check. Did you guys have their scheme down?
A: I really think that guys are starting to understand better about when we can take chances and opportunities to make plays. Coaches talk to us about it a lot and tell us when we have opportunities to maybe add to a blitz or whatever the case may be. The guys are starting to catch on quick and I think that’s why you’re seeing more sacks come up.
Q: How do you feel the defense is progressing since training camp?
A: For me, I feel the defense is light years ahead of the first preseason game with Coach Williams. He had a lot to say about the way we played and the yardage we gave up, and we understood it. We didn’t get down on ourselves and we decided to keep plugging away and that’s what we will keep doing as the season continues.
Q: Talk about the linebacker play?
A: We are kind of tired of hearing the people in the media and all of their stuff that they have to say, but we won’t hold it against you guys. We know what we have going on in this locker room and this organization, in our linebacker corps as well, and just continue to play our way. Like I said, it’s a long season and a lot more games to play together, and just sit back and watch and see how it all plays out.
Vikings Quarterback Christian Ponder
Q: You just couldn’t get it on track with the turnovers?
A: Yeah, we never really got a rhythm. When we get the ball first in a game, it’s always important for us to set a tone and not only did we go three and out on the first drive but on the second drive as well and started off with an incompletion on the very first play. That set the tone for us the rest of the game. We made plays, we ran the ball well. Four turnovers and penalties at inopportune times, it makes it tough to overcome. It’s frustrating when we only put three points on the board, we ended up scoring a touchdown at the end so 10 points. It was a little disappointing. It just shows that we have a lot to work on. We wish we would have performed like we did the first two weeks but we know we have that capability to do so we just have to get better.
Q: Were there times were you just weren’t in sync?
A: I think I got myself in trouble. We talked about it on the sidelines. I was getting back on the top of my drop and kind of just sitting there and that puts a lot of pressure on our tackles and I can do a better job of stepping up and moving forward. It was tough with the 3-4. In the middle they were kind of just standing up and not really rushing hard and I have to do a better job of finding windows to find guys. That’s on me and I have to get better in the pocket and usually I don’t do that. I don’t why it happened in this game. Just something to work on in practice and get better at.
Q: It looked like at times you had some things open downfield. You had the route to Michael Jenkins where you looked like you tried to hold the ball as long as you could.
A: Yeah, and we end up getting a penalty. It was a close play. Probably brought the safety too quick to the party but we’re doing a good job of blocking, I just have to do a better job of buying myself time and moving around.
Q: How much more comfortable do you feel with the offensive line up front going into the final preseason game?
A: I feel very comfortable. They’ve busted their butts throughout the OTAs and this preseason and they’re doing a good job. They’ve done well. I’m very comfortable sitting back there and again, it’s on me. I have to do a better job of stepping up in the pocket and taking those pressures off of the tackles.
Q: On the interception, did you just telegraph that too much?
A: We had talked about throwing a quick burst route to Percy (Harvin) out there. They completely disregarded (Michael) Jenkins on his route and the guy just buzzed underneath there and picked it. I could have definitely made a smarter throw but it was a good play by them.