Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Good afternoon guys. It was good to see Adrian (Peterson) back out there today. He did everything and fully participated in everything we had going on at practice so that was encouraging. Jared (Allen) was back out (at practice). He fully participated as well. Mistral Raymond was on a limited basis as we could expect. Everybody else was good. We had a good-spirited practice. I think all of our guys are looking forward to playing in front of our fans at Mall of America Field. It’s a big deal for us. We’re hoping that the place is packed to the rafters and it’s loud, loud, loud on Sunday. That would really help us from a home-field advantage standpoint. It’s a big deal. Our guys are really looking forward to this game against a very good football team.
Q: Is everyone except Mistral going to be probable?
A: Yeah, he’s about the only guy that’s definitely not going to play. He’s definitely out, yes.
Q: Jerome Simpson did enough this week to show he is ready?
A: Yeah, barring any unforeseen circumstance, he should be ready to go on Sunday, yeah. He’s had a good week.
Q: Will he get the start then?
A: He will get the start, yeah.
Q: How thankful are you that you guys haven’t had any major injuries?
A: I tell you, every time I see these injury reports from around the League, I go, ‘Wow.’ Some key players on teams being lost for the season, weeks. So far, we’ve been very, very blessed in a lot of ways.
Q: Will Everson Griffen be back late Saturday?
A: Yeah, he’s scheduled to arrive, I don’t know if I should say this. Yes, late Saturday, I should say that, without being too specific, yes.
Q: As far as his mindset, will he be comfortable rotating him in on Sunday?
A: It’s hard to say. You don’t know how people react to a moment like that. We’ll see how he does. Everybody is different. I have no idea.
Q: Can you talk about how Antoine Winfield is playing?
A: He’s playing very well, very well. The game he had this past Sunday, he’s been playing well all season long, but I told him earlier in the week after that game, I said, ‘You’ve rolled back father time.’ He’s all over the field, hitting people, covering people, just an inspiration to the rest of our players, 14th year in the league and to be playing at such a high level, it’s good for guy like Josh [Robinson], whose his understudy, to see that. He’s playing well, very well and providing great leadership, as well, in the locker room and on the field.
Q: Does that make it tougher when you’re trying to be careful about his reps?
A: It does. We have to be smart because we want him to do the same thing throughout the season, but he’s playing at such a high level, it’s hard to take him off the field, but we do have to know that he’s not 22, 23 years of age anymore.
Q: How do you feel about your matchups with Larry Fitzgerald?
A: Man, he’s a tough matchup for every team that lines up against him. He sees all types of coverages, double coverages, sometimes people putting three people over there. Rarely does he get singled. He’s a tough cover. We all understand that and we know that and we hope that we have a good enough game plan to kind of contain him. It’s hard to completely shut him down, but we want to contain him.
Q: What are the biggest keys to containing him?
A: I think you have to be careful to not ignore him in certain situations. You just have to know that he’s a focal point of their offense and one of the key playmakers with their offense so you don’t want to ever neglect him and we’re going to do our best to not do that and try to always know where he is.
Q: Have you grown more comfortable having Jamarca Sanford be a single-high safety?
A: Yeah, I think he’s gotten better there. I really do. He’s getting his hands on more balls, he’s judging the ball a lot better from center field. He’s improved in that area. He worked hard this offseason, along with training camp and you can see it in his play, he’s much more confident when he has to be in the middle of the field and when he has to break on balls and be able to judge the ball, which in the past that was a struggle for him, but he’s really improved in that area.
Q: Did you see that through the preseason?
A: We did. We thought he had really improved in that area. We saw it in training camp as well. He worked on it. He stayed after practice, he did stuff in drills, he’s worked on it.
Q: Was the competition between him and Harrison Smith the reason for improvement?
A: I didn’t notice that part as much, I know that Jamarca is a great competitor. He competes his tail off. You watch him on special teams, he’s the same way, but I didn’t look at it from the point of view that he maybe would have, but I knew that was a heated competition between the three with Mistral [Raymond], as well.