Vikes beat Cards 21-14, Players Comment 22 Oct 12

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson

Q: How were you successful today?
A: It started up front. The offensive line came out, was physical and kept the tempo up. I
just did what I always do.

Q: In your first touchdown, what were you seeing?
A: I already knew I wanted to get outside with the safety down. I did it just like I saw in film,
everything flowed over. I was able to get back under like the play was designed and got
into the end zone. It was good execution up front and I was patient.

Q: Did your first two runs help you get into a rhythm?
A: It felt good but I don’t think it really helped me get more pumped up. I’m always going out
going a 100 miles per hour, every play. It was good and got the crowd going; which helped
the offense get going.

Q: What does it mean to you to have the most 100-yard rushing games for the
Vikings?
A: It’s a blessing. I don’t get too excited about breaking records and try to remain humble
but it feels good. I’ve been blessed to be in this position and I’m just trying to take
advantage of it.

Q: Was it different for you when the defense stacked 8 to 9 guys in the box?
A: No, we knew those guys were going to stack the box and add an extra defender. We
were very productive on the ground today. We knew what to expect. We had guys step up
and continued to run the ball. We had to impose our will no matter if they had seven in the
box or eight or nine. We had the mind set that we were going to be able to run the ball, no
matter what. We showed that today.

Q: You guys did a delay run a few times. Does that help you see the field better?
A: It’s good to mix it up a little bit. I felt like we had a productive day and good play calls.
We went out and did what we were supposed to do.

Q: Do you think you could have done more today?
A: Definitely. There were a couple of plays that were right there and then it was out.
Unfortunately, it happens. They gave me a hard time about the last play and, unfortunately,
it took us that long, and for those guys to score, to put the game out of reach. That was
the one thing I was disappointed about most, not being able to get that first down to drain
the clock. We put the defense back out there after those guys had been on the field. It felt
good to get to the line, to get the first down and to end the game. They said I could have
picked my feet up and scored a touchdown but I told them, “First down first, touchdown
second.”

Q: Do you think you guys are a serious contender with this offense?
A: Yes, I feel like we can. We have shown that we can be productive in the run game and
the pass game. Obviously Christian [Ponder] didn’t play as well as he would have liked and

as we would have liked today but you have those games. That’s why we’re a team. The
defense did a great job and we were able to run the clock out. Those things go hand-in-
hand. I feel like we’ll be okay.

Q: Is your ankle bothering you?
A: I feel like practice, working it and rehabbing it has really helped me out. But it feels good.
It’s still a little tender. I’ll know more tomorrow once I wake up. It’s mind over matter. I knew
I was going to be able to play, especially Friday. Just taking it one day at a time

Q: Do you feel like you came out with a better mentality than you did last week?
A: I feel like I did. That carries the guys up front, the fullbacks, the receivers. That’s the
type of football we want to play.

Q: Do you think about history or other players and compare them to yourself?
A: Yes, I think about that sometimes. I have to chuckle to myself just thinking about it. Just
how long the game has been around. Not too many guys make it to the NFL and play. To
be at the top of my game and all the different guys who prepare me. It makes me sit back
and be more humble and appreciate it more. There are so many other people that could be
in this position right now, so why me? It’s just a blessing and that’s the way I look at it.

Q: You guys had some three and outs. Did you ask for the ball more? Were you
disappointed that you didn’t get the ball more?
A: I didn’t go directly to them. I had a couple comments I had to make but it all comes with
it. Each play I have to take advantage of it. On first down, not being productive, missing the
hole, whatever it was that second half. It was frustrating but guys stayed focused and we
got it done.

Q: You guys have the opportunity to be 6-2 halfway through the season. Are you still
trying to surprise people?
A: We don’t really worry about the things we can’t control. What we can control is how we
perform as a group, whenever we play. At the end of the day, in the fourth quarter, when
that time is out, who wins? Is it by one point, three points? That’s the way we look at it; the
only thing we can control is what we do. We just continue to keep that mindset, to focus,
and compete and improve this week. The sky is the limit.

Q: Do you feel all your explosiveness is back?
A: There’s still a little missing. You guys probably think I’m crazy but it is. I feel good, I’m
not going to complain. I’m just going to keep working and just keep getting better each
week.

Q: How much better do you feel now compared to the beginning of the season?
A: Light years. It feels so much better than it did that first week. It’s stronger and more
explosive. I said before I was at 100%, which I am, but it’s just so much more that I know is
going to come. So each week, I feel myself getting better and just try to stay on path.

Vikings Defensive End Jared Allen

Q: How did your pass rush get to Skelton?
A: He made some good throws today. It is tough when you play zone because there is
always going to be one open guy. There were times when we had good rushes but he was
able to maneuver and find (the open) guy and get it out. So my hat’s off to them, and they
are a good team. But like I said we just kept fighting, fighting and fighting. All week we
preached that we would have to outwork their defense. They have a good defense, and
they turn the ball over well. It was nice for us to get a (interception for touchdown) today
finally and have our young guys play well.

Q: Does Kolb get to a nine yard (drop) (as opposed to Skelton)?
A: Yeah, I would probably say he is around eight or nine at the top of his drops, and he kind
of sits back there. But every quarterback is a little different. So you look at it, with Skelton,
there wasn’t a whole lot of film on him, and he is a big body guy too. So when you hit him,
you have to get him on the ground. He presented some challenges in that way. But our first
goal on our sheets is points allowed, and to be able to keep points off the board was huge
for us.

Vikings Defensive Back Antoine Winfield

Q:Does that hit on the sideline (on fourth down to stop Arizona Quarterback John
Skelton) rank in the top hits all time for you?
A: You know I am not sure. I will have to go back and watch the film, but I knew the
quarterback was running; it was fourth- and- four and they ran a little boot to my side. I was
in cover two, and I had the (fullback) and I just came up and made a play.

Q: When did you know to leave the fullback and come up and make the hit?
A: I just had to take my chances. I didn’t think he was going to throw it to the fullback. The
way he was running it looked like he was going to take off, like it was already programmed
in his mind. I just came up and made a play.

Q: Was it missed tackles our good running today by Stephens-Howling?
A: Oh, credit number thirty-six (Stephens-Howling). That little guy was shifty. He is a real
good player. In the open field he is probably one of the toughest running backs we have
faced. He made a lot of guys miss, but that is something we can’t continue to do.

Q: They list him at 5 foot 7. How tall do you really think he is?
A: He might be as tall as me. 5 foot 9 (laughter).

Vikings Safety Harrison Smith

Q: As soon as you got it were you thinking touchdown?
A: Yeah, I mean as soon as you get the ball you know, especially as a defender, you don’t
get a lot of chances to do that so you just get excited and do whatever you can to get in the
end zone.

Q: You said that you don’t want to be that guy but would you say now that this is the
guy you want to be?
A: Yeah, I mean anytime something like that happens you obviously want more of that. But
really, it’s a team game and at the end of the day like I said, the defensive line, getting the
pressure on is what made it happen.

Q: How much easier did they make your job today? Is this more pressure than you’ve
ever had this year?
A: Honestly, we’ve have a lot of pressure the whole year so they’ve made it easy on us the
whole year. So really we’re just trying to play complimentary football and rush coverage.

Q: Did you score any touchdowns at Notre Dame? What about in high school?
A: Not at Notre Dame, but yes, I played offense in high school, but it’s been awhile since
I’ve been in the end zone.

Q: How many defensive touchdowns have you had in your career going back from
the very beginning?
A: Not like sandlot, but about one or so. I had a few in all the age groups, including high
school but I didn’t have any in college.

Q: Describe exactly, did you look at his eyes or what?
A: Yeah, like I said he had pressure on him so he stepped up and I was just kind of looking
where he was at. It was a play where I had the freedom to do that and I was at the right
place at the right time.

Vikings Quarterback Christian Ponder

It’s a good thing to be disappointed when you’re 5-2. Obviously as an offense, especially
me, we didn’t perform as well as we should have. To give them credit, the Cardinals have
a very good defense. They’ll finish in the top 10 defenses at the end of the year. We just
couldn’t find a pace, couldn’t get into a rhythm, and a lot of that is my fault. I have to step up
and play better. I had two turnovers, it wasn’t smart. The first one I threw across my body
and it sailed on me. The second one I was trying to throw the ball away and got my arm
hit, obviously it didn’t make it out of bounds. The defense played exceptionally well. They
won this game for us. Brian Robison and Jared Allen, all of the guys combined for 7 sacks
total. They played exceptionally well. Again, we’re 5-2, it’s a good spot that we want to be in.
There are obviously a lot of things that we’ve got to work on as an offense.

Q: What were you guys trying to accomplish in the last series of the first half?
A: We were trying to get points. We did it in Jacksonville with 14 seconds, we got points. We
figured that the offense is really good at what we do and we just didn’t perform as well as we
should have.

Q: Do you need to get back to the comfort in the pocket that you had in your first four
games this season?
A: Yeah, definitely. I’m trying to do too many things. I’m getting out of the pocket and trying
to force it to happen. I have to be a lot smarter and make better decisions for sure.

Q: What would you have done differently on the pass intended for Kyle Rudolph that
was intercepted?
A: I probably would have run with it. It’s never really smart to throw across your body like
that. As a quarterback, I can make that throw. That’s an easy throw to make. Looking back, I
probably should have run with it.

Q: What did you see in your team’s run game today?
A: We know that we’re a great offense. We have to establish the run and we knew that
they did some different things. We could take a bunch of keys on certain pressures that we
could run right into. Adrian ran exceptionally well and obviously the offensive line blocked
exceptionally well. We’re definitely relying on our run game, and that’s not a bad thing. We
just need to keep making progress in the passing game.

Q: Is it encouraging that even with a fair number of mistakes, the team is still 5-2?
A: Yeah, it is for sure. To win an ugly-looking game like this is huge. It shows how good of
a team we are and that we can win as a team. We’re not relying on one side of the ball.
Offense obviously had an off day today and the defense picked it up. Special teams won us
the Detroit game. We’re doing a really great job of finding ways to win. We have to make a
progression week to week and make sure that as an offense, we don’t perform again like we
did today.

Q: How does it feel to know that when you had an off game, Adrian Peterson had a
great game?
A: It feels very nice. It’s just nice to rely on other guys to take over the game for you.
Obviously Adrian did that today and ran for over 100 yards and played exceptionally well. It
definitely takes pressure off of me as a quarterback.

Q: Can you take us through the design of the play on the touchdown to Percy
Harvin?
A: Yeah, they went Cover 0 and we had Percy on a little ‘what we call’ a slide route coming
underneath and actually Patrick Peterson did a good job, he had him in man coverage, of
getting through all the junk and almost made a play, but kind of gave ground and threw it to
him in the flat, made Patrick miss and got in the end zone. Obviously, Percy is a key guy in
this offense and he made a play and got in.

Q: Was it nice to have those 2 touchdowns in the red zone after the problems there
last week?
A: Yeah, we made strides and that was one area we wanted to work on and get better at
and we did this week. Obviously, there are some other things that we have to get better at
for next week.

Q: On the sack you took in the first half, did you hurt your knee?
A: No, I don’t think so. The knee thing has been around for a little bit but that didn’t really
hurt me, no.

Q: Has that been affecting your play at all long-term?
A: No, I don’t think so.

Q: How difficult was it to diagnose the Cardinals defense?
A: It is tough. They do a lot of different things. Very different than what you see normally and
obviously, a 3-4 (defense) is going to be that way but they did some different things to try
and take away Percy as well and rolled some different coverages, but that’s why we prepare
and obviously, I need to do a better job of preparing to better understand what they are
doing.

Q: Is that as quickly as pressure has got to you so far this season?
A: I think so. They were bringing it every down and they were doing a good job of keeping
the pressure on and we knew that. We knew that going into this thing, that they were going
to be a high-pressure defense.

Q: How did you feel your footwork was this week?
A: I think I did a better job of stepping up in the pocket but like we talked about before, I
have to do a better job of getting rid of it quicker and getting it out of my hands.