Players React to Lions win 12 Nov 12

Vikings Wide Receiver Jarius Wright

Q: How did it feel today?
A: It does feel good to get my first real, regular season game in. And for us to go out and
play as good as we did, that’s everybody, offense, defense and special teams.

Q: Did you tell Coach Frazier, see? See what happens when you put me in?
A: I’m not that type of guy. I actually went up to Coach Frazier and said thank you for
giving me the opportunity. We have a lot of great receivers. We can pick up a receiver from
anywhere. You know how the NFL works, so I thanked Coach Frazier for the opportunity.

Q: What has the wait been like?
A: Its been hard. It would be hard on anybody that liked to play the game of football and
wanted to get out there and help their team. Not saying I hadn’t been helping at practice and
everything. But just the opportunity to get out there and help your team on Sunday, I got that
chance today and I just tried to make the most of it.

Q: Do you think you ensured you won’t be put on the inactive list anymore?
A: You never really know. I tried to go out there and do my best to be sure to stay active
each and every week.

Q: What coverage did you see? Did they underestimate your speed?
A: They were in Cover 2 and the linebacker didn’t run with me down the field like he was
supposed to. The offensive line protected great. Christian did a great job of stepping up in
the pocket and delivering the ball.

Q: Were you the first option on it? It seemed like you had a step from the beginning.
A: Yes. I just hoped he would give me the chance like he did. He threw the ball out there
and it was a great throw. I made the catch, it’s just too bad I didn’t score.

Q: How much time did you spend talking to Percy this week?
A: Percy is always a great help. Not only just this week. From day-one when I got here and
Percy saw me, I think he knew we had very similar styles. Percy would come and tell me,
use your speed here or try to get a better release. Percy is a great guy and he helps me out
a lot.

Q: Which was more fun, catching the long pass or getting that first TD?
A: I’m not going to lie, I think I enjoyed catching that long pass more because it kind of
got the team going early. Of course the TD does too, but I think the long pass got us going
early. I know it got the fans going early too.

Q: What’s going to happen to the ball?
A: It’s going to go in my mother’s house somewhere. I’m going to give her the ball. I kept my
gloves and a towel that I’m going to give my father. He was in the Army Reserve. I’m going
to try and split it up.

Q: Being the fifth play of the game, was it scripted?
A: We have a certain amount of plays that we can call, so you never really know when the
call was coming. I knew the call and I knew when it was called where the ball was meant to
go.

Q: Did you ever go upstairs to ask what you can do to get on the field? Was there
ever a discussion?
A: No, sir. I never once asked. I have faith in the front office of the Minnesota Vikings. I have
faith in the coaches. I believe in them just like they believe in me. If they feel some way, I
would never question it. In those eight weeks I really learned a lot, on and off the field.

Vikings Offensive Tackle Matt Kalil

Q: You guys had to get this win, you are going into the bye week, you don’t want to
go in on a three- game losing streak, and it is a NFC North opponent.
A: It was really important for us to get this win. When we come off the bye we have Chicago,
Green Bay and Chicago. It is good to have momentum going into the bye week, and we just
have to get ready for Chicago coming up.

Q: Ponder threw the ball well today; he was accurate, had velocity, and got the ball
rolling with the deep pass to Jarius Wright. The confidence level had to be better than
it was the past few weeks?
A: Yeah you know the thing about him (Ponder) he did not have a good game last week.
But he never put his head down, continued to work hard, and showed tremendous
leadership out there. He got us all pumped up before the game, and he played a great
game.

Q: Time for my weekly Adrian Peterson question. Are you even more amazed by his
performance this week?
A: I think it is clear to everyone that this guy is a monster. That is all you can say, the guy
is a great runner, and the offensive line did a great job opening holes up for him. If you give
him just the smallest of holes he will find it. He just played a great game.

Q: What is your mindset when you’re run blocking for a guy that good?
A: It is about staying consistent, and playing from snap to whistle, making sure guys don’t
pursue plays from behind, and keeping on blocks.

Vikings Linebacker Chad Greenway

Q: You held them on third downs. What did you do?
A: Yeah, we held them pretty good in the rushing game so that kind of limits them and it’s
kind of our key we always talk about, making them one dimensional.

Q: 6-4 is nice and now you’re talking about a week off then a playoff push?
A: The bye is needed. We’re starting to lag a little bit in some areas. We need some days
off and some time. We know the stretch we have coming up these next six weeks. Two road
games are going to be brutal coming back, but we have to play. We have to stand up on
the road if we want any chance to have life late here in the New Year, in January. We have
to stand up on the road and go win in tough places and grind our W’s and play really good
defense. We’ll enjoy the week off and get back to business going to Chicago.

Q: You’ve been with Adrian Peterson for a while, when you look at him, what do you
see?
A: Nothing surprises us anymore. The way he’s bounced back, you just can’t say enough
about him as a teammate and a guy. He was at Jared [Allen’s] charity event Friday night
and giving money to charity. He’s a guy that the NFL should be proud of and the Vikings
certainly are. Obviously, on the field he does his thing so everybody respects him for a lot of
things.

Vikings QB Christian Ponder

Obviously a great win for us. Great team victory for all of us; it was important for
us to end that losing streak. We wanted to come out and set the tone before this
bye week and to be 2-0 in this division against a very good Detroit Lions team. We
didn’t do anything special; we came out and played like we were supposed to. We
executed and performed well. Our defense played extremely well, our offense played
extremely well. I think 10 guys including me caught the ball, unfortunately I’m going
to have to throw myself another 15 yard pass to negate the negative 15 yards. We
spread it around a lot. Jarius Wright—he stepped up big in the absence of Percy and
made some great plays. Obviously we want Percy back but he did a great job. We had
Kyle Rudolph, we got him involved again, and then that old man Adrian Peterson.
Unbelievable. If there’s a guy that’s better fit for Comeback Player of the Year, show
me. Because I don’t think there is. Also, I want to thank my girlfriend because she
obviously has such a big impact on how I play which allowed me to win, so thank
you.

Q: Adrian said Percy’s absence was a “blessing in disguise” for you, do you agree?
A: No, I don’t think so. Obviously we had to find ways to distribute the ball to people
because Percy is such a big part of this offense. I had to find other ways to move the ball,
and did it, but obviously we want Percy back. He’s a huge part of this offense, he makes
tons of plays. We found a way to do it without him, but hopefully he’ll be back against
Chicago. If not, whenever; we’re glad the other guys stepped up and played well.

Q: After a couple of tough weeks, how important was your first completed pass to
Jarius Wright on the first drive?
A: It was big, especially to get the ball down the field. You guys want to see the ball get
down the field, so we were able to do that. It was huge, and something that we knew we
could take advantage of on that specific play. We’ve seen it in a lot of film and a lot of cover
two and third- and- long, we had him set on the linebacker and he beat him. He made a ton
of plays, for us to step up and start the first drive like that was huge.

Q: What was the key to getting through your progressions?
A:I don’t know what the key was. It was something that I put a lot of emphasis on; staying
in the pocket, relaxing and getting through my reads. It was something that Coach Johnson
talked about—just going out and playing without worrying about the consequences of your
throws. Go out and let it rip, that’s what I did.

Q: Were you worried about the consequences of your performance?
A: No, not really. I mean, in the previous weeks it came down to execution. We didn’t
execute and I didn’t execute. I just put a big emphasis on execution this week and on the
finish, those are kind of our key phrases this whole season. I just made sure I stood in
the pocket and got the ball out. Fortunately, a lot of guys stepped up to make plays in the
passing game.

Q: How much nicer will the bye week be coming off of a win?
A: It’s definitely nice. Obviously we wouldn’t want to be on the other end of it, knowing what
our schedule’s going to be like after the bye week. We’re happy to win and get back on the
right page. There are still a lot of things we have to work on. Obviously red zone offense, it’s
a good thing we have a good kicker because we definitely left some points out off the board.
There are still a lot of things we have to work on, but we’re excited to use this as a stepping
stone.

Q: How hard would it be to incorporate Jarius Wright and Percy Harvin into an
offensive scheme together?
A: I think it would be easy; especially having a guy like Bill Musgrave as our offensive
coordinator. He’s going to find ways to get both of them the ball. Jarius obviously earned a
spot to play for the rest of the year. We want to get him out on the field. They are two very
dynamic players, between Percy and Jarius, which would be fun to have on the field.

Q: How did you work on that play after Jarius dropped the pass during Friday’s
practice?
A: After he dropped it we went out on our own and kind of worked on it to make sure that he
got it right. I kind of under threw the ball a little bit in the game and he adjusted and caught
the ball. I’m glad he caught it.

Q: How soon after you hand off can you tell if Adrian [Peterson] will have a big run?
A: Sometimes you can tell and sometimes you have no idea. A lot of times he creates his
own holes and squeezes out runs over guys. It’s hard to tell. I can tell after the first 10 yards
or so and I can see his body angle down and he takes off, running hard. That’s when you
expect he’s going to make a big play.

Q: How nice is it to have him [Peterson] back?
A: He showed up big in the fourth quarterback and is one of the best players in the NFL.
We’re excited that he’s getting healthy and playing like he is.

Q: What were your thoughts when you guys were rushing to the line before the 2
minute warning in the first half?
A: Obviously we wanted to score. We wanted to get it off and we thought if we converted,
we’d have more time. With the clock stopped, we would be able to regroup and figure
out what our next play calls were going to be but unfortunately, we didn’t execute in that
position and didn’t get to take advantage of it.

Q: What happened when you fell at the goal line?
A: I don’t know who stepped on me. I got my foot caught on somebody. Obviously I was
very graceful on that play. It was disappointing. Especially on that play, I know Jarius
[Wright] was coming open for a touchdown and we had to settle for a field goal. It’s miscues
like that, especially against good teams, you don’t want those and those are things we need
to work on.

Q: What was the significance of the guys stepping up?
A: It’s very significant. There’s a ton of depth on this team. A lot of receivers and then
getting the tight ends and the backs involved. We have a ton of playmakers. If someone is
down like Percy [Harvin] was, then we’re going to find ways to keep winning. It’s big time.

Q: How have you handled the scrutiny the past couple weeks?
A: No one puts more pressure on me than myself. I get disappointed with the way I play and
I know I can play better. No matter who writes what, it’s not going to be as disappointing to
read as what I say to myself. It doesn’t bother me because it comes with the territory. The
criticism is justified with the play on the field. I know I can play better and today was okay.
There’s still a ton of room to keep improving.

Q: After today’s win, are you guys ready to go on the road to Chicago and Green
Bay?
A: Yeah. The good thing is that we have a week off and then a week to prepare for Chicago.
Obviously they are two very good teams but we will focus on Chicago for now, who I think
may be the best team in the league right now. They have great defense. We’re going to
have to be really focused and go take advantage of the opportunity we have at hand. We’re
6-4 now so we control our own destiny. It’s going to be tough but we will be ready.

Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson

Q: Was there anything gained from surgery?
A: Just more confidence. Just going through this process overall just made me stronger
mentally. I guess that’s how it’s reflected based off that.

Q: You seem to relish the fourth quarter. Do you think about that during workouts?
A: Oh yeah. I take a lot of pride in the work I do in the offseason, grinding, because you’re
going to have some of those games that are going to be a grind and you have to be able to
finish. I have to give credit to the offensive line because those guys just kept pounding and
I kept telling them, ‘Hey, it’s going to be famine or feast. Eventually, we’ll break one.’ Those
guys stayed true to it and we were able to take advantage late in the game.

Q: Were you confident that some of those long runs would be there in the fourth
quarter?
A: Yeah, we knew coming into the game that we were playing a style of defense that’s good
up front but we were going to stay true to what do offensively and that’s running the ball
and we were able to do that. It was four or five (yards) here, but we were able to just keep
pounding them and break them down, run them down.

Q: You didn’t get that much in the fourth quarter last week. What’s it mean to be able
to close this game out?
A: It means a lot, but to go back, Christian Ponder, just the way he played, he’s kind of been
in a funk the past couple of weeks and coming back and really getting back on track, that
helped us offensively to be balanced as an offense. He was a big contributor to that, as far
as the run game, the open looks that we were able to take advantage of.

Q: Did you sense a difference in Christian?
A: Yeah, just his whole swagger. You could tell he was more confident, got into a rhythm
and he was out just playing ball, playing loose and that’s what we need from him.

Q: How often do you think about your knee?
A: After the games, I wonder if it’s going to be sore in the morning but during the game,
leading up to the week, it’s just mind over matter and definitely in the game I’m not thinking
about it. I believe that’s how you bring injuries upon yourself. I go out and play 100 miles per
hour and what happens, happens.

Q: Last week you said you were frustrated when you got caught from behind. Were
you thinking about that on your long touchdown run?
A: Oh yeah, trust me, I took a lot of heat for that. From teammates and from buddies back
home, family but I’m one of the biggest critics on myself. I told those guys, I said, ‘Hey, if
I break loose again, then that definitely won’t happen.’ Jerome (Felton) did a good job at
fullback pressing it up in there and I was able to just press it off him. Kyle (Rudolph) did a
great job coming in on the Sam (linebacker) and I was able to press it off his butt and take it
to the house. It was a good run. Plus, I stayed relaxed this time. Last week in Seattle, I kind
of tightened up a little bit but I was able to just keep my stride.

Q: How nice is it to go into the bye week with a win over a divisional opponent?
A: It’s extremely nice. That’s what Coach (Leslie) Frazier talked about Monday, coming in
and putting the past in the past and looking forward. The most important thing was going
into the bye 6-4 and guys bought into it. We knew it was going to be a fight and ultimately,
we accomplished that. We get a week to relax, come back and we have a lot of divisional
games coming up and we are going to test our will to just see how bad we want it. But it’s
good to go into it at 6-4.

Q: What was at stake for Christian with Percy Harvin out of the game?
A: I kind of said this earlier in the week, that it could possibly be a blessing in disguise
because with Percy out there, we’re definitely going to get the ball in his hands and you see
Christian kind of forced into giving it to him sometimes. So with him being out, other guys
stepped up. He was able to get back there and just go through his reads and progressions
and find the guys that were open. A lot of guys touched the ball today. Tight ends were
definitely a big part of the game. We were able to spread the ball a little bit more today and
continue to be aggressive and move the ball.

Q: How big was the Jarius Wright catch to set the tone for you?
A: It was big; it was definitely big for Christian. It was pretty just watching how it developed.
He stepped up in the pocket, kept his eyes down the field and threw a great ball, a big
catch by Jarius and that’s what I’m talking about, a young guy stepping up and coming in
and buying in and making a play. That’s what I was trying to tell the guys. I said, ‘Hey, stay
focused. Each play tells a different story. You never know when it’s going to come to you.’
Guys believe in that and guys just did their job.

Q: After being ill this week, were you concerned it would affect you today?
A: Not really. I was about to put more in my system Saturday, eat a little more. Had a lot of
family in town, 24 members, that kind of kept my mind off of how my stomach was feeling. I
felt good, felt full of energy so I didn’t think it was going to affect me.

Q: Why did you have a big group of family here?
A: I just have a lot of family that wants to come in and this just happened to be the week
where there was a lot, 24 people, that’s a big group. It’s all fun, I enjoy when they’re here. I
have a family full (inaudible) so there was a lot of laughing that took place.

Q: What kind of words have you been hearing from defenders the past couple of
weeks?
A: Just telling me that, ‘You’re great, just some of the things you’re doing.’ I guess it
shocked me, you’re out there, you’re playing against guys and they come up and say
different things like that to you, it’s humbling, but I know that I’m blessed so I just take it in
for what it is and just say thanks.

Q: Do you feel like you’re back to 100%
A: I still can get stronger. I’m still not there man. I’m pressing to get there, so this bye week
is going to be great for me, just all of the nicks I’ll be able to recover and I’m definitely going
to be working during the bye week because it’s not off for me. I’m going to come back
stronger and better after the bye.