Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Bob [Hagan] was just informing me that Adrian [Peterson] was NFC Offensive Player of the Month, then Blair [Walsh] Special Team Player of the Month. Quite an honor for those guys, really excited for them. That just says a lot about what they’ve accomplished over this last month, along with our team. Injury-wise, Tyrone McKenzie did not participate; don’t expect him to play in this ball game. Adrian looked good, he moved around very well so that was good to see. Antoine [Winfield] was able to get some work done with a cast, actually we didn’t have him do anything other than some things on the side. We wanted him to get a good comfort level with that cast on and he does have a good comfort level so we feel better about him. Christian [Ponder], we had him limited with some of the things that we did with him. We didn’t ask him to do a whole lot, just let that elbow calm down a little bit. Harrison [Smith] finished, he did fine. Brian Robison was fine, everybody else was good. I think we’ve had a good week of practice, we have to continue to do the things we have to do tomorrow as we are entering the final stages of our preparation, but we’ve had a good week of work. Our players are pretty energetic about this opportunity.
Q: What’s your level of concern right now with Antoine Winfield?
A: I feel better. Just to see him move around a little bit with that cast, he was actually over there hitting the dummies and doing some things to jar, just to see how it would feel, and he said it felt great. That was encouraging, very encouraging.
Q: Is that kind of a different set up with the padded cast than he had on Sunday?
A: It’s sturdier. It gives him a comfort level mentally so it’s much better.
Q: Any concerns with Christian Ponder?
A: I think he’ll be alright. He’s going to do everything he can to make sure he’s ready to go. He’s doing a lot more stuff mentally than physical right now, but he should be fine. We’ll have to see how he does tomorrow as well.
Q: What’s the primary thing Christian is dealing with?
A: It’s a little bit tight for him, just have to loosen up a little bit. They’re still doing some things with him. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow but he’s going to do everything he can to of course be ready for this ball game.
Q: Do you think the cold weather is going to affect that more than indoors would?
A: I don’t think so. I don’t know if that would make a difference.
Q: Does Harrison Smith have a knee injury or is it still with the shoulder stinger?
A: He had the stinger but it’s been more of the knee that has given him a little bit of trouble.
Q: Were all these guys who were listed as questionable better?
A: They were better, so that was encouraging.
Q: Are they going to be listed as questionable or doubtful?
A: I don’t think anybody will be doubtful. We’ll decide who’s probable, who’s questionable, but I don’t think doubtful. We’ll see.
Q: The difference between your pass defense with and without Antoine Winfield is what?
A: He makes a difference, there’s no question about it. So it was encouraging that he felt better today. He provides leadership along with, he’s had a very, very good year for us. It’s hard to replace him but other guys will have to step up and we’ll have to play better without him if for some reason something were to happen in the game. We’ll have to do a better job than we did last week in his absence if that were to occur.
Q: If something were to happen, what are some of the options you would do for this week?
A: Well, between [Marcus] Sherels, [A.J.] Jefferson and [Josh] Robinson, we’d try to come up with the right configuration to get us what we need to try to match up with their receivers. That’s what we worked on throughout this week, what’s the best way to approach it if something were to happen with Antoine.
Q: How much do you talk about explosive plays on both sides of the ball in terms of getting them offensively and limiting them defensively?
A: We talk about it. It’s a big deal when you’re trying to get points on offense. You usually have to get some explosives in a drive to score some points. It’s something we talk about on defense and we’re always talking about it as well, not giving up explosive passes or explosive runs. We track it every week. It’s something we’re always conscious of. You don’t always get it accomplished, but it’s something we always talk about.
Q: What’s the yardage cutoff you use for those explosives?
A: Ten plus is an explosive run. On offense we say 16-plus is an explosive pass, on defense it’s a 20-plus explosive pass.
Q: When you switch out A.J. Jefferson and Josh Robinson, what goes into that? Keeping them fresh?
A: Skill set, part of it yeah keeping a guy fresh, but more skill set. Where you think a guy is. In this particular game from a matchup standpoint, who gives you more of what you need, what you think will help you be successful as much as anything.
Q: Did Josh Robinson get any more work inside this week working against a slot receiver?
A: No, we really didn’t do that. We kept him where he’s been but some of the other guys we did work inside; Brandon Burton, A.J. [Jefferson], Marcus [Sherels], we did.
Q: When you gather these guys tomorrow night, what’s the lasting message you want to say to them? Will it be different than any other game?
A: It won’t be a whole lot different. I’ll give it some more thought this evening and tomorrow, but it won’t be a whole lot different. The things we talked about today, it will be somewhat repetitive to them. We went through some things this morning about what we have to get done. It won’t be a whole lot different than what I’ve told them each Saturday night over the course of the year.
Q: Any special guests or anything like that?
A: No special guests, it will be pretty straight forward.
Q: Did Antoine Winfield or Kevin Williams say anything to the team having been in that last playoff game at Lambeau?
A: They haven’t. They have not spoken to the team about that. I’ve actually talked to Kevin a little bit about what the atmosphere was like at that time and some of the things that happened. They haven’t addressed the team regarding it.
Q: How did things go for you this week with having the doors open and trying to get it as cold as you could in here?
A: I thought it was good for us. It won’t be a complete shock to the system when we walk out on the field at Lambeau. I think it helped us. I think we did the right thing.
Q: Do you know what the temperature got down to in here?
A: We had it at about between 25 and 30. About 25 or 30 to the doors over here to our right, and it was a little bit warmer here, of course no doors here. Between 30 and 35 over here where we are now.