Vikings prep for Lions, Frazier talks 03 Sep 13


Head Coach Leslie Frazier



An exciting time for us as we are in preparation for the kickoff of the 2013 season. We were able to pare our roster down over the weekend. It was not easy getting down to that final 53 along with what we did with our practice squad. A lot of tough decisions, a lot of discussion and you like it that way because it means our roster has become more competitive. So there were a lot of conversations from our coaches, our scouts; it was good. I think that the group we have finalized gives us the best chance to be successful in 2013. I’m really proud of every one our players who went through some of the things they went through, going back through April, throughout OTA’s, through training camp, to make our squad. It is a good group. We are excited about everyone one of them and looking forward to our preparation when we get back on Wednesday, as we prepare for our first game of the season.


Q: What did you like about J’Marcus Webb?

A: We had a chance to line up against him a few times, and we liked his length, that really sticks out at you, along with his athletic ability. He is a guy who has shown that he has the ability to be a very good offensive tackle in our league. There are definitely some things that he has to work on to become a complete player. That is one of the reasons that we were able to acquire him. But we like the size, and the experience that he has in the NFL as a tackle.


Q: Did you have a good idea that J’Marcus Webb would be available when you were going through the cut process?

A: We knew that that was a possibility, but we didn’t know if it would happen or not. But we had some discussions, so we had an idea. But still, there were other teams ahead of us if someone wanted to claim him, so we weren’t sure if it was going to happen, but it worked out.


Q: Would he back up both spots, or if something happened to Matt Kalil would Charlie slide out to the left side, or is he your backup for both tackle spots?

A: Right. He has played left and right. We think he can do both, and that is the way we will approach it here. Although Charlie could kick out outside, but we are going to give J’Marcus that chance.


Q: Where is Kevin Williams at as far as his rehabilitation?

A: We are going to talk about injuries a little bit on Wednesday. We will get into more detail on all of those guys on Wednesday.


Q: What did Zach Line do to stand out and make this team?

A: When you take a look at what he did in training camp and then even beyond. He came in and really grew as a player. Once we put the pads on; which is what we all were waiting to see; we knew he was a pretty good runner, but we wanted to see how he would block and he showed that he could adapt to our style of offense. He showed that he could move those linebackers and really become a good lead blocker for us, not just a good runner. So he has shown enough where we felt like he would give us a strong option when we line up against Detroit in a few days.


Q: Without Jerome Felton, do you feel like going back to one back sets, or do you expect Zach Line or Rhett Ellison to step in and not miss a beat offensively?

A: We are counting on Zach and Rhett to really help us in that area along with John Carlson as well. We are still going to be in some two-back situations when we line up on Sunday, and we think that those guys can be capable of getting the job done.


Q: Some of the other injured guys were back at practice, including Jarius, Mistral, and Sharrif. Is that a good sign for Sunday?

A: Oh yeah. Like I said, we are going to talk more about injuries on Wednesday but it is great to have everybody back. Our entire team, everybody moving around, it is good to have them back in the building.


Q: What did you see out of Joe Webb that you liked that led to him making the final roster?

A: Like his versatility. He showed some things on special teams. We saw the growth as a receiver from the time we made the decision back in the spring, just watching him grow as a receiver. But also, the additions that he could give us on special teams. That was probably the thing that really solidified in our minds that we had another guy who could be a potential core player for us on special teams, and make a difference there, along with being a quality receiver. As he continues to develop as a receiver, along with what he can give us on special teams, that probably was the deciding factor.


Q: Is Sharrif Floyd at a point where he could play a big role in Sunday’s game?

A: I think we’ll have to go through this week and determine that. I know he’s missed quite a bit of time, also coming off and injury, so we’ll have to gauge that as the week goes on.


Q: Will you go with Letroy Guion if Kevin Williams is unable to play?

A: Potentially. We’re going to take a look at whatever we have to do based on what ever is happening with Kevin as the week goes on. 


Q: Does Letroy Guion have all the skills in order to maintain Kevin William’s spot if needed?

A: It has been awhile since he’s played the position so it’s something we’re going to have to take a look at based on how Kevin is doing as the week goes on but we’ll see. We have some options we think, but we’ll have to determine as we go forward.


Q: Have you decided what you want to do with that weak side linebacker spot?

A: As we speak today, Marvin is our starting outside linebacker. Desmond did a good job, did enough to make our ball club and we’ll see how he progresses as we go forward.


Q: Was it that serious of an injury for Bobbly Felder to make that final decision?

A: Yes. In Bobby’s case he’s done a very good job for us throughout the spring and in training camp as well and showed well on punt returns. But the injury definitely set him back and he’s still banged up now. He’s not going to be with us as he goes through what he has to go through from an injury standpoint.


Q: Was there ligament damage?

A: I don’t think it was ligaments other than an ankle sprain.


Q: Do you feel like you are prepared to be off to a good start with having a very tough first four games?

A: Without a doubt. We’re excited about the kickoff of the season and we’ve got what we needed to get out of the preseason from my perspective and our coaches perspective. We’ll be ready when we line up against Detroit on Sunday. We have enough time to continue to hone in on some things and we’re going to continue to work as hard as we can to be prepared on Sunday.


Q: What’s your level of concern for those cornerbacks going into their first game?

A: Detroit has a superb passing game and we have some young guys that are going to be playing but we have the confidence that they can do it and we just have to continue to let them evolve and develop. This is going to be a big week for them but they’ll do a good job. They’ll be ready.


Q: How much of what Marcus Sherels did in that final preseason game cemented a spot for him on this roster?

A; I think it went a long way. When you return a kickoff and come in with that big play like he did with that interception, and he has had a good camp and a good spring as well so we always knew about Marcus’ ability, but those play definitely helped. Bobby was having a good camp as well, but Marcus really solidfied some things in that game but I don’t want to  put it on just that game. He had done a good job up that point.


Q: With Antoine Winfield announcing his retirement, what are thoughts on the career he had?

A: I have a ton of respect for Antoine, as you know. He did a lot of good things for us here. He had a great career here at Minnesota and really helped me look good at times with some of the plays he made, so I have a deep affection for him. If he wanted to play, I would welcome the opportunity to work with Antoine again if that’s what he wanted to do but if he’s retired, I wish him nothing but the best. He’s been a great player, great person. He’s going to enjoy retirement but he’s been a tremendous player for a long time in our league.


Q: Have you reached out to him?

A: I haven’t spoken to him. I may give a call today just to wish him well but I haven’t spoken to him.