FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
I think we had a good Friday practice and I think we’ve had a good week of practice. Guys are really focused and concentrated on what we have to get done. Looking forward to getting back at Mall of America Field and playing in front of our fans. I’m hoping that that place is loud from start to finish. We really plan on giving them a reason to cheer. Looking forward to Kevin Williams, the fact that he’ll start this ball game puts him in a position where he’ll have the most starts at defensive tackle in Vikings history which is quite a feat. I’m looking forward to watching him play and just a class guy in so many ways. Injury-wise, Rhett Ellison is the only guy who probably won’t for sure play. We’re going to rule him out and give him another week to continue to work with his knee. Greg Jennings, as you probably noticed, wasn’t out there today. He had a personal matter that had to be taken care of so he’s taking care of that. Other than that, everybody else worked and worked hard. Getting ready for our next day which is tomorrow as we continue our preparation.
Q: Is Greg Jennings expected to be OK on Sunday?
A: Yes, nothing physical. He’ll be fine and ready to go.
Q: For that fullback spot, obviously Zach Line gets more reps but what do you have as a backup plan if something were to happen to him?
A: We do some things with John Carlson back there as well. We have some alternatives between John and Zach. We’ll be able to make it work between the guys that we have.
Q: With the depth at that position do you ever look at not using that group as much?
A: It makes a difference if something were to happen to Zach or John. It would make a difference as to how many two-back formations we would end up in. Hopefully everything will go fine with the guys that we do have.
Q: You were using Desmond Bishop on kick coverage. Is that just filling in for Rhett or just trying to get him more work?
A: We started working him there a little bit a week ago and wanted to get him some more work this week and get him a chance to get on the field with special teams as well as what we’re doing with him on defense.
Q: When you look at the play Letroy Guion made on Matt Forte, is that sort of a glimpse of what he can do?
A: No doubt about it. He’s shown at times he can be a dominant guy. We’re always looking for the consistent play from Letroy and that was an incredible play to have the wherewithal to not only make the tackle but to pull the ball out. It was just a great play. He’s capable of making plays like that and we just need him to do it on a consistent basis.
Q: Is that the difference between the good ones and the great ones, just being able to do that on a consistent basis all the time?
A: I think so. I think a guy like Kevin who has just been so sturdy for so long in his career, those guys are sometimes hard to find. There are guys who can make a splash play here or there, but you can’t always count on them down in and down out. Kevin has been one of those, once you pencil him in the lineup, you kind of know what you’re going to get every play and you’d like to make sure that’s happening with all your guys but that’s not always the case.
Q: How much does that speak to the reliability of a player knowing every week you’ll have a certain guy available?
A: It’s huge. Sometimes when we’re in personnel meetings and we’re talking about players whether it be on our team or somebody else, one of the first things I want to know as a coach is about his availability, what’s his injury history, because even though a guy may have a lot of talent and could be a very good player, if you don’t have him on Sundays it’s not ideal, it’s not what you’re looking for. Kevin is one of those. You pretty much can count on him ready to go everySunday. He’s what you want, especially in a great player.
Q: How important is it for you guys to get a quick start on Sunday?
A: It’s important that we get a win however way we get it. We like to get off to a fast start for sure. You’d like for that to happen but we’ve seen in two of our ball games in a row getting off a fast start doesn’t guarantee anything. We need to get a win whatever way it takes for that to happen.
Q: Do you feel that you and your coaches have gathered enough information on the new Cleveland roster?
A: That’s a tough one. You can only speculate how different it will be with Brian Hoyer at quarterback, how different it will be with McGahee and whoever else they play at running back, who’s at fullback, bringing their number one receiver back off of suspension. We’ll have to kind of see as the game goes exactly who the Browns are with some of the new positions, new faces in their offense.
Q: Do you think that it’ll be more of an adjustment game?
A: It’s hard to say, it’s hard to predict. We have tape to go off of but a lot of the tape we had to go off of it’s going to be different people in those roles now so we’ll see.
Q: Do you feel the need to tell the players to not take them lightly even with their new roster moves?
A: We talked about that and it’s the National Football League and the players have a lot of pride. I’m sure their head coach is doing a good job of rallying the troops and they’ll be ready to go and we better be ready to go. Our home opener, we have to have a sense of urgency for sure.
Q: Do you think that you now got the better end of the trade with Cleveland last year?
A: Well we felt that it looked pretty good when we drafted Matt (Kalil). We didn’t need this trade to solidified that in our minds. We are very, very happy with Matt Kalil.
Q: Do you think that Matt Kalil might be on pace to be like Kevin Williams one day?
A: It’s so hard to look into the future. What Kevin Williams has done over the course of his career and Matt at the very beginning of his career it just wouldn’t be fair to Kevin or Matt to try and project where he’s going to be nine years from now. It’s quite a feat what Kevin has accomplished.
Q: When you hear “Norv Turner offense” what does that mean to you?
A: A lot of deep routes, a lot of screens, a lot of play-action taking shots downfield and a lot of screens in situations where we faced them in the past.
Q: Is Josh Gordon a guy that’s constantly going to stretch the defense?
A: They relied on him a lot a season ago to make some big plays down the field, in the preseason he did the same so he’ll definitely give them a boost when it comes to taking shots downfield.