Vikings fall to Browns 31-27,Player Comments 22 Sep 13

Sunday September 22, 2013

Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle Kevin Williams

Q: What does it mean to lose 3 games to start the season?

A: It’s tough. Today we had a game that we hoped we would win, and we let it get away in

two minutes again. We were in a good position to win it and we just have to hold up our end

during the end of the game.

Q: Is it about mental breakdowns? What do you see?

A: I don’t know. We will have to look at the tape. They did some good things that countered

what we were doing, and they made some plays. They got the ball where they had to, and

they made some throws. So, we have to give them credit.

Q: What’s been frustrating?

A: Not finishing. We need to finish. We need to finish the game. We cannot just play for a

half, two quarters or three quarters. We have to play the whole game and finish.

Q: As far as momentum, it looked like you had shut them down until that last drive.

Does it make it worse that you lost control then?

A: Yes, It’s a little tougher to swallow when you get down to the last three minutes again.

Like last week, we let it slip away again. We have to try to eliminate that. We talked a lot

about situational football this last week, and we just didn’t get it done. We need to play

harder. We need to try to be more sound and smart.

Q: What did you think with the defense going into the line drive?

A: We thought we were in good position. We kept getting in long situations. With the last

drive, they got the ball out pretty well. Like I said, they countered what we were doing and

made plays.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vikings Middle Linebacker Erin Henderson

Q: It’s the second week in a row the defense has the game in its hands at the end, but

the offense also put it in your hands a lot.

A: We had a chance to go out there and win, it doesn’t matter what happened on the other

side of the ball. What they did or did not do, what they were able to accomplish or not.

Once the punt happens and we take the field on defense it’s on us to make sure we get our

job done and take care of our responsibilities in order for us to be able to win. You guys

can talk about the offense and what they did, but on the defensive side we’re going to look

at being able to finish the games out and being able to come out with a win at the end.

Q: It seemed like the defense was fighting injuries constantly throughout the whole

game.

A: It’s part of the league, it’s a part of the business and in this league it has to be the next

guy up and when he comes up he needs to be ready. You never know when your number’s

going to be called, when it’s going to be your turn, so you just need to make sure you

prepared day- in and day- out so you’re ready when you are up you can go out and perform.

Q: You had 2 sacks and 1 interception, did you feel like you had to put everyone on

your back and kind of lead that way today to set the tone?

A: I never really look at it like that, the coaches gave me some opportunities to go out there

and make some plays. When you’re put into those situations you need to go out there and

make them. It’s not really on me to put the team on my back or put the defense on my

back, I just try and lead the best way I know how. As far as being the middle linebacker

goes I just try and make the plays that go my way.

Q: The craziness with the fake punt and the fake kick.

A: The pulled out all of the stops, kudos to them and their coaching staff for having the guts

and the moxie to go out there and call those plays, those aren’t easy situations. That fake

punt that they ran, they ran it in their negative territory, in their own backyard basically so we

come up with a stop there and our offense ends up with great field position, but they were

able to go out there and make plays. Like I said, their coaches called it, and they had a

hideout player on us with that field goal. Kudos to those guys to find ways to come up with

points and create points when they were there.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2013

Vikings Quarterback Christian Ponder

It’s obviously very disappointing. Never did we think we would start off 0-3, that we’d

lose at home. You have to hand it to Cleveland, they’re a good team, stout front. It’s all

on our shoulders. We lost this game. We had it. Could have done some more things

throughout every quarter, especially in the fourth quarter to secure victory and we didn’t

do it. As a group we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and change this around

quickly. We are going to make sure this doesn’t steam roll and snow ball downhill

because this season is going to start moving quickly and we have the veteran leadership

in the locker room to change things around. We just have to come to work and make sure

the things are fixed.

Q: What changed as the game went on that made it tough for the offense?

A: Let’s give them credit, they’re a good defense, but in reality it’s just our lack of execution.

We need to execute for four quarters and we can’t have the ups and downs. We’ll have to look

at the film and see how we can execute better. We have to get better in the passing game, we

have to complete balls and we have to do a better job in the running game as well.

Q: On that third and five it looked like Greg Jennings had some separation. What did you

see there?

A: I missed him. It was a bad throw. He was open and did a great job on that route and beat

man coverage, beat their best corner but we weren’t able to convert.

Q: How much did the two three-and-outs towards the end of the game hurt you guys?

A: It hurt a lot. We want to keep us on the field and run down the clock and keep their offense

off the field so we can win the game. It’s something we worked on all training camp and we talk

about it every Friday, our four-minute offense. We just didn’t execute it and we gave them the

opportunity to win the game and they did so.

Q: The defense generated four turnovers and you only had 10 points off turnovers. Is it

your job to make sure you get points?

A: Yeah it is. We want to score every chance we get, especially when there’s a turnover. Our

defense played well and we have to make sure we do a better job of that and make sure that

we don’t turn the ball over. The defense played well and we had the opportunity to put up more

points than we did.

Q: Did you hear the chants for Matt Cassel?

A: I think it’s impossible to not hear them. We want to win just as bad as the fans and as bad as

anyone else. We’re more disappointed than they are and we have to give them something to

cheer about.

Q: How do you guys pull things together from here on out?

A: We have to have that understanding that we are disappointed, but in this league you can’t

let one week effect the next week. I think we understand we have a ton of good players, we

have a ton of talent. We just have to keep finding what it’s going to take to fix what we’re doing.

We have this game in London, it’s going to be a trip where we have to stay focused and we’re

playing a great team in Pittsburgh and we’re going to have to make sure we prepare well and

then we have the bye week. But we need to secure a victory and change this around.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson

Q: Are you starting to get that feeling of the “same old”, you guys have lead with one

minute to go, does it make it more frustrating that these aren’t game you should have

lost?

A: Yeah, it definitely makes it more frustrating with those games you have right there in

your pocket. It’s frustrating, but we need to just regroup and bounce back. We can’t let this

direct us in a different path, so we need to just come back next week in London and get that

first W (win).

Q: The back- to-back three and out series that the offense had, how much did that

hurt?

A: It hurts, it hurts a lot. Offensively when we talk about creating drives and putting points

up on the board, when you have those opportunities and you don’t capitalize. I don’t feel

like we as an offense made some plays, but we weren’t able to make enough, especially

when it counted the most.

Q: Sitting at 0-3 now how do you collectively circle the wagon and make sure that the

season doesn’t really fall off the cliff?

A: We have a mature bunch here with great leaders. We know these games that we’ve lost,

we know how they’ve played out, and so we just have to stay confident and keep swinging,

but just keep swinging a lot better. We will approach it with that mindset and attitude, we’ll

be okay.

Q: What are you seeing differently that you didn’t see last week with these first three

games? Are the holes not there, are they stacking the box, why are the yards not

where they were from a year ago?

A: They are stacking the box a little more and those guys on the other side of the ball are

pretty good, so you’re going to have a game every week with the 50 here and the 40 there.

We have to come out and be consistent, all of these short runs of 5 and 6 yards, that’s what

you ask for is the run game being efficient. That opens it up for the pass and that happened

to us today, we just had opportunities that we just did not take advantage of. That’s just

what it comes down to.