Panthers blast Vikes 35-10, Postgame Comments 14 Oct 13

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen

Q: After a loss you’ve always been able to dissect it. You don’t seem as frustrated

after a loss, but are you?

A: Yes, I don’t know exactly what else to say. I look at myself first always, and I had an

opportunity to get a sack forced fumble but I missed the ball and ended up knocking it down

and getting a penalty. I just have to watch the film, but I am kind of stunned because you

look and it’s 35-3 and you ask yourself, “what the hell is going on?” We have just got to

keep working.

Q With the dropped ball by Jamarca Sanford that could have been an interception

and the couple penalties, do you then get a sense that it’s just not going your way?

A: We kept thinking it could possibly turn, but Carolina just chucked the ball down the field

on that first drive and then even coming out of halftime, we thought, “Alright, it could have

been a lot worse.” We thought there was a little stretch there that we picked it up and played

some good ball and come out of halftime and give up what felt like a 200- yard pass at the

time. It’s not funny, but at some point you just have to laugh about it, like what in the heck is

going on and you can’t pick just one thing out. There were problems with the run, penalties,

the sack forced fumble. You can think of some positive things, but I can’t really put my finger

on it.

Q: Do you feel the bye week had anything to do with how the team came out?

A: You come back from a short week and can have a great game, came back and had a lot

of time to think about it and some guys can over- think things. It really came down to making

plays and putting people in the position to make plays and we aren’t doing that right now.

Vikings Tight End Kyle Rudolph

Q: How much did that interception just kind of deflate or flatten out the offense?

A: Well I think the biggest thing for us, after that first turnover, we had to come back out and

respond, and we didn’t necessarily do that. We felt like once we got the ball back, down

seven nothing, we needed to get things going, and we kind of sputtered on offense and you

know at that point if we could sustain a drive and move the ball down the field, we’re right

back in it.

Q: Adrian just had one yard after the first quarter. In the way that the front line was

being started against him, did you think maybe today just wasn’t going to be the


A: They have a great front seven, and the biggest thing for us is we just got behind. The

style of football that we play, featuring Adrian, we just weren’t able to run the football and

that’s because we got back, and we had to throw it. If we can stay in the game and really

feature Adrian, that’s when our game is really the best.

Q: What did you see from him in the huddle?

A: Just the most determination, the biggest heart. That’s exactly what we expect from

Adrian, I can’t imagine, you know, the heavy heart that he had today, being out on the field.

But he spoke to us right before the game, right before he took the field and said he was

going to give it his all, for all four quarters and that’s exactly what he did.

Q: And how did that speech go? Did he say anything else?

A: That’s all he said. He said, “I’m going to give it my all, and I expect you guys to do the

same.” For a guy like that, how can you not?

Q: Kyle, it seemed like you guys just couldn’t get into rhythm. Just when you guys

looked like you were clicking, something happened to take you off it.

A: Exactly. You know the biggest thing for us was on offense, we just sputtered a bunch

of opportunities. After the early turnover we got the ball back seven nothing, and if we can

move the ball down the field and get points, things are kind of right back where they started.

Not being able to take advantage of opportunities, you know one guy here one guy there,

shooting himself in the foot.

Q: You seemed to be seeing the ball very well though.

A: Any opportunity I can get to make plays in the passing game, I’m going to do everything

I can until there are three zeros on the clock. We got a lot of guys that didn’t give up, didn’t

matter what the score board said. They kept fighting until the game was over with.

Q: Do you feel moving forward that there may be another quarterback shake-up?

A: I don’t see why? I think Josh needs to take some time to get comfortable here, learn the

offense…that’s Coach Frazier, that’s Bill’s (Musgrave) decision. That’s not ours and we feel

like every goal that we have set in August is still attainable. Last year we started out hot. We

were four and two, and we were six and six after twelve games. In my opinion, if we can get

to six and six, we’ll be sitting where we were last year.

Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson

Q: What was it like for you out there today, you had a long week. What did it feel like

to play a football game?

A: It felt good to get back out there, get into the swing of things. Offensively we weren’t able

to get anything going, create any drives, be productive in the run or pass game. I’m just

disappointed with in the loss today.

Q: Did you feel the same once the game started, as any other game?

A: Yeah, I just prayed. I asked God to give me the strength to get through the game. That

was my main focus and for the most part, I did. It was a terrible way to lose, but we can

learn from this and make some corrections and get back on track some type of way.

Q: What did your teammates do to help you get through this week?

A: A great supporting cast, these guys have been good…

Q: There were a couple of times you almost broke through, but it seemed whenever

you guys got some momentum it just sputtered out, what was going on there?

A: A turnover here, or a penalty, you have to give credit to Carolina. Those guys did a good

job of tackling and making it hard on us. We got behind the eight-ball early and it kind of

took us out of our game plan that we had. We just offensively, defensively didn’t get it done.

Q: On that 31-yarder you almost had it.

A: Yeah, it was so close. He just made a good tackle.

Q: Are you surprised coming out of the bye week to play this way.

A: Yeah, I am. I am surprised. We were definitely out of sync. We didn’t play Minnesota

football today on either side. Special teams did pretty good, but we just seemed flat today.

Q: Are you worried about the season, now that you are 1-4?

A: No, we just try and focus on the positive things this week, what we can do to get a win.

We can’t worry about what the outside is going to say, the media, what you guys are going

to say. We just have to keep it in-home. Talk about the necessary things we need to do to

get corrected. Things on offense, to be more productive, coming back to the little things,

execution, finishing plays, not beating yourself up with penalties or turning the ball over;

things like that. So we have to correct those things, focus on that and come back and play

better next week.

Q: Their defense is pretty good, isn’t it?

A: Yeah, their front-seven is outstanding. They played some good ball, they fly to the ball.

Nothing we didn’t watch in the film. Those guys just got the best of us today.

Q: Emotionally are you guys ticked off, frustrated, are you surprised?

A: I guess a little bit of all of that. We have just got to gather, get all of those thoughts and

feelings together and get back on track some type of way. I feel like we have the right men

in this locker room, on this team to be able to get back on track and get going.

Q: Emotionally what was it like preparing for this game?

A: You know I prayed about it. It is what it is; for the most part I was able to be focused, go

out there and help this team.

Q: Are they defending you differently than they did last year?

A: No, not really. We are going to try and establish the run game. Guys have known for

years that we run the ball. So every team we play, they want to stop the run; that’s what

they focus in on all week. They might add an extra guy in the box every now and then, try

and stop the run game and make us one dimensional.

Q: When you leave here are you going to be emotionally exhausted, are you going to

be able to rest for a couple of hours?

A: A couple of hours, kind of relax, get back with the family. Get a good meal in my system,

kind of unwind, get back in the building to work tomorrow. It’s all about being focused and

making the best of the situation, you can do that in any situation.

Q: You said on Friday that you were focused and ready to go, was there any point

after that where you questioned your decision to play?

A: Yeah, I was set on it. I just look at things and I don’t ask people to understand my

mindset and how things work. Even if it’s bad I try and take the good from it, that’s the way I

approach life, with all situations. I never thought about not playing. It was all about going out

there and praying that I had the strength to get through and help my team, so that was my


Vikings Cornerback Chris Cook

Q: How are you feeling? Seemed like they were a lot of injuries today?

A: I feel good, did not have any problems with my groin, but football is a rough game I will

probably feel it tomorrow. Other than what I had before, I feel perfectly fine.

Q: What is wrong in general with this defense?

A: Just mistakes, one person makes a mistake here, another person making a mistake

on another play it can hurt our entire defense. Our defense is based on assignments and

everyone doing their job, if one person is out of their gap, a big play can happen any time.

Q: How do you miss Antoine (Winfield)? Is it from a leadership perspective?

A: I won’t get into that, some guys got in trouble for talking about personnel earlier in

the year, so I won’t get into it. Antoine is a good guy and I miss him being around, his

personality and his leadership.

Q: You guys need to step up, so does somebody need to step up and take charge, or

how do you guys get this thing right?

A: We just need to go back and watch the tape, make corrections that need to be made,

and come out and do a better job of playing assignment football.

Q: How frustrating is it with the Brandon LaFell touchdown; Josh Robinson said you

were supposed to be in man, and he just lets his guy go. Are those mistakes that are

being made?

A: Those are the mistakes that will kill you in football. It is something that we just have to

learn from, those are the plays I expect those guys to make, and I know they expect me to

make them when they come my way.

Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Matt Cassel

Well, first and foremost, our hats go off to Carolina. They played a great game today.

I thought offensively they did a great job of staying on the field and sustaining drives.

On the opposite side of that, we weren’t able to maintain drives.

Q: With the two interceptions, what were you seeing?

A: The one ball just sailed on me. I had a little pressure up the middle and I was trying to

finish through. I wasn’t able to do that. And with the second one, we got the coverage that

we wanted. Obviously I tried to throw a little bit higher and we didn’t connect on that one.

Q: What’s the difference between this game and Pittsburgh?

A: We didn’t turn the ball over against Pittsburgh, we were able sustain drives and

collectively, I think that we played better against Pittsburgh than we did this week. Again,

Carolina did a great job, and you can’t take away anything from them and what they were

able to do offensively and also defensively against us.

Q: How did you prepare for this week? What were your thoughts going into this

coming week with Josh Freeman?

A: It’s the same as always. I have to get prepared, and whatever coach decides, I have to

be accountable. We just have to see what decisions are made. Again, just like the last three

weeks, I never know what’s going on until I’m being told by coaches, and I’m sure it will be

very similar to what it’s been for the past few weeks. We will see.

Q: Is it hard to prepare not knowing?

A: No, it’s not hard to prepare not knowing. You go about your business, you get the reps

that you get and you go out there and get ready to play.

Q: You had a lot of drives started but not sustained. How do you handle this as an


A: Well, that’s a great point. We have to do a better job trying to sustain drives, convert on

third downs, keep our defense off the field and do the things that you have to do. And also,

more importantly, we just have to score points. When we get opportunities and when we

move the ball, we have to try to put more points on the board. We weren’t able to do that


Q: How do you handle locker room situations like this?

A: Well, as bad as it is, I think this team has great leadership on it. We have a lot of veteran

guys that know how to work, know how to turn this thing around, and as disappointed as we

all are about being 1-4, there is a lot of football left to be played. We say that, we’ve said

that, but at the same time there really is. There are 11 football games left. We can’t throw in

the towel, and I know those guys in the locker room won’t throw in the towel. We just have

to find some momentum, some camaraderie. We need to come together and win a game.

Then hopefully build off of that and get on a roll here.

Q: Two plays inside the five around halftime. What were you seeing on the second

and third?

A: We had man to man coverage on that one. I was trying to give Rudolph an opportunity

to go up and make, more or less, a jump ball. And the one to Jennings, I don’t recall at this


Q: Matt, you’ve been through a lot of tough losses before, but Leslie pointed out that

a lot of young guys haven’t. How do you keep this from spiraling?

A: I think the focus has to be on, “What can we do as individuals to improve?” You always

have to start with yourself. I start with myself and hopefully the rest of these guys do

because we can point fingers, we can say it’s this, that or the other, but it always starts with

the individual. From there, we need to come together collectively to figure out what we need

to do better both offensively, defensively and with special teams. Whatever the case might

be, we’ve got to do that and make a concerted effort to do that. And also, it starts with the

leadership of helping those young guys along.

Q: Do you think you’ll be the starter at New York?

A: You know what, I don’t know. I hope that I am. I think that this team is going to turn things

around and I would love to be the starter, compete and do all the things that I am going to

do. But, at the same time, the coach makes the decisions. We’ll see.