MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2013
Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Good morning guys. One of the benefits of playing a Thursday night game is you get this Monday to come in and get some extra work for our players, kind of get some guys healed up a little bit with the time they had off over the weekend. I think by having this one extra day it should help us. Hopefully it will. We were able to watch some tape and talk a little bit about our upcoming opponent and introduce them to some of the things we want to go back through when we come back on Wednesday, so we’re hoping this extra day will be plus for us. We’ll talk about injuries when we get back on Wednesday just to give you an update on where things are. You’ve had a chance to talk with Jerome (Simpson), you saw the statement that was issued by our ball club regarding the incident involving Jerome. We’ll have further clarification as we learn more from the league as well as what we’re going to do internally. You should have some information that should help you create some clarity regarding Jerome but from my standpoint, there isn’t a whole lot more that I can add regarding his situation as we are continuing to gather more information.
Q: Jerome said he expects to play this Sunday. Do you expect him to play this weekend?
A: We’ll see. Today is Monday and there’s so much more information to be gathered. We’ll see what happens.
Q: Is this one of those deals because of his prior problems that it’s in the NFL’s hands whether they bring additional punishment?
A: That will definitely factor in. His previous situations will definitely factor in to what happens going forward.
Q: Did he address the team or talk with you about it?
A: Yeah, he and I met on Saturday and we talked.
Q: Regardless of what the league does, you have an opportunity to interject. What are you planning to do?
A: As I mentioned earlier, at this point we’re not prepared to discuss what we might or might not do today as we continue to gather more information.
Q: Does Christian Ponder have to be 100 percent for him to start?
A: Probably have to take a look at him and just see if he can function. You don’t want to put him in harm’s way, if he can’t protect himself you wouldn’t want to put him out there, so we’ll have a better idea when we come back on Wednesday and start practicing. He’s made progress, which is encouraging. Now we have to see how much progress he makes in the next couple days and moving on to Thursday and Friday as well.
Q: And if Ponder can’t go?
A: That’s the proverbial question. We have two other capable guys that are capable of starting for us and doing a good job. One of those two guys would end up being the starter if he can’t go.
Q: Were you able to get any of those injured guys back today?
A: Yeah, Jamarca (Sanford) participated; Chris Cook participated, so that was encouraging and Rhett (Ellison) participated. Probably the only guy who didn’t participate was Fred Evans and Kyle (Rudolph) of course. Everybody else participated which is good.
Q: Do you have a day in mind when you think you need to decide which quarterback it’s going to be?
A: That Thursday practice is a pretty important one because we go through everything that we introduced on Wednesday plus our third-down, red zone, short-yardage, the whole nine yards. That one is pretty important. You’d like to get some work on that Thursday if you could.
Q: It’s not Ponder’s throwing shoulder so how do you test it to make sure he can handle contact?
A: Yeah, they will be doing strength tests just to make sure he has his range of motion, make sure that his strength is where it needs to be and you’re right, you can’t simulate a tackle and practice so it’s the strength test that’s probably the most pertinent for him at this point.
Q: Is there a certain day you would need to know by if Jerome Simpson will play on Sunday?
A: There is a point where as you’re putting together the game plan you’d like to have some idea of a guy’s availability so we’ll wrestle with that in the next day or so trying to figure that out.
Q: In terms of some of the injuries, are Phil Loadholt and Rhett Ellison both good to go this week?
A: Like I was saying earlier, we’ll get together on Wednesday and talk about those guys in detail, who’s available and who’s not, because there are some moving parts with some of them.
Q: Has Loadholt passed the concussion test?
A: He went through another part of it today and when I go back in I’ll find out more about that as well.
Q: How do you evaluate John Carlson’s performance? Is that something you can rely upon in Kyle’s absence from here on out?
A: I think when we acquired him, those pass-catching skills, he had displayed those in his time in Seattle and that was one of the reasons we really wanted him to become a part of our team. His blocking has improved vastly in the time he’s been here, but we signed him for his pass-catching skills and we haven’t gotten him as involved in his short time with us as we would have liked, but in Kyle’s absence he really stepped up and showed some of the things he showed prior to us signing him. We want that to be more part of our offense, including him along with Kyle. What he did on Thursday night probably pushes us more in that direction although we have some other weapons. He did a very, very good job for us. It would have been tough to come out successfully as an offense and as a team without his contribution on Thursday night so that was encouraging.
Q: What’s it like to prepare for a guy like Percy Harvin that the most recent film you have on a guy is in your uniform?
A: Hadn’t thought about it that way. We saw him every day at practice so we have a pretty good feel for him. That’ll be interesting having to go back to look at tape of us to prepare for him. I hadn’t really thought about that. He’s a very good player and they have a good team so we’re going to have to really play the best game we can possibly play to have a chance to be successful.
Q: If you had to go without Jerome Simpson, do you feel Cordarrelle Patterson is ready for a bump up in playing time?
A: He’d have to be. He’d have to be because he’s the guy we’d be counting on to take more snaps. It’s not how we would have planned it, but he would have to be ready to take more snaps and contribute both on special teams as well as what we’d ask him to do on offense.
Q: Do you factor in at all how aggressive Seattle’s defense is when making a decision on Ponder?
A: Not so much because it’s the same way with every team you face. Every team has the ability to put big hits on the quarterback. It will be more about what our doctors and our trainer, Eric Sugarman, tell me when it comes to his availability, if they feel like he’s regained the strength that’s necessary to go out and play his position.
Q: When you’re in a long weekend situation like this past weekend do you remind the players to be smart about their decisions off the field?
A: Oh yeah, we do. We talked about it even today, the fact that they have tomorrow off and we have a big event tonight, our Taste of the Vikings, so yeah we talk about it. Ultimately it comes back to every individual making good decisions, good choices. Yeah, we do talk about it.
Q: Were you trying to have Saturday off when you found out what happened with Jerome? Were you in the office?
A: It was early in the morning when I found out so it definitely affected the rest of the day, for sure.
Q: Knowing what you do about that situation, Jerome had taken strides the last couple years after getting off to rocky start. Is it disappointing to see him revert back to some bad decisions?
A: It’s always disappointing when there’s negative light brought to our organization of any kind. It’s unfortunate when this happens. You have to deal with it, but it’s definitely unfortunate.
Q: You said you talked to him on Saturday, was that here or over the phone?
A: Here at Winter Park in person, not over the phone.