MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2013
Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Good afternoon guys. Tough any time you go on the road and you’re playing a good football team and if you finish minus-4 in the turnover differential and 20 points difference when it comes to turnovers. Very, very difficult to win in our league when that happens. That in a nutshell is what that game boiled down to. We had some opportunities going into that 4th quarter to really put some pressure on their team and it went in a completely different direction with the turnovers. We have a lot of work to do as we get ready for our next ball game. We’ll go through this tape with our players and talk about the things that are necessary to try to improve, but that ball game really boiled down to the minus-4 and the 20 points off of turnovers. There were a lot of other things that happened along the way, but that’s the difference in the ballgame. Injury wise we have a couple of guys that we’ll be pushing to get them ready for this week. John Sullivan suffered a concussion in the ballgame, so we’ll see how that goes. We’ll have to go through the NFL protocol with him. Josh Robinson we’re probably going to be missing for a while, fractured his sternum, so we’re going to miss him for a bit and we’ll see how Adrian [Peterson] did this week with his groin. We’ll monitor that as we go through the week. And we’ll learn a little bit more about some of the other guys that were injured and not able to play. Letroy Guion, Greg Jennings, we’ll learn more about those guys when we get back on Wednesday and see what they’re able to do.
Q: Could Josh be out for the rest of the season?
A: It’s possible for him to return. It could be a 4-to-6 week injury, so it’s possible.
Q: When and how did that injury happen?
A: At some point during the game he was making a tackle. It bothered him for a little while and at some point he ended up making a tackle and he couldn’t really get the wind back that he needed to be able to go out and run and we talked to him on the sideline, I believe it was at the beginning of the second half. We noticed it in the first half, we come back out in the second half and talked with him a little bit and decided not to let him continue until we got a look at it and found out today that he suffered a fracture.
Q: Will Xavier Rhodes start in his place?
A: More than likely, yeah. He or Marcus Sherels.
Q: Do you keep him on the active roster since he might be able to come back?
A: We’re going to talk about it when we leave here. Sit down with Rick and his staff and discuss what our options are.
Q: Will Sherels be the nickelback?
A: Yes, he will be the next guy at nickel.
Q: At any point do you think you need to evaluate the scheme or system of your defense that is on pace to give up a franchise record number of points? Or is it just a matter of injuries?
A: Well you’re always evaluating your scheme and trying to see what you can do better. I thought yesterday our defense did a lot of good things in that ballgame, they really did. One of the reasons we were right there going to that 4th quarter. And even in yesterday’s ballgame, some of those points weren’t necessarily directly attributable to the defense but it goes on the defensive stats. But yeah, you’re always evaluating your scheme, you’re always trying to improve what you’re doing, you’re always looking at your personnel, so you’re always trying to do those things that will help you get better and we’ll continue that as we get ready for this next ballgame.
Q: What are the chances that Adrian Peterson might not play on Sunday?
A: Probably too early to answer that on this Monday after the game. As we get further into the week, we’ll have a better idea.
Q: Have you decided yet who is going to be your starting quarterback on Sunday?
A: Just want to talk that through a little bit this afternoon and when we come back on Wednesday have a good idea.
Q: When did you first get the sense that Greg Jennings wasn’t going to be able to play?
A: Yeah, there was nothing in my mind that made me think on Friday he wouldn’t be able to go. It wasn’t until maybe Saturdaynight when I talked to him right before our team meeting that I got a hint that there was a potential chance that he might not be able to go and even then, I thought he’d be fine when he got up the next day to workout, see how’d he be, just wasn’t able to do it so we had to scratch him. So that was a tough one because we did expect him to be able to play.
Q: Is there something you need to see from Josh freeman to get him in the lineup?
A: Not so much from Josh, just try and determine what’s the best thing to do based on where we are and what we’re trying to get accomplished. He’s doing everything we’re asking him to do, he’s working hard in practice, he’s preparing properly. We’ll just have to see what’s the best thing to do.
Q: At this point are all three quarterbacks healthy enough to play?
A: They are.
Q: How do you diagnose Christian Ponder’s play?
A: He did some good things there early in that ballgame, but you’re always looking for consistent play throughout a ballgame. You can’t win in this league playing one or two quarters, you’ve got to play four good quarters of football and we just need all of our players to play well throughout the game and he didn’t play as well in that 4th quarter as we needed him to. We needed more consistent play and we didn’t get it. The results of it put us in a tough spot.
Q: Did you get any clarification on where he was going with his 2nd interception?
A: After looking at the tape, I have a better idea of what he saw. I still don’t agree with where the ball went, but I do see what he was looking at.
Q: Do you look to have any additional clarification from the NFL on Jerome Simpson’s matter?
A: We’re probably where we are with Jerome and we’ll see where things go as the week goes on. I’m sure the league will give us some guidelines as they have been throughout, but we’ll continue to monitor the situation.
Q: Do you expect him to start on Sunday?
Q: How do you think Cordarrelle did in his extended play?
A: I think he did a good job. He got a lot of snaps, found himself in position to make some plays for us, was able to create some one-on-ones, along with what he did on kickoff returns, so it was good to see him combine the two and not have a big drop off. It was good for him to get the snaps that he got and to come up with the catches that he made. We targeted him more than we actually got the ball to him. They did some good things coverage wise as well, but overall I thought he did a good job.
Q: A couple of those interceptions were intended for Cordarrelle. Were those on the throw or was there something with his routes that was off?
A: He was pretty good on his routes most of the day. There were a couple times where things could have been a little bit better, but not on those interceptions. He did a good job on his routes there.
Q: How would you describe your degree of surprise that your record is what it is right now?
A: I did not expect us to be where we are record-wise by any means. We have another ball game this week to try to win and we have to try to figure out a way to try to get a win on the road, but didn’t anticipate standing here in late November being where we are.
Q: If Greg Jennings is healthy and ready to go, would that dictate if Jerome Simpson is in the lineup again?
A: It could affect it. You’re short one of your key guys. The decision regarding Jerome, I don’t know if what happens with Greg would play in great detail with that decision, so I don’t think it would be relevant.
Q: Is there some concern with Greg being able to play Sunday?
A: I’ll be careful to predict that now, because I really felt like he’d be ready to go for this last ball game and it didn’t work out, so we have to wait to watch him go through practice and see him do some things to be certain.
Q: Is Adrian Peterson’s injury such that would benefit him to sit out a week and have Toby Gerhart play?
A: I wouldn’t say that today as we’re still getting some medical information. As I get more information, as I talk with the trainers a little bit more I’ll be better able to answer that question. I need to talk with our medical staff, our trainers a little bit more, but my understanding is he should be ready to go, but I still need to get some other information.
Q: Is there still good amount of work you’re doing with Josh Freeman on his mechanics?
A: We are. We’re doing some things before and after practice to help with some things that we want to help him with to be a better quarterback and help us on the field, but that’s a part of what we do. We do the same with all the quarterbacks so it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
Q: How much does that have to do with your decision to not play him in the last month?
A: That hasn’t been the determining factor to why he’s not in the starting lineup. We’re always working on the mechanics of all our guys, he’s no different, but that’s not the determining factor.
Q: Might you guys have been too optimistic about Josh learning the playbook at midseason?
A: It can be a challenge for sure, but no regrets about signing Josh. I’m glad he’s a part of our team and we look forward to him being able to contribute to our team, but no regrets in that regard. We knew exactly what we were doing when we made that decision and I think it was a good decision for our team. It’s hard to not take advantage of that opportunity based on where we are.
Q: Are Josh’s mechanics now any different than when he was having success in Tampa?
A: I’d have to go back and look at some things he did his first year and his second year when he had some of his best stats with the Buccaneers. We’re just trying to help him like we do with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder to do it our way and also helping him to continue to get better as a quarterback. As I mentioned, his mechanics, what we’re working with and what we’re working on, aren’t a whole lot different than what we’re doing with all our other quarterbacks, but he’s working hard and doing some good things.
Q: What’s your assessment of the confidence that’s left with six games left?
A: Well based on yesterday’s effort and what we’ve gotten throughout the season, guys are engaged. They fought their tails off yesterday and we’re one drive in the fourth quarter away from putting a lot more pressure on their team at home against a good football team, so I don’t think our guys ever doubted that they could win that game yesterday evident by the way they came out in the second half and played and even throughout the game. It was a battle. I don’t think Seattle ever got comfortable until they got those turnovers late in the ball game, so I don’t doubt where our mindset is and what we have to get done, we just have to play cleaner, especially on the road.
Q: Are you able to put your finger on why there is a lack of takeaways from the defense lately?
A: They sometimes come in bunches. It happens that way. It can be cyclical. We’re in a rut a little bit now. We got the ball out yesterday with (Marshawn) Lynch, who’s a very good back and the defense held him to 54 yards rushing, I think with a three yard average. The ball was out, but we weren’t able to come up with it. The ball comes out against us and they were able to come up with it. That happens sometimes. Hopefully this will be the week that we’ll get back on a roll again as far as taking the ball away, but sometimes it happens in bunches.
Q: What’s your assessment of how Fred Evans played?
A: His first couple snaps weren’t the greatest, he had the offsides on the very first one, but after that he settled down and really played well. He did a good job for us. I think he had a lot to do with our being able to contain their run game. Really, really pleased with the way he played considering the lack of practice time that he had. He did a good job.
Q: Any consideration, when Letroy Guion is healthy, that Fred Evans might still stay as the starter?
A: Well if Letroy is 100 percent and able to get out there and perform he’d still be our starter, but Fred did a very, very good job yesterday.