Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving, I enjoyed my time yesterday afternoon. I got home and ate as much as I could and tried to relax, late afternoon. I hope everybody here enjoyed Thanksgiving with their families or with their loved ones as well. We’re pretty good health wise, Kyle Rudolph and Josh (Robinson) are the only guys that on this day they will definitely be out of the ball game. Other than that, Adrian (Peterson) practiced today, he did well and all of the other guys that we are kind of counting on at this point are looking pretty good. So, we are not back to full strength, but we do have a lot of guys that are going to participate who we need to be on the field against a good football team on Sunday afternoon. That’s the encouraging part, but it should be a good contest.
Q: Was there any more concern about Adrian playing Sunday?
A: No, I think he will be fine. Based on what I saw today, he should be fine.
Q: Are there days where you’re just trying to get him some rest?
A: Yep, trying to rest that groin a little bit and let him get treatment. Not 100%, but not to the point where it’s worse than it was when we played Green Bay.
Q: Has Xavier Rhodes passed everything and good to go?
A: Yeah he’s practicing now, he has passed everything, he and Joe Webb and they have been cleared.
Q: How big of a difference does that make being able to add Xavier Rhodes and his aggressiveness?
A: It’s a big deal. We’re pretty thin in the secondary and playing with a lot of guys that are out of position that you don’t really want to play as much as we are having to play them because it does affect your special teams as well. So to have Xavier back, that’s a big deal. It helps us from a depth standpoint. You’re putting a guy at corner who is a corner, opposed to what we are doing with Robert (Blanton) and what we are having to do with Marcus (Sherels), he is more of a spot player, not a guy that you want to take 60 snaps. Hopefully, Xavier will be able to finish the game and play well.
Q: Do you still look to get Robert Blanton some snaps there in nickel situations?
A: We will, we will, for where we are we will have to get him some snaps there.
Q: Is this kind of what you guys had envisioned with Chris Cook and Xavier Rhodes on the two sides matching up against Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery?
A: Right, right, you feel like you match up a lot better with the size that we have outside. Now we have to go out and execute between the two of them. You’re right, this is kind of what you want for this type of situation.
Q: If Toby Gerhart was playing for another team and not playing behind Adrian Peterson, how good of a back would he be and what would his numbers look like?
A: I think he would be a featured back. Whenever he’s gotten an opportunity, even the year that Adrian got injured, he’s stepped in and played very, very well. You see now when Adrian is not on the field and he gets his chance he does extremely well. He’s a good back and one of the best teammates you could ever ask for. He’s not one of those guys who complains about being a backup to Adrian, he’s good on special teams. He’s the consummate pro and I think he would be a featured guy.
Q: When you think back to that first Chicago game and how it went and being in that two-minute defense situation as much as you guys have since then, did you learn anything from that?
A: Yeah, the results don’t say that we have learned a lot. We haven’t produced in these situations as often as we need to, obviously. I think we did learn some things from that situation. We just have got to find a way to make some plays, and we did in the Washington game and the Pittsburgh game, but we haven’t done it enough. We will get another opportunity, maybe, against Chicago, and if we do I think there are some things that we have learned from that situation that should help us on Sunday.
Q: How much work did Harrison Smith see today and how did he look out there?
A: He really looked pretty good, I was telling Eric Sugarman a little bit ago that, that rule is a good rule, but man, I wouldn’t mind if he could play this week because he moved around well enough where you had no qualms putting him in the ball game. He looked good, so we will get a chance to take a look at him next week and hopefully we will have him the following week to play.
Q: He could return on the 15th against Philadelphia, correct?
A: The Philly game, that’s what we are aiming for.
Q: The way he looks so far you have little doubt that he wouldn’t be available then?
A: Yeah, this is only the first day so you have to see how he feels tomorrow. The way he moved around, he looked good. We will see how he feels tomorrow.
Q: Do you envision that Toby Gerhart will get more carries this game?
A: I don’t know if the numbers will be much more than what they were last week, but getting him on the field for sure with Adrian being where he is health wise. We do need to insert him more often than we do, even in the first half. Not just wait until the second half when Adrian gets tired or fatigued.
Q: Going back to those two-minute situations, a couple of times here you have taken timeouts in those situations, you talked about wanting to get the ball back, but is that something that you have thought has helped you guys get set and get things in order in those situations a little more than it was early.
A: Yeah, it definitely helped us even in the Green Bay game. To settle down a little bit, we were able to hold them to a field goal when they had a chance to score the game winning touchdown, so it helped us there. And we got the ball back and we had a chance to drive down and get into position for a field goal, we just came up a little bit short. It does help to get our guys settled and each situation is different, with all of the new people that we are playing right now, being in these situations for the first time you want to make sure that we know what we’re doing and you can’t worry about the other team, you have got to make sure that we know what we are doing.
Q: What’s the update on Greg Childs, do you have any expectations of him playing this season.
A: I don’t know right now, but he’s looking pretty good. He hasn’t been able to go back-to-back days yet. He practiced on Wednesday, we gave him the day off on Thursday and then he came back today and practiced. So once we get some consecutive days together then we will have a better feel, but right now he still needs a day in between.
Q: What is the timeframe for Josh Robinson to come back, and is it his job once he comes back?
A: When Josh comes back and he’s healthy and he’s cleared we will plug him right in at the corner as well as the nickel position and move Xavier back to his normal position on third downs and extra nickel situations, but we would love to have Josh back as soon as possible because it helps us from a rotation standpoint. Xavier has done a good job up to this point, but we’d go back to Josh starting when he is healthy.
Q: Is Josh Robinson still a few weeks away?
A: Probably at least a couple, probably. Yeah, at least a couple.
Q: Do you think playing 98 snaps last week will have any carryover to Sunday?
A: You know when the adrenaline is flowing you’re not counting plays, you’re just playing. You really don’t feel it until maybe after the game or when you come back on Wednesday and you begin practice. We try to cut back some things during this week to try and take something off of their legs, glad we didn’t have short week like a Thursday game, but we just try to monitor their snaps in practice, but at the end of the day you have to get ready to play the next ball game.
Q: Did you wear pads yesterday?
A: We did wear pads yesterday, we did. We’ve had some talks about that, but they didn’t complain because they know where we stand on that point.