Frazier on Quarterback Decision, Peterson's Situation and More

Posted Oct 11, 2013

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier

A little windy today but it’s a good day for our football team, good week for our football team. I think all of our guys, our coaches as well, we’re all looking forward to this ball game on Sunday. Coming out of the bye, with all the things that have occurred from London to now, being back at home in front of our fans at Mall of America Field, hoping that the place is as loud as can be and makes it difficult for Carolina to function on Sunday. Should be an exciting time for our team, should be an exciting time for our fans as well. Injury wise, we came out pretty good for the most part. Looks like Rhett [Ellison] is going to make it. Chris Cook, we talked about him yesterday, should be fine. Jamarca Sanford, Kevin Williams, Adrian [Peterson] was back at practice today which was good. Christian [Ponder] of course finished as well. We made the decision, really probably a couple days ago, when I was thinking about our quarterback situation and how we were going to handle it and now that we’re done through this week and then everything is kind of worked out from an injury standpoint, where we can make a decision, almost feel like we’re in Kansas here with the wind blowing, but Matt Cassel is going to be our starting quarterback on Sunday. Christian is going to back him up. Have not decided to this point what we’re going to do with Josh [Freeman]. We don’t, we definitely don’t see him being able to play in this ball game yet based on where he is with our offense. Adrian is back with us now, had a difficult day yesterday because of a personal matter that he’s dealing with. He has our prayers and support from this football team, from this organization, as he’s dealing with a personal matter. We’ll see how things go with him, we expect him to play but this is a very personal situation that he’s dealing with. We’ll talk to him more in the next 24 hours but other than that, we’ll push our focus back to the Carolina Panthers, get ready for this football game, big game for our team sitting at 1-3. We want to be 1-0 at the end of Sunday, that’s what we’ve talked about all week long, getting a win and that’s what we’re here to do, to get a win on Sunday.

Q: Did Adrian Peterson address the team about his situation?

A: No, I talked to the team a little bit yesterday about where things were, did not have Adrian talk to the team today.

Q: Has he indicated if he’s going to play or not?

A: All indications are that he’ll be ready to go on Sunday.

Q: And you’re leaving that decision up to him at this point?

A: Yes, absolutely.

Q: Will he be speaking to the media today?

A: Yes, he’s going to be in the locker room available to the media.

Q: Obviously with your quarterback situation, with Christian Ponder being the franchise guy, how tough was this decision to go with Matt Cassel even though Christian is healthy?

A: I think it’s always tough when you make a change at quarterback. You have to take a lot of factors into it when you’re doing it. You don’t make those decisions lightly and we didn’t and we’ll see how it plays out. The start of this ball game, we’ll see how Matt does, we’ll see how it plays out over time.

Q: Is this going to be a week-to-week evaluation or is this something he can secure long term?

A: I think we need to sit back on Monday after the game and evaluate things and see where we are. Let’s see how it goes.

Q: How was Adrian at practice today?

A: He seemed like he was into it, engaged in what he had to get done. Obviously tough, he’s human, but he was into it mentally as best as he could be.

Q: Now that Josh Freeman has had a week, will he be able to know enough of the offense to play in New York?

A: We’ll probably need to look at some things next week to make that determination. I’m not sure, even as we speak, that that would be the case, but we’ll evaluate it when we come back next week.

Q: Is there a chance that Adrian may need to go back to Sioux Falls on Sunday?

A: Not that I’m aware of, not that I’m aware of.

Q: Was it a hamstring issue with Blair Walsh?

A: Yeah, had the hamstring tightness. We’re going to list him as questionable just because of that tightness. Not sure how he’s going to be. We need to see some things before the game but he should be able to go. Just the air on the side of caution, were going to list him as questionable for the game.

Q: Would it be something where his longer kicks are limited?

A: Yeah, I would hate for Carolina to be getting happy about that so let them wonder about that.

Q: Will Jeff Locke be the back-up if Blair can’t go?

A: Yes, yes.

Q: Would he do field goals as well?

A: If that became the situation, now we’re obviously hoping that doesn’t become the situation, but yeah that would be Jeff as well.

Q: Will you make any calls, have anybody ready just in case?

A: I know Rick [Spielman] and our personnel people, they have their list of guys if we had to go that route. We don’t foresee having to go that route today on Friday, tomorrow being Saturday, but there is always a list.