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From The Locker Room: Allen, Peterson and Others React After The Green Bay Loss

Posted Oct 27, 2013

Vikings Defensive End Jared Allen

Q: How weary are you saying for the third game in a row that this is embarrassing?

A: I am embarrassed, I have to keep saying it. Trying to be as honest as I can. I have never been a part of something like this.

Q: What is the overall mood of the team right now?

A: Frustrated, eager to win. There are no quitters in this room, these guys will fight to the end, and it is not a question. We have to get better; you have to be kidding me to say that we cannot stop teams. We score thirty-one points and cannot win a game you have to be kidding me.

Q: Did it flash through your mind at all that the trade deadline is Tuesday, and that you may not be here for the next game?

A: No, it is not something I have to worry about right now. I understand the league, I understand how it works, but my goal is to play football, and go out and win. I go out every Sunday and I give it everything I got. Sometimes it is spectacular, sometimes you get double teamed, sometimes you can’t get there in time, and sometimes you lose.

Q: Would you be okay if you ended up with another team?

A: I am honestly not going to address it. I am not going to speculate on something I have not had a conversation about, and I can’t speculate on something that hasn’t happened. I cross all bridges when I get to them, and right now I am trying to find a way to make this defense better. It has to start with stopping the run, we can talk about pass rush all day, but you have to earn the right to rush the passer.

Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson

Q: It seemed like it was tough to get into a rhythm tonight; what were you seeing?

A: Not, really. It was tough on us today. I think we had a couple of good drives; it was slim pickings. I don’t think we had too many possessions, and the ones that we had a couple of them were three and out, so we didn’t help the defense out at all.

Q: What is the variation is starting quarterbacks? Is it difficult to play that position with confidence when you play with so many different guys?

A: Really, the offense didn’t see the field much today. I felt like Christian (Ponder) did a good job. It’s black and white; we understand what it is. Last week the offense didn’t play great. We didn’t play that great tonight. Our defense struggled a little bit. We have just got to put it all together. I feel like once we do that we can get this thing back on track.

Q: Has the frustrating part been that you haven’t put the three phases together, except for maybe against Pittsburgh?

A: Yeah, I think when you look back on it you’re like man, if we could just put it together, we can get something going.

Q: How does this season feel to you, compared to previous seasons, like the 3-13 season?

A: It definitely doesn’t feel good, but what can you do? You have got to correct things that you can correct and try to improve. One thing that I’m going to do, I’m continue to play no matter what. I didn’t see anyone giving up. The effort was there; we just weren’t able to execute in all three phases that is what we are going to need to do to win. That is what we needed to do to beat the Packers.

Q: When you look in guys eyes do you feel good about their attitude?

A: Yeah, I feel good about it, especially our offense. Looking at those eyes, I feel good about the guys’ mindset. They are going to continue and that’s all you can ask being 1-6.

Q: Is it frustrating to you to hear your and Jared Allen’s name thrown around with the trade deadline approaching?

A: I don’t pay attention to that. Whatever happens, happens.

Q: Do you think that comes with the situation?

A: Yes, if the record was turned around, they wouldn’t be talking about it. It is what it is; it’s part of the business. We just don’t read into it.

Q: Are you guys fearful of any coaching changes?

A: I don’t think so, we had a good game plan. Coach can’t get out there and throw a pass or run, or block. It’s on us as players to make this turnaround.

Q: Do you feel like you have to be part of keeping it together with nine games to go?

A: Yeah, of course. Yeah, of course. That is what leaders do on this team. If we start cracking then the rest of the team will start cracking as well. Stay as positive as possible and just continue to work.

Q: When it comes to the quarterback position do you want to find the guy and ride the rest of the way with him?

A: I don’t know. I feel like Christian did a decent job today. Any quarterback is not going to have a perfect passer rating. Things happen, like I said we didn’t have too many opportunities today. One drive in the first quarter, two drives in the third quarter. We didn’t have too many opportunities to do anything. As a whole we are going to have to shake some things off and continue to fight.

Q: How do you frame something to play for at this point, you’re not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but you know how it’s feeling at this point.

A: Still have hope. Like you said, mathematically we are not out of it. So that is what I hold on to.

Vikings Linebacker Chad Greenway

Q: 3rd downs, you had maybe 16 or 17 and you guys just seemed to not get off of the field

A: It’s not enough, obviously. It’s not pretty and unfortunately it has been the flavor of the month for us. We just haven’t been good, we haven’t been good at all on 3rd down across the board and you can’t give these guys that many opportunities, even on 4th down they converted. I think they only had one punt, so it’s just not good enough.

Q: On that touchdown it looks like you had position, but the cornerback just couldn’t execute?

A: they are going to make plays, that’s just technique-wise and how you play, and I didn’t really know what else to do. On a receiver you just try to put yourself in the best position possible which I thought I was in, but they make plays and that’s why they are good.

Q: How do you fix this defense?

A: It’s always fixable, the best part is, is that it isn’t an effort issue. It’s in the execution of the call that’s being played, and as a player standpoint it’s the call you have to play and at the best of your abilities. But you can’t do that on 3rd down expecting anything especially on these guys.

Vikings Defensive End Brian Robison

Q: What can be changed?

A: Honestly a lot of things can be changed. I cannot go into detail, but something has to be changed.

Q: Is it the simple things, or is it fundamentals that need to be changed?

A: I think the bottom line is that we are not playing winning ball all across the board. If you can take one good thing out of this game that is the offense put up 31 points. We should be winning ball games when we do that, but we cannot do that when we are giving up 44 points.

Q: Is it worse that the third down situation, whether it was third- and- long or third- and -short, they always managed to find the open receiver?

A: It is always worse, third down is what we pride ourselves on.

Q: On two of the better pass rushes; Aaron Rodgers gets away and runs for 12 yards or 14 yards?

A: We had some good rushes against him like you said, but we didn’t get him down. We didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. I think I missed one or two, I think Jared Allen missed one or two.

Vikings Wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson

Q: You started the game off with a bang, getting the crowd into it, how was it to start out positive with that kick return?

A: It was pretty good; I mean no matter where the ball is kicked I feel like I’m going to return it regardless.  I have a coach who believes in me; wherever the ball is I’m going to bring it out.  We talk about that all the time.  I have to give it all to my blockers, they set it up one way and I go that way, then there’s a wide open hole for me. 

Q: Did it hit you that you set a record that’ll never be broken (109 kick return for TD)?

A: It’s good, but none of it matters.  I will trade all of that for a win, so you can take it back 105 yards and we get the win, I’ll take that. 

Q: Did you get the feeling that  you gave your team such a big lift and then Green Bay comes out with a long drive and it sort of deflated things?

A: We only control what we can control; I can’t say I give my team anything over edge wise.

Vikings Quarterback Christian Ponder

There’s not much to say after a game like that. Hats off to Green Bay for playing well. We  didn’t play well enough. We have to get this thing figured out and turned around. We have a lot of corrections to make, 1-6 is very disappointing, very frustrating. We have to get things turned around very quickly.

Q: What were the challenges of getting back in the lineup after being on the bench for several weeks?

A: Nothing, I felt fine while I was out there.

Q: Why wasn’t Greg Jennings more involved in the game plan?

A: We called plays and I was trying to get the ball to the guy that’s open. I guess he wasn’t open.

Q: What did you guys expect tonight?

A: I expected to play better. Our expectations are to go out there and win every game and obviously we didn’t meet expectations, I didn’t meet expectations. I didn’t play well enough for this offense to stay on the field, convert on third downs and put more points in the board to beat Green Bay. We didn’t do it.

Q: On offense how hard is to be on the sideline so often?

A: We are focused on what we can control and we didn’t do a good enough job converting on our third downs to stay on the field. If we do that we stay in rhythm and we’re fine.

Q: Did you feel in sync with the offense or do you feel that’s a work in progress?

A: I felt in sync all week. I felt fine out there. It was a smooth transition from Josh to myself this week and I thought things went fine.

Q: What’s the reason you weren’t able to sustain drives?

A: We can’t put ourselves in third-and-long situations. They’re hard to overcome in the NFL and we didn’t do a good enough job on first and second down and I think we were 25 percent on third down. That’s a huge down in the NFL and we weren’t good enough.

Q: Sitting at 1-6 now, how do you make sure you hold things together here?

A: It’s a slippery slope. We just have to make sure that the leadership on this team stays focused and in control of this team. I don’t doubt that the guys we have on this team will. We just have to be more focused than ever, working harder than ever, we have to have a sense of urgency that things have to change and practice better, play better. It’s the whole nine yards. We have to do everything better.

Q: Who provides the team leadership?

A: It’s a lot of guys, Jared (Allen), Chad (Greenway), Kevin Williams, John Sullivan, Charlie Johnson, Phil (Loadholt). There are a lot of guys, Adrian (Peterson), that are contributing. We just have to keep doing a better job.

Q: With Josh Freeman here now, do you feel like this was your last chance to be the guy?

A: I wasn’t thinking about that and I’m not thinking about that now. What I’m focused on is getting this team turned around and winning games. That stuff is out of my control. I can control what I do field, what this offense does on the field and that call is out of my hands.

Q: Is there going to be a quarterback competition this week?

A: I have no idea. I don’t know.

Q: Last year Adrian averaged almost 200 yards against Green Bay. How do you think the offense did as far as the combination of both passing and running?

A: I don’t know what our yards were, I just know that it wasn’t good enough. I think we ran the ball a little better than we had in previous weeks. It’s something to build on. I know our yards were down and our conversion rates were down, everything that means something statistically in the NFL we weren’t good enough at.

Q: Did you have anything specifically to say to Greg Jennings during the game?

A: No, we were talking among the whole offense. I was talking to everybody, making sure everybody was staying in it and not watching scoreboard, controlling what we can control and I don’t know what I specifically said to Greg or anyone else.

Q: You talked about wanting to be more relaxed, do you feel that was the case?

A: Yeah, I did. I thought things slowed down a little bit out there. I was more relaxed and I felt more in control of things.

Q: After a few weeks off did it take you a little while to find your rhythm?

A: No, once I got out there, I thought practice went well and I was in sync with everybody so I don’t think that affected me.

Q: What were they doing on Greg Jennings coverage wise?

A: They were playing a lot of single-high. We didn’t have that many plays. We didn’t do a good enough job of spreading the ball around and getting him the football. For us we’re not focused on getting the ball to one guy, we are focused on winning games and whether that’s hand the ball of 60 times a game or throwing the football to 12 different guys, it doesn’t matter. We’re not focused on that.

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier

Obviously a very disappointing loss to an NFC North opponent, tough loss for us. Couldn’t find a way to get off the field on 3rd down and really came back to haunt us. I think we were 2-for-8 on offense on 3rd down, so a combination of not being able to get off the field on defense, not being able to sustain drives on offense against a group that can score points. Just a disappointing night in that way. Liked the way our offense finished off the half, that was an impressive 2-minute drive. We weren’t able to come back out on defense at the beginning of the 2nd half and get a stop and give our offense a chance to get something going. Just allowing them to convert 3rd downs hurt us tremendously and it cost us at the end of that ballgame. Tough loss in a lot of ways, a lot of ways.

Q: How did Green Bay’s long touchdown drive after Cordarrelle Patterson’s kick return touchdown affect you?

A: It affects the momentum. You gain some momentum and you’re not able to get something going. Even then it’s the first quarter of the game so you want to settle down, figure out a way as the game goes on, knowing that the game is not going to be won in the 1st quarter, but we were never able to get the issues corrected on third down. It keeps you from building on the momentum you had with the opening kickoff but it shouldn’t be something that should keep you from having success over the course of the day if you can get it corrected and we weren’t able to get it corrected.

Q: How do you feel Christian Ponder looked?

A: He had some moments. He did some good things, for example that two-minute drive, that was good and then there were some other times where he ran our offense pretty good. There were times where he wasn’t as comfortable as you’d like to see him in the pocket but he did some positive things as well.

Q: Do you know who will start next week?

A: We’ll sit down tomorrow and talk it through and figure out what’s the best way to go.

Q: What can you do to fix your 3rd down defense?

A: I thought we had some momentum last week. We did much better on 3rd down, I thought we could build on that. But it’s been an issue. There is not much more we can do personnel wise. These are the guys that we have so we’ve got to figure out schematically what can we do to be better. It’s hard to play good defense if you’re not doing better on 3rd down than what we are right now. We were doing some good things in the 1st half against the run game but couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down to end some drives. So we’ve got to figure out some things to help the guys that are on the field to make some plays. We’ve got to make some plays. That 3rd-and-16, we got a guy free for a sack and couldn’t get him on the ground and the quarterback makes a play.

Q: With Green Bay missing three wide receivers, did tonight show what a good quarterback can do for an offense?

A: He definitely made some throws. It looked like we had pretty decent coverage and he made some very good throws, in some tight quarters.

Q: What can you say about Cordarelle and his performance tonight, including his record-breaking kickoff return?

A: Great job by Cordarrelle. He’s done a terrific job all season long on kickoff returns. I think he was the Special Teams Player of the Month for the first month of the season, so he’s continued that. He’s been terrific and kudos to the guys that are blocking for him, but he’s a major threat on kickoff returns without a question.

Q: Are you worried about this team staying together and keeping them motivated?

A: Tonight was tough. They worked hard this week to prepare for this game and got off to a great start with the kickoff and to not play better in third-down situations on defense, it hurts you but I don’t know if hurts us to the point where guys give in. It just seems like we have strong enough character and strong enough leadership on this team that the guys will come back and prepare well for this next ballgame. We do need to give them some hope and do some things better than what we’re doing but we’ve just got to find a way to give them some hope for all the work they are putting in.

Q: What do you think you have to do to improve defensively?

A: I don’t how many times I can say that third down is an issue. If we can get some third down stops and make that percentage a whole lot better than it was tonight, I think that will definitely improve our defense. You can’t let people put together the kind of drives that they put together tonight no matter who the quarterback is. You just don’t have a chance if people are able to put together 15-play drives, 10-play drives on a consistent basis and score touchdowns and not field goals. It’s hard.

Q: Do you see the defense getting worn down at the end of games because the offense isn’t able to sustain drives?

A: We’ve talked about that some. You’ve still got to find ways on defense, but you want to sustain drives, you want to be the team that is putting together 12 and 15-play drives and finishing with touchdowns. We haven’t been able to do that on a consistent basis on offense this season and it’s something we’re working on, we’re talking it through, we’re looking at tape, we’re trying to figure out ways to keep drives going because one of the things that it does is keep the ball out of Adrian’s hands as well when we aren’t able to stay on the field. It’s been an issue, got another ballgame to try and get it fixed.

Q: Did you think about going for a 2-point conversion to try and it get it down to a 2 possession game?

A: The first one we did, the second one not so much. We backed away from it, but the first one we did.