From The Locker Room: Peterson, Allen and Others React To Sunday's Loss

Posted Oct 13, 2013

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson

Q: What was it like for you out there today, you had a long week. What did it feel like to play a football game?

A: It felt good to get back out there, get into the swing of things. Offensively we weren’t able to get anything going, create any drives, be productive in the run or pass game. I’m just disappointed with in the loss today.

Q: Did you feel the same once the game started, as any other game?

A: Yeah, I just prayed. I asked God to give me the strength to get through the game. That was my main focus and for the most part, I did. It was a terrible way to lose, but we can learn from this and make some corrections and get back on track some type of way.

Q: What did your teammates do to help you get through this week?

A: A great supporting cast, these guys have been good…

Q: There were a couple of times you almost broke through, but it seemed whenever you guys got some momentum it just sputtered out, what was going on there?

A: A turnover here, or a penalty, you have to give credit to Carolina. Those guys did a good job of tackling and making it hard on us. We got behind the eight-ball early and it kind of took us out of our game plan that we had. We just offensively, defensively didn’t get it done.

Q: On that 31-yarder you almost had it.

A: Yeah, it was so close. He just made a good tackle.

Q: Are you surprised coming out of the bye week to play this way.

A: Yeah, I am. I am surprised. We were definitely out of sync. We didn’t play Minnesota football today on either side. Special teams did pretty good, but we just seemed flat today.

Q: Are you worried about the season, now that you are 1-4?

A: No, we just try and focus on the positive things this week, what we can do to get a win. We can’t worry about what the outside is going to say, the media, what you guys are going to say. We just have to keep it in-home. Talk about the necessary things we need to do to get corrected. Things on offense, to be more productive, coming back to the little things, execution, finishing plays, not beating yourself up with penalties or turning the ball over; things like that. So we have to correct those things, focus on that and come back and play better next week.

Q: Their defense is pretty good, isn’t it?

A: Yeah, their front-seven is outstanding. They played some good ball, they fly to the ball. Nothing we didn’t watch in the film. Those guys just got the best of us today.

Q: Emotionally are you guys ticked off, frustrated, are you surprised?

A: I guess a little bit of all of that. We have just got to gather, get all of those thoughts and feelings together and get back on track some type of way. I feel like we have the right men in this locker room, on this team to be able to get back on track and get going.

Q: Emotionally what was it like preparing for this game?

A: You know I prayed about it. It is what it is; for the most part I was able to be focused, go out there and help this team.

Q: Are they defending you differently than they did last year?

A: No, not really. We are going to try and establish the run game. Guys have known for years that we run the ball. So every team we play, they want to stop the run; that’s what they focus in on all week. They might add an extra guy in the box every now and then, try and stop the run game and make us one dimensional.

Q: When you leave here are you going to be emotionally exhausted, are you going to be able to rest for a couple of hours?

A: A couple of hours, kind of relax, get back with the family. Get a  good meal in my system, kind of unwind, get back in the building to work tomorrow. It’s all about being focused and making the best of the situation, you can do that in any situation.

Q: You said on Friday that you were focused and ready to go, was there any point after that where you questioned your decision to play?

A: Yeah, I was set on it. I just look at things and I don’t ask people to understand my mindset and how things work. Even if it’s bad I try and take the good from it, that’s the way I approach life, with all situations. I never thought about not playing. It was all about going out there and praying that I had the strength to get through and help my team, so that was my focus.

Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen

Q: After a loss you’ve always been able to dissect it. You don’t seem as frustrated after a loss, but are you?

A: Yes, I don’t know exactly what else to say. I look at myself first always, and I had an opportunity to get a sack forced fumble but I missed the ball and ended up knocking it down and getting a penalty. I just have to watch the film, but I am kind of stunned because you look and it’s 35-3 and you ask yourself, “what the hell is going on?” We have just got to keep working. 

Q With the dropped ball by Jamarca Sanford that could have been an interception and the couple penalties, do you then get a sense that it’s just not going your way?

A: We kept thinking it could possibly turn, but Carolina just chucked the ball down the field on that first drive and then even coming out of halftime, we thought, “Alright, it could have been a lot worse.” We thought there was a little stretch there that we picked it up and played some good ball and come out of halftime and give up what felt like a 200- yard pass at the time. It’s not funny, but at some point you just have to laugh about it, like what in the heck is going on and you can’t pick just one thing out. There were problems with the run, penalties, the sack forced fumble. You can think of some positive things, but I can’t really put my finger on it.

Q: Do you feel the bye week had anything to do with how the team came out?

A: You come back from a short week and can have a great game, came back and had a lot of time to think about it and some guys can over- think things. It really came down to making plays and putting people in the position to make plays and we aren’t doing that right now.

Vikings Linebacker Chad Greenway

Q: Josh Robinson said with the LaFell touchdown that you were in man, and I don’t even know how to explain that he just let his guy go, is that an example of these frustrations?

A: Not exactly like that, but it was similar. We will go back and look at that; I am not going to sit here and point fingers at anybody. We will look at the tape and correct it like we always do. It is easy to point fingers at one guy, but that is what makes this sport great is that there are 11 guys. That is why when you win, one person can’t get all the favors, and when you lose, the blame can’t go to one. It is easy to separate, but in times like this, your true character shows.

Vikings Defensive End Brian Robison 

Q: Were there things Carolina did you didn’t expect?

A: Nope, they didn’t do anything that we didn’t expect. We didn’t expect to come out and get whooped that badly.

Q: Did you keep thinking something was going to turn around and something good was going to happen?

A: Never did, but that always has to be your thought process out there that things are going to turn around. You have got to force things to turn around and we just didn’t do that today.

Q: You talked about this week stopping the run, and you weren’t able to establish that, what’s going on with the run defense?

A: Seems like we come up with a new theory every week, but I don’t know what to say. We are missing tackles, they’re finding the gaps, and we have got to make sure that we don’t allow those gaps to open up. It just comes back to fundamental defense, everybody has got to be in their gap and we have got to make sure that we play winning football.

Vikings Tight End Kyle Rudolph

Q: How much did that interception just kind of deflate or flatten out the offense?

A: Well I think the biggest thing for us, after that first turnover, we had to come back out and respond, and we didn’t necessarily do that. We felt like once we got the ball back, down seven nothing, we needed to get things going, and we kind of sputtered on offense and you know at that point if we could sustain a drive and move the ball down the field, we’re right back in it.

Q: Adrian just had one yard after the first quarter. In the way that the front line was being started against him, did you think maybe today just wasn’t going to be the day?

A: They have a great front seven, and the biggest thing for us is we just got behind. The style of football that we play, featuring Adrian, we just weren’t able to run the football and that’s because we got back, and we had to throw it. If we can stay in the game and really feature Adrian, that’s when our game is really the best.

Q:  What did you see from him in the huddle?

A: Just the most determination, the biggest heart. That’s exactly what we expect from Adrian, I can’t imagine, you know, the heavy heart that he had today, being out on the field. But he spoke to us right before the game, right before he took the field and said he was going to give it his all, for all four quarters and that’s exactly what he did.

Q: And how did that speech go? Did he say anything else?

A: That’s all he said. He said, “I’m going to give it my all, and I expect you guys to do the same.” For a guy like that, how can you not?

Q: Kyle, it seemed like you guys just couldn’t get into rhythm. Just when you guys looked like you were clicking, something happened to take you off it.

A: Exactly. You know the biggest thing for us was on offense, we just sputtered a bunch of opportunities. After the early turnover we got the ball back seven nothing, and if we can move the ball down the field and get points, things are kind of right back where they started. Not being able to take advantage of opportunities, you know one guy here one guy there, shooting himself in the foot.

Q: You seemed to be seeing the ball very well though.

A: Any opportunity I can get to make plays in the passing game, I’m going to do everything I can until there are three zeros on the clock. We got a lot of guys that didn’t give up, didn’t matter what the score board said. They kept fighting until the game was over with.

Q: Do you feel moving forward that there may be another quarterback shake-up?

A: I don’t see why? I think Josh needs to take some time to get comfortable here, learn the offense…that’s Coach Frazier, that’s Bill’s (Musgrave) decision. That’s not ours and we feel like every goal that we have set in August is still attainable. Last year we started out hot. We were four and two, and we were six and six after twelve games. In my opinion, if we can get to six and six, we’ll be sitting where we were last year.

Vikings Center John Sullivan

Q: Did you feel like emotionally you guys were ready to play?

A: I thought that we were prepared and came out ready to play.  We didn’t execute well enough in any phase to start the game.  You dig yourself a hole and it’s hard to comeback in the NFL, that’s just the way it is.  You get down a lot of points, so you’re forced to become one dimensional, then you don’t put pressure on the defense because they know what you’re going to do and this is the result.

Q: What did you talk about at halftime; did you change some things or stick with the game plan?

A: We came in, the coaches made their assessment from what our best plays were coming out of the half and we did what we always do.

Q: What did the coaches share with you briefly after the game?

A: What goes on between us and the coaches will stay in the locker room.

Q: Next week you have two teams between the two of you with one win, what would you expect to happen in a situation like that?

A: It’s going to be a NFL football game.  We don’t care about the other team’s record, every single team is talented, and every single team is dangerous.  We’re going to work our butts off this week in practice and go try and beat the Giants next Monday night. 

Q: So, no question to what you expect in terms of effort from everybody going from here despite the discouragement?

A: No, we’re professional football players, we are paid to win football games and that’s what we intend on doing.

Q: You expect the same from the Giants right?

A: Absolutely.  In terms of those type of things you have to narrow your focus and it comes down to going out and winning a football game.

Q: If anything is there more focus on you guys since you will be playing in front of the entire country?

A: Nope, we are as focused as we can possibly be each and every week regardless of the circumstances.

Minnesota Vikings Cornerback Xavier Rhodes

Q: You went down a couple times in the game, what exactly happened there? And how are you doing?

A: I’m doing well, just going to get it looked at right now and see what it is. I feel good though.

Q: What was the first one and what was the second one?

A: It was the same thing, both were my ankle. I’m not going to worry about it too much right now, just am going to get it looked at and see if there may be anything else.

Q: Is there any history with that ankle?

A: No, no history at all.

Q: Did you hear that Steve Smith was a talker? Did he get you at all?

A: No he just came up to me, shoved me and started a little something. I was told that Steve Smith was a talker, that we would talk a lot and talk a lot of trash, but I wasn’t too worried about it.

Q: So you didn’t say anything?

A: I said something, but it’s the game of football, that type of thing happens.

Q: How frustrating is the overall secondary play that it continues to be the Achilles heel?

A:  We just have to look at the film and correct our mistakes.

Vikings Cornerback Chris Cook

Q: How are you feeling? Seemed like they were a lot of injuries today?

A: I feel good, did not have any problems with my groin, but football is a rough game I will probably feel it tomorrow. Other than what I had before, I feel perfectly fine.

Q: What is wrong in general with this defense?

A: Just mistakes, one person makes a mistake here, another person making a mistake on another play it can hurt our entire defense. Our defense is based on assignments and everyone doing their job, if one person is out of their gap, a big play can happen any time.

Q: How do you miss Antoine (Winfield)? Is it from a leadership perspective?

A: I won’t get into that, some guys got in trouble for talking about personnel earlier in the year, so I won’t get into it. Antoine is a good guy and I miss him being around, his personality and his leadership.

Q: You guys need to step up, so does somebody need to step up and take charge, or how do you guys get this thing right?

A: We just need to go back and watch the tape, make corrections that need to be made, and come out and do a better job of playing assignment football.

Q: How frustrating is it with the Brandon LaFell touchdown; Josh Robinson said you were supposed to be in man, and he just lets his guy go. Are those mistakes that are being made?

A: Those are the mistakes that will kill you in football. It is something that we just have to learn from, those are the plays I expect those guys to make, and I know they expect me to make them when they come my way.

Vikings Cornerback Josh Robinson

Q: How frustrating has this season been for you?

A: Very frustrating, you know with me and my faith, I am always working and always trying to improve.

Q: What can you do different?

A: Continue to improve and be more consistent. I am trying to improve with my technique, my assignments, and executing.

Q: You spent more time on the sideline in the second half, how difficult was that for you?

A: It wasn’t difficult. We talked about that before coming into this game, and made me aware of it so it wasn’t difficult at all.

Q: How frustrating was it with the first drive, and being on the field for fifteen plays?

A: Anytime you are on the field, you are trying to get off it. Whenever you do not get off the field, it just makes your drive longer, and it is harder for you to stop them from getting points. Eventually they ended up getting points. We need to play better.  

Q: With the touchdown with Brandon LaFell earlier, what happened with that?

A: I just have to be in better position, get on that route and take it all away.

Q: With the Steve Smith score, it just seemed like you got crossed up a little bit?

A: Yeah there was a lot of traffic, just got crossed up on the inside. I have to get through the traffic and make a play on the ball.