Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave
Good morning. We’re still in training camp mode for another couple of days before we start our game plan routine on Wednesday.
Q: What do you need to out of
A: Well I think it’s also for Adrian personally so he can exercise some of his preseason butterflies. He’s been working very hard in practice and it will help that he gets out there and gets the feel for the speed of the game before we go to Detroit.
Q: How important is it for first team offense to have him with them to see what the group can do?
A: Well, it’s important for everybody. We’re definitely a team and we’ve got a lot of team players. We’re a unit and it’s good to have all hands on deck even for a short period of time before we start for real in September.
Q: Is it kind of tough to judge where you’re at when he’s not there?
A: No, not necessarily. We want to keep him healthy, we want to keep him fresh. He is coming off of his hernia surgery from the offseason so there is some consideration there but in terms of assessing our other components of offense not necessarily difficult. We know we have work to do in a lot of components and the barometer in Buffalo showed we still have a significant amount of work to do and we’ll have another good barometer this week, lining up there at Candlestick.
Q: What do you take away from the first team offense in what you’ll need to work on?
A: We’ll we had some uncharacteristic miscues with fundamental stuff in Buffalo so we’ve got to get those addressed and corrected from the get go and then we want to continue to grow. We want to keep working on our passing game, to improve that to match our running game and things like that so again, another good barometer this week facing a real tough defense like we did on Friday night.
Q: How do you plan on evaluating the offensive line when Adrian wasn’t there and Buffalo threw a few unexpected things at you?
A: That’s not a factor for us in evaluating. We do our best to objective with ourselves collectively and individually when we look at each and every player on each and every play. So we need to do much better than we did in Buffalo and I think everyone has addressed that and we look forward to doing that in the future.
Q: How does game planning for this third game compare to a regular season game planning week?
A: About as similar as we can make it. We don’t go above and beyond the call of duty in preseason but we definitely want the players to get a feel for the in-season routine and our attention to detail and their study habits as well, that we expect from them in the regular season.
Q: So individually they’ve been watching a lot more film on their own?
A: We will. We’ll start that later this week; early on Wednesday when we get into a normal routine. Fortunately it’s a Sunday game and we play most of our games on Sunday in the regular season so it will replicate it pretty close.
Q: When you look at those mis-snaps is it a matter of repetition or something that went wrong there?
A: Yes, I think all of the above. I think you’d never expect to see that at any level of football at any time, practice, preseason, post season, so we just have to get it addressed and corrected.
Q: Who do you want to see kind of taking the lead with
Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams
It’s always good to get going with a game week and this week we’ll treat it like a regular preseason game in terms of coach’s preparation as well as game planning for an opponent with the 49ers. Looking forward to game planning for a very good football team, a physical team, a team that does a lot of different things, so it’ll be a big challenge for us to game plan for them and to go into their place on the road and play well because in the NFL you have to be able to win on the road and play well on the road. So it’ll be a big test for us.
Q: Will you take your defensive starters into the 3rd quarter?
A: Typically you do and I say typically because in my experience that’s what you usually do but I’ll wait to see how Leslie wants to handle this. Looking ahead I would say yes, but I’ll make sure that he backs that before I say completely yes.
Q: What goes into the decision making of playing starters into the 3rd quarter?
A: Well you want the guys to be able to play and get lathered up and to see if the game plan is working. But you also want to also give them the experience of going into a locker room, making adjustments and coming out and being able to handle those adjustments that first series, so that’s the theory behind it.
Q: Is it important to game plan for this game because of the read-option?
A: I know we’ll see it. It’s the flavor of the month for the NFL so a lot of teams are going to it and they’re a team that does it well. So it’s a good tune up for us to kind of see how we operate and how we’ll do things against our base defenses.
Q: Where does the read-option put the biggest stress on the defense?
A: Everywhere and I say everywhere because what you have to do is make sure that you don’t focus only on the zone read and let the other plays get you. You have to make sure that you stop the other plays and then get everyone running to the ball in the zone read. So you don’t want to just focus in on the zone read and not stop the base plays and that’s typically what some teams do, the traps, so to speak, that they want you to fall into.
Q: With being able to spend an offseason focusing on this, where do you see the future of this offense going?
A: I’m not quite sure. I think the owners will take care of that to see how much they’ll let their quarterbacks get hit and to see if the quarterbacks can sustain a full year of running the ball and being able to pass it. We’ll see. I’m not going to make any predictions as far as how long it’ll stay in and what the evolution will be of it down the road. It’s something that the offenses are going to. They had some success last year and we’ll see how much success in the NFL they have with it this year.
Q: How do you think
A: He played well. There were some plays where he played downhill. He had some good tackles and I think if you talk with him he’ll tell you there were some plays that he left out there on the field which can be expected with the first extensive full action that he’s had. What we are looking for is to see if he can improve on those things that he didn’t do so well and correct those and get better. That’s really with all of the guys, can they improve this week with a full week of game planning knowing typically what we’ll see and execute the defense?
Q: What about Desmond getting time with the first string guys?
A: I think so. You want to see if a guy can execute against good-on-good and I think that’s one of the things that we’ll try to do this week is make sure the guys that we are looking at get good-on-good. Believe me, the 49ers have enough depth in their roster that we’re going to get good-on-good with our first two groups.
Q: Is there anybody else in that group that you want to see with that first group besides Desmond?
A: I wish I could say all of the guys typically. Just our second-team unit that we’d like to see them get some spot duty in good-on-good. Not anybody specifically, but we look to see when a guy makes a play, who it’s against and what the matchups are to see if a guy can execute against some of the better or some of the first and second-team guys.
Q: What about
A: Xavier came in (and) a lot of teams are playing the nickel. We treat that third cornerback like a starter. You saw that he was in the first series of the ballgame so we’ll get enough of him with good-on-good to see how he functions and I’m sure he’ll be fine.
Q: How is it shaping up between him and
A: Shaping up well. It’s still a wait and see. Josh played an extremely good game last week. He was in the outside in the base and went inside in the nickel and almost had a pick-6 in the first cover-2 we were in. He tackled well, he ran to the ball well, he’s functioning very well in the nickel and base, so we are pleased with the way Josh is coming and Xavier is coming along too. That was his first live action and he will tell you also – like Bishop – that there were some plays that he wishes he could have back and there were some plays that he made which was good. That first interception was a reflection of him getting his hands on the ball and it popping up and Jamarca (Sanford) and Harrison (Smith) hustling to the football. We saw some good things from him, we just want to see more and more good things and consistently.
A: They call Sherels the machine or the mechanic. He comes in and he functions and he functions well. The neat thing is he’s a dependable guy, special teams, on defense, inside, outside. We kind of know what we have there, we have a dependable guy that can make plays for us. So we feel good about Sherels also in every phase that he plays for us.
A: He did. He got more reps than originally planned and again that’s a good thing. When you can get a young guy live reps when you’re not out there holding his hand so to speak, you’re on the sideline and he’s detached from you, you’ve cut off the purse strings, so that is a good thing. Then you can see how a guy functions without you sitting right there in his ear saying “Hey do this, step here, move here”. That’s a good thing. So the more reps we can get those guys, the better.
Q: Do you know if Floyd’s knee will be limiting him?
A: Not quite sure. You’ve got to ask him. Each day it seems like he gets a little better and from time to time he gets it banged and it reverts back, but we’ll see.
Q: Sharrif did have some first team reps, was it important to see how he worked with those guys?
A: It was and not so much how he worked with the other guys, just to see, again, good against good. The more reps that he can get, the better that he feels, the more confident that he feels with the different blocking schemes that he’s going to get and it’s going to take time. Like all of our guys, we want to rotate them to keep them fresh and to keep them moving so that when the fourth quarter comes and we need a pass rush we can have it or if we need to stop a team if they’re running the ball our guys are fresh.
Q: When you take a look at the defensive line do you consider Christian Ballard might come back?
A: I just wait and see. Just wait and see what happens. I can’t predict if he’s coming back tomorrow or not at all so I’ve learned to just coach the guys that are here. The ones that are injured and the ones that aren’t here, that’s something that we can’t control so just make sure we coach the ones that are here and wait and see. If and when he comes back it’s a plus.
Q: How did Ballard look during training camp?
A: He always looks good. Ballard’s an unbelievable worker, he works hard, he studies his craft, he was doing a good job and with the rotation. He’s a guy that we needed and really depended upon. It’s a shame that he’s not here, but again, that’s not something we can control and we just have to wait and see and move on with the ones that are here.
Q: What did you see out of
A: He didn’t have a lot of coverage plays or a lot of pass plays that were at him in terms of coverage. He was in the nickel spot and that’s where I think Bobby flourished, being inside. He had a couple of tackles, a couple of hustle plays and that’s what you’re looking for, not specifically one thing in terms of coverage. We just want to see if a guy’s in place when we call the defense, when he has a play at him, can he make the play? Bobby made the plays that were at him. Now we always say that if we give you two reps and you make two good plays, we’ll give you four reps and see if you can make two more plays. And if you did well, we’ll give you two more. We’ll see if we can get Bobby some more reps to see how he does.