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Turner, Edwards Address The Media on Monday

Posted Aug 11, 2014

Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner 

Q: What did you take away the most from Friday night’s game?

A: There are a lot of things that you look at, the most important thing to me was that we were able to go out and function, and communicate, get in and out of the huddle and get things done the way we want to get them done. I think with the first group in there, with the first line in there, guys who have played together, there was good continuity. Obviously, you want to be able to move the ball, and you want to score. We did that in our first two drives, the key to that for me was converting third downs. Matt (Cassel) did a great job with the third downs, Teddy (Bridgewater) did a good job with a couple of the third downs, we were able to keep the ball and it gave us opportunities.

Q: What did you see from Teddy Bridgewater that you liked?

A: The things I look at, Teddy showed all of the things that you need to be a quarterback in this league. When he did things right, he was quick with the ball, he made good decisions, for the most part he got the ball out quick. He is very elusive, it shows off his athleticism, he is going to have great escapeability, it’s hard for guys to rush you when that is the case. He got pretty good pressure a couple of times, he probably could have got the ball out and he will be able to get the ball out as we continue doing it. Whether he gets it out and throws it away, or there was a couple times he could have gotten the ball out and completed a pass or got thrown when he bailed, but I think that comes from playing.

Q: Do you have a plan for playing Cassel anymore in the second preseason game?

A: Well again, Coach Zimmer, that’s his deal, and he will tell you guys that when he wants. Obviously, Matt got 10 plays, he is going to get more than that,  how much, that is something we will determine as the week goes on.

Q: How has this group grasped your playbook so far compared to other groups in the past?

A: They have really worked hard at it, and I think they have handled it extremely well. The thing that is hard about it is when you get in the heat of the moment and things start happening fast and if you have been in a different system for a long time, you can revert. We are working hard to eliminate those situations, the benefit for us is that we have seen so many different looks from our defense in practice, that we have gotten a lot of game situations in practice where you are not going up and running a play without having to think. Against our guys, you better be thinking on every play and you better be alert to what they are doing because it’s a different look on every play.

Q: Would you like to see Teddy Bridgewater get more time with the starters so you can get a better evaluation?

A: That is so overrated. You get an evaluation of a guy when he plays. The things that are going to happen to him with the seconds are the same exact things that are going to happen to him with the ones. He got a 10-play drive with the ones, he got as many snaps as Matt did with the ones. I am not interested in evaluating Teddy. I’m interested in coaching him, and continuing to help him get better. We evaluated Teddy before the draft and we know what he is capable of doing, now we just have to keep coaching him and coaching him, so he knows exactly what he needs to do on each play. 

Q: Did you dial up anything specific that he hadn’t seen out here before?

A: No, we are not going to do anything we haven’t worked on. Obviously, we got him on the edge the first play, he made a great throw. That’s about as good of throw as you can make, unfortunately with the ones it was one of the only penalties we had and it was a system type penalty where we didn’t get the formation lined up right. We can’t do that, we have to correct it, and we will. If you come in and your first play is a 20-yard completion and we go from our own 45 to their 35, you are automatically in scoring position. It’s a shame that the play was called back because it did change the drive a little bit, but he is very mobile, and when he is playing we are going to get him on the edge, and we are going to use his ability.

Q: Can it simplify things for the quarterback if you can get him out of the pocket?

A: Yes, it can simplify things, but again, it simplifies things for the defense, too. You can’t live on those things. Those are things that are like change-ups that you mix in and he is going to be really good at.

Q: How is your son, Scott Turner most similar to you?

A: You are going to need to get my wife up here and ask her because I would be the last guy that would know the answer to that one. He’s grown up with football, he’s seen how guys do it right and he understands the difference in doing it right and doing it a different way. He has worked awfully hard at becoming a good football coach.

Q: How did David Yankey play in his first NFL game?

A: I thought that he really had a stretch at the beginning where he played pretty well. I thought that he got a little tired and in the end of the game, in the last part, he was not has physical as he was early. He might have had a couple of bad plays late, but I thought that at the first time out, he probably played 35 to 40 plays. He played two-thirds of the game. He got a lot of work and it was good for him. Again, I just think that the Raiders are a very physical defensive front. I think they’re a talented defensive front. They have depth, so he was challenged, I think, throughout the time he played.

Q: You signed a new tight end, Kory Sperry?

A: We brought Kory in a couple of weeks ago and worked him out. We signed Mike (Higgins) and we need a guy, so Kory came in. He is familiar with the offense. He is a big, physical guy. I think he will help us at the point and we will get the opportunity to evaluate him now.

Q: What is it that makes your offense unique to you?

A: If you look at it on tape, this is a copycat league. As they say, people do a lot of the same things that everyone does. I think that the thing that would make us unique is the way we coach, the way we run the routes and the way we would coach the quarterbacks in terms of progression. One of the things that we would like to think is that we are going to be very multiple, take advantage of whatever the defense is doing and then be flexible enough to play to our strengths against the defense’s weakness. If they’re a great pass defense and they struggle against the run, we want to run the ball, obviously. If the opposite is true, I think the Raiders are front physical, and I thought that we could get things done in the secondary, then maybe we want to throw the ball.

Q: Has your playbook evolved during your coaching tenure?

A: It has changed throughout [the years]. My first exposure to this offense was in 1987, when Ernie Zampese came to the Rams’ [offensive coordinator], and we put that Charger passing game together with John Robinson running game, the stuff that we have done with the Rams with (Eric) Dickerson we have obviously done at USC and you keep building on it. We have done that everywhere we have gone. You still have to tailor to the players you have.

Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards

It’s good to get back coming in from last Friday’s game and getting some corrections and stuff made. I’ll tell you winding down the last week of training camp here. It’s been great being here, great facilities here, it’s really helped us as we try to make this transition ball club wise, as far as making guys feel comfortable in the situation here, the facilities have been awesome. This week we are just trying to continue on. We still have a lot of competition is still going on at a lot of different positions. We want to see it keep unfolding the way it is, get some guys back that have been out and hopefully we will continue to improve this week off of last week.

Q: What’s been your assessment of Anthony Barr, how far he’s come since he’s got here and how far he still has to go?

A: He’s come a long way, I mean a long way. We have put a lot of hats on him. We will use him in different ways here as we go into this next ball game. Last week we pretty much just played him at the linebacker. We will continue to keep working him into different positions. He’s come a long way and still has some things we have to get improved on. I think the first game he was kind of unsure on some things, but we are happy where he’s at right now and look forward to him to continue to get better as we keep progressing down the road.

Q: Is there anything specific you are looking for him as you move through these preseason games?

A: I think his first game as he went through, he did a good job. We were pleased with what we saw out of him, but we are just looking for him to turn it all the way loose now. Not hesitant as far as his keys and his reads and those kind of things and turn it loose and go. We got a chance to rush him some so hopefully we get a chance to see him rush a little bit more as we keep progressing down the road so from that aspect of it just continue to improve as he keeps going through this week and into this next ballgame.

Q: Is there any concern with Linval Joseph sitting out or is he a guy you can plug in week one and play?

A: Linval (Joseph) is a true pro. He’s going to stay caught up in what we need to get caught up in. There is no doubt here, he was right back here going to work and paying attention to the details of what we are asking him to do. From that aspect of it we are just whenever we are able to get him back out there we are looking forward for him to get back out there and get him going. 

Q: What’s the plan behind him at least until that day comes?

A: I have no idea right now what the time table is or that kind of thing. Speaking on an injury I have no idea so you will have to check with the trainers on that.

Q: What’s the plan with Linval’s progression?

A: We will just see where he is at as he keeps going and we will keep progressing down the road to see where that goes and how much he can handle when he gets back.

Q: How do you plan to handle the reps at nose tackle with him out, who else kind of factors in there?

A: We have been working Fred (Evans) in there, Shamar (Stephen) has worked in there, Chase (Baker) has worked in there, so those guys got good work the other night. It was good to see them in there against the tough competition we had with their (Oakland Raiders) unit. From that aspect of it it’s just the next man up we just keep progressing down the road and keep developing those guys as we keep going.

Q: Shamar Stephen looked like he held up pretty well at the point of attack playing the nose guard, how did you feel he did?

A: He did, he did some good things. We played him at the three technique, we played him at the nose and for a guy who really hadn’t got a lot of reps at the three (technique) we thought he did a good job of what we were asking call-wise, technically, fundamentally, he held up pretty good in there. 

Q: How do you think Jasper Brinkley and Audie Cole performed at linebacker?

A: I think they both did some good things. Again, getting them through this preseason and keep them out here competing every day. We are pleased what both of them have brought to the table. Audie made a heck of a play. One time Jasper made a bad read once but he made some good plays throughout the course of the game as far as running inside out and leveraging on the ball on the ball. Both did a good job in what we are asking them to do coverage-wise, just going everyday competing with it and seeing what our best matchups are and keep moving down the road. Both of them there is calmness, they control the huddle, good communication in there out of the position, from that aspect of it we just need to keep progressing down the road with it.

Q: Are you concerned right now with the depth of the defensive secondary with all the injuries?

A: We’d like to have all those guys available. Last week, it didn’t happen but we’ve got some guys back out there yesterday. From that aspect of it, we’ll look to keep progressing through the week and get them out there before we can get the evaluation of them during a game.

Q: Anthony Barr got some reps at defensive end, what does he do to show you that he’s ready for a preseason game?

A: We’ve repped it some in practice so we’ll see as we keep progressing down the road what packages we’ll use from game to game. Last week, we really didn’t carry that package into the game but we’ll keep progressing with it. We feel good where we are right now with that evaluation.

Q: What do you think Chris Crocker brings to the defense?

A: Just like I was saying last week, we know he’s a true pro, great communicator back there, he has an extensive knowledge in this defensive scheme so he’s not going to be surprised by what somebody offensively does schematically and those kinds of things. He’s a good blitzer, good physical football player in the run game so from that aspect of it, we know he brings those things to the table. He’s kind of just come in and really been a calming storm with the injuries we’ve had back there at safety.

Q: Do you expect to give Chris Crocker some time with the starters?

A: We’ll see how it goes through the end of the week. We didn’t play him this past week just because it was his first one but we’ll progress through this week and we’ll make the decision on playing time as we get towards the latter part of the week.

Q: Does Crocker have a chance to win that spot?

A: Everybody’s still got a chance to get up there and compete. We’re still in this evaluation process and that’s what we’re still trying to do. Everybody’s out there competing everyday and it’s not one of those things where you go out and you have one performance and it’s evaluated and it’s done. We’re looking for consistency throughout our preseason evaluation.

Q: Do you anticipate you’ll switch over from evaluating players to trying to crank it up for regular season?

A: We’re trying to get everybody into the situation now, group-wise, rotation-wise, where we are. It’s just some positions we’re ahead of the evaluation process than we are in the others. Again, we still are just trying to keep that environment, whether it’s in practice or whatever, to just competing every day, trying to force each and every person to get better. That’s what’s going to make us all better at the end. 

Q: Do you anticipate a timeline for switching it over?

A: I think it’ll show its hand as we get through the preseason. It’ll be pretty self-evident as we keep going through the process.

Q: How do you evaluate Antone Exum at the safety position?

A: With the injuries, he ended up getting a lot of reps the other night. He did a good job, does a good job communicating. There are some things I think from that being his first game out there that he was surprised by. The communication is the biggest part for a young guy because you get so many things formationally from the other offense that we probably didn’t practice going into that game. Our concern was more with us and what we’re doing as opposed to what they were trying to do offensively.

Q: How hard is it to evaluate what you have at safety considering that you keep switching guys in and out of the position?

A: Those things are going to happen. They’re going to happen through the course of the year. There’s nothing you can do to control it, so whosever there, we got to get the next man there and get the most out of his ability of what we’re trying to do. Would it be advantageous to have those guys out there every day? Sure it would, but that’s not the hand that we’re dealt, so we kind of work with the hand we’re dealt right now.

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