TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2010
Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress
Good week of practice since our guys are anxious to get busy with this season. They’ve done a good job through the process that involves training camp, the offseason, the preseason and game week here. I think their preparation has been exceptional. I’m anxious to watch them play and they’re anxious to get on the field and play. We’ve got a mock game tomorrow then we’ll jump on the plane and head down there and sit around on Thursday and tee it up a little bit later.
Q: How has
A: He’s continued to progress. I actually had him in my office this morning and was kind of taking him through some of the tape yesterday and told him the things that I was looking at. His injury is different than E.J.’s, however some of the things when you come back and get back on the field, when you burst, when you go full speed, they can’t simulate those things in the training room so you see a whole bunch of stuff that is the nature of football; little things that the [trained] eye sees. So I just kind of took him through and showed him what I saw. To the untrained eye he’s going to look like he’s a million miles an hour.
Q: Have you seen enough from him in practice that you would feel comfortable with him in there if you need him?
A: Possibly. He’d be a front zone corner right now, not to say that you couldn’t press him up and let him put his hands on people. The great thing about what he’s doing is that he’s playing against
Q: Could he potentially try and play Thursday, or is that just too soon?
A: [We are] toying with it. We’ve obviously got no secret where our corner situation is right now. I’ve got to put eight guys down and we’ll just see what eight those guys are. He’s up to speed on the game plan, as are
Q: How has
A: I think he’s probably had a better plan for it this year. I know it’s been well chronicled. He actually had a Ramadan, I don’t know if you say ‘Happy Ramadan’ or ‘Merry Ramadan,’ but he had a ‘Happy Ramadan’ interception here in the red zone. At that point I had to ask him, ‘Is it happy, or joyous.’ I’m not sure I got an answer, he had to run with it for a touchdown, so you guys might ask him what that is, what that celebratory term is.
Q: Brett had a good game last year against the Saints, but how important will it be to run the ball effectively and eat clock to keep their offense off the field?
A: In a perfect world, you would chew the clock a great deal and keep an explosive offense off the field; in a perfect world. It’s not to say you can’t chew it by completing the football, but we always want to be mixed. Somewhere you have to be able to establish the ability to be able to run the football, whether it’s against eight-men forcing you. You need to be able to have a plan for that.
Q: How does Cedric’s progression affect how you might add people at the cornerback position?
A: I don’t think it affects that. We have a short list. We’re not really scouring that. We’ll probably fill that from within.
Q: Your defense held the Saints to 73 yards in the second half, pretty much shut them down. What did they do so well that was working well for you?
A: I wasn’t sure about the yardage. They did a good job of keeping the guy out of rhythm. I think anytime you get off the field on third downs, because they’re a very good third down conversion team, which means they’ve disrupted on first and second down, they just got him out of kilter a little bit. I think I mentioned earlier in the week, whether it’s knocking receivers out of kilter, or rushing him, getting him moving around. It was one or the other for most of that second half.
Q: How much of a challenge has the condensed week been with setting the practice squad and cuts, etc.?
A: We knew about it early, so it’s almost like you’re on automatic pilot. You know that after the last game you’re going to make the cuts. Coaches are going to go to work, we’re going to look at game plan things. It also probably helps that it was a short week, from the standpoint Saturday to Thursday. We didn’t do any game-planning, we went back to a 3-4 game plan that we had from earlier in the preseason. A lot of the coaches and players looked ahead and worked ahead.
Q: It’s a unique situation to play the same team that you last played against. How much of what you saw from them then and what you saw from them in the Super Bowl can you carry to now? And how much do you have to shuffle the deck?
A: That’s a good point. Any time you’re in an opening game situation you are going to get un-scouted looks, whether from an offensive standpoint, it’s un-scouted blitzes, looks that you haven’t seen, or haven’t prepared for based on the system that you’ve seen Gregg Williams (Saints Defensive Coordinator) put in place down there. Defensively, you’re going to see un-scouted looks no doubt, because that’s what coaches do in the offseason. Whether it’s stealing a play from somebody, or an exotic, or something like that, something there’s an attempt to deceive. You’re going to get some of those looks. It’s the ultimate system kind of game. You have to rely on your system and you have to be resilient because you know that there’s going to be plays to be made, just like we’re going to make plays. You just need to make more than they make.
Q: Percy seems to have made strides the last couple weeks. How encouraged are you to see his progress?
A: This last championship game, just going back to that game, he wasn’t here for all the game-planning that went on. When you can’t take all the red-zone reps, or you can’t take all the base game-plan reps, even though you’re going back to the same system, there’s little nuances with each opponent that change based on how they play. It is encouraging that he’s been here throughout. I think he will continue to evolve if he’s here all week during the game plans.
Q: Do you feel that Pierre Thomas gets overlooked a little bit with all the other hype about the Saints offense?
A: I absolutely do. He’s a good running back. He runs for the hard yards, not that Reggie doesn’t run between the tackles, he does that too. I think they’re intentional about that. They use [Bush] like they used to use Brain Westbrook. They move him all around; he has receiver-type skills and you can split him out and then Pierre Thomas can come in, not that he doesn’t have good hands, he can split out of the backfield just as easily, but he’s an under-looked guy.
Q: Will the third-down back be a rotation of guys, or has
A: There are no articles of war that says you have to have a back on third down. Keep that in mind.
Q: How has
A: He’s done a good job. He actually played a little tight end on our scout team today. We threw him a ball, but he didn’t catch it.
Q: How has that been on him? Is it tough as an offensive lineman to be out for such a long period of time? If he’s healthy, is it easy for him to get back in and play?
A: He seems like he hasn’t missed a beat. I think that probably he’s going through some of the soreness that you get, maybe not to the same extent as camp, just when you come out here and practice and get pushed around and your muscles talk to you a little bit. I think he’s going through some of that. He’s just working hard to get some of that stamina back. Over the course of 60 snaps we’ll find a lot of things out about both teams.
Q: What’s the punt return situation?
A: Bernard will start back there,
Q: What do you like most about Bernard in that role?
A: I think what I like most about him is that he’s undervalued as a guy that usually catches the football pretty well. He did a good job early in his career in Chicago. And then he’s got the ability to make a guy miss, and the speed to be able to take it all the way. You’re looking at those guys, you don’t want a guy that gets 10 yards through a 10 yard hole. If it happens to break, he has the ability to hurt you with his speed.