Vikings Quotes - Frazier, Murphy, Favre - August 25

Posted Aug 25, 2010


Vikings Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier                                                                                              

We had a great day of work here at Eden Prairie. Beautiful camp day, although, a day like this you almost feel like you are into the season a little bit. Good day at work, good day at work for our football team.

Q: Is it rough to say goodbye to Benny Sapp? 

A: Yea, Benny was a good player for us. He did a great job while he was here. He helped us out down the stretch a year ago. Wish him the best with his new team, wish him the best.

Q: Does that speak more to what you are seeing a lot from the young guys? 

A: I wouldn’t say that. The decision was made with different things going into, but he was a good player while he was here. He did a good job.

Q: Is Jamarca Sanford pulling ahead of Tyrell Johnson at safety?

A: We are going to use this next ball game as another part of the evaluation. We are trying to make a decision prior to that September 9th game. But there is still a bit of nip and tuck. Tyrell will get some reps this week, Husain will get some reps there and Jamarca will as well. Hopefully after this ball game we will come to a conclusion

Q: Have you made any advances as to how that second CB spot is going to pan out?

A: Well we want to get through this next ball game and get a chance to evaluate this third preseason ball game. Chris will get some reps, Asher will get some reps, and so will Lito. And then we will try to put together what we have seen over training camp and preseason games and try to make a decision.

Q: After looking at the tape, did that seem like EJ of old or is there still anything missing there?

A: We all were pleased with the way that he performed. I didn’t see much of a hitch at all. It really gives you hope that he is beyond that injury, possibly. So we will get some more tape in this ball game and we will be able to evaluate him again with a back to back ball game, so we will see.

Q:  Generally speaking, what is your comfort level with nickel and dime packages at this point?

A: You know I will probably be able to tell you a little bit better after this next game because we will be playing our starters longer. Although we still haven’t made concrete decisions about a couple of positions but I will have a better feel after this ball game.

Q: Jared Allen was missing today, where was he?

A: I know our trainers were working on him for something that he wasn’t able to be at practice for. So I need to learn more about it as well. I kind of learned about it when we got out here.

Q: What about Jimmy Kennedy?

A: Yeah, Jimmy has been out the last couple of days. I don’t know if he will play in this ball game or not. But he is doing the things that he needs to do to get back on the field again. He did well when he was in there for San Francisco. This is the time of year where you get guys that get banged up. But fortunately for us we have great depth on the D-line and there are still guys that we need to see. So it is not as big of a deal right now as it would be on September 9th.

Q: Jayme Mitchell seemed to be a guy that got lost in the shuffle last year. What has enabled him to step up?

A:  I think it will be the same thing that we may be talking about with Cedric’s injury. The fact that Jayme is a year past that ACL, it’s tough that first year after that ACL to perform at the same level that you were before. He shows no affects of that injury now, and it shows in the way he plays. And that’s the biggest thing, the fact that he is over that ACL injury completely.

Q: Is it fair to assume that after the Benny Sapp trade that you guys have more confidence that Cedric will be ready sooner or later?

A: I wouldn’t go that far. He is still in the rehab stage and he hasn’t done any drills with our football team. Everything is on the side, and it is hard to project, what it is going to be like when he puts pads on and has to cover the wide receivers. I don’t know how much that factored into the decision.

Q: Is he close to ready getting off the PUP so he can get back to doing individual drills?

A:  Well he is making progress from what the trainers are telling me, but how close is he to coming off, not certain on that. 

Q: You have seen Asher a fair amount at the slot but is he able to handle playing outside in your scheme?

A: Oh yeah. He has played some. We got some leads on teams a year ago where he played outside and he did play nickel a year ago so he has the ability to play either inside or outside.

Q: With them both being so young, have you seen any issues with Asher Allen and Chris Cook making, “rookie mistakes”?

A:  No question, that still occurs. And that’s going to happen during the season too, unfortunately. That’s part of it, because they don’t have the experience. The only way you get it is by playing and sometimes making mistakes and learning from them. You can talk to Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, they will all tell you the same thing, first and second year in particularly that first year, things are happening so fast then they begin to slow down as you begin to play a little further in your career. There will be some learning; there will be some things that we have to deal with. But they are talented enough that they will learn fast and grow fast as players.

Q: Are the mistakes becoming fewer?

A:  Yes they are. It has from the OTA’s to now in Chris’s case. And for Asher, the game has slowed down tremendously. He is so far ahead of where he was at a year ago as a rookie.

Q: Will you mix Chris in at right corner in this next preseason game?

A: Yes we will. We have begun to do it some in this practice and at the last couple of practices. And we are going to take a look at him in this ball game as well.

Q: Is Pat Williams going to get some work this week? Or will you rest him?

A:  No, no, this is the game that we targeted to get him out there and give him some reps and he is anxious to get out there and perform.

Q: Will you treat EJ the same as all the other starters or will you hold him back a little bit?

A:  Well we would like to treat him as a starter and see what he can handle. We are all learning as we go in his case and we want to see if he can handle a half of football.



Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Brian Murphy

Q: With Percy Harvin struggling with the migraine issue, does that reduce the likelihood for him to return kicks?

A: It’s going to have to be a week-to-week decision. His situation isn’t one that you can predict. That’s the reason why we’re trying to rep as many people as we can, to have alternatives. Obviously you want him back there returning kickoffs, but conventional wisdom will tell you that you need an alternative. We’ll continue to rep through, and hopefully Percy comes back as the Percy we know. Until that situation stabilizes itself, you need to keep on bringing people along.

Q: Do you see anybody emerging there that you like?

A: Darius Reynaud’s done it for us. Albert Young had a couple of nice returns the other night. It’s not just the returner, we’ve got to block better, we’ve got to come along better in that portion as well to kind of take the load off the returner. We’ll have guys, we’ll have somebody in there that can return the ball.

Q: Have you been told not to expect Percy to return kicks?

A: I don’t know that it’s going to be an edict. It’s so unpredictable and it’s the guy’s health. We’ll play it by ear and see how we come out of it. I don’t think that anybody’s in a position right now to make a statement, ‘This is what’s got to happen,’ because you don’t know what will happen. I know you want him back there, but his health has got to allow it and right now it’s an unpredictable situation and we’ll make plans accordingly.

Q: How do you think you kicked on Sunday?

A: I thought we kicked the ball well; nothing out of the ordinary. I thought we did a good job, field goals, field goal protection. Both Ryan [Longwell] and Rhys [Lloyd] were on time. I think we’re right on schedule.

Q: What’s the plan for this Saturday?

A: Ryan will kick the field goals and Rhys will kick off. That will be flexible going into the fourth game as we come along here. The plan for this game is Ryan will kick the field goals and Rhys will kick off, and we’ll see where we are at going in to game four.

Q: Did Asher Allen show his inexperience fielding some of those punts?

A: He did. We’ve struggled at that point and we’re making an emphasis on those short kicks. That’s just something that’s going to take time, and we’ll get the thing right. We may have to rig it up where we have two returners back there some, but we’ll get it right.

Q: With the situation at receiver, does Logan Payne’s role on special teams help him make the team?

A: It was amplified anyways. I think it will all sort out in time. We’ve got to find guys that will make an impact, especially at that last receiver spot, whether it be four or five. I think to this point, Logan has done a good job, and shown up and made plays like you’d expect from him. All you can do is put your best foot forward. He’s in position to make plays, and he’s made plays. We’ll see where he turns out in the next couple weeks.

Q: Is Chris Cook becoming a special teams’ standout?

A: He has to this point. He caused a fumble in that first game, and made another big play as a gunner this past week on a tackle. He’s got a knack for it. You saw it in camp down in Mankato. He just seems to be in the right place, and there’s a lot to be said for that. He’s a big guy, very fast, he can hold his line in coverage, not afraid of contact. I’m really impressed with what he’s done so far, and more importantly he’s a willing learner.

Q: Do you expect your number of players to stay the same, with the quarterback situation and receiver situation? Can things change?

A: Of course they can. That’s something that we talk about on a daily basis. It’s kind of like the rubix cube, you keep on mixing and matching, twisting and turning. Eventually you’re going to have to settle on a combination. But until that point you’re looking for the best 53, what’s best for the team. That’s the most important thing. It’s a decision that benefits the success of the team.

Q: Your initial intention was to split Ryan and Rhys between halves during the preseason. Now do you want to see Rhys on more kickoffs?

A: That, and if this is going to work, this is how it would shake out with field goals and kickoffs. We just want to see the operation, and nothing more than that. We’ll see what we want to do with game four, if there’s any other situation that may come up that presents itself, then we’ll address it in that game. I think to this point we’ve gotten what we wanted out of the situation, out of preseason. Like I said, we have one more game after this one to see what else we can put together.

Q: Are there any intentions of using Rhys on 50 yard field goals?

A: Ryan’s been pretty successful with 50 field goals, so I think we would stick with Ryan. He has a proven track record there, and has been outstanding over the past three years.



Vikings Quarterback Brett Favre

Q: What were your impressions of your first game back?

A: It went about like how I expected. We were hoping to get more plays. I’m not surprised, especially playing against their defense. We’re going to have to earn everything we get. Their scheme (49ers) creates confusion and being the first game back; the one sack is a good example. I didn’t expect too much. Like I said last week, there is no substitute for calling plays in the game; being in that environment. I jokingly say getting hit, but it is part of the game too. Not that I particularly care for it, but it has got to come sometime. I thought it went okay.

Q: How do the changes in the wide receiver corps change the chemistry?

A: There’s no doubt it makes things a lot tougher. Sidney’s production speaks for itself. In Sidney’s case it was not a ‘one year wonder’ type thing. I think the guy is legit. It is unfortunate  with this injury that he has.  Who knows when he will be back?  Percy’s situation obviously is kind of ‘iffy’, but we will expect big things from him, bigger than last year. He has to take care of himself first. Not a lot different compared to last year as far as chemistry is concerned.  It would have been nice to come in and go to bat with the guys we finished with last year, but that is part of football. Every coach will say the same thing; regardless of who’s in there we have to play the same way. I got my opportunity the same way, a guy gets injured, I stepped in and never looked back. This is going to be an opportunity for some of these guys, that they otherwise probably wouldn’t have had. We have to get on board together rather quickly, obviously. It will be tough. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you; it will be tougher than we had hoped. We got our work cut out for us.

Q: When you came back did you know Sidney was going to have surgery?

A: I knew that he had some issues. I really didn’t think that he was going have to have surgery. I stayed in contact with Sidney throughout the offseason and knew that he wasn’t practicing. I really felt like at some point in training camp he would be ready to go. Obviously that’s not the case. I was probably like most people; I was optimistic he was going to be able to play.

Q: If you knew Sidney was going to have surgery, would that have affected your decision to come back?

A: Well I don’t know that for certain, because that obviously wasn’t the case. It’s hard enough at 40 to play, then you take a guy out who had 80 something catches and was obviously pretty productive. There are more guys on this team too. This is a really good football team, in a lot of areas. The big improvement last year was the passing game. This team had been very good prior to that, without that part of it. We know we can pass. Again, I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. Without Sidney it makes it tougher. Going into the season last year no one expected the season that Sidney was going to have. Maybe there is another guy that could step up and do that. I think Bernard will be the first to tell you that he’s a lot healthier. I think that will give us an edge right there. Bernard is a very sharp guy. He wants the ball. We’re going to try to get it to him. Sidney or no Sidney, I would say the same thing; that our running game has to be more productive and controlling, throughout the season. Especially with the schedule; that’s the other thing, our schedule is pretty tough. I’m not making that up. It’s a tough schedule. We have to pick up in other phases that I don’t want so say we would fall off; and if we could run the ball better. We could be a little better in special teams and be productive in the passing game by using the running game. All of that is easier said than done. I’m happy to be here. I have no idea what will happen this year. It’s unfortunate with Sidney. Hopefully we get Percy back. It can’t change the way I approach the game or my feelings towards it. I would love to have him, but once again we go to bat with who we got and try to make the most of it.

Q: How crucial is it to get more plays in this week’s game?

A: I think it’s important to get more. We want to be productive as well. You’re not going to get a lot of situational stuff, being that it’s the first half performance.  Maybe come out a series in the second half; I have no idea. We’d love to score points, but I would like to see us get some chemistry, timing and things like that, that we can get on film. That’s really the most important thing right now. Yeah, you want to see some production, but you don’t want to have something you come back and say, ‘okay I got to get a feel for how Javon is running this route, or Greg.’ We got to find a third down back. Are we going to use Toby, Albert or Adrian? One more than the other? I really don’t know. We have to just start narrowing it down, because this season is going to be a much tougher start than it was last year.  It doesn’t get any tougher of an environment than at the Saints. So with some new guys, it looks like we’re going to have some new guys playing. We’ll try to keep it simple; and that all starts this week. Keep it simple and find out what works. Find out who is best in this situation, that situation. Look at it on film and go from there.

Q: How much of it for you is getting your time in the game?

A: With each year there is that excitement, butterflies and all of that stuff. That’s a good thing; being able to control that. Doing it within a certain time frame, play clock, making quick decisions, handling noise.  We’ll be at home, it will be a fun, loud environment and that’s good; obviously not like it will be at New Orleans.  There is just no substitute for running plays, getting under center, shotgun snaps, snap counts, things of that nature. You can do that out here, but it’s not the same.

Q: Have you ‘buried the hatchet’ with Javon (Walker)?

A: There was never any hatchet to bury. Javon and I are good friends and we stayed in contact long after he left. That makes for good TV stuff. He and I are fine. I think he can help us. I want him to have a great year. I think he deserves it. He’s a great guy. What happened in the past is long over with. We need him as we need a lot of these guys to have a productive year in order for us to be good. I’m happy to have him.