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Vikings Quotes - Leslie Frazier - August 8

Posted Aug 8, 2012

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier

We’re winding down the week as we’re approaching our first scrimmage game on Friday night. I think for the most part it’s been a real good camp leading up to this first scrimmage. The guys are really into it, they get a little bit more of a rally boost today. We’re going to lift the pads, letting them go out without pads, so they got pretty pumped up about that announcement last night. They’ve been doing everything we’ve asked them to do from a coaching standpoint, now it’s our chance to try to evaluate where we are as a team and what guys are going to have a chance to make our football team.

Q: Will you hold any starters out Friday?

A: We’re going to talk about it with our players tonight in our team meeting and just go through what our expectations are for the guys that are going to play and for those that won’t be playing. We’re going to talk to them about that this evening.

Q: Any injured guys going to make a push to play Friday?

A: I have a group of names of guys who won’t make it; (Robert) Blanton won’t make it, John Carlson, Kamar Jorden, DeMarcus (Love), Geoff Schwartz, (Jordan) Todman, and we’re going to hold Josh Robinson as well, I think that will be the wise thing to do. We won’t push those guys to try to be ready for this Friday.

Q: Any new concerns with Josh Robinson?

A: We just want to be cautious; when we do put him out there we want to be certain that he can burst so we want to give him a few more days. He could probably get through but that’s not what we want him to do at this point. Give him a few more days and let him line-up next week when we play our next scrimmage ball game.

Q: Do you like the quietness of this camp?

A: Yes, I sleep a whole lot better at night, no question about it. You want guys to be focusing on football and the team and the message that you’re delivering in that first meeting. You have some of those outside distractions and it takes away from that focus. Part of what we do requires great focus and great determination and if you don’t have that it shows up on the field. We’ve had our share of distractions as you know so it’s refreshing that at this point we can concentrate on what’s important and that’s getting ready to play football.

Q: Has Adrian Peterson been trying to convince you to get back on the practice field?

A: It’s never ended, but he knows we have a plan, we talked him through that plan and he’s on board. We just have to keep seeing him progress and then we’ll reevaluate things when we come back from San Francisco. He’s going to be relentless until we let him back out there but we have to be smart and continue to listen to what the doctors and trainers tell me. Everything I’m hearing is extremely positive so we’ll see where we are.

Q: What will Adrian’s plan for the weekend be?

A: He’ll stay back here and they’ll continue to take him through drills and exercises and the things he needs to do to keep progressing.

Q: How long will he have to practice before he’s in a game?

A: I’m not certain of that. We’ll kind of have to play it by ear and just see how he responds daily to some of the activities we put him through once we get him out there. We have to get a feel for him, where his confidence level is, and we’ll need to be able to see certain things as well. It’s hard to say at this point.

Q: Have you thought anymore about him playing in the preseason?

A: If we thought that he was maybe capable of playing in that first ball game, we’d like to get him some snaps in the preseason so that he can mentally make that adjustment he needs to make for game speed and also gain the confidence that he needs. If we determine that it’s not a realistic goal based on what we see once we finally take the reins off him and let him begin to practice, if we see that that’s not going to be possible, then we’ll have to wait until the season and let that be his first exposure. Ideally, you wouldn’t want that to be his first exposure to live contact and live situations; you’d like for him to have it here.

Q: Is there any indications he won’t be ready for the regular season opener?

A: There are no indications at this point that he wouldn’t be. Everything he’s done, he’s right on point, but I say that without him ever participating in a drill with his teammates. All the things he’s done on the side he’s looked very, very good, but we still have some more steps to take.

Q: Are there any indications that Adrian (Peterson) will not be ready for the season opener against Jacksonville?

A: There are no indications at this point that he wouldn’t be. Everything he has done, he is right on point. Now I say that without him ever participating in a drill with his teammates, but all of the things he has done on the side, he has looked very, very good but we still have some more steps to take.

Q: Do you have a sense of what the strengths of this offense might be?

A: We still want to really center around what we can do running the football and our offensive line seems to be coming together. These games that we’ll have in the preseason will give us a good indication of how we are going to be able to achieve our goals of being able to be a team that can really run the football and get people in the eight-man fronts. With the weapons that we think we are surrounding Christian (Ponder) with, be able to expose people because of that. We have a plan for what we want. Now we have to see it come to fruition by how we come together as an offensive line, that’s going to be a big deal for us. We think we have some capable backs, but we want to gel up front because that will determine if we will be able to do the things that we set out to do.

Q: Are you going to let the first offensive line go a little bit longer on Friday night?

A: We’re going to try to get the ones some reps. We are not going to keep them in that long, but we do want to get them maybe a little bit more than what we have done in the past. We still have got other games besides this game, it’s one of four, so we will be smart. We do want them to try to get some live work so we can get a feel for where they are and how far we will need to get before the next ball game.

Q: Do you have a number of plays or a number of series that you plan to go with the offense?

A: I have talked to them about if they score in that first drive what it would mean, but we do have a number. We are going to talk to them about it tonight, but some of it will be dictated by how we perform early on. We have an idea for what the maximum of what we want for participation from an offensive and defensive standpoint.

Q: Does Rhett Ellison bring a competitive edge to the offense?

A: Rhett is a little different when it comes to preparation and how he approaches things. As I have said before he is not your typical rookie in the way that he approaches things. He has a mindset where he is so focused and with tunnel vision like that, man, it’s good to see, but for his teammates and the guys that go against him it can be tough for them. He is not smiling, he’s not joking around. When it’s time to line-up and play he is thinking about one thing, and that is football and annihilating the guy across from them. There is no three-quarter speed for him, everything is full speed. It’s good, it’s going to help our team and help that position as well. He has created some competition for us at that position.

Q: Does he remind you of Jim (Kleinsasser) at all?

A: In that regard for sure. I mean Jimmy was one of those guys who put the blinders on and played the game one way, 100 percent, 100 miles per hour. There were no periods where he thought it was half speed and Rhett’s kind of like that.

Q: Does Chris Carr give you that third corner you thought you had last year with Cedric Griffin?

A: He has a chance to. We have to see him go through some things through the course of the season, but he has a chance to potentially be a third corner for us. He has done a very good job in training camp, he is a smart guy, very athletic, really understands offenses and what they are trying to do. His experience shows up in what we are doing in practice and meetings as well, but we need to see him go out and preform in game situations. His reps were limited a season ago in Baltimore, so we need to see him in some game situations, but he has done well in practice.

Q: Is there a greater premium for the defensive backs and the defense as a whole, looking at them and seeing who is playing within the defense and with proper technique?

A: That is very important in trying to evaluate our defense and the personnel on our defense and trying to really bring them together and improve. We really need some guys who can show that they can be assignment sound. Maybe they’re not physically better than someone but at least be where they are supposed to be based on the things that we talk about in practice. That is half the battle in this league, is being able to be assignment sound. Sometimes the talent is not that much different but when guys blow assignments it’s a problem. That will definitely be part of the evaluation.