Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Alright guys, we had a good spirited practice today. Guys were really into it and should be quite a game when we line up on Sunday.
Q: What is the best case scenario with
A: That he feels good about it tomorrow. He has to go through some treatment right now with (Head Athletic Trainer) Eric Sugarman so have to see how he feels from some of the things we took him through today. What he has to say will make a difference. We saw some things today that makes us think he may have a chance but he has to feel it both mentally and physically, so we have to talk with him.
Q: Is there a question with Chris Cook whether he’ll play or not or just how much you’ll use him?
A: More how much we would use him. He’s far enough along that we’re going to for sure play him, just a matter of how much we’ll play him.
Q: Is the deadline to make that move tomorrow?
Q: Was Matt Kalil’s illness a stomach issue?
A: Yeah, exactly right. He’s feeling better. He’s got to get a lot of fluids in him. It was good that he was here today, able to go through some things because he did miss some time, but Jeff Davidson, our offensive line coach, was able to go over and spend time with him, watch tape with him at his home. That helped us from a mental standpoint, just physically we didn’t have him.
A: He’s been having a terrific year, obviously, based on those numbers, and the most encouraging thing, I mentioned this before, is the way he has become a real leader for our football team. You look back at the offseason when he was really going through a tough time because of his father’s illness and I was thinking about this the other day, how much he wanted to be out there doing our offseason program to help his teammates, but because of what he was dealing with, it was hard, but that’s Chad. He missed being with his teammates during the time he wasn’t able to be there and once he came back and was with us throughout training camp, we all knew he was going to be a good player, that’s one of the reasons we franchised him, but the vocal leadership as well as the example he sets in practice with his movements, the way he handles meetings. That’s a big deal when you’re a team trying to change the culture of your team, we were an organization trying to change the culture of our team, and to have a guy who is a very good player to really buy into what you’re trying to get done helps the locker room. Not only the fact that he gets a lot of tackles and is making big plays for us now, the sack, he got a game ball for the Rams game. All of those things are good, but what he’s done, the intangible from a leadership standpoint is huge, and it’s a major part of why our season is where it is right now.
Q: With the injury problems Chris Cook has had, do you see that hurting his development at all?
A: He’s got the ability to be a good corner in our League. But because of the injuries, it’s set him back some but they have been legitimate injuries and what he went through a season ago as well. This year, a broken wrist, that’s a broken arm, that’s a tough deal, nothing you can do about it.
Q: How valuable is it for him to get back for these final two games so he doesn’t have to wait until next season to get back?
A: I think it’s huge for his development and coming back and hopefully lining up against the caliber of offense and the caliber of receivers he will tomorrow, it’ll be a big challenge for him, the downside is he hasn’t had much build up to line up against guys who have been playing week in and week out. So you have to take his play a little bit with a grain of salt and the fact that he’s coming off an injury where you’re not sure about contact, but for a lot of reasons it will be good for his confidence as he goes into the offseason.
Q: How long has that break dance competition been brewing?
A: Those guys have been doing a lot of talking about who is the best dancer so the players got them to put up or shut up, so it was good.
Q: Having that kind of vibe is good for a team during the season, where guys are having fun?
A: Right, that’s very important. You don’t want to go into a game like this tight or tense because of the circumstances, you really want to go out there and play with great confidence and not be all wound tight. They are not wound tight. That is definitely the truth.
Q: Who is at the top of your dance depth chart?
A: I would have to say, I think Fred (Evans) got him there,
Q: There was a report that you and
A: I think we have a good relationship. He’s injured, on injured reserve, and doing everything he can to hopefully get back and help our team. He’s still under contract. Like everybody, he’s pulling for our football team to have success against the Texans this weekend. I think we have a good relationship.
Q: Have you had much contact with him since he went on injured reserve?
A: I talked with his dad just a few days ago, but he’s doing fine.
Q: How much pride do you think the offensive line is taking in
A: A lot of pride. In their minds, their record as much as his if he’s able to get that record. The fact that he’s had the best season of his NFL career coming off of major surgery, our guys take a lot of pride in it. They also got a game ball for our Rams game, just to recognize their achievements because they’re having to block some tough fronts, a lot of situations they’re getting in, teams aren’t showing some of the looks we’re getting right now and we’re having to adjust during the game because we’re seeing some unconventional looks at times and our offensive line, they’ve done a terrific job of as a unit, just staying the course and opening up some holes for a great running back, but they take a lot of pride in it, lot of pride.