Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Good morning guys. It’s good to be back working after our bye week. We came back in relatively good shape. Letroy (Guion) was able to get back in the groove and practice a little bit with us. Percy (Harvin) wasn’t able to go. We’ll see where he is on Wednesday. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see him do a little bit. I think our players were excited that we had this new turf. Most of you probably observed, it’s almost identical to what we have at the Dome and appreciate our ownership getting that done coming out of the bye. It’s kind of refreshing for our players to come back and practice on a surface that they play on so they were pretty excited about that, especially some of our veteran guys. It’s good to be back and we look forward to getting started on Wednesday with our game plan and preparing for what is going to be a very, very tough opponent.
Q: Did Percy end up staying here and getting treatment during the bye week?
A: Yes he did, yes he did. Stayed here throughout the bye.
Q: Did you see progress?
A: Some progress, and hopefully we’ll see enough to where he can do something on Wednesday we’re hoping.
Q: Where was
A: We did the same thing with him. His foot was bothering him some so we held him out and we’ll see where he is on Wednesday. When he went home, his foot was bothering him. We did an MRI today, found out there is nothing structurally wrong but he’s pretty sore and tender so we gave him this morning off and we’ll see how he feels on Wednesday.
Q: Was it something that happened in the Detroit game?
A: I’d have to say so because there were no complaints about his foot prior to that game and it really wasn’t until he got home and just moved around a little bit, just felt uncomfortable.
Q: You were optimistic last week that Percy would be ready for Sunday’s game. Were there any setbacks?
A: No setback, just hasn’t made enough progress to put him out there yet so we’ll see how he does on Wednesday. I was hoping that he would have been ready to go and get a little work today but that wasn’t the case.
Q: Is he still working through swelling?
A: Most of the swelling is gone. It’s just sore and pretty tender right now so we’ll see how he feels when we come back on Wednesday.
Q: Is there an advantage to having practice on Monday while your opponent still has a game tonight?
A: For us, the fact that it’s coming off a bye week, it was important that we got back in and did some work before we come back on Wednesday to begin in earnest preparing for Chicago. We wanted to take advantage of this extra day. That’s one of the benefits of having a bye. Whether we were playing a team that was playing on Monday night or not, we probably would have done it the same way.
Q: Did the guys seem to be eager to get back to work?
A: It seemed that way. They realize that their goals are right in front of them. They seem excited about getting back to work. I think, to a man, they were really looking forward to getting back in this work environment.
Q: How do you convey to the players the opportunities going forward in this final stretch?
A: We talked about that a little bit in our team meeting today that when we do come back on Wednesday, everything that has happened prior to the Chicago game, we have to block that out. No what ifs, should haves, would haves, none of that, just coming back and focusing on Chicago. We really have no choice. That, to us, is our biggest game of the season because it’s our next game. It makes it the most important game of the season. We have to be able to, if we are going to mature as a team, be able to narrow it down and focus on just that one game. If we can do that, we’ll have a good week of practice.
Q: Can you talk about what
A: One of the things with Chad and watching him develop this season, he’s been a good player for us for a number of years and had his first Pro Bowl a season ago, but his leadership. He’s really grown as a leader. Early on, when I tapped him as one of the guys to be on our leadership council, I sensed some reluctance on his part early on a couple years ago, but he’s grown so much in that area and it’s helped our football team, it’s helped our locker room, it’s helped what we do at practice. That, to me, the evolution from a leadership standpoint is the one thing that sticks out. I knew he’d continue to get better as a player, and he has, but to step up in the role that he has as a leader is one of the reasons our team is off to a pretty good start.
Q: What sort of value did you get out of the self-scout and how many days did spend going through everything?
A: We got a lot out of it. Sometimes being able to look back at yourself and just trying to determine where you are and what you need to do to improve, it can be humbling. We saw a lot of things we need to improve on. Some areas that we think if we do improve, that we’ll be a much better football team down the stretch. We spent some hours and days getting that done and I think it’ll benefit us if we can implement some of the things we saw as a staff that we can impart to our players. Then it’s a matter of us going on the practice field and making the necessary improvements. It was good. We saw a lot of good things, but we also saw some things we need to improve on
Q: Did anything major come out of it or just some tweaks?
A: You get a chance to see how people are playing you as the season went on. We went back and looked at the 10-game season that we’ve had and we saw how people have evolved and how they play us on offense, defense and special teams and some of the adjustments that we need to make to counter some of the things that they’re doing. That was probably the most beneficial part of it, just to see how people are beginning to hone in on certain things we do and how we need to adjust going forward.
Q: Did it surprise you how much they are packing the box against
A: Not a complete surprise. What we got from that is there are some things, and we’ve begun to move that direction in the Detroit game, some things we need to do to offset some of what people have been doing to of us late to defend Adrian. We’ve got to continue to evolve with some of the things we’re doing schematically.
Q: To what degree, if any, does it complicate your defensive game plan this week, the fact that you don’t know who is going to start at quarterback for the Bears?
A: It definitely makes a difference for a lot of reasons. You’re trying to look at the tape that you have on that particular team, but the quarterback position is so, so important. It changes sometimes the play caller’s mindset as to how they run their offense. We’ll get a feel tonight for Jason Campbell and how the Bears will construct a game plan for him versus when Jay Cutler is in there. How that helps us going forward is hard to say because we won’t know, probably for
a while, who’s going to be the starter, I would imagine.
Q: What do you think the week off did for Adrian Peterson?
A: Gave him a chance for him to rest and reflect a little bit. I think the rest is probably the most important thing for him. Just to be able to take a break from all the things that he’s done in these first 10 weeks, some of the hits, some of the carries and now, to come back refreshed and ready to go for this next ball game.
Q: Is his ankle fully recovered?
A: Pretty close, it still bothers him a little bit. I could see it even a little bit today in our practice, it’s still a little sore in some areas. Not to the point obviously where it keeps him from achieving
what he has to get achieved, but it’s still there.
Q: Will you still give him time off during the week?
A: We’ll see how he does when we come back on Wednesday. The fact that he’s had a full week to rest probably helps him some but we’ll have to keep an eye on how he’s progressing during the week in practice.
Q: How important is field position for you guys, especially at Chicago?
A: Every time we play Chicago, that is always an issue. We struggle with field position there. I remember sometimes where it just felt like we were on short fields all day long on a couple of different occasions. It just drives you crazy. It’ll be something we’ll talk about. We’ve struggled with field position there, it’s funny you bring that up. That will be a major part of whether or not we’re successful or not. We can do a better job in that regard. We have not done a very good job in years past.
Q: Is it a big week for
A: Yeah, we need him to have a big week. That returner they have, he’s pretty special. We’ll need to play well on special teams for sure.