Vikings Quotes - Leslie Frazier - October 3

Posted Oct 3, 2011


Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier

Good Afternoon, tough one yesterday.  I had a chance to go back and look at the tape with our staff this morning. I really sensed a sense of urgency from coaches and our players minds on getting this turned around.  Looking at some of the things that happened yesterday; and have happened in our previous games, I think we are on the verge of getting things turned.  Excited about the fact that we are playing at home on Sunday, I really think it is going to be a boost for us.  There are some things that have occurred that I feel like we have a better handle on it than we had before, so I’m excited about that part of it.  As dire as it may seem, I do believe we are on the verge of getting things headed in the right direction, I really believe that.

Q: Were there any specific things that you noticed after viewing the tape that really stand out to you that need to change right away to get things turned around?

A: Yeah, there were some things that I am going to share with our team this afternoon that we have to take care of so we don’t end up in the same spot we were yesterday afternoon. There are some specific things that I will address with our team this afternoon. 

Q: Are they personnel changes?

A: We are going to talk through some different things and by Wednesday we will determine if there are any personnel changes that have to be made.  Some things that have to be done, we can take care of without personnel changes. 

Q: Is a quarterback change possible at this point?

A: Based on these four games this season we are not at a point where we are making a quarterback change.  There are a lot of things we need to correct on our football team based on the fact that we are 0-4.  At this point a quarterback change isn’t one of those changes.

Q: This Sunday against Arizona you expect McNabb to start?

A: I do. I do expect him to be our starter, barring something that happens between now and then that I don’t know about.

Q: What are you seeing that gives you that confidence in McNabb?

A: I like some of the things that he is doing at the quarterback position, but like all of our positions there are some things that we have to improve on.  Offensively, defensively, special teams; we have enough areas of concern that are not just the quarterback position.  We have to do a good job of supporting one another. If we do that our quarterback play will improve, our defensive line play, our linebackers, our secondary, our offensive line, our running backs; we have a number of areas, besides our quarterback, that we have to improve

Q: Focus is one of the keys words you have used since day-one, yet there seems to be a lack of focus out there for your football team; any explanation for that?

A: Inconsistency has been a problem, at times where we are really locked in; at other times we shoot ourselves in the foot with some costly penalties.  We are just doing some things that we don’t want to be a part of who we are, they are not characteristic of the type of team we want to be. That is something we will continue to address.  It’s an issue to trying to win games in our League when you have some penalties or you have some miscommunication, whatever it is, that keeps you from being as focused as you need to be on every single play.  It has cost us, and it is something that we have to correct if we want to avoid the situation that we are in right now.

Q: The first three weeks or so, the players seemed to be encouraged that they could point to the dominant first halves, do you almost roll over to the opposite side and say ‘we have to look at this realistically’ and say ‘we are 0-4 and this is where we are at’?

A: Well 0-3, 0-4, those are humbling moments.  I don’t know if its humility necessarily, but we have to get this right. It’s not going to happen by talking about it. It’s something we have to do. We have to actually get it done.  We are going to identify some things that have to be corrected, and then we have to be the people to get it done.

Q: Did you feel like you made any progress last week about trying to clean up some mechanical issues with McNabb?

A: Yeah, I think if you look at Donovan’s performance on Sunday, there was much more consistency in some of his throws.  For us to hit that play with Devin Aromashodu, that was a big play for us, it’s something we have been hoping to do since the beginning of the season.  We got one and we hope to have more of that to come.  There were some good completions to Visanthe Shiancoe as well, and some good completions to Percy Harvin.  So there was more consistency, which was a good sign for us.  Now we have to get to the point where in crucial situations, in the two minute situation at the end of the half, at the end of the game where we can finish those, because a lot of our games are going to come down to the wire, if we can do that we know we have a great chance of moving forward in a positive way.

Q: Devin Aromashodu had one catch for that touchdown. Were there other opportunities to get him the ball when you looked at the tape?

A: We didn’t have another situation where we could get it to him. We tried with Bernard a couple of times and then we ended up hitting Percy later on in the game down the sideline as well but with Devin, I don’t think the opportunity presented itself again over the course of the game but we tried. Matter of fact, at the same guy Devin beat earlier in the game.

Q: At what point do you turn to younger players on the team and look to see what you may have for 2012?

A: For me, it’s really about this next ball game, the Arizona Cardinals and that’s where I want our football team to be, for this next ball game, and we are at a point now where we are taking every game one game at a time. We don’t have the luxury to look Week Seven, Week Eight, Week Nine, and think about plans for then unless at this point of the season, October 3, we basically said we’re looking at 2012 and I don’t think we’re at that point at all. That’s not on my radar. We really want to concentrate on getting a win against the Arizona Cardinals at home.

Q: As far as changes, are they schematic changes or trying to do what you’re teaching better?

A: One of the things that we want to emphasize is some of what we’re doing, there are some positives but we have to do things a little bit better than what we’re doing and then some other things we’re going to touch on. We have to be better at some of the basic things that we’re going to do that aren’t going to change. Whether we win or lose, we have to be better at some of those things and we’ve got to perform at certain positions better than we are now, obviously when you’re 0-4. We have some things we need to get taken care of.

Q: The offense seems to put together some drives in the fourth quarters of games. Are you seeing anything different or are they showing a sense of urgency later on that they are not showing at the beginning of games?

A: We had a good drive in the fourth quarter yesterday, it was our first second-half touchdown I think. That sense of urgency has to permeate our entire game, not just that sequence where we are almost in desperation mode. It was good to see us move the football down the field in that sequence and score a touchdown but to be able to capture that for four quarters is what has to happen and if we can do it there, we can do it often in the second half. Hopefully that will be a spring board. It has to be for where we are but it was good to see.

Q: For the rookies that were inactive, are they close to contributing or are they still developing?

A: There are guys that could possibly contribute if something were to happen to some of our other players. They are practicing hard, they are working hard, trying to improve and trying to get ready just in case they do have to play but right now, the guys that are active are the guys that we feel like give us the best chance at this point to be successful on Sunday and we’re still developing some of those guys that aren’t active at this point.

Q: Bernard Berrian came out on Twitter last night and got into some sparring matches with fans and implied that he hadn’t gotten the ball as much as he wants in four years. Have you talked to him about that? Do you discourage forms of communication like that via social media?

A: Yeah, I have talked to Bernard and we do, as a matter of fact, Bob (Hagan) and some of our PR people actually talk with our team prior to at least when we come to training camp just about social media and what our relationship should be with social media. It’s something that we’ve talked about, something we’ll continue to deal with and talk about and Bernard kind of knows where we stand on that issue and we’ll move on from there.

Q: One of the things that Bernard sent to the state lawmaker was telling him to “sit down and shut up.” He happens to be the co-sponsor of the stadium bill, your reaction to that?

A: I do know that Bernard called to apologize for the exchange and that was encouraging. We want to make sure that our focus is on football and trying to win football games. I think going forward he’ll handle things the right way.

Q: Do you worry that an 0-4 start will affect the momentum for a stadium?

A: I would hope not. We need a stadium, there’s no doubt about that. There’s no question about it. I hope that our fans and constituents across the state understand the importance of it. We’re going to do all we can, we are doing all we can to get our season turned around. Whether we are 15 and whatever or 0-4 at this point, hopefully it doesn’t interfere with the fact that we need a new stadium.

Q: Do you grow concerned at 0-4 that guys are going to be more vocal and public about things that should stay in-house? 

A:  That’s something you have to address, there’s no question about it; when you have a veteran mix along with some of the young players that we have, you have to address a lot of things. When you’re in the midst of a situation like ours right now, where you’re 0-4, it’s important that you’re clear on what the message should be and what the message should be going out. It’s something that we do have to address.

Q: What are your thoughts about Berrian saying that he’s been open a lot and quarterbacks aren’t going to him?

A: Well he knows that we are trying to get the ball to him. We tried a number of times yesterday, we connected, I think, once. It was a big play for us, 4th and 14, we needed that play and it led to a touchdown. It put us in a position to win that game. So we’re going to continue to try and get him the football. We missed him a couple of times yesterday, but we’re not going to give up on trying to make that connection. We think he adds a lot of value to our offense, he’s a big- play guy and we have to continue to try.

Q: When you talk about “being on the verge” what specific things are you seeing that encourage you?

A: There are some things that I want to share with our players that I want them to understand and get a sense of where we are right now based on what’s going on in our League and also where we are as a football team. Some of the things we’ve done well and some of the things we haven’t done so well. Those are some things I want to address with them.

Q: Was there a more concerted effort yesterday to get the tight ends more involved?

A: Some of it depends on the type of defense we’re seeing. Yesterday they played a defense that allowed us to work the tight ends a little bit more. We had some things we wanted to be able to do with them but we weren’t sure if they would stay with the same game plan and they did. That opened some things for our tight ends. It changes sometimes, sometimes they want to take away certain players in your offense and that opens up other things. Yesterday we were able to take advantage of a coverage they were running to allow our tight ends to have some freedom.

Q: How is Charlie Johnson’s elbow and overall how is the play of the offensive line up to this point? 

A: Charlie is going to be fine. He had, I think it was, a tricep injury, but he should be fine to work this week. Our offensive line has done some good things for us as a whole. We have to keep working to improve on our offensive line. We really want to be a team that can dominate the line of scrimmage from an offensive line standpoint. At times we’ve been able to do it, but like so many parts of our football team, we’ve been very inconsistent. We’re striving to become more consistent on the offensive line, but collectively they’ve done a good job.

Q: You mentioned you’re looking for guys to make crucial plays at the right time, but offensively is there more to it than that?

A: When opportunities present themselves and understanding situations, whether it be 2 minutes, 4 minutes or just the momentum swing sometimes that occurs in a game. You need your playmakers sometimes to stem the tide. We’ve got to do a good job of getting those people involved when that happens, whether it’s offense or defense, and giving them a chance to make those plays by putting them in position. And when you’re put in position you have to make those plays. That’s football in the National Football League. You saw it yesterday with some teams making great comebacks. When you look at the people who were involved in those plays, its usually the top players on either the offense or defensive side that usually makes those plays. It doesn’t have to be a big-name guy, but somebody stepping up in a crucial situation to make a play.

Q: In the 2nd half of games you guys have kind of struggled to get Adrian going, is that an offensive line issue or miscommunication or what seems to be the issue there? 

 A:  Our biggest struggle in the second half that has contributed to Adrian’s struggle is not being able to stay on the field. Having the number of 3 and outs that we’ve had, although yesterday we were better and he had more carries, we’d like to get a few more holes for him. Our biggest issue regarding his carries and getting him more involved is sustaining drives.