Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Injury wise, Jared [Allen] practiced today, did everything. We think he should be fine for the ball game.
Q: The MRI just showed a strain?
A: Yes, just a strain.
Q: Are you comfortable with how Christian looks dealing with that knee?
A: I do. We’re comfortable. He moved around well yesterday, moved around well today. There are no ill effects at all, he looks good.
Q: How do you keep the energy level high?
A: We keep harping on our players about preparation, how important it is to stay focused on the task at hand; the Tennessee Titans, coming away with a win at home. You keep hitting that message over and over again and you hope that it resonates well and I think it will with our players. They’re hungry and they want to have success. They’ve been working hard this week in practice. Now they just have to go out and play the game.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge for
A: I think for him, the first contact will help him. Once he collides with someone and doesn’t have any ringing or anything that causes problems for him, I think that’ll help his confidence. Until that happens, it’s in the back of your mind, what’s the first contact going to be like? We’ll have to get through those first few plays for him so he can gain his confidence and know that everything is fine, even though the doctors have cleared him. He’s moved around well for the last couple days and he’s raring to go.
Q: Are you still going to keep
A: Yeah we’re going to keep Jasper at the nickel mike for the time being. He’s done a good job there. Give Erin a chance to kind of get his legs back under him and then we’ll revisit it later on. Jasper has done a good job so we have a lot of confidence in what he’s accomplished so far.
Q: Did you do anything differently to get the defensive line to be able to apply pressure without blitzes?
A: Not a whole lot of things different. Our execution was much better with some of the gains we were running inside with our tackles as well as what we’re doing with our ends. But we didn’t do a whole lot of things different. Our big thing was the things that we worked on we executed better in the game. We’ve tried to do some things in this week’s practice to hopefully take advantage of some of their protection schemes as well. Then it’s a matter of how well we execute some of the things we’ve worked on.
Q: Did you make the switch to prepare for Matt Hasselbeck yesterday?
A: Actually after we saw that hit on tape, when we talked to our team on Wednesday, the first day we were back, we told them that we expect Matt Hasselbeck to be the starter. That was a tough hit that Jake [Locker] took and the fact that he had a shoulder injury prior to that ball game, we kind of expected it.
Q: What’s unique about Matt Hasselbeck, obviously a guy who likes to get it out quick and has been in this League forever?
A: His experience and the success he’s had in this League. Doing the same things you’ve just mentioned, being able to get the ball out, his accuracy, and the fact that he doesn’t take sacks. Just going back even a year ago when he was a starter, he was second to Drew Brees as far as taking sacks in the League. Doesn’t turn the ball over a whole lot, recognizes coverages early in the count so it makes it difficult to disguise things. If you’re not where you’re supposed to be, he’ll identify it and get the ball where it should go. He presents some problems because of the success he’s had in our League and experience that he has.
Q: Who picked the music for the beginning of practice?
A: There’s a group of guys. I don’t know if you’ll get a repeat, there were a lot of guys voicing their displeasure. I don’t know if it will be repeated.
Q: That wasn’t your playlist?
A: That was not on my Ipod, no.
Q: Are you taking dance lessons from
A: Jerome, he’s pretty slick. But no, no dance lessons.
Q: Have you heard back from the League on Josh’s penalty?
A: You know what, we have not as we speak. Although, we called this morning and we should have something this afternoon.
Q: To only send two blitzes for that entire game against Detroit, how much faith does that show in your front four?
A: It’s huge. For our players, for the coaches, to be able to generate that type of pressure without having to put the secondary in the adverse situations. It was big, it increases our confidence. You go into the next ball game feeling a lot better about your rush when that happens, especially a team that throws it as much as the team we played last Sunday. You go into a game knowing that, and the fact that we didn’t have to resort to a lot of pressures, it’s a big deal. Hopefully it will be something we can continue.
Q: It seemed like the secondary held their zones longer?
A: What that did was it created some coverage sacks. There were moments when the quarterback just didn’t have anywhere to throw the football and then he holds it a little bit longer. That gives our guys up front another chance, another second to get to the quarterback. It was a combination of rushing coverage throughout that game, even some of the incompletions; a lot of good coverage across the board. We congratulated our secondary throughout the week, they did a great job and I know our D-line appreciated it.
A: You know, we have to see how Jared does. We’re expecting him to play and to play well on Sunday. But we’ll have to monitor how he’s doing and where he is over the course of the game and be smart about how we use him in this ball game, knowing that he’s missed a couple days of practice.