Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Good afternoon guys. We had a chance to go back and look at that tape this morning, definitely a tough loss on the road. I like the fight our guys showed getting back in that ball game after getting off to a slow start, battling and battling to put ourselves in a position where we had a chance at the end but just couldn’t get it done. The good news for us is that we didn’t lose anyone to any significant injuries,
Q: How do you rectify the penalty issues?
A: You keep harping on the importance of not doing things that are self-inflicted. We had done a pretty good job a week before and we have to get back to that this next week. We’ll harp on it again this week in practice and we’ll have to do better in that area.
Q: How difficult is it with the replacement officials and not knowing their parameters?
A: There could be wide-ranging answers to that. We have to make sure we’re doing the things that are necessary to play within the rules. We have officials at our practice, we go through with our players what holding is, what constitutes as a personal foul, what’s offsides, what’s encroachment. We got through all of those things. It’s up to us when we get in game situations to do the right things and there were times yesterday when we didn’t and it cost us.
Q: Did they explain what happened on the foul that
A: I know exactly what you’re talking about but no we did not.
Q: Would you send that into the league?
A: Yes we will.
Q: Is it bigger than usual to send those tapes into the league now?
A: No, they still have the same rules in place as for what numbers we can send as they did with the previous officials.
A: Great hustle on his part, he was running all day trying to catch up to that quarterback. Just have to have a little awareness of where you are on the field; it looks like he kind of lost where he was on the field. I liked the effort, I like what he was trying to get accomplished, but just have a little awareness of where you are on the field and probably have to pull up in that situation.
Q: With how much these guys are coached to play hard, with the penalties like that one, is there a way to balance that?
A: Well you’re right, we coach them to play hard and what Jared was doing on that particular play is exactly what you want to see from an effort standpoint, but there is a balance. You want to play smart, you have to have a little recognition in certain situations and adhere to when you’re possibly crossing that line. That’s when you have to play smart.
Q: When you drop the two deep defense and the linebackers deep on the Reggie Wayne touchdown, how is that supposed to work on paper?
A: What should happen is our ‘Mike’ linebacker should be in the middle of the field contesting that play and making it a difficult completion, if it’s going to be a completion, for that wide receiver or tight end, whoever that is that the quarterback is throwing to. That’s the way it’s designed, for the middle linebacker, and our safeties, to converge and be factors as well.
Q: The linebacker is almost being asked to do something that they can’t do physically, covering a receiver 30 yards outs, is the safety supposed to help him more?
A: You should get some safety help depending on what happens with the rest of the routes. You do it because you’ve done it enough to where you know that the linebacker can make the play, along with safety help, and we got neither in that instance. It’s designed where the linebacker will get late help from the safety.
Q: With the pressure from the line, are they getting out of their lane zones to create opportunities for the quarterback to get upfield?
A: One of the good things about yesterday was that we were constantly in the backfield with the D-line whether it was Brian [Robison], Jared [Allen] or Everson [Griffen], they did a great job of flushing the quarterback out of the pocket a number of times. Of course he made some plays on the run which hurt us, but we have to do a little better job of being aware of where the next guy is. The things that we were trying to accomplish for the most part we got done, we just couldn’t always get him down. The time that Brian had him in the endzone could have been a possible safety. You have to give their quarterback some credit, he did a good job. We had some opportunities to get him on the ground and we couldn’t.
Q: Were you surprised with Andrew Luck’s awareness back there?
A: I don’t know if I would say surprised to a degree, but being a rookie, he showed a lot of poise and good instincts; being able to feel the pressure. There were a couple times that I don’t think he saw our guys coming and he moved a little bit, he did a good job.
Q: When you look at some of the sacks
A: I think on one occasion, it was definitely we didn’t have anyone for him to get the ball to and we just have to handle that a little bit different. For the most part, he’s doing the right things with the ball. We had some breakdowns in protection. We had a couple of times where we didn’t have anyone open and he was stuck with the ball. For the most part, he made good decisions with the ball. You hate to see the sack caused-fumble. You’d like to do a little bit better job in that situation. You don’t want to turn the ball over, find a way to get it out of my hands in that instance. For the most part, he’s done a good job back there.
Q: Jared Allen came out for two plays after the personal foul penalty. Was that to calm him down or was it just to make a change?
A: We’re trying to take some reps off of him and we were doing it there as well. We’re doing the same thing with Kevin (Williams), trying to rotate some different guys in. It’s just part of the rotation.
Q: Does the slow starts by the offense concern you and how do you avoid digging yourself a hole in the first half?
A: It’s something we’re going to talk about. You like the fact that we’re finding our groove as the game goes on but we’d like to get started earlier. We talked about that during the week. On the road, you really don’t want to get the home crowd involved, especially when it’s their home-opener and we’re moving the ball on offense in the first half but we weren’t finishing with touchdowns. Those field goals, if they were touchdowns, maybe the game is a little bit different early on, but it is something we have to go back and keep looking at this week. We’re going to be playing at home. We want to get off to a fast start on offense and defense along with special teams and have our fans in the game early. We’d like to get off to a fast start.
Q: Are there things that can be done to get the ball downfield?
A: We think Devin (Aromashodu) and Michael (Jenkins) can make some plays for us downfield. We think
Q: Is there consideration to do more hurry-up offense even if it’s not necessarily needed?
A: We’ll look at it. We do have some no-huddle in our offense but we’ll take a look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and what’s going to give us the best chance to succeed this next weekend. We’re going to explore all avenues. We want to get off to a faster start for sure.
A: I don’t think so. I think physically, he is fine now. He has a pretty good understanding of what we’re asking him to do on offense. No, his absence as far as production, I don’t think it has anything to do with not being up to speed. He’s pretty much where we need him to be right now. It’s just a matter of finding an opportunity for him. We tried some things and it just didn’t work out for him yesterday but we’re looking for him and we do expect him to be a contributor as we go forward.
Q: Is this the number of snaps you expected for him after all of the talk of the two tight end offense?
A: We do want to expand it as we go. He got more snaps in this ball game than he did in the first ball game and we’ll probably do the same next week, just try to continue to increase. We do want to make him a little bit more of a focal point. We had some things they took away that we had for him but we’ll keep exploring. We think he has the potential to really be an explosive player for us in our offense.
Q: When do you have to make roster move for when
A: No, once we activate him, in that 24, 48-hour span, we’ll have to let someone go once we decide.
Q: In order for him to be able to practice Wednesday?
A: In order for him to have that Wednesday practice, yeah.
Q: Are you going to take a receiver off the roster or are you looking at other positions?
A: We’ll decide or talk about it a little bit later on.
Q: What was the coverage you played on that last completion they had to Reggie Wayne? Was there too much cushion?
A: We ran a zone-pressure and we were in something like a 3 Deep behind the zone pressure and I’d like for Josh (Robinson) to push it a little bit more. We think that would help him but the pressure is what you’re counting on and we didn’t get enough pressure. They recognized it. They did a good job of blocking the pressure so he is under the gun a little bit in that situation. You’re calling it to get pressure on the quarterback. We didn’t get good pressure.
Q: Is there anything overall that concerns you about the defense the most?
A: We’d like to be better in two-minute. We’re not doing very well right now in two minutes, at two minutes before the half, at two minutes at the end of the game. That’s glaring so we have to do better. The way our team is built, we’re going to play a lot of close games. We’ve talked about that all along with our guys and we have to play good two minute offense, good two minute defense, good red zone defense, good red zone offense. Two minutes, yeah, we have to do better in that area.
Q: What is the etiquette on kneel downs at the end of the game?
A: For us, is there an etiquette? I don’t know if there is an etiquette. I don’t know if there is. We know what we would do but I’ve never sat and told our guys, ‘Hey, if they take a kneel down or we take a kneel down, this is what the expectations are.’ I don’t think we’ve ever really went into detail about what should happen when that play happens.
A: I wanted Percy to be fresh for our two-minute drill. I told Mike Priefer that I wanted him to be ready for our two-minute and let Marcus take it. That was it. As far as bringing it out, we gave him some parameters, all the returners, about what the depth is that they can bring it out and what the parameters are. Marcus made a decision and we support that decision. We got it back to, I think, the 16 as opposed to starting at the 20. That was the reason why Percy wasn’t back there.
Q: Is there any thought of giving Percy Harvin some time off during the week to let him recuperate?
A: We do have to be conscious of how much we are using him and what we’re doing with him when we go through a week of practice as we get further into the season, but we’re always talking to him, talking to Adrian [Peterson] and talking to other guys who we utilize quite a bit in ball games, as to where they are health-wise and making sure that on Sundays they are ready to go so we’ll always be in communication with Percy about his health and where he is and what we need to do that week for him to be ready to play on Sunday.
Q: So at this point there are no concerns with him?
A: Nope. Not to this point. Other than the way he plays, you always have to conscious of his numbers, number of hits he takes, he’s not a big guy in stature, but he plays big so we’re always aware of the number of hits he’s taking, how many touches he’s getting in a ball game, whether it be kickoff or at wide receiver or running back.
Q: Adrian kind of came back to earth during the second game. Was he feeling OK or were the opportunities just not there?
A: He’s feeling pretty good. We started off running the ball well early in the game. We were getting five or six yards a clip but it was nothing to do with him. He felt good, we just couldn’t stay with the run game because of where we were in the second half of the game but he did well in the time he was out there.
Q: What can you do to get a sense of urgency early or to get an early start?
A: We’ve done a good job these first two weeks, although the first half I think we had it with 1:41 and we ended up going three-and-out and we had an opportunity, we missed that seven route, but our two-minute offense has been good for us. We have to look at what we’re doing as a whole on offense and see what we need to do to get a faster start. It would really help us, especially this week at home, to get off to a faster start at home. We’ll look at everything we’re doing and try to come up with a good plan that will help us to get off to a faster start.
Q: Considering what Percy Harvin is doing for you, how hard is it to limit his snaps?
A: Man, he’s off to a great start for us, no question about it. It’s working just like we wanted it to when we sat down this offseason and talked about being able to utilize his strengths and it is tough to take him off the field but we have to be smart. It’s a long, long season and he is a primary weapon for us on offense. That’s obvious to opposing defenses, but we don’t want to overextend him, but at the same time, we have to utilize his talents and we’re trying to be judicious in doing that but he’s such a gifted guy, as you mentioned. It’s hard to have him sit over there for any length of time so we have to be smart as we go along.
Q: A lot of guys like to get in a rhythm, so how do you have to counteract that?
A: To some degree you do. He’s one of those guys who wants to be out there. He wants to return every kick, he wants to catch every ball, he wants to get the handoffs. We’re the ones who have to be smart on how to use him and know that we need him for not only this game, but for many games so it’s a fine line. He’s so valuable to us but we also know, the way he plays, he’s going to have some collisions on a regular basis so it’s a fine line trying to have that balance.