News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Locker Room Reaction After The Redskins Win

Vikings Linebacker Anthony Barr

Q: What have you learned as a young rookie in the first half of the season?

A: That the NFL is super fun. I'm having a great time.

Q: You guys had some penalties and gave up some big plays. What allowed you to stay in this game?

A: I think looking back in the last two weeks and having given up touchdowns late in those games, we wanted to come out this week and make a stand at the end of the game.

Q: Robert Griffin can rip people up with his legs, how did you guys do such a good job of keeping him in contain?

A: The plan was to try to make him a pocket passer. He makes a lot of plays when he's not in the pocket so I think we did a decent job of keeping him in the pocket today.

Vikings Tight End Chase Ford

Q: What do you think the toughest catch was?

A: The big, big play at the end of the game, in the fourth quarter. I had to keep my feet in bounds. I don't know what would have happened if we challenged it, but I felt like I was in. 

Q: What did you see from Teddy Bridgewater in the second half?

A: Teddy is a great quarterback. Like I said earlier, he is a great quarterback and we've known that for a long time now. He just needs to get his games in. It's different between college and the NFL – I think he's starting to see that.* *

Q: Do you think that it's just a matter of him playing out there in those situations?

A: Definitely, definitely. The more games you play, the more you realize different things on the field, and you realize that coverage is faster. I'm just glad the way he played.

Q: How does it feel to be here after all you have been through with your injury in training camp?

A: I never gave up faith. I knew that God had a plan for me, and I just went in there. When I was in the weight room, I was going as hard as I can, and when I got the opportunity, I've been trying to make the most of it.

Q: How did you feel about your first career touchdown pass?

A: It felt really awesome. I didn't think that it was going to be that easy, but I'll take it.

Vikings Linebacker Chad Greenway

Q: It wasn't the start you guys were looking for, but you guys seem to be on the right track and turning things around, do you feel that?

A: Yeah I do. We don't want to be 4-5 obviously. We'd like to be in a different situation but the reality is we are what we are. We aren't the type of team that is going to live in fantasy land, we know who we are and what makes us good and what makes us bad. I think the biggest thing for us is knowing that and moving forward and just being consistent. Even today defensively we didn't really do what we are capable of. We have played better football but they made some plays and hit some shots but we're capable of a lot better than that and we hope we can bring that in the last seven games.

Q: You had a good game today getting some sacks coming back from the injury, it seems as though that is behind you now.

A: You know I was able to see some things I did right and didn't do right it's just the nature of it. I'll go watch the tape, there is so many things I can do better and I just want to keep getting better at this age and keep leading these young guys. We have such a young team and my role has really shifted as I've gotten older into a leadership role and that's what I'm comfortable with. I love being a leader and just want to keep being myself.

Q: What does this team need to do during the bye week?

A: We need to get healthy. It would be great to get some of our guys back like Kyle Rudolph and the rest of the guys that are hurt. Other than that we need to get away and take a couple of days off and then come back ready to go. You have a seven game season to the finish and really at this point were capable of anything. You'd love to go seven straight and put yourself in the thick of stuff. That's obviously the goal so we'll start with that and go from there.

Vikings Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn

Q: Would you say this is the most complete game that you guys have had on both sides of the ball since the game against St. Louis?

A: Defensively, I feel like we gave up some plays. Flags, penalties helped them out a little bit. We gave up some plays we shouldn't have given up. I have to be more patient on the double move. I gave up a double move; he hit me with a hitch and go. I knew that was coming; it's DeSean Jackson. You have to know your personnel. Other than that, it's the NFL; you're going to give up plays, they're going to make their plays, but you got to make your share too.

Q: What were you thinking when you saw that pass fall incomplete in the fourth quarter?

A: Oh man, it was great. They came out and I was like man, I don't know what they're doing. They came out in trips, and I was like let's just get off the field. They threw the ball, and I looked around. I was focused on my man; I was playing DeSean (Jackson). I was like, "No, he is not catching the ball on this one. I don't care. He is not catching the ball." I just turned around and heard the fans go "Wow," and they were cheering and I was like man. I looked around, and Xavier (Rhodes) was doing his hand signal and I was like, "Wow!" We finally closed the game out and we got the win.

Q: You guys have shown resolve after the losses in the last couple of weeks. What does it say about this team that you won today?

A: We are fighters. We are not giving up. We are just going out there and competing. That's all Coach Zimmer asks us to do, go out there and compete, and do our job. He talked to me a couple of weeks ago about just doing my job, don't worry about everything else going on, just do my job. I think it's really playing out for us.

Q:Is there anything to how well your defense has played at home this year?

A: We are just competing.  That's the key.  The defensive line is going out there and putting pressure on the quarterback. The linebackers are coming up and making tackles, and in the secondary we are trying to cover everybody up. That's our job: to cover everybody up and make plays.

Vikings Wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson

Q: On that overthrow, you had about ten-fifteen yards on the guy.

A: That is something me and Teddy need to keep working on. It is only like his fourth game start, or whatever it is. We just need to get that together. Stay on after practice and throw some deep balls, whatever it takes for us to get on that right path.

Q: Do you think it is just practice reps and getting more comfortable?

A: That is all it is. Teddy is a smart guy. Sometimes you overthrow it and sometimes you underthrow it. That's what happens when you are back there with pressure coming on you; sometimes you don't know how to throw it. We are going to fix that. All of it doesn't even matter. We got the win. We are on the right path.

Q: Think about your frustration level though. There were a number of times you guys were just a little bit off.

A: Of course it is frustrating. Like I said, we got the win and are going to look past that, all of the deep balls. We just need to work in practice and work on getting that communication with each other.

Q: Was there more of a conscious effort with the short game after you guys were 0- for- 5 in the deep balls?

A: Teddy is going to be Teddy. If Teddy feels comfortable throwing it deep, he is going to throw it deep. If he feels like he is going to chuck it down, he is going to chuck it down.

Q: Were there some great holes for you guys for receiving?

A: Oh yeah. Like I said, we are turning it around and the offense is doing their job. Greg got open and (Jarius) Wright. Jerick (McKinnon) did a great job running the ball and Matt Asiata did a good job putting it in the places where it needed to be.

Vikings Defensive End Everson Griffen

Q: You mentioned that you had a lot of penalties and gave them a lot of first downs, what was it like having to overcome those penalties and mental mistakes?

A: Yeah we did, but we stayed together as a team and we kept on fighting. If you keep on fighting as a team only greatness is going to come out of it, as we won the game as a team. It feels good going into the bye week 4-5. That was a team win right there. 

Q: Is there some pride to take away from this game as you guys stopped them late in the game?

A: We just wanted to finish. That's what coach has been saying all week, finish. And that is what we did today. We faced adversity but we still finished as we won the game.

Q: You're getting better every week, what are you doing to prepare yourself?

A: I'm just doing my job and we're playing as a great defensive line. I'm a team person, and without my teammates you can't go out there and do what you want to do. With my defensive line we can be the best, and we're going to be the best each and every week, because we got the best coaches. I love this team, I love the coaches and we're here to stay.

Vikings Safety Harrison Smith

Q: How huge is this win for you guys heading into the bye?

A: It's big, we are starting to get it and bring it together as a whole team. Now we have a little time to rest up heal up and come back ready to go.

Q: What are you thinking when that fourth down pass hit the ground?

A: Excitement, especially the play before, I'm not going to let him get a first down on a little hitch and I wasn't going to give up a touchdown either so I had to do what I had to do. Luckily they had a  hold in the backfield as well.

Q: What does it say about the resolve of this team to close wins after what happened in Buffalo?

A: That's just correcting a lot of the mistakes. There are still a lot of mistakes out there, but when it comes down to it we gave away that Buffalo game. The last two games have come down to that situation and we have got it done.

Q: At this point in the year are you able to see the improvements in the defense from where it was last season?

A: Guys are playing good ball. There is always going to be mistakes, I can think of a handful where I could've played better on. You just keep working to improve, just improve a little bit each day and I think that's what you are seeing now.

Q: What is it like going against a guy like Robert Griffin III?

A: I don't think there was anything to crazy that they were doing. I don't think it was anything that out of the ordinary really.

Q: How were you able to pull up on Robert Griffin III even though they called the penalty?

A: I knew I didn't want to hit him, but at the same time I'm not going to stand there and let him get in there for a first down. I thought I did what I should've done.

Q: Did you talk to the refs after that play?

A: Coaches told us to stay out of the refs' ear. I was pretty hot for a second there and just tried to forget about it as a whole because you have to play the rest of the game.

Q: What was said at halftime as you guys came out very strong defensively?

A: I don't think it was necessarily a pump up speech at halftime. Coaches are going to come in and give us the corrections and show us what they are doing and what we are going to do, after that it's just guys believing. We have a lot of guys up front that can play some ball so it's fun to play behind them.

Q: How did it feel to come home and string two wins together?

A: We are headed in the right direction, but you can't get too up. You just have to keep going to work. We head into the bye so we can heal up, rest up and don't take the foot off the gas.

Vikings Wide Receiver Jarius Wright

Q: How does it feel to go into the bye week 4-5, winning two in a row? It looks like you guys are turning the season around here?

A: That's one thing that we try to do, get on a roll. In the NFL, you get on a roll and there is no telling where it can take you. We have to get a win, no matter how it is and no matter where it is. Like you said, two in a row, we get to go in the bye week, and rest and get our bodies back a little bit. So we feel pretty confident about coming back into the bye week.* *

Q: Talk about the way the last couple of weeks have gone. It seems like you guys have come out with a slow start and really turn it on as the game goes on.

A: I guess we got to warm up a little bit. I guess that's what it is; we have to come out and warm up a little bit. But I'm just joking.

Q: It does seem like all of the sudden something clicks and you guys catch stride and it's on.

A: It's a lot to do with not only ourselves but the coaches, and they stay behind us and keep encouraging us to do better. Within our offense, we encourage ourselves to do better. We are doing a better job at holding ourselves accountable for the things we do. As long as that happens, we can grow as an offense.

Vikings Running Back Matt Asiata

Q: You fell behind and had to overcome mental adversity. What was it like with the players and coaches?

A: We just wanted to let them know we mean business and that's what we did today.

Q: Teddy spread it out pretty good today with different people. Is that part of his maturity with being a quarterback?

A: Oh yeah, he is getting better every game. Everybody is. Q: What is the mindset like knowing you are going to get the ball at the toughest yards you can get, right at the goal line. You got it several times in a row including the two-point conversion.

A: You just got to punch it in for our offensive line. They are working their butts off and I am trying to be there and just trying to get touchdowns for them.

Q: Three touchdowns. Is it kind of sweet to say you have done it now with where you guys wanted to finish?

A: That was our main goal, to finish the game and finish tough, come out and win. Coach said to get 28 points today and we got 29.

Q: It seemed like you got wrapped up on the one to win it but a great second effort. Can you talk me through that a little?

A: I came out with my legs moving and never gave up. Just tried to get that extra yard and scored the touchdown.

Q: Down there and the game is on the line and knowing you are going to get the ball. What was your mentality.

A: I just have the same mentality as I did the first quarter. You know just go in there and give it all you got.

Q: After the penalty with Harrison Smith and they went down to score the touchdown. You kind of countered with yours and spiked the ball with a little more enthusiasm. Was that kind of like an "alright"?

A: I just wanted to let them know we mean business and try to get the message out for our offense and score the touchdown.

Q: Three games you have had a rushing touchdown in the NFL and all three times you had three. Is there anything to that?

A: I think it is just the game flow and trying to keep the momentum going and keep our defense hyped up.

Q: You came in this year, especially after what happened with Adrian, and you are asked to do what you do in those short yardage situations, do you kind of always have that to fall back down on, being the power guy?

A: The coaches trust me in the goal line area and I just have to do my job and trust the offensive line and read my read and score a touchdown for our team.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

It was a great team victory today. I'm extremely proud of our guys the way they fought. They handled an awful lot of adversity throughout the ball game. I felt like our team grew up today in a lot of different ways because they could have folded the tents early. We went down 10 to nothing but we kept fighting and fighting. You know, I've said this before and the way that our football team works every single day in practice, the way they study, it has to pay off on Sundays and I think it's starting to show. The crowd I thought was fantastic today, it's great to be here and be at home and have that kind of enthusiasm. I would appreciate it if they didn't yell "Teddy" when we're on offense but it's great to have the fan support that we have and hopefully they're liking how we play football here. We always want to try and please them.

Q: You had the tough loss against Buffalo but now what can you say about this team the way they were able to rally and win last week and then win this week?

A: Yeah it's great when, you know I always love to prove people wrong and hopefully the team does too. You know everybody said we can't win games in the fourth quarter after lost that Buffalo game but we've won two games in the fourth quarter now at the end and that's a credit to our resiliency and the way that we work. I still wish I had that fourth and 20 back but it is what it is. We had Dan Gable who really is an idol of mine talk to the team last night. He talked about the one match that he lost, he had won 181 in a row and lost the championship match and he said that he needed to lose that game because we was getting to the point where he wasn't doing everything successfully. Maybe we needed to lose that game in Buffalo.

Q: The interception by Captain Munnerlyn late in the first half obviously helped the cause at that moment but kick started the offense and scored that drive. Did the light bulb go off all the sudden with the offense?

A: I did feel the emotions started coming back. I believe we scored there, right before the half we scored the touchdown. So anytime you can score right before the half, it just for some reason, it builds a lot of things going in the locker room. I thought that was a big lifting part of the ball game, yes.

Q: Did you feel Teddy Bridgewater's confidence go up as the game went on?

A: I thought Teddy did a great job today of taking advantage of what he was given. He moved in the pocket great today and found some receivers open. I talked to him one time during the game, using his legs a little bit, if he's got it, take it. He started doing that which allowed I think other things to open up for people.

Q: Did you talk to him after that fourth down where he could have ran for it and opted to throw it?

A: Yeah I believe that was when it was, yeah.

Q: Matt Asiata got some big touchdowns and a 2-point run. How big of a surprise has he been and how valuable is he?

A: He's really not a surprise to us because he's a tough, strong runner. Never says a word, he just does his job every single day like a lot of our players. I love the way that, you know he had the opportunity to kind of go in a different direction when [Jerick] McKinnon started getting a lot more carries but he kept fighting, doing what he's supposed to do. He's a great team player. I love having him here.

Q: What did you see in that Harrison Smith roughing the passer penalty?

A: My opinion was that they called it and gave them a first down, but we had about three of those today defensively where we had penalties on third downs. I think their offensive line is very good. I think we rushed these guys excellent today. Everson [Griffen] was on a very tough match up and I don't know who got sacks. Like I say, I normally don't but we let the guy get out of the pocket a few times today which was a little disappointing. For the most part our defensive line is doing a good job. They're studying real hard, they're trying to, you know everybody thinks for the defensive line it's just line up and go. Coach Patterson, Coach Akey do a great job of teaching these guys a lot about not only fundamentals but how to attack people. 

Q: What does it mean going into the bye week with this victory and still being in the mix in the big picture?

A: We have seven more ball games left. We have quite a few division games coming up. It's really not much different than what we were before. It's take one game at a time and when you all ask if I was getting ready for next year and I told you no, we're getting ready for next week. So we'll continue to do that each and every week. I promised the team two weeks ago if they won the last two games I'd give them an extra day off in the bye week. So they got an extra day. I told them they make me happy, I make them happy.

Q: What do you see in Teddy Bridgewater on the sideline and in those pressure situations?

A: I think someone asked me about a change in his demeanor but he doesn't ever change demeanor. He's always the same guy. He makes some great throws and we see it every single day. I thought offensively we gave him some time to throw the ball which was another big thing. We didn't turn the ball over, I don't believe. We got one on defense. I was telling of the coaches before the game, I love this kid. The way he goes about his business, his demeanor. The way he carries himself in front of the team, the way he carries himself in front of everybody else; you couldn't ask for a better guy.

Q: What was it that prompted you to say that to the other coaches?

A: Oh we were just talking about quarterbacks in general.

Q: You see him handle those fourth quarter situations, is that just natural?

A: I think so and you know the more work that he's getting done, and he's getting all the reps now so he's getting a lot of work. He took a shot in there, he could have come out but he hung in there. Teddy is a tough kid. People probably forget this because they look at our record but I believe he's 3-2 as a starter.

Q: Talk just about the deep balls and why he had trouble on those today and the decision not to throw them after a while?

A: There was no decision not to throw them. We had a couple that he didn't get off that we tried to throw later on. We're going to keep throwing them. It's like target practice, you're going to hit them eventually. Teddy throws a good deep ball, he just missed them early. We had the one right down the middle, the first play of the ball game I believe and he just missed it. I think the other one, I think the receiver lost it in the sun is what happened. I think he could have caught that ball.

Q: Did you see an opportunity to get down field with some of those passes?

A: Well some of these teams are sitting on us a bit so we have to make sure we're taking some shots. We have to keep them honest. Sometimes a long foul ball will scare them a little bit too. 

Q: Teddy Bridgewater had a few good runs today. Do you see him growing in the run game, giving you the change for the run option?

A: Well the great thing about Teddy, and there were a couple of plays that he checked out of that we had quarterback runs called, but the great thing about Teddy is he's a good athlete. He's a thrower but he has great movement in the pocket. I think he did a great job moving and I think that will just build his confidence even more, just being able to get the first downs. It keeps defenses off balance for sure.

Q: Are you guys asking Chase Ford to do more and more each week?

A: You know the guy I was really proud for was Rhett Ellison today. Rhett got a couple balls, he does a lot of the dirty work, a lot of blocking, a lot of different places, but he got a couple catches in there. It's great to see guys like that that work real hard to get success. Chase, to go back on him, he's been working real hard and he came back from that foot injury. He has some unique abilities with his size and range and athletic ability. We'll continue to keep trying to work the match ups that we find in each ball game.

Q: How did it happen that Dan Gable addressed the team?

A: He was speaking at our Chapel last night. My dad was a former wrestling coach and I wrestled. Anybody that knows wrestling knows Dan Gable. He's like Michael Jordan of wrestling. He was speaking at Chapel and I skipped Mass last night and went to Chapel and just asked him if he would talk to the team for a little bit.

Q: Is this team getting more mentally tough as the season goes on?

A: I'll let you know in about seven more weeks but I like our mentality. Today on the sideline it was, I have to get them out of this complaining mode a little bit. There was a little bit complaining about worry about the referees, worry about this and worrying about that. I've talked to them about it a couple of times but I'm going to have to keep emphasizing it to them. Let's just go to the next play, do our job and go to the next play. Don't worry about it because if we all execute what we're supposed to do we can be a good football team. I like the mentality of this team and I'm not saying it's because of me or anything else but I just, I want us to be tough and aggressive. I want us to be smart. I want us to be a team when we have to pound the ball and stop the run, that we can do that in the fourth quarter of ball games. When the game gets on the line, I want to be able to, however we have to do it, suck it up on both sides of the ball, special teams, whatever it is and finish these things out. We did that the last two weeks.  

Q: There were some special teams penalties today but, was it generally cleaned up?

A: Well we let them return the one ball to the 50 yard line right after we scored, so that didn't make me too happy. I thought the punter punted the ball better today. We pinned them down there once, but we let them go 90 yards which is ridiculous. We gave up too many big plays defensively today. Down the sideline to [DeSean] Jackson, I think there were two or three of them. Overall, it's a work in progress.

Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

Great win today, it's always good to be back home and win in front of our home crowd. Hats off to the Washington Redskins, they are a great team. It was great seeing (Robert Griffin III) back out there today. He's a great guy, a great quarterback for this league and he's someone a bunch of young quarterbacks should look up to.

Q: Can you talk about the resilience you displayed of not being able to get off to the best start but being able to finish with a win?

A: Sometimes you're going to have some slow starts but it's all about how you finish the game. Today, it was a great team win. The guys, they hung their hats high and continued to just fight throughout the course of the game. It's just a great team win, overall team effort.* *

Q: Did you talk to Griffin after the game?

A: Yes, I was able to talk to RG3 and he told me to just continue to have fun, enjoy this ride, take command of this team and just do my best throughout the course of the year.

Q: Have you met him before?

A:I've been able to exchange text messages with RG3 but this was my first time in person meeting him.

Q: Can you take us through your thought process on that fourth-and-2? It seemed like after that you were more willing to use your feet?

A: Yeah, once I came on the sideline and Coach Zimmer was right there in my face just telling me, "Just run it, just run it." I told myself, "What am I doing?" I know I have the ability to keep a play alive and I know that if something is open downfield that I can take advantage of my legs and make a play. Right there I just have to have better judgement. Like I said, I could have ran, it was only two yards. We'll look at the tape and I'll just continue to get better in every aspect of the game.

Q: Did that throw just sail on you?

A: Yeah, it just sailed. It was probably a poor decision anyways. Like I said, I should have just ran it. It was fourth-and-2, a crucial fourth down but our defense did a great job. The next play, you talk about Captain Munnerlyn coming out catching an interception for us and giving us that momentum again so that we could go in and punch it in for a touchdown right before the half. Q: You took that hard hit from Robinson. What occurred after that play? Where you close to coming out?

A: No, I just had the wind knocked out of me. I just need a second to catch my breath. Washington, they are a very physical team, but we did a great job today for the most part. I had a clean pocket throughout the course of the game, I was able to sit back there and make some throws.

Q: You moved around a little bit more in the pocket today. Was there anything you were feeling back there?

A: Sometimes our coaches tell us, "Once you step up in the pocket, the receivers aren't open downfield, there are always going to be escape lanes," and those lanes just appeared open today and I was able to take advantage of it.

Q: This marks two wins in a row. How is your confidence with the rest of the season?

A: Our confidence is very high right now. Whenever you can finish a game the way we did today, hopefully we'll be able to finish games more in the victory formation but our confidence is very high going into this bye week. We're going to use this time to get some guys healthy and come back harder the next couple of weeks.

Q: Teddy, you missed a couple of deep balls early in the game. Is there a common thread on any of those?

A: All I have to do is just hit the guy when he's wide open. Cordarrelle [Patterson], he was wide open earlier in the game and I just overthrew him. That's one of those plays where a guy is that wide open, just give him the ball that he can catch and go score a touchdown. It was a slow start at first but as the game went on, we just continued to do different things. You talk about the run game, Matt Asiata, this is his third career three touchdown game. We know that our offensive line is going to do a great job of giving me time to make the throws downfield so I just have to connect on those throws.

Q: The first play of the game they sent the safety on a blitz and you had Greg Jennings and you overthrew that one. What would you have done differently on those two throws?

A: Well that one I had Greg matched up on a linebacker so Greg could have easily ran by that guy and I just overthrew him. Even in that situation I could have probably back-shouldered him because I'm pretty sure a lot of linebackers don't really have great ball skills. We always liked that matchup where we have a wide receiver on a linebacker so I just have to continue to get better in the deep ball area, continue to give those guys a chance to make the catches.

Q: Coach Zimmer said you are good at throwing the deep ball. What's been the difference between practice and games? Do you feel you are good at throwing the deep ball?

A: I think I'm good at throwing the deep ball and at times Coach Norv Turner and Scott [Turner] always tell me, "Don't look at the wide receiver, throw it to the area," and sometimes with me trying to be a perfect passer, I tend to look at the wide receiver and sometimes I end up overthrowing him or underthrowing him instead of just throwing it to the area, putting enough arc and pace on the ball, giving the guy a chance to make the play.

Q: How cool is this to be here playing against Robert Griffin III?

A: It's very cool, especially you talk about Robert Griffin III, a guy who has won the Heisman Trophy on the college level, he was able to take the league by storm his rookie year and unfortunately for him he's been battling some injuries over the past couple of years. It was just great seeing him back out there today. He's a guy that's going to compete to the end of the line as you can see in the fourth quarter. When his team needed points he tried and he tried and a good thing happened – our defense stepped up at the end of the game and just made some plays for us.

Q: What advice did he give you being a young pro player?

A: He just told me to continue being a great ambassador for this league and hats off to him, he's a great ambassador for this league. He told me to continue to ride the wave, continue to just play great football throughout the course of the year. 

Q: Did you think coming into the game that you'd have good matchups with Chase Ford and Rhett Ellison?

A: Yes, and Chase is going to be a household name around here. Chase is a guy who has been making plays for us ever since OTAs. He's a very explosive player. And then you talk about Rhett, a guy we use a lot in the run game but when he gets his chance in the passing game, he always makes those big plays for us. Those two guys have been doing a great job for us and we're just going to continue to just use those guys in different ways. 

Q: Can you think of any two-minute situation where you got rattled? Is there any moment where you didn't feel you came through in that situation?

A: I try not to get rattled because I know that I have 10 other guys in the huddle who are depending me whose eyes are all on me and then I also understand that I have 10 guys in the huddle who are going to make plays for this team, also. For me, Coach Zimmer told me something before the game today, he said, "Don't try to be perfect, just play football." In those two-minute situations I was just tell myself, "Don't try to be perfect, just play football, allow the game to come to me, take what the defense is giving me." Like you saw today, our offense, the wide receivers did a good job of just finding those open windows whenever we were facing some zone coverages and the offensive line did a great job of allowing me to have time and sit back there and make those throws in the two-minute situation. I always seem comfortable because I know that those 10 other guys in the huddle are going to do their job.

Q: You were picked up and slammed on two plays. Was there any point on those where you thought you might have to come to the sideline for a play or two?

A: No, not at all. I know that I'm going to compete and as long as I'm able to get up and walk off the field or as long as I'm able to get up and call our next play, I'm going to try my best to get out there on the field. Like I said, we have a great strength and conditioning staff here and they do a great job of preparing us guys, our bodies, getting our bodies ready for the long course of the season.

Q: You guys have faced a lot of adversity this season. How do you guys feel about the state of the team heading into the bye with four wins?

A: We're feeling pretty good right now. We're not where we want to be but we've been making some improvements each and every week. Like you said, we've dealt with adversity throughout the course of the season and it just shows the character of the men in that locker room. Guys who know how to overcome adversity, guys who know how to continue to fight through adversity and not only through the course of the season but also the course of the game.

Q: On that deep ball to Cordarrelle Patterson it looked like he might have had the sun in his eyes. Did he say anything about that?

A: No, we're not going to try to make excuses for Cordarrelle or anything. I just have to throw him the ball. He's wide open so like I said an opportunity like that presents itself I have to just put the ball on him and I don't believe he was struggling with the sun at all.

Q: How much were you kicking yourself back there after that play?

A: It was very tough swallowing that pill because you're talking about we could have taken the momentum early in the game but sometimes in the game everything happens for a reason and we were able to continue to just put that in the past and just finish strong.

Q: How do you feel like you can best utilize the bye week?

A: For one, just get some rest. It's been a long nine weeks, the first nine weeks of the season, and if you think about it, we've been going since training camp. We're going to use this bye week to get some rest, get a couple of guys healthy and get guys back and prepare for our next opponent.

Q: Did it help your mindset to score right before halftime?

A: We knew that Washington was going to get the ball back to start the second half and we just tried to get some points and the defense did a great job, like I said, of forcing that turnover and setting us up in great field position. We were able to take advantage of it. It gave us some confidence and gave us some momentum. We came right out, got a three-and-out on the first drive of the second half so it played a huge role in our success today.

Q: Any plans over the bye?

A: I'll probably get back home and see some family but I'll just use that time to continue to rest.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising