Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Disappointing performance today. I felt like there wasn't much energy. I didn't think the tempo of the game went very well. Defensively we didn't play very good on 3rd downs. We didn't rush the passer well. We had guys not going to the huddle defensively so they don't know the call. Offensively we had dropped balls, penalties, a bunch of three-and-outs. Missed two field goals, so it was really a poor performance, and we need to play a lot better than that if we're going to win football games.
Q. Was Kirk Cousins just off a bit, or what did you see as his struggles today?
A. Yeah, I think he can play a lot better than that.
Q. Just in terms of the first-team offense in general, you guys were fairly solid. I know it's not a large sample size in the first two games, but why the sudden dropoff?
A. I think especially after Dalvin's long touchdown, I felt like they relaxed and they got slower and tempo-wise we didn't get in and out of the huddle. We were slow at the line of scrimmage. We dropped balls, had penalties. Anyway, I'll leave it at that.
Q. Where is your level of concern with Kaare Vedvik's kicks on those two missed field goals?
Q. Why the two-point conversion there at the end of the fourth quarter?
A. No, that was analytics.
Q. Kicker and punter, what more do you think you need to see, in the final week?
A. Yeah, that's a good question. I honestly don't know. Since we brought Vedvik in, Wile has been punting good and Bailey has been kicking good, and then Vedvik goes out there and misses field goals. I don't know. I'm at a loss on that.
Q. First-team defense didn't allow a touchdown, but are you still concerned with some of the bigger plays?
A. Yeah, not so much, to me, there wasn't big plays today. We had, I know we got beat on the one deep ball, but you know, we didn't play it right, and so that was, I mean, as far as the big plays. But we allowed 3rd down conversions, and that was disappointing. You know, we don't game plan for these games, and we're running very vanilla stuff, but that's not the point. The point is if your job is to cover a guy, cover him. Simple. We had, I think, two back shoulder fades thrown to us on 3rd down maybe.
Q. How do you evaluate Kyle Sloter's performance today and grading the team based on those late touchdowns?
A. Yeah, every time he's come in the game he does well. He makes plays, gets the team going. I think he's done a good job all preseason.
Q. Is there anything you can take away from some of the missed screen passes to running backs these last two weeks?
A. Well, one of them the back went outside, he was supposed to go inside, so he got caught up. Actually he should have went inside the defensive end, he went outside, and so that screwed up the whole timing of it. A couple times they caught us in man coverage, things like that.
Q. Is it helpful to see Bisi Johnson make some plays and stand out amongst those young receivers?
A. Yeah, I think he's continued to do a good job. I know that he had one mistake. I can't remember what it was exactly right now, but when he gets in there, he makes plays and catches the ball, and typically runs the right routes. He ran one wrong one today. We had a couple, Irv Smith ran a wrong route today. There's things like that that shouldn't be happening in a game like this.
Q. How reassuring was Dalvin Cook's run to show obviously he's all the way back?
A. Yeah, well, we knew he was. I was just being protective of him. There was no reason for not playing him other than, really I just wanted him to go in there and little bit today a get tackled and feel good, and on the one play he never did get tackled.
Q. Adam Thielen fine?
A. Yeah, precautionary. Him and Harrison [Smith] both.
Q. So dinged up but nothing big?
A. Harrison had a cut that got infected, and I just didn't want to risk it. He could have played today. And Thielen could have played, he practiced all week, he could have played today, but he was a little sore, so I kept him out.
Q. Any concerns at all Joseph didn't play and O'Neill didn't play? Obviously they'll probably be fine for the opener?
A. Did you know that? Do you know they'll be fine for the opener?
Q. Are there doubts in that?
A. Not to me, but I'm not the doctor.
Q. You haven't had your full defensive line starters and full offensive line intact in the preseason. Does that make any difference at all?
Q. How do you about Mike Boone on his play as kickoff returner today?
A. You know, I think everything he's doing, he's doing much better. He's really working hard at special teams. He made a play as a gunner one time. He's been doing better in the kickoffs. He's been running the ball very hard. He's had some good catches in his preseason. I think he's done really well. He's worked extremely well. He's a good kid and needs to keep doing the same things he's been doing.
Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins
I'll just start by saying really disappointing performance. Put it on me. It wasn't good enough. If we play that way during the season, it's going to be a very tough year. So we have to be much better than we were today, and I really should say I have to be much better than I was today. It's about as simple as that. Great to see in the second half our offense come to life, get us back in the game and win the game going away really. So that was encouraging to see. And happy for those guys. I'm going to have a lot to look back at and learn from and correct.
Q. Timing or what, Kirk, in your mind didn't go well today, didn't go right for you?
A. I don't think it's any one thing. I think it's a lot of things. I don't think you can put your finger on any one issue, but the bigger issue is just we were certainly off balance. It was disappointing.
Q. On the two sacks can you take us through those two?
A. Yeah, I think at the end of the day, I can get rid of the football is as simple as it is. You can always as a quarterback throw it out of bounds, find an eligible to throw it over his head so it's in the direction of him or even try to skate out and start a new play. I can certainly avoid those.
Q. With such a quick turnaround from today and next week's game, what are some things you think need immediate attention?
A. Yeah, you know, we have tomorrow off so we'll come in on Monday and watch the film as a group and really be critical and talk through every single play and what each issue was, why we weren't better, and each play could be different. Hard to put your finger on any one thing, and as we go through that, we'll make those corrections and then expect to not have those things happen again or at least certainly not as often.
Q. You guys work on screen passes in practice. Is that frustrating when you see a ball like that get batted down?
A. Yeah, Terrell Suggs, he was ready for it. I just tried to throw it over him, but if I touch it too much, he's going to get underneath it so I was trying to throw it around him and sneak it around him. Tough play.
Q. Talk about the bright spot Dalvin Cook, coming up with that 85-yard touchdown?
A. Yeah, it was a bright spot certainly. Very special run. Great to see him pull away from everybody. Great cut to get the run backside. Well blocked, well executed, and certainly was a bright spot, absolutely great run by him.
Q. Is it in any way beneficial to have a preseason wake-up call like this to get focused for the season?
A. Time will tell. We've got a long story to write here for the season. This will be ancient history as we get deep into the season, and we'll find out if it was a help or not. But all I know right now without that benefit of hindsight is that if we play or I should say I, if I play the way I did today, it's going to be a long year. We've got to be a lot better. Thankfully I know we can be, and I know we have been better, and we have a lot of good on tape, as well, and that needs to come out the next time we step on the field.
Q. I know it's not a big sample size, but what do you think happened today?
A. I don't have any specific answer for you. It just wasn't good enough. And you can always say credit the Cardinals. I think they made plays. They did a good job. They did some things that obviously unsettled us and kept us a little off balance.
Q. It's still the preseason; (indiscernible)?
A. Yeah, certainly as we were just talking about, if this ends up being the needed wake-up call or somehow we're much sharper coming out the gates week 1, then it was all for the better. We don't have that knowledge yet to see how it plays out, but certainly there will be a sense of urgency in our preparation, as there always should be, but bottom line just today was not acceptable.
Q. But you seem to take it hard like it's a regular season game.
A. I said to the centers and quarterbacks as we took the field for warmups, every time you step out there, this is your resume. You have to put your name on it, whether it's preseason, regular season, postseason. You're being evaluated constantly, and this game for me is no different. I'm very disappointing that I've got to put my name on that, and it's the kind of thing that I'll be pretty cranky with my wife tonight when I go home. I'm not going to talk much on the ride home and be very frustrated, so it is frustrating, yeah.
Q. On Dalvin's run, was it just Dalvin or was it something about the play call or something particularly effective about the blocking?
A. I need to watch the film to really give you a good answer, but certainly it was a run meant to start left. He makes a great cut to get back to the right. Someone got out of their gap, clearly, and then he made them pay, and then once you get to that second, third level, yeah, it's pretty much a one-man show at that point. He's got to pull away himself. But certainly to get there, to that second level, it takes 10 other guys.
Q. This is the first time you guys got to run a two-minute drill under this scheme in a game?
A. Yeah, I guess if you count the last three weeks of last season, we got in that situation last year at the end of the game and at the end of the half. But this year because of the preseason sample size being so small, I would think it was, yeah.
Q. How did you feel about familiarity within the whole offense, just being able to get in and out, feel comfortable with working under a more rushed pressure kind of situation like that?
A. I think it felt fine. You end up having time-outs or out of bounds, so actually the final play of the drive was a stopped clock, but it doesn't feel a lot different than a normal drive. But we did have a couple no-huddle where we did speed up, and it's something we practice most every day, so it's very familiar.
Vikings Running Back Dalvin Cook
Q: What did you think when you broke free on your 85-yard touchdown carry?
A: Those guys did a great job of blocking. (Chad) Beebe and (Kyle) Rudolph made some great blocks downfield. (Kyle) Rudolph’s block sprung me free. I have to give credit to those guys.
Q: What did you think when you got to the second level?
A: I feel like if I get to the second level, it’s my job to change the scoreboard. As a running back, you only get to the secondary so many times. I have to take advantage of those moments.
Q: As limited as your snaps have been, was it important for you to play today?
A: I push myself in practice every day. I know I am in shape and I know I am in condition; however, there is nothing like being in game shape.
Q: Kirk Cousins seemed pretty disappointed. Why do you think that today wasn’t your best day?
A: I think we never found a rhythm. As a quarterback, you self-criticize yourself a lot. Quarterbacks take a lot on their shoulders. I understand why he is mad. The offense needs to evaluate ourselves and get better.
Q: How did you feel when Alexander Mattison found the end zone?
A: That’s my clone. He works hard every day without complaining. He asks me questions every day. He wants to learn. I was happy for him.
Q: The offense was able to have a few large gains on the ground. What are your overall thoughts on the run game today?
A: We work hard. It’s the little things that we do. To see those guys process things is definitely good.
Q: Have you been anxious to get out there for these first couple of games?
A: I’ve just been waiting for my turn. These coaches do a good job of putting me in good situations. I’ve been waiting for my number to be called.
Q: When did you get a sense that you were going to get a chance to play today?
A: Today. That’s how the league is. I have to be ready. I need to have my mind and body ready at any time.
Q: How have you been showing your appreciation to the offensive line?
A: The season is going to be a grind. I need to reward those guys as much as possible. A little spike in the end zone helps.
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Vikings Safety Jayron Kearse
Q: Being the number one pick overall, what did you think of Kyler [Murray]?
A: He can do a lot of things that most quarterbacks can’t do. We were able to keep him balled up running around the pocket, and having him go on the run was good for us to not allow any major plays from him scrambling.
Q: From a safety perspective, when you have a quarterback who can get outside of the pocket and extend plays, do you have to stay disciplined?
A: You have to stay disciplined at all times playing in this league, but even more so with guys that can scramble and get out of the pocket. You have to cover them, keep your eyes on your own guy.
Q: What’s it mean to you and the Vikings to be 3-0 so far in the preseason?
A: It is the preseason and you can be 3-0 or 4-0, and then go into the season and it may not mean anything. No, we are not really looking too much to go undefeated in the preseason. Week One is when we really want to strap it up and try to keep the winning way.
Q: Are you making the right kind of progress, based on what you have seen in the games and in practice?
A: Yeah, we are doing the right things. We are in the right positions and guys are making plays. I would say that we are taking the right step to get ready for the season opener.
Q: You have really risen your level of play coming into this year. What do you attribute that to?
A: I am comfortable with the defense and I have complete confidence in myself, knowing what I can do and what I can do well. That is what I attribute it to and to the coaches giving me the chance to go out there and showcase my talent.
Q: Where do you think you have made the biggest stride?
A: I would say my confidence. Coming in, as a rookie you have to fight for a roster spot, and you start to question yourself when you are making mistakes because you are already at the bottom of the depth chart. Right now, I am playing with the most confidence I have played with, and it is showing on the field.
Vikings Kicker Kaare Vedvik
Q: Were you able to decipher on the sideline what happened with those kicks and what needs to be fixed for next time?
A: It’s small things in the process when you are kicking that does not make it turn out the way you practiced. I just need to execute better.
Q: Did you have the same issue with both kicks, or were they separate?
A: They’re slightly different issues with each kick. Different hashes, different angles, the way the ball came off my foot, good trajectory and good height. It’s all about playing your angles better so that it goes the direction you want it to go.
Q: This is the first time in a preseason game where you have had to bounce back from some adversity. Does that feel different?
A: I do have high expectations of myself, and I did not perform the way I wanted to perform, but that is part of the game. You have got to come back and bounce back. You cannot let that stuff drag into your next game. Regardless of what happens, you have to be able to come back, keep calm and execute the way you want to execute.
Q: Do you have a routine that you do after a game to shake off a miss?
A: It’s more or less processing what happened when you miss. A pro can tell what he did wrong because he has practiced so many times, repeated the same motion, especially with kicking. You just have to come back and make sure you do not do the same thing twice.
Q: On a short week, how do you go about approaching the next preseason game?
A: I go in and replay whichever hash and see what happened with my swing. When you have a miss, you feel that it does not match the same swing that you normally have. Then you practice that swing over and over again. It really comes down to muscle memory, practicing the same motion so that you can execute in any condition or situation.
Vikings Running Back Mike Boone
Q: Things were just really coming around for you, what did you see out there today?
A: Same thing as the previous weeks. Seeing the holes open, shout out to the offensive line, and me doing what I am supposed to do, and that’s it.
Q: What was it like to see Dalvin (Cook) break one and be able to get into the end zone today?
A: That was amazing to see. Dalvin comes in and does some Dalvin Cook things. He broke off an 80-plus yarder, and it looked like he wasn’t even running fast. A great athlete, so shout out to Dalvin.
Q: You said you’re basically his clone, so how much have you learned from him?
A: A whole lot. Dalvin, everything he knows he tries to school me on. I give a big credit to Dalvin; he helps me out a lot from blocking schemes to pass protection.
Q: Talk about the camaraderie between you guys when different running backs are out there making plays?
A: We try to just be the same. When Dalvin comes out, we try to go in and produce like he can. Us having that bond outside of the building it shows. We’re happy for everybody, whether it be a two-yard run or an 80-yard run.
Q: Mike Zimmer said that your performance on special teams would matter a lot. How did you feel like that went today?
A: I tried to make some plays on special teams because that’s how you make the team. I go out and put my all towards special teams like I do running back, so hopefully I made a good impression.
Q: Throughout the preseason the running backs consistently made big plays every game, what do you think about the depth at your position?
A: I feel like it’s great to have depth. Like I said it’s a long season, a long game, and to have a guy you know can come in and be dependable when you come out it’s great. It makes the team that much more special and dynamic.
Vikings Left Tackle Riley Reiff
Q: What do you take from today’s up and down performance?
A: That’s the thing about the nfl though, every week you have an up week and a down week. You have to come back, learn from your mistakes, and correct them.
Q: Riley, how do you like (Rick) Dennison’s system?
A: I like it. I kind of came from a system like that in college. I have won a lot of games in that system, and I think it suits us well. Bottom line is that we have to go out and execute it.
Q: What’s his strength as a teacher?
A: Rick’s really smart. He’s been in that system for a long time. Him, coach (Gary) Kubiak, and (Kevin) Stefanski are great coaches too. We have some players who have played in that system, and systems matter but we have to go out there an execute it every down.
Vikings Safety Anthony Harris
Q: Are you happy with giving up field goals instead of touchdowns?
A: It is better to give up a field goal rather than a touchdown. However, if you start fast with special teams by pinning them deep with the kickoff and then do a good job on defense by forcing a three-and-out, then you give good opportunities to your special teams and offense by giving them a chance to start with a short field.
Q: How do you think you guys did today not giving Kyler Murray much of an opportunity to settle in?
A: I think the defense started well in the first possession by starting with a three-and-out. The guys seemed to have a lot of energy, running around, spotting the ball, and those are all positive things. But then the Cardinals started going for a little while so we need to keep up consistency.
Q: Everson (Griffen) gave a lot of pressure on the defensive line, keeping them moving quite a bit. What did you see with them being able to keep the Cardinals so off balance?
A: I think everybody kept fighting, even if a player was starting to fall off, they did a good job hustling over. Nobody relied on one guy to make a play. If you look at a couple plays where Kyler Murray was scrambling, we had two to three guys scrambling, trying to hustle over, corral him and keep him in the pocket.
Q: How do you keep a rookie quarterback like Kyler Murray off balance?
A: I think we just wanted to go out there and focus on ourselves. We know he is a younger player coming in. Our defense in the back end tried to do a good job disguising, giving different looks pre-snap and then just playing fast.
Q: What other things do you think the first-team defense needs to tweak?
A: I think we need to continue working on starting fast. This week we came out starting out and in previous weeks the offense had the chance to move the ball a little bit. As the weeks have gone on we have been able to hold teams to field goals, so we need to continue working on starting fast, not giving up plays and trying to get off the field as soon as possible.
Vikings Wide Receiver Bisi Johnson
Q: What was your take on the game today?
A: In the first half we had some behind the scene mistakes. We are definitely disappointed with that. In the second half, we definitely had some energy. We came alive as an offense. We came alive as a defense and had some stops.
Q: What is your mindset having to wait for your turn behind people like Adam Thielen, Chad Beebe, and Stefon Diggs?
A: I try to take advantage of every opportunity that I get because I am not going to get many. Any time I am on the field, I am going to try to make a play. I did that in the second half, but I needed to pick it up in the first half.
Q: Tell me about what you saw during the two-point conversion?
A: I know what I felt. I felt my foot hit. I can’t see the lines, but I felt my foot hit the end zone. It is the preseason and there aren’t as many camera angles.
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury
Q. Were you happy with the offensive execution today?
A. I thought we started faster. I thought we were more physical, looked more crisper on operation, fewer penalties, so those were all points of emphasis this week, and I felt like we accomplished that in the first half.
Q. Can you give us an explanation why you didn’t clap with Kyler? And why they still penalized you?
A. Yeah, I didn't get much of an explanation on that. I really didn't seek one. We’ll work through multiple cadences and did different things, so that's kind of where we're at on it.
Q. Are you going to go to a silent count?
A. We're still working through that. I'm hoping we'll come to a logical solution and figure that out. But it's still a work in progress.
Q. Is it getting under your skin, I know it's just a couple plays in the whole game, but does that stuff get under your skin when you talk before the game?
A. Yeah, I try not to let it bother me too much. I understand it's new and everybody is working through it, and like I said, I believe we'll come to a logical place with it. That's kind of where I'm at.
Q. Can you expand on your red zone possessions at the end?
A. You always want to score touchdowns, I think, when it comes to preseason game planning you're going to stay vanilla and your red zone offense isn’t going to be super complex, but we had some things we could have executed better, no doubt. I definitely could have called some better plays, as well.
Q. What did you think of Kyler today?
A. I thought he made good decisions, whether it was to take off or move or get out of the pocket, made quick decisions. Had some things we'd like to have back, but it's all about progress. Each week we wanted to get better, and this was playing against a very good defense and showed multiple looks, and I thought he handled himself fairly well.
Q. Protecting the football, that's something he's done three weeks in a row now without a mistake. How important is that for you?
A. That's going to be huge. As a young player you're going to have turnovers. The way he plays the game, he's going to try and make big plays, so those are going to come. But I think he's done a nice job of knowing when the party is over, throwing it away, going down. So we've just got to make sure that continues.
Q. Did you think Byron Murphy did okay?
A. I'll have to watch the film, but I know he had a heavy workload, and I think he competed well against some really good receivers. But I'll have to watch the film to kind of get a final grade on it.
Q. How much of the offensive playbook did we see today?
A. Yeah, I'm not going to get into percentages, but I think more than anything, it was more just game plan specific to what Minnesota was going to do on defense. I'll just leave it at that. I think we thought we had a couple things we to attack them on, and other than that, it was just pretty status quo.
Q. Is that it for Kyler until the Lions?
A. I believe that is unless we see something from the tape that we feel like we've got to get cleaned up, I feel like that will be his last live action until Week 1.
Q. How did the offensive line look?
A. I think it was -- I think having Justin Pugh back was a little bit of a boost. They've had a good camaraderie throughout the spring and the summer and then he went out, and we think Mason Cole is a very good player, as well, but I think they had a little camaraderie working and he seemed to bring a little juice to that group.
Q. Damiere Byrd and KeeSean Johnson made some nice plays today.
A. They have. They've really played well throughout camp and it was good to see Damiere separate on a deep ball and then have a couple stop routes that we felt like he executed perfectly, and then KeeSean, the ball keeps coming his way and he keeps making plays on it.
Q. Do you think Kyler is ready for his first NFL game?
A. I mean, as a rookie quarterback in the NFL, I don't know how ready you can be. You'll never be completely ready I don't think when it's your first game in the NFL. But he feels like he's in a good place talking to him. We've tried to push as many reps as possible, but that Week 1 is going to be a new experience for he and myself. We'll grow together and learn from it and see where it goes.
Q. I know you don't want to get into specifics, but in general is the biggest difference just the pace at which you'll play on September 8?
A. Yeah, we'll just have to leave that one out there. I don't want to get into specifics of what our offense will look like. But like I said, I think we were a little more game plan specific this week. We had installations, things of that nature - I felt like the sense of urgency to start the game was much improved from a week ago because of that.
Q. What have you seen from Zach Allen?
A. Zach Allen, he keeps flashing in practice. Has great get-off. Still a young player, still has a lot to learn, but he's a very smart player, works very hard at his craft, and to have T-Sizzle (Terrell Suggs) and Chandler Jones right next to you and giving you tips and helping you, that's a great spot for him to be in.
Q. You switched off at center for four series I think. What went into that?
A. Just wanted to get them both reps with the ones, and we feel like we have two guys that can start for us at center. Mason has the versatiity to bump around to a bunch of different spots, so it was good to get them both in.
Q. Was it easy to sit Patrick Peterson today?
A. It was easy. He's not playing for two months, and we knew that. We wanted to see what we had in the other guys. So it's always tough when you have one of the best cornerbacks in the game sitting over there watching, but we had a good plan going into the training camp and we stuck to it.
Q. Have you decided who the starting center will be at this point?
A. We have not. We'll go through this week and then finalize things.
Q. Could you tell what the issue was on the 85-yard touchdown run?
A. I couldn't. I thought outside of that, that first group really played physical and made some nice stops and plays and just can't obviously have that happen in this league.
Q. (Indiscernible). How valuable is that to get these guys in rhythm?
A. Yeah, that's what we wanted to do, like I said. We wanted to come out and control the football more and put together some drives. I felt like we did that for the most part. Didn't finish in the red zone, which we have to get better at, but there were some positives through that first half.
Q. Are you concerned about the rushing yards you gave up. Obviously the numbers are inflated a bit by the 85-yard run.
A. I'm not. Obviously you don't want that to happen, but I felt like it was much improved from a week ago. We just let that one get out, and we just have to keep getting better these next few weeks before Detroit.
Cardinals Quarterback Kyler Murray
Q. Are you confused about what's a clap, what's not a clap? You didn't use it in the first half. What was the thinking of not using it, and are you as confused as he is?
A. We used the silent count this week. All week we've been lifting our leg up, so that's what I was going to do in the game.
Q. Quarterbacks lift their leg up all the time.
A. Yeah, they clap, too, sometimes.
Q. How did you feel overall?
A. I feel good. I felt more comfortable, probably the most comfortable I've felt all preseason. But I think that's just due to reps, live-game reps. For me, I enjoy getting to play as much as we did today just because it was close to the real thing. Kind of happy with how it went going into -- the starters won't play this week, and then we'll go into the first week of the season.
Q. As objective as the refs are calling it, would you rather not use the clap at all?
A. To be honest, I really don't care, to be honest. Ball has got to be snapped some way.
Q. Are you one of those guys that would prefer to have reps in at the fourth preseason game, or are you content being geared up for week 1?
A. I would never say content, but I understand sitting out next week. Guys just need to stay healthy, kind of get a fresh start and be ready for the Lions.
Q. There were some good long drives out there. How nice was it to get some time of possession out there and get into a rhythm?
A. I think it's important for everybody's mental, just to feel good about what's going on. Obviously we didn't put the ball in the end zone, but that'll come. Still weren't game planning down there in the red zone, stuff like that. Really just running the plays that we've been running and trying to execute them better. I think this week was obviously better.
Q. About two thirds of your passing yardage was to Damiere Byrd and KeeSean Johnson. What did you see from them today that encouraged you to keep looking their way?
A. Just liked the match-ups on the outside. Talked all week, the guys that they have, obviously they had some guys over there that can play the DB position, but just having confidence in them to win their one-on-ones, and they did.
Q. Are you purposely going out of bounds earlier than you would because it's the preseason?
A. Yeah, and just being safe, always. If I can get more, I'll get more. If I can't, I don't want to take the hit or having to deal with that.
Q. How important is it to not have any turnovers through the preseason?
A. I'm just trying to take care of the ball. If I turn the ball over, it's part of the game, but yeah, I guess that's a good thing.
Q. It's only the preseason, but you did kind of want to end on a high note.
A. Yeah, nobody wants to -- knowing we're not playing next week, nobody wants to come out here today and kind of lay an egg. But like I said, we didn't put the ball in the end zone, but we sustained drives this week, and I think we were more consistent, and I think everybody felt better about it.
Q. The hand-off to David, it was 95 that grabbed you --
Q. Did you just kind of go down on your own?
A. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The corner was coming up, so I wasn't going to get anything. It's preseason. Even if it was an early season game, I would have still got down.
Q. How antsy do you think you're going to be for September 8?
A. Yeah, I think the deal is to not be antsy, just go out there and play. Be myself and play my game, trust my abilities, trust my teammates, and I think if we do that and execute our jobs, we'll be fine.
Q. Is the biggest difference we're not seeing in the preseason just the pace of the offense?
A. I don't know. I mean, we've got another week, another two weeks of work to put in, so just going to keep working hard every day.
Q. David Johnson was kind of messing with you during his interview earlier. It seems like you guys are really building a good rapport. How much confidence do you think you've gained with your teammates and how good do you feel moving forward?
A. I think everybody has kind of gained confidence in what's going on. You know, as a whole, you put that in practice, working hard. Obviously we haven't played a real game yet, but it's going to get real here pretty soon, so we'll see what everybody is about, and everybody will see what each other is about.
Q. You and KeeSean were seemingly on the page on that back shoulder. Do you feel like the chemistry with him has come along pretty well?
A. I think he's just a natural back shoulder runner. He's very fluid, very smooth, great body control, and we've had a lot of time together just throughout rookie mini camp, and that whole time when the vets had to leave, it was just rookies there, so I built a relationship with him on and off the field, so I think it just works like that.
Q. On that throw that Christian Kirk caught outside the end zone, was that just a late throw or were you looking somewhere else?
A. I'd have to go watch it, but it just didn't work out.
Q. David Johnson said you're acting like a leader, acting like a vet, that you're actually telling Larry Fitzgerald what to do. Does Larry listen to you?
A. I think so. I mean, at the end of the day, we want to win, so it's not about me being the young guy and him being a veteran. It's just us trying to get on the same page, get the job done, whatever that is.
Q. Did it feel good to uncork that ball to Damiere for a pretty big gain?
A. Yeah, like I said, that was part of watching film. We knew -- not knocking on Xavier Rhodes, obviously he's a great corner, but just something that we wanted to stretch the field this week. We got the look, and we executed.
Q. Damiere's being on the outside can kind of be a valuable weapon for you guys, can't it?
A. Yeah, definitely. You've got to have guys that can stretch the field.
Cardinals Quarterback Brett Hundley
Q: What was the problem on that false start?
A: How are we supposed to go on a two count if we can’t clap? The defense can yell all they want, but we can’t even clap without getting the ball. The quarterback not being able to do that makes it difficult.
Q: So you’re saying you can’t bring your hands in from the outside?
A: I am still confused. The problem is we naturally clap, so now without the clap we can’t get the snap. I don’t know what to do. I am still trying to figure it out.
Q: Are you at the point where you would just rather not even use it?
A: At this point, yes because we are going to go on a one count every time. I hope defenses know we are going on one every time. We have no idea till we get this figured out.
Q: Are you concerned about using it in the regular season?
A: Yea because it limits us to what we are trying to do. We can’t fake clap, clap, or even bring our hands outside. I have no idea right now. Everyone wants some clarification on the rule.
Cardinals Wide Receiver KeeSean Johnson
Q: How good is your chemistry with Kyler Murray? It seems on that back shoulder you guys were on the same page.
A: Whatever he feels as a quarterback either throwing top or back shoulder, it is just his read. I just come out here and catch the ball and adjust to him.
Q: Are you impressed by that throw that threaded the needle? What is it like catching those passes?
A: Having a quarterback like that behind there, is someone who trusts you and you can trust him to do his job, and then for me to be able to split those two defenders.
Q: Do you have to remind yourself that he is a rookie too?
A: Definitely, sometimes with the way he carries himself like a pro. He is just going to continue to get better and better.
Q: With the signing of Michael Crabtree, and with the way this offense is, do you outside receivers keep showing what you can do to get playing time and that you are still good targets?
A: We have been competing all camp and we will continue to compete day-in and day-out regardless if he is here.
Cardinals Defensive End Zach Allen
Q: How much did you refine your pass rush and how big will that be to your game moving forward?
A: In every play you want to try to disrupt it somehow, whether you’re the balance up guy in the rush or whatever, you got to get in there. I am fortunate to bring that from college and transfer it over.
Q: Is it film study that allowed you to get better at it?
A: I learned a lot from tape and just watching Chandler Jones. He’s the best doing it right now so tip your hat off to that. I think also part of it is just the more and more you play you get used to when the ball is coming out, so you just get used to it.
Q: In what specific ways do you get help from Chandler Jones on the outside or were they telling you on the field?
A: They’ve been terrific with me and very welcoming. I don’t really feel like a rookie; I just feel like one of the guys. I get to learn and pick up so much and they’ve played so much football, so they know so much that’s coming to them that I don’t even know. Having a guy like that is kind of like having answers to a test when you’re playing so very fortunate to play alongside them.
Q: Is there something specific you can recall, say during the game today, or that they tell you line up here or move this way a little bit?
A: They’ve seen a lot of football, so they know when and how to move and if it’s coming to you or going away. Just the whole week of preparation kind of learning so I was just very fortunate to have those two guys there.
Q: You guys gave up 190 yards on the ground but were you still encouraged by the way that the run defense plays out in comparison to the last two weeks? Is that your assessment as well?
A: I think you know we let up one run that went 85 yards so that brings down that total to 110-115. For a team that’s been averaging 170 per game this preseason, it’s pretty good to hold them to that. That’s a really good offensive line and some really good backs, Dalvin Cook, Mike Boone, and Alexander Mattison, so it’s obviously something to clean up and we are going to attack it tomorrow and the whole week. Just seeing steady progression is very uplifting.
Cardinals Running Back David Johnson
Q: On Kyler Murray’s performance:
A: He was good. He was really good at managing the offense. He was really good at changing the plays when they needed to be changed. He audibled the plays and changed the protections. Think about it, this is only his third game as a rookie. He will be good.
Q: On his individual performance as well as the offense’s performance as a whole:
A: Our offense is starting to really gel. It is tough when you go against our defense all of the time. Like I said, this is only our third preseason game. I felt like our offensive line did a great job opening up holes for me. I just really have to be able to get more yards when I have the opportunity.
Q: On the camaraderie already built between Kyler Murray and his teammates as well as the chemistry among the team as a whole:
A: He is definitely acting like a veteran. He’s already acting like a veteran telling everybody what to do, telling Larry [Fitzgerald] what to do. We have a good brotherhood here. I like the positivity that we have around each other and that we are always on each other. If things are not going right, then we are picking each other up. It has been a really good brotherhood for us.