Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Ok good team win today. I thought offensively we did a nice job mixing things but taking our shots and being aggressive and being physical and running the football. Rushed for 200 yards, scored touchdowns the first three possessions of the game. It was nice to flip the field position with Marcus [Sherels] and the punt return team a couple times today. I thought the one he was going to break. Defensively we played well most of the day. The touchdown, the 75- yard touchdown was my fault. It was a bad call. I had it in my mind all week I was going to call it and they kind of caught us. Good team win. It’s one; we’ve got some more to go.
Q: What did you think of Kevin Stefanski’s debut as a play caller?
A: I thought he did well. He was very calm, never got panicked at all during the day. I think there were times when he said something like, ‘I need to get back on schedule,’ or something like that, but it wasn’t really anything chaotic. I thought the other coaches helped him a lot today. I thought he did a good job.
Q: How did you feel about overall running the ball and how much effort was established coming in wanting to run the ball?
A: Well, I mean, it was working pretty good. We were hitting 5, 6 yards a carry and you know, [Dalvin] Cook is a pretty talented player and when he’s got the ball in his hands, typically good things happen. You know, Latavius [Murray] is obviously a good, hard, physical running back so I thought all that was good. When you’re running the ball it sets up play action passes.
Q: With the momentum change after the pick-six, did it feel like you won by 24 points?
A: Well at the end of the game but not in the third quarter. Again, we kind of let them back in the game a little bit. That 75- yard run, I told the players it’s my fault. I was trying to be aggressive today anyway. Now it gets back to a 17-10 game or whatever it was but then the guys bailed me out.
Q: How does that enable your pass rush when you play out in front?
A: Well today it helped when you have a lead and you have a chance to let guys loose. They had a lot of maximum protection in today. We had to change up quite a few of our blitzes to try and attack it different ways, then some guys beat some guys. I thought, obviously, the defensive line is pretty talented, but to go along with that I thought we covered outstanding today with the back end guys. When I did play man-to-man we covered them pretty well.
Q: What do you attribute to Mackensie Alexander’s improvement?
A: It really, since we’ve kind of gotten on a decent little roll here defensively he’s played well. He’s a lot more in tune to detail. I think Jerry [Gray] and Terence [Newman] have both helped quite a bit in those areas. He meets extra with George [Edwards] a lot. I just think all those things. His technique has been better. I think he’s understanding the defense and what we’re trying to do a little bit better as well, so I think that’s been a big plus for us this year.
Q: Do you see Mackensie Alexander just having a good feel for the blitz?
A: Yeah, honestly the offense is always looking for Harrison [Smith] to blitz. They’re on different sides most of the time so he’s had some free runners because Harrison does a nice job disguising when he is and when he’s not, so that’s part of it too.
Q: Do you want to see Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook work together?
A: I mean it wasn’t like we wanted to lean on him then. It was just the flow of the game and kind of how it went.
Q: How did Kevin Stefanski handle everything throughout this week?
A: He handled it well. I met with him last night. I met with him Friday afternoon, throughout the week. He was always calm and collected. I think Kevin knew what I wanted so I think that was part of it. There was many times there that he said, “I’m going to run the ball here. I’m going to run the ball here.” I think our offensive line appreciated the support. It’s easy when you’re getting five and six (yards) a pop.
Q: What did you think of the 3rd-and-1 call for the pass to Tyler Conklin?
A: We had, I won’t say how many, but we had some up and then they were kind of debating between that pass and another type of run. I think everybody felt like the defense they were in, that would probably be open.
Q: How much confidence can this give you going forward?
A: I think it gives the offensive players some confidence. Most of them were excited this week about the possibility of playing football the way we did today.
Q: How do you think the game plan was compared to the last few weeks?
A: It was cut back a little bit, yes, but it was more we got up there on the ball and went fast. We got up there a couple times and we had passes killed to runs and runs killed to passes. We got up there and just snapped the ball and didn’t really care what they’re in. The flow kind of helped that way… If you have 215 plays, you can’t call them all, anyways so that is part of it.
Q: What did you say to Kirk Cousins after the pick-six?
A: I didn’t say anything. Stuff happens during the course of the game. No one said anything to me when I called that 75-yard run except me. We were trying to throw wide receiver screens. The corner just kind of jumped out in front of it. The two bad hiccups were that one and the 75-yard run. Other than that, I was pretty pleased with the day.
Q: What happened on the 75-yard run?
A: I was trying to hit them in a blitz. It was kind of an overload. One guy ended up blocking two basically and then the back end didn’t get to the right place.
Q: What do you think the biggest difference was with Kirk Cousins?
A: I think he felt comfortable with what we were doing. I’ve talked to him a few times during the week this week. When you’re in 7th grade and you took the ball and you went out there in the backyard with your buddies, you don’t run plays. You just play the game. I think that is what he needs to do is just play the game and let it unfold. You don’t want to be reckless but stuff breaks down all the time. You might call something for cover-two and it’s two-man or something like that. Stuff happens. Just be a reactionary player and that is how guys play. I thought he did that today. There are times when he didn’t get the first down on the one scramble and it took him a little while before he ran but it’s just playing the game, you know.
Q: What went into having no Victory Monday?
A: Man, how did you find out so fast? Twitter. My daughter loves Twitter. Number one, I thought the offensive line needed to see this thing today, what we are able of accomplishing when we do the right things. Number two, I thought that kind of a new offense. I thought go in there and sit in there together and watch the tape and talk about things and go from there. Number three, we have two more important games left. We can’t feel all great. I mean today we can, but we have to get back to work.
Q: Was the few three-and-outs just Kevin Stefanski learning the adjustments of the game?
A: Most guys over there are good players, too. So sometimes that happens. Obviously, you don’t want to get three-and-outs and things like that but every one of these guys that they are playing against are either Pro-Bowlers or professional football players. They might beat us on a block or they might beat us on a sack or whatever. Stuff happens throughout the course of the game. Obviously we want to try to correct those things but stuff happens.
Q: What is the advantage of having Kirk Cousins under center more and play actions?
A: Play-actions are better under center. There is more suck by the defense; there is more suck by linebackers, by the safeties when they’re under center. It’s very simple.
Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins
Q: What was this game like for Kevin Stefanski, and what do you think it meant to him?
A: I don’t know, you’d have to ask him. I can’t speak for him. Obviously he’s been here a long time and understands NFL football and offensive football. I’m happy for him, and happy for this team right now after a big home win.
Q: What did you like about his play calling?
A: I go back to that it’s not the plays such much as the players and the execution. I’ll go back to game after game this year where the plays are there, they’re good plays, but we’ve got to execute. We’ve got to make the coaches right. Today I think there was execution early, quickly, and that enabled us to jump out to a lead and put our defense in a position where they like to be, and it went from there.
Q: On those first three drives, when you’re under center as many times as you were, how does that benefit you?
A: Well you try to be multiple when you’re in the shotgun and when you’re under center. You really try to make sure the whole offense is available to you in both spots. I don’t know that I have a whole lot of thought of when I’m under center or in the gun, I think we like to be multiple in both settings and make the defense feel like we can really call anything here no matter where the quarterback is aligned.
Q: How good was it for Dalvin Cook to have a game like this?
A: He did a great job, and he showed the elite ability that he has to make people miss. Last week we had a run, his touchdown run, his early one, we had the exact same play called last week to the exact same side. The corner was unblocked, exactly like he was today, and the corner made the tackle last week. On the sidelines I said to him, “Next time, the corner doesn’t make that tackle and you make him miss, and if you make him miss it’s a big play.” Today, I handed it off and I had a front-row seat. I saw that corner there and said, “make him miss.” And he did, he ran for a touchdown. You can’t block all of them, but that’s why you try to get the most talented running backs that you can, because if they can make the unblocked player miss they can be very dynamic.
Q: A lot of guys were saying execution was the key, but can the play calling effect the execution?
A: I think play calling has a massive role, certainly. But it’s not just the selection of plays from the coaches perspective, it’s the installation of it on Wednesday that’s going to affect execution. There are so many variables from a coaches perspective that are going to influence a player’s ability to execute, but certainly with the plays they select and when they select them, you’re trying to put players in a position to be successful and make life easy for the quarterback, the running backs, the offensive line. Give them the ability to be on the upper hand with the play call as opposed to putting a player in a position where he’s got to make it happen himself. That’s the balance that a play caller is trying to walk, trying to find all game long and all year long.
Q: What broke down on the pick-six?
A: I think you guys saw it. I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t know. It’s a screen, it’s a receiver screen, it’s quick hitting. I’m trying to negotiate the defensive end thinking the guy who picked it going to be blocked and he wasn’t blocked. He jumped it and he guessed right. It’s a bang-bang play and we’ve thrown a lot of those this season and had a lot of success on them. Every single one of them is tight like that, it can be scary and you’re expecting that player to get influenced and picked in such a way that the receiver can catch it and go right around him. In this case he jumped it and you saw the rest
Q: You had a big touchdown to Aldrick Robinson, talk about your chemistry with him?
A: It was a big pickup to get him. I think we got him before Week 3 maybe. Prior to that I hadn’t worked with him in years. He’s a guy that you’d love to have OTAs, training camps to be able to build that rapport and get caught up to speed, but we were kind of hitting the ground running with him in Week 3 and incorporating him into our offense. He has really good movement skills and has great top-end speed, has played a lot of football in this league. He was with the Falcons when they went to the Super Bowl, so he knows what winning football should look like. He’s a great teammate. Adam [Thielen] and [Stefon] Diggsy made that comment to me after Aldrick [Robinson] had been here a couple weeks, “We really like as a guy. He fits in well.” That’s another piece of the puzzle when you pick up a guy in Week 3 you’re trying to figure out is a good fit. He’s been a good teammate and I’m so happy for him and the success he’s had, especially finding the end zone.
Q: How hard is it to gain momentum in a game?
A: I guess you’re asking me how hard it is to win a football game. The minute you win the game you have momentum. When you lose a game you don’t have momentum. These are 16 separate stages and I know we like to try to tell a story and talk about how because this happened last week we can predict what happened this week. that’s not how NFL football works. They’re each their own stage, they’re 16 individual opportunities and certainly you win and you can get some momentum. But you better bring it the next Sunday and we showed up today and started fast, played complementary football all game long and the result was what it was. Now we have to regroup, go into a tough environment in Detroit and find a way to win and hopefully put ourselves in position to still be playing meaningful football here past the regular season.
Q: Did being under center help the line blocking?
A: I don’t know specifically if being under center helped Pat Elflein, if that’s what you’re asking or what that pertains to. You’d have to ask coach. Our offensive line executed well. Our run game is not just the offensive line though – it’s running backs making unblocked people miss, tight ends solidifying the edge, it’s receivers going and digging people out. It’s everybody. I’m just proud of the way we were able to run the football and throughout the game. It certainly was a big part of storyline of this game.
Q: What’s it like hearing Kevin Stefanski in your headset now rather than being in the box?
A: It’s one of those pieces when you bring in a new coordinator to finish the season that is something you have to adjust to. It’s not a huge adjustment in the sense that he was a phone call away when he was up in the box and I’d grab the phone and talk to him and we had an ongoing conversation throughout the game. You got a different person running the offense, calling the offense, standing in front of meetings and at halftime – that type of thing. Again, because he’s been here for so long I think many of the players that have been here feel really comfortable with him because they know him and they know he knows them as well.
Q: How important will it be getting the complementary players involved more as teams take away Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen?
A: I think maybe more important than getting other people involved, because there is only one football, is finding opportunities where Diggs and Thielen aren’t taken away or doubled. Let’s call the plays to get them the football, when we’re getting a single high structure and the strong safety is down in the box and they’re calling the defense to stop the run then we know we have Adam and Stefon one on one on a side or in a favorable position and let them do what they do well. At times, you get in a position where in those looks you run the ball and then 2nd and long, now the defense is saying ‘you’re throwing it well we’re gonna take those guys away’. So, giving those guys opportunities to do what they do well in favorable situations is really important because at the end of the day, if you are going to be 2nd and 10, they’re going to play a split safety and they’re daring you to run the ball again. So, we have to try to get the right calls and the right checks. For me, at the line of scrimmage, I need to get to the right plays against the right looks.
Q: What does 41 points say about your offense?
A: It’s so much more than the offense. You look at Marcus Sherels punt return gave us three points, we didn’t do anything as an offense, we were terrible. We went three plays and out. I walked off the field, undoing my chin strap, and I’m ticked off and we get three points out of it. That’s not our offense. Then, [Dolphins] go for it on 4th and 11 and our defense gets a sack. It gives us the ball on the 20 or 15 yard line, that’s not our offense. That’s our defense and that’s the whole team putting the Dolphins in a position where they have to go for it on 4th and 11, backed up in their own territory. When you start to play complementary football certain phases of football start to look really good, when maybe it’s other people helping you out. Guess what? The reason there’s nine sacks is because we scored 21 points in the first quarter and it gave our defense the opportunity to pin their ears back and go. So, it’s everybody working together and that’s NFL football, team football.
Q: Do you think this is the most complete game you guys have played this year?
A: I don’t know, I would have to go back through and look, we’ve played so many now. I do think when you look at different stats and numbers or different production, I would think yes, there was a lot of production in different phases.
Q: What are your thoughts on Chicago wrapping up the NFC north title?
A: I don’t really have any thoughts. That body of work has been over many weeks and they’ve had a great year and done a great job. They’ll be a force in the playoffs. It’s our job these last two weeks to play at a level that may give us an opportunity to get in to the playoffs and if not play them, play someone else. Just to be in the playoffs is where my focus is.
Vikings Defensive End Danielle Hunter
Q: On the Dolphins’ 75 yard touchdown…
A: It was just a bad play and a bad play call. That is all I can say about that.
Q: On how big this game was…
A: Every game is a big game. We know what is at stake in front of us. We just have to focus in and keep doing what we are doing right now. We just need to have the same mentality on defense and execute. We also need to execute on offense and special teams.
Q: On reaching 40 career sacks and being compared to guys like Alan Page and John Randle…
A: It is a good feeling. Obviously, I did not do it by myself. Since day one, I have been taking notes from everybody else who was around me, a good organization, coaches, and players, but it is definitely a good feeling to know that you are in good company.
Q: On if it felt like the defense was in the locked in and focused…
A: Definitely, especially when the offense was doing what they were doing out there, racking up points. All we needed to worry about was just pinning our ears back and just rushing the passer.
Q: On back to back sacks with Anthony Barr…
A: Anytime you get sacks back to back, that’s a real advantage to the defense. The offense loses yards and it enables us to call plays where it enables the quarterback to try to get the ball out of his hands quicker. It was a part of the game plan, just focusing in and just doing what we needed to do in order to affect the quarterback.
Q: On if he has talked to Alan Page at all…
A: I have seen him around the community sometimes. We have done some community work like the playground builds and all of that. I have not really been talking to him that much, but I should now.
Vikings Tight End Kyle Rudolph
Q: On the offensive success during the game…
A: We realized early in the week that it was time to stop talking and time to start doing. Kevin [Stefanski] did an unbelievable job creating a plan that allowed us to go out there and let our ability take over. He got everyone involved; every playmaker on offense was out there making plays for us. When you run the ball for over 200 yards and have over 400 yards of offense, it makes things fun.
Q: On using high tempo throughout the game on offense…
A: I thought that was something we did really well last year. There is a difference between going high tempo an entire drive and using tempo intermittently. I thought that was something that Kevin [Stefanski] did really well. It seemed as though every time we got the ball and used tempo, we had success.
Q: 21-0 is a nice lead to have right?
A: Absolutely, we always talk about wanting to start fast. Starting fast allows us to then lean on the run game more. When we are playing with a lead, we get more cracks at it. When we are playing from behind and we are not converting third downs, everyone wonders where our run game is. Today we were great on third down and great getting off to a fast start to let those guys run for four quarters.
Q: Pressure after tough road games over the last few weeks…
A: It was definitely exciting to come back and play a game at noon at home. I can’t wait to be on my couch here in about a half hour and watch everyone else play and not get back at 4:30 a.m. on a road trip. This was a big one for us; to come home and reestablish what our identity is as a football team, but more so as an offense. We want to be a physical, run-first team that takes advantage of play-action, and I thought we did that well today.
Q: On controlling their own destiny in the playoff race…
A: We have known all along. It seems like every week we come back and it’s the same song and dance. We are still in the playoffs; we still control our own destiny. We just have to go out and win games. We finally stopped talking about it and went out and did it today.
Q: On the defensive performance…
A: Those guys really got after it today. I think I looked up at one point and they had about 36 yards of passing. That’s incredible in today’s game, with the rules now that favor the offense, to only allow 36 yards of passing. They got after it and obviously Marcus [Sherels] had a huge punt return on special teams and complementary football is what we believe in.
Q: Was this the most complete game so far this season?
A: Yeah, I think back to the Packers game on Sunday night. We have done it a couple times this season. When we do have a complete performance, we are really tough to beat. Now it’s about doing it over again next week. We have to play consistent; last year we did it for 10 weeks in a row and now it’s time for us to get hot.
Q: On Interim Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski…
A: I think Kevin [Stefanski] was as prepared as anyone for this opportunity. He has been here the longest out of anyone on the offense. He’s a guy that has worked under many different offensive coordinators; he saw what they did well, maybe what they did not do as well, and what he would do once it was his turn. I think you saw that throughout the week with little changes. He didn’t come in and overhaul everything. There were things we did a little bit differently this week that you could tell Kevin [Stefanski] was waiting for his opportunity to do this. I think he learned a lot of things last year from our offense and what Pat [Shurmur] did with this offense that we got back to today.
Vikings Linebacker Eric Kendricks
Q: On the defense getting so many sacks…
A: Know who you got and know when you’re going. Then when your name or number is called, you got a free shot, you got to make the play. That’s what happened today, a lot of people made plays.
Q: On everyone on the team doing their part…
A: You know, we got to be locked in. We need to communicate, we had a couple crazy looks and things like that, but we stayed deep and played pretty well.
Q: On seeing the ball being spread around on offense…
A: Our return game as well. Anytime we get some explosive returns and things like that, you get different guys on offense, and you get the run game going, you know it’s a win for the Vikings.
Vikings Defensive Lineman Everson Griffen
*Q: Mood after first touchdown of second half by Dolphins… *
A: Honestly, in this game of football things are going to happen and mistakes are going to happen. You can’t allow yourself to get frustrated, we just came back and regrouped, played our keys, and stayed on task. Everything worked out for us.
Q: Do you get to a part of the game where you have an answer for everything…
A: There is a certain point, but you always have to go back to home. You have to get back to your technique and run to the ball and do all the right things.
Q: So many different guys got sacks today…
A: They don’t know where we are going to come from. We could come from the left, right, it really doesn’t matter. The biggest thing is is we do it together. Wo don’t have any selfish players, we do it for one another and we go out there and celebrate together.
Vikings Linebacker Anthony Barr
Q: On the team having fun in today’s game…
A: It’s a lot of fun. The offense was scoring points and giving us confidence defensively. We played well on defense for the most part. We started the second half not how we wanted, but other than that, we were pretty good.
Q: On the Dolphins scoring a touchdown after the half…
A: They caught us in a tough situation there. It was a good play call by them and they made a good play.
Q: On if sacks are the goal…
A: The goal is to win, so I think sacks play a part in that.
Q: On how fun it was to see other teammates getting sacks…
A: We are not a selfish group. I don’t think stats always tell the full story about the player or defense. People like to cling to that. We play un-selfish for the most part, and when we do, we play well.
Vikings Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs
Q: On game mindset…
A: Starting fast, pushing the tempo each and every play. Stay in the moment and play smart.
Q: On early touchdown…
A: Just doing as I’m told. Running the ball. As a player you just have to buy in, new coach, just buy in on whatever he wants done and just go make the plays for him. At the end of the day that’s all we have to do. Receivers just have to catch the ball and try to move the sticks. Everyone saw Dalvin [Cook] today; I’m a huge fan of Dalvin [Cook]. See him get going and see what I’ve always seen.
Q: On the offensive line…
A: They did a hell of a job. They love it. As far as pushing the tempo, firing the ball, they get excited.
Q: On the lull in the middle of the game…
A: That’s any game. Adversity is going to hit in any game. Things happen and being able to adjust, and the fact that we were able to adjust and get back up and on schedule, picking up the plays.
Q: On receptions…
A: It’s cool. We’re still chipping away at a lot of stuff but as far as getting wins and putting points on the board, it’s cool. Our running back is running crazy, our offensive line is blocking, our quarterback is balling, so I’m excited for the things to come. On to Detroit.
Q: On new offensive coordinator…
A: Everybody is just trying to buy in. You can’t expect 40 points every time, but if we can do it, we’re going to do it. As far as the plays coming up, you just have to make them. It’s not really anything other than that. Come ready to play.
Vikings Wide Receiver Adam Thielen
Q: On the game plan…
A: It was simpler, but we definitely still had everything that we needed and again, coach did a great job of keeping the defense on their heels. They didn’t know if it was a run or pass. Obviously he let the guys who were playing well and playing hot take over and carry our offense.
Q: On Dalvin…
A: That’s the guy we see every day in practice. The guy that we’ve been waiting to give those opportunities to and to carry this offense. We know that’s what kind of player he is and what he means to this offense. We’re going to need that moving forward and we’re going to ride that into the rest of the year.
Q: On the score…
A: That’s how this league works, teams aren’t going to quit in this league. Everybody’s playing for their job, everybody is playing for their team. You know you’re going to get the best, and it doesn’t matter if a team is down 21 points, they are going to keep fighting. We know that’s what’s going to happen, that says a lot about a team when you’re able to come back from some negative plays, and keep going on and keep coming out there and keep driving.
Q: On the offense…
A: The offense wasn’t different, we just had the plays that we wanted to run and we ran them and executed.
Q: On the tempo…
A: I think coach did a great job of finding out when a good time was to get it in the tempo and when things were going well to stay in the tempo. Obviously he did a really good job, all of the coaches did, of keeping it simple when we are getting on the ball. Keep it simple for us and let us go play.
Vikings Defensive Lineman Stephen Weatherly
Q: You guys came in waves in that fourth quarter…
A: That was our rush plan. That was just us executing our rush plan we put in earlier in the week. We knew we wanted to attack them by getting to a point where we could use it by stopping the run. Most importantly our offense scoring points. We can stop the run all day, but if it is a close game they are going to stick to that game plan with the run or play action pass. With our offense scoring and scoring and everything they did it really helped us.
Q: Was it a breakdown for the 75 yard touchdown or was it a great run?
A: We messed that up it was something that we did as a defense.
Q: About bouncing back today…
A: It is that time of year, the playoffs start now. Every game is a playoff game. We have no more room for error point blank period. We want to do what we want to do starting these next three games. One down, two to go.
Vikings Running Back Dalvin Cook
Q: Did you know you were going to get to carry the ball that many times?
A: No, according to the game plan we just wanted to go out there and get back to playing like how we know we can play. That is going out there having fun and executing, but you have to start by giving a shout out to the offensive line. They open holes, I hit them. Receivers making blocks down the field. All of that equals big plays. We were just trying to get back to executing. Today we did that.
Q: Did you simplify the game plan at all?
A: I don’t know what coach did. I don’t know. He was dialing it up though. I can tell you that, he was dialing it up today. We know coach Stefanski he wasn’t going to call any plays scared, just because he just got the job. He was going to go out there and have 100 percent trust in us because he knows the type of guys he has around him we are going to give 100 percent every play for him. He dialed it up today.
Q: Did you like the quicker tempo today?
A: Yeah, it got them off balance. We knew that they try to do a lot of communication and get a lot of guys lined up. We knew if we could get on the ball, and get the jump on them we could have some big plays out there.
Q: On the offensive line today…
A: No them, no me. That is the message. The way they delivered today, unbelievable. They opened holes that were, too big. Y’all probably could’ve hit those holes. They were big today. You have to give all the credit to those guys. That is why I told Pat Elflein, that first touchdown one of them had to spike it, and he was the guy.
Q: What do you think worked today?
A: Execution. That’s all there is to it. We have to execute. Today we went out there and executed, offensive line had that mindset.
Q: What was it like to get David Morgan back?
A: Big. Big. Very big. When you have a guy who can block an end, and go down there and block a linebacker. It is big. We use Kyle Rudolph a lot and to get him a break and have Dave go in there and do the dirty work. That is big.
Q: On having 20+ carries…
A: I love that. We got the win so we love that. When the ball gets in my hands, I am going to try to make a play every time. No matter if I get ten, five, no matter how many carries I get. My job is to make plays. Today I went out there and made a few plays.
Q: On confidence in new coordinator after today…
A: We felt it in practice all week. The way we were flying around. The way guys got lined up, you felt the sense of urgency to get things done. It carried over to the game, and you saw how we executed at a high level.
Q: Was the first touchdown designed to go outside?
A: No, no. I felt the corner ease in a little bit. I felt like I could get the edge, and he sure enough gave it to me. So, I took it.
Q: Is this the type of game you have been waiting for?
A: It has been awhile. We would be a man away, a trip away, just little things away. That is big in the NFL, just the little details that will get you over the hump. Today we took care of the little details, we ran the ball pretty good. That is what we have to do moving forward.
Q: Were you surprised by the lack of carries the past few weeks?
A: We are not going backwards. We are going forwards. We had a good game plan today. We executed, we won today. We are going forward from here. Everything that happened in the past is gone. We can’t control that. We can’t do anything about that. We can control what we can control right now.
Vikings Center Pat Elflein
Q: What is the advantage to having Kirk under center?
A: Just mixing up different looks to give the defense.
Q: So, what was different in this game?
A: I think we executed better, I think guys played better, and we had a very good sense of urgency and I think we were executing across the board.
Q: How much confidence do you feel like you had going into the game and with the success you had early?
A: We knew we had to come to work today and get stuff done. You know we weren’t, overanxious about it, but we had a sense of urgency today. So, we came to work with a sense of urgency and played like that.
Q: When you see him coming out of the gate and you have that fast tempo you guys put 21 points up real fast, how does that make you guys as an O-line feel after everything you’ve been through?
A: Makes you kind of get in a rhythm, get some confidence, and just out there having fun, that’s what it feels like.
Q: You guys overcame frustrations with some of the penalties too, right? What was the key to putting those in the past and moving forward?
A: Yep. Just keeping that sense of urgency that we started with. Even though you got some of those penalties that set you back, just still keeping that same mindset that, hey, we have to go and put that behind us and keep going and keep attacking and be on the attack mode. That was what kept us going.
Q: Are you guys tense at all? I mean, you guys came out and started fast, they get close. That was as tense a 41-17 game as I remember seeing.
A: Yeah, you know games are always tense but you just got to keep the pressure on and keep attacking and be urgent.
Q: How much confidence can this give you moving forward with a new offensive coordinator, 40 plus points, 400 plus yards?
A: Just going out and doing our job, doing your job in general will give you some confidence so, I think we gained some today.
Q: Does something change when he goes back in shotgun, because it wasn’t quite as smooth once he went back into shotgun?
A: No, not for us offensively nothing changes.