EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner, Defensive Coordinator George Edwards and Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer spoke to members of the media on Friday as the Vikings prepare to host the Giants on Monday Night Football.
The matchup will be Minnesota's second home game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"We have one regular-season experience in our stadium, and it was unbelievable," Turner said. "The crowd was awesome, and I think it was a big part of how we played. It's exciting to get back home on a Monday night. Our group's going to be geared up, our fans are going to be geared up. We're playing a really good football team, so I think everybody understands what it is."
Here are two other topics covered by Turner in his podium session:
McKinnon finding the gaps
Some of Jerick McKinnon's biggest runs have come between the tackles, and Turner said it's not anything new from the third-year running back.
"It's interesting, because he's had his biggest plays between the tackles, even two years ago. But he's a complete runner. He can run on the edges, as we tried to do last week, and he's – to me – a good runner between the tackles. He and Matt [Asiata] give us a good complement."
Turner said part of the reason McKinnon is so successful in that way is because he's observant.
"He does a good job of having patience, and sometimes he hesitates," Turner said. "We've seen him with a long run against the Giants a year ago in the fourth quarter – it's almost like he came to a stop, saw a hole and hit it."
Bradford gaining comfort
Turner said Sam Bradford has done a great job getting a feel of the Vikings offensive system and the overview of how the system works. An area Bradford has also grown in lately is comfort in making calls at the line of scrimmage.
"Each week […] there's going to be different calls, there's going to be different checks, there's going to be different protection calls, and that's what's new to him," Turner said. "In some of these instances where we go no-huddle, when you're on the line, it has to be ingrained. It can't be a little hesitation, and I think that's where he's improved a great deal.
Here are two topics covered by Edwards:
One play at a time
When asked if offenses have an advantage with a lineup of scripted plays to start the game, Edwards said he doesn't necessarily view it that way.
"They know exactly what they're going to go out to do as far as execute," Edwards said. "But for us, all we can do is concentrate and focus on one play at a time and handle the situation. We always talk about situational football, and that's one of the situations that we have to be focused on – be ready to adjust, do a great job of communication and do a good job with the fundamentals of tackling."
Danielle's tool box
Second-year defensive end Danielle Hunter has consistently made big plays over the Vikings first three games. Heading into Monday night, Hunter has three sacks, a safety and a fumble return for a touchdown.
Edwards said Hunter's hard work during the offseason is showing when he hits the field on game day.
"He seems to be getting better from week to week," Edwards said. "Understanding the pass-rush game, understanding the different things as far as the run. So we're excited where he's at right now and look forward to him continuing to progress.
"I think we've been able to increase his tool box," Edwards added. "I think [defensive line coach Andre Patterson] has done an excellent job as far as his pass rush and his tool box and acclimated him on what he's going to see from week to week."
Here are two topics covered by Priefer:
Patterson's new special teams role
Priefer is used to working with Cordarrelle Patterson as a kickoff returner, but last Sunday he tried Patterson out as a gunner – and the result was successful. Priefer said the idea to use Patterson in that role originated last year, but the timing was right to make it happen last week.
After one of two big plays at Carolina included Patterson splitting a double team and getting downfield, Priefer said he expects opposing teams to be more intentional about defending him moving forward.
"He's going to be a hard guy to block 1-on-1," Priefer said. "It depends on who the corner is, and you're going to have to have a bigger player out there, and I'm sure teams will have to vice him if they're going to try to slow him down."
Experience key to Sherels' success
Marcus Sherels last week bagged his fourth career punt return for a touchdown. Priefer said that a combination of maturity and experience has helped Sherels develop into such a reliable player.
"I think he's taken every punt in the past six years," Priefer said of Sherels. "He's been a guy that's very reliable – he's always been out there. And he's willing to learn, and he's willing to listen. He's willing to study the opposing team's punter, their gunners, how they cover, what our objectives are.
"There are little nuances that are different every week," Priefer continued. "We're trying to take advantage of what we do well, or what they don't do as well, and try to take their best player out of the game. Because he understands all that, he's not just catching it and running it. He's got all that information."