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Transcript: Coordinators Addressed the Media Thursday

Vikings Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo

It's good to see everybody. Appreciate everyone coming out. Obviously, great to start off 1-0 and start off the season on the right foot. It thought our guys played extremely hard. I thought they executed well. Not perfect at times, but executed well for the first game against a darn good football team. I think that team that we played on Sunday, before it's all said and done, is going to end up winning a lot of football games. That was definitely a good team we beat on Sunday. Obviously, now is the opportunity for us to go up to Lambeau to open up divisional play on the road. We are going to have to do a great job of handling the environment, handling the noise and doing a great job of pre and post snap communication about everything we are doing offensively.

Q: How do you think Dalvin Cook played on Sunday?

A: Absolutely. I thought Dalvin did a really nice job in all phases. I thought he did a nice job in pass protection. I thought he did a nice job catching the football and obviously, running the football. Obviously, we can't have that fumble and he knows that. Everyone knows that. He will do a much better job of ball security this week. That is just one of those things. You get into a live game for the first time in a long time and it's the little things like that. You have to wrap the ball up when you're in traffic. Everything before the fumble was awesome. You see him break about eight tackles. We just have to finish that play on a more positive note.

Q: What have you seen from Dalvin Cook in terms of his talents catching the ball?

A: The first thing is it is a credit to him is that he has bought into what we are trying to do with him. We want him to get the football in a bunch of different spots. You saw him the first play of the game where we hopped him over and basically just threw a pass. But really we just tossed him the football and he got us nine yards. Anytime you get your playmakers some space that is what you want to do. We are going to continue to do that with him, and not only him, but all of our playmakers.

Q: How do you think Latavius Murray is a complement to him?

A: Obviously, Latavius, you go in there and see him on the first run. I think it was an eight or nine yard run on the first run in there. Latavius is a heck of a player. I've said before, I think we have two starting tailbacks on our team. Don't underestimate Latavius' ability to catch the football either. You saw him in the Seattle game catch the ball and get us a nice third-and-long conversion. Both those guys bring a lot, a lot of skillsets and different skillsets to the table for our team.

Q: What have you seen from Latavius Murray about how he handles the role that he has?

A: Latavius is a team guy all the way. He's been that way since he was a rookie when we drafted him when I was in Oakland. He's just been a high, high character person who happens to be a really good football player. We are thrilled he's here. He's been great. He's worrying about his own job and obviously helping out the younger guys as well. We have a young room there. We have a young room there. He's kind of the elder statesman of the room there. He's done a great job of helping those guys out, especially those three young guys.

Q: When you see rookies corners in general, what goes through your mind as an offensive coordinator putting together a game plan?

A: Yeah, you watch on tape. Obviously, some rookie corners are better than others. Everyone in the National Football League is here for a reason. If they are starting, obviously they are really, really good. Our motto on offense is with anybody, whether it be a corner or a linebacker or a defensive lineman, we respect everybody but fear nobody. That is the way we approach every player on defense.

Q: What did you think about the play of the offensive line?

A: I thought our initial contact at the line of scrimmage was good. I think we need to do a better job of getting to the second level. Those guys at San Francisco had a ton of length. They get on you and it's hard to get over those big men that were out there on Sunday. We just need to do a better job getting off to the second level which I know we will. We have been stressing that this week. Like I said, that is a really good football team and a really good front we played on Sunday.

Q: What do you want to see from Brett Jones if he has to play again on Sunday?

A: Just continue to do what he is doing. I think we had the one miscue on the snap down the one false start penalty which I know we are going to get corrected. The thing I know we are going to have to do this week with him, like I talked about earlier with him, the communication and the noise. We have to be ready for the noise and the environment up there in Lambeau. We are expecting the crowd to be a pretty hostile crowd. It should be. It's a rivalry game. It's an NFC North game, old school. Just keep doing what you're doing and getting better.

Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer

Obviously, this is a huge ball game, divisional game on the road. Coach [Zimmer] talked the other day, you win this one it's like winning two games it's a big, big deal. I felt we did a real nice job this past Sunday. I thought our crowd was fantastic. It was a big win for us opening day. It wasn't perfect, we made some mistakes, but I thought we got better. Thought our guys played hard and we need a lot more of that effort on Sunday against Green Bay because they're well coached, they play hard, everything they do is fast. They throw wrinkles in there to keep you off balanced. Ty Montgomery now returning kicks. When he came into the league he was a great kickoff returner out of Stanford. Then you have Randall Cobb who is a great punt returner early in his career now. He doesn't look like he's lost a step at all. So like usual we've have our work cut out for us. They've got two good returners. Mason Crosby, veteran kicker, has had a phenomenal career, especially in Green Bay the way he just performs year after year. They have a rookie punter and rookie long snapper that are very talented so we have to go out there play hard, play fast, and help our football team with football position and help our football team win a game.

Q: How did you think Matt Wile did?

A: Matt did a really nice job. We had six punts and he had five pluses and one real bad minus. The five pluses were huge we pinned them inside the 20 four times and out of those four drives we had two interceptions – one a pick-six, our defense did. We stopped them and got the ball back with decent field position for our offense we went down and kicked a field goal early in the game and then the last one I think they got a decent drive and got a field goal out of it. So, out of the four drives we really, really helped our football team when we pinned them. The one punt he had that went 29 yards you just drop it inside. Fourth quarter, seven minutes to-go in the of an eight point game we've got to do a better job of that. If you get rid of that mistake, if his mishit is 40 yards, 4.2 and we force a fair catch then we're doing fine. But the mishit that's 29 yards out of bounds in the fourth quarter we have to eliminate that. Overall I thought that Matt did a good job.

Q: How did you think he did as a holder?

A: He did a real good job as a holder. Kevin [McDermott] makes it easy. I'll be honest with you, Kevin, probably if not the best snapper in the league one of the top-five in punts and field goals. He does a phenomenal job for us. He made Matt's job easy. I thought Matt worked hard all week and prepared himself and Daniel [Carlson] did a real nice job believing in Matt and then went out and made all his kicks.

Q: You guys are making an early trip to Lambeau Field, how do you think that will help you?

A: Well, it's going to be warmer, about 80 degrees warmer than the last time we were there. The field conditions, they always do a really good job taking care of that field even when it's bad weather. So the grass will be good, footing will be good. I don't know what the winds will be like but practicing out here all week is really going to help us. We've had wind all week and we'll continue to do so today. That's going to help prepare us for the game. At the end of the day they're playing on the same surface we are and we tell our guys all the time, no matter what time of year, if we're indoors, outdoors, whatever venue we're in our opponents playing on that surface as well. So we just have to go out there and execute like we normally do.

Q: Daniel Carlson was five for five on touchbacks, is that the goal all the time?

A: Well, I think there will be to be honest with you. I think this first game we really wanted to establish ourselves as a kickoff team that can kick touchbacks when we need them and the way our defense was playing we decided to keep kicking those touchbacks, especially indoors. But there will be teams that we're going to want to challenge. There will be situations that we'll want to challenge the return unit and we just didn't run into those on Sunday. I thought Daniel did a great job kicking off and the field goal and the PATs he made.

Q: Were you preaching to take a shot with those longer field goals?

A: Well, the very first one, I think 56, 57-yard field goal would have been tough his very first kick of his career. It's obviously Coach Zimmer's decision. We talked about it on the sideline. He decided to punt the ball and it was a great decision because we pinned them at the four-yard line. It was a great punt and a good protection. Mike [Hughes] made a great catch at the four-yard line. Obviously it turned out well for us, got the ball back, went down and scored and made it three nothing. I think field position is so huge in our game and I know you guys understand that because we talk about it all the time. But that was a big field position switch, field position change for us that helped our team our and I thought it was a great decision on our part.

Q: What makes Mike Hughes good on special teams?

A: He's so naturally gifted as an athlete. He's got great speed, great explosion, great quickness, good vision as a returner. I think he's only scratching the surface. I know when he started playing a lot of defense on Sunday we had to take him off pretty much everything. Trae [Waynes] went down and Mackensie [Alexander] wasn't playing so we didn't have anybody to spell the corners that way. I thought the more we keep him in there the better he's going to get. Like I said, he's scratching the surface he could be a very, very special kickoff returner, maybe punt returner down the road, gunner, kickoff coverage, wherever we need him he can play for us.

Q: Daniel's first road game in Green Bay what do you think about his nerves headed into there?

A: I think his nerves were evident pregame against San Francisco. He did a good job, got that game under his belt. Like any young kicker or punter or any young player you get a good game under your belt you're going to gain some confidence. He's worked real hard out here. He had a good day yesterday kicking in the wind. We're going to kick again today with the wind. Hopefully today will give him maybe even more confidence going forward. That's really all it's about is about confident, having a good pregame out there will help him, be a tremendous help for him. Having his confidence for all his kicks, kickoffs, and field goals and PATs.

Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards

Felt good coming off a first game victory, a hard fought battle for us defensively. This week, a lot of things preparation-wise going in and getting ready for Green Bay, which is a division rival. We know what we got to do preparation wise, and we're just in the process of doing that now.

Q: What did you think of Mike Hughes' performance against San Francisco?

A: I thought Mike did some good things, some things that he's shown throughout training camp and the offseason. He got in a game and it wasn't too big for him, he was able to be good with the fundamentals and techniques. He's still got some things to clean up off of his first ballgame, but he did some good things for us.

Q: What does Hughes need to correct some of the missed assignments he had last game?

A: I think a lot of times just experience within the system and understanding those things. But he did a good job overall.

Q: Do you view the big plays San Francisco was able to create as things that are going to happen from time to time, or do you have some concerns?

A: Well those are things that we don't want to happen. Those are things that we're working on diligently this week to get cleaned up to make sure that they don't happen again. We'll definitely have to be on our P's and Q's and have everybody on the same page with this offense that we're facing this week.

Q: Were there any communication issues with some new guys playing in new spots?

A: I think it was a combination of communication and awareness, at the end of the day.

Q: With as much misdirection as San Francisco was able to run, is that something that you think could end up in other team's game plans against you guys?

A: It's pretty common, there's a lot of teams that are running it. I think the one thing that was surprising is that they are so flat with their offensive line, San Francisco was, that we ran into some things and had to adjust some things there on the sideline. But a lot of teams run the misdirection, run the flashes and all those kind of things, so that's something that we definitely got to be prepared for as we go through the course of the season.

Q: What kinds of challenges can Green Bay's no-huddle present to you guys?

A: Well the biggest thing is that we have to do a good job of communicating, which we know we always have to do against these guys. It just depends on the pace that they're going with it, and making sure that everybody is on the same page communication wise, alignment, assignment and all those kind of things. And then don't relax, they get up there and quick-snap it sometimes, sometimes they change the snap count and all those things around. We really got to pay attention to the details of what we're doing play in and play out.

Q: Are you expecting Aaron Rodgers to get rid of the ball quickly this week?

A: He's always had a good quick release. I know the other night in the second half it was a lot of quick game, so we'll just have to see as we go through the process and be ready to adjust as we go.

Q: Does your rush plan change at all when you play a quarterback who's coming off an injury?

A: Again, we can't assess his injury, we'll have to see when we get to the game to see what we need to adjust as far as we go down the road, but he's always been mobile back there. He's been able to side swipe people, step up in the pocket and throw the ball. He's very accurate, very smart, has a great presence in the pocket, has been able in the past to get outside the pocket, which he was able to do the other night. We'll just have to see and adjust as we go through it.

Q: Were you impressed with what Sheldon Richardson was able to do in the first game?

A: Sheldon really did a nice job. With what we asked him to do as far as contain the ball on the run, the push in the pocket, being at the quarterback's feet, having that presence inside, he and L.J. [Linval Joseph] both did an excellent job I thought as far as the quarterbacks feeling them inside. From that aspect we just look for him to keep continuing to get better. We saw that, and we just look to be consistent with it as we progress down the road.

Q: How did you feel about the defensive line rotation?

A: I think it worked out. We had to adjust some things as we went through the course of it. That's what it is, as guys and people change in your front, just understanding their abilities and our rotation and what we're asking them to do, those kind of things. Coach [Andre] Patterson does a good job with that, so if we have to adjust, we'll adjust, and we'll move on down the road.

Q: What kind of role do you see for Mackensie Alexander as he returns from injury?

A: We'll just have to see. He's practicing, and we'll just have to see. Just like last week we'll see where we're at, and see what we can ask him to do and what he's able to do and then just progress from there.

Q: Were you please with the preseason that he had?

A: There's no doubt about it. He's been in the system now for three years and you can tell it. He's good with the communication, understanding the different techniques and fundamentals that we ask out of a nickel or outside corner. He's done a tremendous job as far as the preparation going into the season. We just look forward to getting him back out there when he's able to play and be able to carry those things over to the game.

Q: What reverberations if any do you expect from the goal-line stand last week?

A: I think the one thing is our guys understand the mentality that it takes to play inside the five-yard line. You could see them and the effort that they were playing with, the mentality that they were playing with. For us it's just recognizing the situation and then doing your job when we get down there. They did an excellent job of that this past week. That's something we got to continuously do throughout the season.

Q: Harrison Smith didn't seem shy taking on the Earl Mitchell block?

A: I don't think Harrison is too shy about anything we ask him to do. He's very confident in what we ask him to do, but again, defense boils down to all 11 guys that are out there being accountable to each other, doing their job. I think all of our guys understand that that's what it's going to take for each of us to be successful.