Defensive Coordinator George Edwards
It's good that we have our first preseason home game. We're looking forward to playing in front of our home crowd. It's really just another evaluation this week to see how our guys are continuing to progress.
Q: With Ben Gedeon getting the start last week how did you like what he did?
A: Ben has been pretty consistent with the opportunities he's had throughout the offseason and it's been that way throughout training camp. We just look for him to show that consistency throughout the preseason and we'll see how it continues to go. But he's done a good job thus far. We've played him at a couple different positions and he's seemed to handle it pretty good.
Q: Coach Zimmer talked about experimenting a little this preseason with the defense. What's your take on that?
A: Oh there's no doubt. Anytime you get a new group of players with a different skill set at some of the different positions, you've got to try to get them in the best position to be successful. That's kind of what we do throughout the preseason each year is try to get better, schematically also. The big thing about the fundamentals and technique are the positions aren't going to change that much. Our biggest thing is being consistent with those things and effort to the football and still a priority of situational defense. From that aspect it doesn't change a whole lot, but it is a time where you get a chance to see different skill sets in guys and how we can apply it.
Q: Did you get much clarity on weak side linebacker spot?
A: All three of those guys have battled real hard over there. Like I said this is a continuous process and evaluation throughout the preseason. We've seen good things out of all three guys.
Q: Where have you seen Jayron Kearse grow the most?
A: I think his awareness. Number one, I think he feels a lot more comfortable with what we're doing schematically. Number two, what people are trying to do to us from an offensive standpoint. I think the first year you're just worried about what it is you have to do and then as you grow through that next offseason and into training camp, you start to learn what other people are going to do. It's pretty consistent throughout the league what people try to attack you with.
Q: Coach Zimmer said you're working with Jayron in order to be less cautious. How specifically are you doing that?
A: Again, he's done an excellent job around the box, so I think he feels less comfortable when he's getting out in the middle of the field. Just trying to get him in those situations a lot more in order to help him make better decisions and quicker decisions as far as angles and techniques we use in the middle of the field. Whether you're playing a quarters, whether you're playing a half, whether you're playing single-high in the middle of the field. Just getting him comfortable and making quicker decisions in those aspects of his game.
Q: What's it been like for Jaleel Johnson to move to a three technique?
A: He's gotten a lot more reps at the three technique the last couple of weeks here at training camp and he really has played well in the two previous preseason games. We're looking for him to keep showing consistency, keep growing, keep learning the technique and fundamentals and what we're asking out of that position. He's a strong guy, he's able to get on and off blocks, in close quarters he's able to create some space by being able to pull people and jerk people, get penetration and push in the pocket and get in the passing lane.
Q: What was the initial impression on trying him at nose?
A: Well, with us you've got to be able to do both. I mean if they do certain things against us schematically our three techniques have to play the nose. From that aspect he's had to do it, he's going to have to do it. So, we know that's a part of the evaluation when evaluating a tackle on the inside.
Q: Where do you see Datone Jones fitting in?
A: Datone has done a good job. He's been consistent. There are some things I think that we've asked him to do different than what he's accustomed to coming in. But he's worked diligently throughout training camp and just continuing to work on the pass rush part of it and the run game of it. I mean there are things they all have to continue to work on it.
Q: Is there any sort of expectation for him to contribute potentially?
A: I mean anybody we keep on the roster we expect to contribute. So from that aspect of it we expect no different for him. I mean he's here and he's working through things to be more consistent with the things we're asking him to do. I think as a group, as a whole they've done a good job at it thus far.
Q: How much experimentation goes into the preseason?
A: They kind of asked me that earlier. The biggest thing for us is you've got different personnel, you've got different guys, we have 90 guys in here now. There's different skill sets from each guy, trying to get them in the most advantageous position to use their skill set is what we kind of look at. There's things that, alignments and technique things, that we want to try to consistently work to improve on. We know our base way of doing it but things that can help us in certain situations.
Q: Is it more scheme or directed more at individuals.
A: I think it's a combination of both.
Q: Are you doing more of the schematic stuff this year?
A: No, usually our preseason is not really spent preparing for our opponent as much as it is us worrying about the things that we know we need to get accomplished as we're getting prepared for the season.
Q: Are you able to throw different wrinkles in the defense with this being the fourth year?
A: Yeah, I think especially from the year one aspect of it. Year one when everybody was trying to figure out exactly how we expected it to look as far as what we were doing. As we've grown, I think guys feel a lot more comfortable with how that is supposed to look and lining up and executing things a lot easier now that we've got some veteran guys on our side of the ball. I think as we've gone through, there's different things that we think can help them as a player which ultimately helps us schematically.
Q: What's the next thing you want to see out of Danielle Hunter?
A: Just continue to be consistent, keep working every day. Staying low coming off the ball, still working on his pass rush. Being physical as a six-technique when he's got to do that, a five-technique. Just continuing to work the different techniques and just being consistent.
Q: Is he good at recognizing screen passes and run versus pass?
A: Very good at that, very good.
Q: Are there a couple scenarios, like a two-minute drill, you still want to see the first team defense face?
A: I think Coach [Zimmer] has done an excellent job of putting us in so many situations since we started training camp. From day-to-day there's a different situation, there's a different learning situation. I think our guys have gained a lot of knowledge of the game and what we expect when that situation does arise. Hopefully it'll help them to react a lot quicker to the situation and what they expect from us.
Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer
Q: How would you grade the punting performances in Seattle?
A: I thought we did a pretty good job overall. I don't think we were as strong as we were in the Buffalo game, but we still did a pretty good job overall. Our get-off times are getting better, our directional punts are still there and I thought we covered punts very well.
Q: Do you approach the third preseason game any differently?
A: A little bit in terms of maybe we might use a couple schemes that might work better against a certain opponent than it would in the first two games, basically stuff we've been working all spring. So, we might tweak our schemes a little bit. I'm still looking for the same things. I'm looking for the guys that are going to play fast, the guys that are going to use our techniques and fundamentals. The guys that are going to be in the right place and put themselves in positions to be successful and then make plays when the plays are there to be made. So, I'm still looking for that type of stuff. Yeah, I treat the third game a little bit like a regular season game.
Q: When you still have competitions, how soon do you still need to get the kicker-holder exchange set?
A: Because the competition is so close, I think what we're going to do is hopefully go through four preseason games and then have that 11-day period prior to the New Orleans game to finalize that. The good thing is that they've been working together since May. I know we've had different competitions. They don't have the same amount of reps as they would in a regular season week but we'll get there. We'll have plenty of time to get that work in.
Q: Is it more important to allow the competition to play itself out?
A: Because the competition is so close, I think it's more important we make the right decision.
Q: Do you know what Marshall Koehn's field goal range is?
A: It depends on the situation, end of the half he can kick somewhere in the 60s. But, I would try Kai [Forbath] there as well. I think Marshall does have a stronger leg but Kai has a stronger leg than people give him credit for. He's a better kickoff guy than he was even a year ago. He's kicking the ball off well in games and practices. Either one of those guys I feel comfortable with a long field goal at the end of the half, we just have to be ready to cover. You guys saw what happened in the Chicago and Arizona preseason game last week. That was obviously something we work on with our field goal block team as well. You just don't want that to happen. You're hoping, if it's indoors, probably be in the mid-60s and let's see what happens.