Pro Football Weekly caught up with Vikings CB Antoine Winfield by phone Thursday for his thoughts on the secondary, Randy Moss and facing the Cowboys.
PFW: How tough a blow is losing CB Cedric Griffin? You must feel for the guy, working to get back the way he did.
AW: That’s the toughest part about it. He got hurt in the NFC championship game in January and fought so hard to get back. He was in the training room every day, trying to get back as soon as possible. And for (his most recent injury) to happen, it was just devastating. He’s hurting, and we are, too. And now we just have to move on with the guys that we have.
PFW: You personally have to feel better now than you did in December, when you were fighting through a foot injury. You look like a new man out there.
AW: Oh, yeah, I feel great. I haven’t had an issue with the foot since earlier this year. I am completely healthy, I can move around the way I need to and want to. I am good to go now.
PFW: As the offense is trying to get back to the level it was a year ago, has the defense felt a little more pressure to be closer to perfect each game?
AW: We have to. The offense hasn’t put up as many points, so we really couldn’t make many mistakes. Every time our offense would drive with the ball, they would pick up some yards, but they (would be) held to field goals. So, we couldn’t afford to give up touchdowns. Hopefully, the second half of Monday night is what we can see more of.
PFW: Obligatory Randy Moss question. He’s had one game and little over a week of practice. What have you seen from him so far, and is he ready to go for his second game?
AW: (Laughs) Moss is still Moss. My first year here was in ’04, and I was very excited to play with him. He has the same true athletic ability that he did (six) years ago. The guy is a complete freak. He makes the hard catches look so easy. He’s a really good player, and I am glad I am with him and not (against) him. He's ready. He's always ready.
PFW: No one thought Cowboys-Vikings would be a battle of one-win teams. How do you see this game playing out?
AW: They are 1-3, we are 1-3. They are desperate for a win, we are desperate for a win. That’s what I see: two teams who need this one badly. We have to (forget) about beating them in the playoffs — that’s old news. It’s going to be two teams battling out there to get it done. We want to be the one that’s a little more hungry, a little more urgent.