Here are some selected quotes from Vikings coaches and players leading up to Sunday's game against the Patriots. All quotes come from transcripts provided by the team.
Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on Tarvaris Jackson feeling more confident and being able to determine if he is on game day: "I think that's half the battle, that he's confident. That's a positive going for it, that he feels more comfortable, that he feels more confident in himself and the guys around him, how he's been performing in practice. I think that's half the battle. Are you ever going to know for sure until you're under the lights and playing in real time? Probably not. The barometer of what he's done to this point, whether it's in training camp when he was taking the first reps, he takes a number of reps with our first team anyways while Brett's here; we give Brett some time off. He takes a lot of scout-team reps. He does probably get more reps than most backup quarterbacks. He's done a nice job. Those guys are there for a reason. They deserve opportunities. When they come, they need to excel in those opportunities. He may get a chance this week."
Bevell on whether preparing for a Bill Belichick-coached team is more difficult: "Without a doubt. He schemes the teams that he's playing against and the offense that he's playing against, whether it's protections, whether it's specific plays that he might try to take away. We're prepared for the unscouted looks basically. We talked to our guys about this being a rule week. Whether it's in protection, whether it's in assignments, you go by the rules. The rules can always take care of any look that's an unscouted look."
Bevell on the Vikings not scoring on their first two drives in any game: "Last week I thought there were a couple execution things that we could have done better, particularly the third downs. We kept them both manageable in those first two series and could have probably executed a little bit better on the third downs, kind of to get you in the flow. That would have got the game going, I think, a little bit better."
Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on whether it's against his nature to blitz: "We've had a lot of success rushing with four, especially since Jared Allen arrived. We led the league a year ago. A lot of our sacks came off of a four-man rush, although we will pressure at times. I still have complete confidence in our front four. There are times when we need to mix it up a little bit and do some things pressure-wise. I still have a lot of confidence in our front that we will get those sacks coming."
Frazier on whether Jared Allen is pressing at all: "I don't know if he's pressing yet. It's something he's looking at on tape. I know he was here on his day off, looking at some tape and just trying to get with Coach (D-line coach Karl) Dunbar and trying to figure out what are some things I am doing differently or what are some things I need to work on to get a little more pressure. That was probably the one game, of the games we have played this season, where he had a number of one-on-one rushes. That was unusual that we got those for him. It did begin to make him think a little bit, 'I got to figure out some things here.' We're looking forward to watching him play Sunday."
Frazier on whether CB Chris Cook looked tentative on Sunday: "Coming off his injury and the amount of time that he's played, just trying to catch up to the speed of the game. It took him a little while to get caught up. We got him back in there the second half of the game, and he played a little bit better. Early on, the speed of the game was really hard to gauge."
Vikings special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy on whether the Vikings are shifting away from directional punting and focusing more strictly on hang time: "It depends upon where you're at. When you're outside — especially with the conditions, wind, what have you — you're going to have to move the ball around. You want to try to use the conditions to your benefit. We've really kind of left that open-ended, in terms of directional punting, because you've got to make the wind work for you. We'll never come away from the hang time as the most important, but the direction is a close second. It's going to be based upon the conditions and what he [punter Chris Kluwe] feels like he can do into the wind."
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson on whether he feels more of a responsibility with Brett Favre struggling: "I can carry the load. That's one thing I've always said. That's how I prepared, going into this offseason, to be able to carry the team if I have to. I accept the challenge."
Peterson on whether 28-30 carries a game bothers him: "Forty would be nice. Forty-five, 50."
Peterson on whether he's being realistic about that: "Yeah, that is realistic."
Peterson on noticing a difference in Tarvaris Jackson's confidence: "You can see his comfort level. He is more comfortable out there. This is from what I have seen in practice. He displayed that during the preseason, too. He's just more comfortable. He does a better job making his reads. He's taken steps forward."
Peterson on whether he ever tells Favre that if he needs to get rid of the ball quickly, to dump it off to him: "Yeah, I tell him that every game. 'Hey, just know that I am your outlet, man. I'll make sure that I put myself to be open for you. When you are in trouble, just look for me and I'll be there.' "