They Said It: Vikings Thursday edition

Posted Nov. 04, 2010 @ 5:29 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Here are quotes from Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy and RB Adrian Peterson, transcribed by the Vikings' P.R. staff.

Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on how he plans to adapt the game plan without Randy Moss: "My job is to figure out how to get guys open in the pass game, whoever we put out there. We do have a professional football team. We have five wide receivers that will be up. Each one of them brings different skill sets, whether it's Randy Moss, whether it's Percy Harvin, whether it's Greg Lewis. My job is to make sure to bring out the best in those guys, use their skills to our advantage and be able to get them open. You just have to go about it a different way."

Bevell on how Sidney Rice looked in practice on Wednesday: "I'm excited to see him out there. It's good to have him just back out there practicing. He brings a certain energy with him. He looked good moving around. Always the next day you expect them to be sore, regardless of how much work they've done up to this point. When you put them back on the field, it's a different level of intensity. He's a little bit sore, just in terms of muscles and going at that speed. But he looked good, and we'll continue to push. I know that he and the trainers have a plan on when he'll get back out there."

Bevell on whether Adrian Peterson's play has been overlooked amid the hoopla: "Yeah, we have a lot of dynamic playmakers on our team. There are probably guys that get lost. A guy like Adrian Peterson — I think he's doing an outstanding job. He's competing hard as he always does. He's running the ball well. I think we've done a nice job in the running game. It felt like the last couple of games we could have really taken over with the run game. I like what he's doing. A guy like Percy Harvin, as well. He's making a lot of big plays; he's making catches, over 100 yards last week. There are a lot of guys that may be overlooked because of all the stuff that's going on, but we have guys that are competing and playing hard."

Bevell on Percy Harvin being disappointed about Moss being gone: "Absolutely I've talked with (Harvin). I talked to him yesterday right after the first walk-through. I'm just trying to communicate with those guys, all of them, whether it's him, whether it's a guy like Bernard (Berrian), whether it's Hank Baskett. Guys' situations are changing. There's nothing that you can do about the personal relationship that the guy had. I understand how he felt and how he was able to get close to Randy and felt like he was gaining as much knowledge as he could from a guy that had a lot of experience. He felt like that helped him. My job is to continue to encourage him, tell him, 'Here's what we're still trying to do. Here's how you can continue to help us. Here's what we'll do to make sure that everyone doesn't just focus on you now.' Those type of things. This is a professional football team. We've got a lot of guys, and we've still got to be able to make it work with one guy not here."

Bevell on whether we can assume that Tarvaris Jackson will be the starter next season: "I don't know if you assume anything. Right now he's listed as our No. 2 quarterback. Just what happened [last week], if Brett goes down, he's the next guy in there. There's a lot of business that happens. There are a lot of things that take place over the offseason. I can't see into the future to know how it's going to happen, but right now Tarvaris Jackson's our No. 2."

Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on whether Sunday could be the defense's breakout game: "Yeah, there's no greater time than now, and we are playing at home against a team that has been allowing sacks. What approach they take as far as throwing the football, we'll find out, but, yeah, there's no greater time than right now."

Frazier on his level of concern at cornerback right now: "It's a concern. When you are playing a team that throws the ball as much as Arizona and some of the teams we'll be facing, you want to have healthy bodies, and you want to have guys on the field. In our league everybody spreads you out and throws the football. But with the guys that are going to be able to play, you got to do what you do and try to do the best that you can, but you hate injuries."

Frazier on whether Chris Cook is playing as confidently as he did early in the season: "I think he is starting to get some of it back. When you miss as much time as he did and miss all those reps, especially the live reps, and being a rookie it's a little bit tougher. He's going to have to keep playing, and playing through some things. And the more he plays, he'll eventually make some plays and his confidence will grow, but he's missed a lot of time."

Frazier on Madieu Williams' dropped interception against the Patriots: "That was a tough one. He'll have some other opportunities, and you have to make those plays. Sometimes one or two plays can turn momentum in a ballgame in the National Football League, so you have to understand that, and when you have those chances to make those plays, you have to make those plays. Nobody feels worse about not coming up with that catch than Madieu. He'll have other opportunities, and I'm sure he'll make the play."

Frazier on whether the Vikings will double-team Larry Fitzgerald: "Yeah, there are going to be times when we have somebody over the top of Larry, for sure. He's an outstanding receiver, and it's hard to single up with him all day long, so yeah, there will be times when we have somebody over the top of him. And there's also going to be some times where he may be singled up in certain situations, but you want to minimize those opportunities."

Vikings special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy on who would be the kickoff returner if Harvin can't play: "It would be Toby Gerhart and Adrian Peterson."

Murphy on the impact that rookie DE Everson Griffen has had on special teams: "He has. And again, it all goes back to the active/inactive situation. He was up to speed coming out of camp because of the actives and inactives. He's been inactive for the better part of the season. He was activated the past couple of weeks and really has done a good job. He's taken the bit; it's important to him. Certainly he's physically gifted with speed and strength. He's got good football understanding, he plays well in space, and he's a guy to be excited about."

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson on Moss leaving: "Personally, he was a good teammate. He was a cool guy. He was just a guy that was himself. It was tough to see him go, but you got to understand the business and you got to continue to do your job and move forward."

Peterson on how much Moss helped clear out the running game: "It helped the offense a lot and as a whole, with Percy Harvin and in the running game. He was a guy that adds a double coverage. You're into a guy at the box a majority of the time. He helped out a lot."

Peterson on whether he'll see more attention now: "Probably so. I am sure we will have some guys still try to double Percy. He is a guy you need to watch, too. We'll see, but I am pretty sure guys won't hesitate to put an extra guy in the box."

Peterson on having Toby Gerhart catching up to speed: "It's important. I tell Toby all the time, 'Hey, make sure you know exactly what you're doing and, when you're out there, you're taking advantage of those opportunities because we're going into the second stretch and we're going to need you. We're going to need you to go out and be able to perform.' I feel like he has taken that challenge and, when he's out there, he's doing a great job of being responsible for picking up his blocks and moving the ball when they put it in his hands."

Peterson on how he has curbed his fumbling problems: "Just being more aware and more conscious of, 'Hey, make sure you keep this ball high and tight.' It is something that I just remind myself before the game. It's not something I focus on throughout the game and continue to tell myself, but it's something that I make myself aware of, to keep it high and tight. You know guys are going to rake at it and try to pull it out. Don't put yourself into any vulnerable positions."

Peterson on why he is optimistic this team can overcome all of the issues surrounding it: "Just having a good coaching staff and just this organization. As a team, our goal is still at hand. We have a lot of leaders on this team that are walking around with their heads up. We have faith that we believe, 'Hey, we control our own destiny.' Nine games. We're looking at it as a nine-game season, eight NFC opponents. It's still out there for us to accomplish our goal that we set forth at the beginning of the season. It's just like a new start. It's putting this thing behind us and not worrying about the past and focusing on the future. As a team, I feel like we're going to overcome and put ourselves into position to capture that goal."