About the Author
Recent posts by Eric Edholm
Here is a collection of some of what Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy had to say leading up to Sunday's game against the Packers:
Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on recognizing where the Packers bring pressure from: "They've done a nice job with their pressure package. They bring it from different personnel groups, from different sides of the ball, safeties, DBs, linebackers. They do a good job with that just to be able to keep you off balance. I think that's boded well for them in getting the turnovers that they've had, getting pressure on the quarterback, freeing up Clay Matthews a little bit. They've done a nice job with their package, so it's something that we have to be aware of."
Bevell on how tough it is for the other receivers to succeed with Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice on the bench: "I think it makes it more difficult. We never want to use excuses for ourselves, but it is what it is. That's a situation where we've had a very fluid situation at our wide receiver position this year, whether you go back to when you bring in (Greg) Camarillo, when you bring in Randy Moss, you bring in Hank Baskett. All of those moves were during-the-season-type moves. Some of them were (in) backup roles and now all of a sudden they're starters. You need a lot of time for the quarterback and the receivers to be on the same page. They're all in the same meetings. They're all going through the same warm-up drills. But once you get out there on the field, they're subtle adjustments that you have to make. You have to make quick decisions as those guys need to be on the same page. We need to continue to bring that along."
Bevell on adding wrinkles to the offense regardless of wins and losses: "You're always trying to come up with ideas, whether it's get the ball down the field, whether it's get the ball into certain guys' hands. I see how they're playing this scheme; can we attack that scheme this way? Then it comes to time and distance. Are you going to be able to rep that enough that when you throw it out there in the game, that if they don't get the exact look that you've repped, can they make the adjustment and make the play still be successful?"
Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on facing a more agile QB such as Aaron Rodgers: "It makes it a lot tougher. When you are playing zone sometimes, or man, the quarterback buys some extra time because somebody is not open and he's waiting. It puts a lot of pressure on the secondary to hold up when that happens. It's something we'll have to address this weekend, because their quarterback in Green Bay does the same thing. It really puts a lot of pressure on your defense."
Frazier on the difference in the Vikings' third-down efficiency this year: "We've been very good on third down in the past. To not be getting it done right now is not like us. It's something we're taking a hard look at and trying to correct. It's a combination of having good coverage and being able to rush the passer at the same time. We've been kind of inconsistent in doing both. This will be the weekend for us to be consistent in both rushing and covering."
Frazier on the health problems at cornerback: "It would help if we could go through an entire week with the same group practicing, and knowing that they are going to play on Sunday; that would definitely help. Whoever plays, you count on those guys being able to make plays. It would help if you had a consistent group. A lot of teams in the League go through what we're going through. It makes it a little bit tougher."
Frazier on the lack of sacks against the Bears: "They had given up some sacks and we knew, coming out of the bye, they were trying to do some things to lessen those sacks. We just didn't come up with the sacks in that ballgame. There were a few opportunities and we didn't get it done. We had some good pressure from Jared Allen at times, and he ended up getting a sack, which was good to see. Once again, we weren't consistent in getting it done across the board."
Frazier on the best way to get consistency out of a team: "There are different factors, and some of it depends on the makeup of your team, some of the things that are going on within your team, the chemistry. There are so many different factors you're trying to bring together. This team and this defense, we got to get it going now. This is the time to figure it out."
Frazier on whether teams just have not been throwing at Antoine Winfield at all: "No, he's not getting a lot of opportunities, and there are obvious reasons for that. We kind of had a revolving door going on a little bit away from him. Thank goodness he's steady. He's one guy that we can count on each Sunday in the secondary. That has been big. Husain Abdullah has played well for us; so has Madieu Williams. Antoine has been a steady force for us."
Vikings special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy on what makes Heath Farwell so special over the years: "I would say it takes action both on and off the field. I think he is a guy who studies his craft and it's important to him and he takes it seriously. He works at it in the classroom and comes out here and works. To me, if you're going to be a leader, that's where it starts. I think we've seen several examples, whether it be football or otherwise. Talking doesn't really do a whole lot, and Heath is a guy who speaks by action. He has set a certain standard, and when he doesn't play to that standard, it really bothers him. I think that those things kind of rub off on guys, and guys follow people who lead by example."
Murphy on whether it is tough to find players to fill just a special-teams role: "There's no doubt. I think we've said it before: No one leaves college to go to the NFL to be a gunner or to be the personal protector. That's not to say that it's your fate either, but it's a transition. And I think the sooner guys learn that, the better off their transition is, versus fighting a role in special teams. That's a role to get a chance to get your feet wet, to get in the action and to prove what you can do, because if you look at it, there are not a lot of opportunities for young guys unless you're just a flat standout. I think special teams is certainly that place, and it's such a benefit to the team to get an influx of young guys that are willing to play special teams. Is everyone expecting you to do it right? You're going to make your mistakes, and everybody makes mistakes, especially early on in their career. As long as you're going forward and you learn from those and you don't continue to make those mistakes. For the most part, just talking about our guys, I think our young guys the past couple of years have done that."
Murphy on how rare it is that Farwell's whole career has been on special teams: "It does and here is why I would say that. If you take a look at teams with stability — and injury kind of changes the scope, but if you have consistent guys, and for the most part we have Chad Greenway, we have Ben Leber, we have E.J. Henderson — but if you look through at teams that have stability at positions, and what I mean by stability is that they have avoided the injury bug and there hasn't been anything that has happened where typically those guys will play. And during Heath's career I think we've had stability at that position with the exception of E.J., and that's where Jasper went in last year. You look at the Bears and they just went through a little turnover when they lost Brendon Ayanbadejo, but those were the same type of guys that have made a career of that, Brendon, Rod Wilson, guys like that, and they just had a turnover a few years ago."
Murphy on Ryan Longwell missing a short field-goal attempt against the Bears: "If any of you guys were on the field before the game, there was a gust going across the field. Just as Ryan was going into his approach, the wind died down and the thing stayed true right to where he hit it. If that wind continues on the way it was, that thing would have been good. It was an unfortunate moment. If you ask a guy where he was aiming and that's where it was all at pre-practice, it was the opposite pipe going the other direction. The wind stayed and it was blustery and times and sure enough, as soon as you get the hand from the holder, it dies down and that's all it took."