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They Said It: Vikings Week 15 edition

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted Dec. 15, 2011 @ 7:13 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Here are some select quotes from Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, defensive coordinator Fred Pagac and special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer:

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave

Q: Seeing what Joe Webb did on Sunday, does it make you want to use him in the offense more going forward?

A: It does. Joe has impressed us from day one and what he did in Detroit was amazing considering he had gotten very few quarterback snaps since he lined up in the second half against Houston in the preseason. He did practice last week but you talk about a crash course for him to go out there when called upon and execute like that is a credit to him and him only.

Q: How much did you have to work with Christian Ponder on the mental aspect of moving on after the interceptions?

A: I think he's done a good job with that his whole life. He's battled like a lot of guys that get to this level of football. They've battled their whole lives and have had to handle adversity. Unfortunately, Christian is going through another rough stage right here. Most players do that in high school, college, and pro. Not everything is clear sailing. You're right, the more he can cleanse himself of those mistakes, learn from them but then put them in the rearview mirror and focus on the future, the better.

Q: How has John Sullivan played this season?

A: Really well. Our offensive line has done a good job in pass protection and running the ball. The center is the anchor and I'm really proud of the way he's played.
Q: Did it take him some time to get used to the new scheme?

A: Yes, there was a break-in process I would imagine and learning the way we would prefer to do things whether they're right or wrong as opposed to the way he was coached previously, so you're right, there's definitely a transition process there.


Defensive coordinator Fred Pagac

Q: Do you know who you are going to go with your corners? Are you going to go the way you finished last game?

A: At this point, when we are talking, that's how we will start this game off.
Q: How has Cedric Griffin handled getting benched?

A: Professionally. He is obviously hurt, I'm sure, but he is being a professional about it and he's working and doing his job at this point.

Q: Mistral Raymond, what's your evaluation of his time as a starter so far?

A: I think he is improving weekly. I see everything being on an upside for him. When it's all said and done, I think he is going to be a good football player for us.
Q: Do you view him as a guy that can be a long-term starter? Has he made enough progress where some of the early mistakes are being corrected at this point?

A: Yes, I think so, but again that's an evaluation we will make at the end of the year.

Q: How much, if at all, have you thought about your future and whether you will be here in 2012?

A: Well, I hope I'm here. I haven't thought about that to this point. If you know something I don't know, go ahead.


Special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer

Q: Percy Harvin said he talked to a few coaches about getting some kick returns. Did he talk to you?

A: I think I was the first one he talked to. He got me on the airplane flying home from the game last week. You know, every time he touches the ball something happens and you are hoping that goes along with kickoff returns, like it has in the games whenever he has gotten those opportunities. Obviously, I have been saying this since day one, whenever I have a chance to use Percy, we are going to use Percy.

Q: It seems like he doesn't dance around; he takes it and goes a hundred miles an hour.

A: As a kickoff returner you never teach dancing. As a punt returner, I had Dante Hall for one year, and he probably danced a little bit too much at times, but that's what made him successful, so it was ok. But as a kickoff returner, you can never dance, you're going to set the return and you're going to hit the seam as hard and as fast as you can and that's what we teach.
Q: Is that maybe the difference with Marcus Sherels on punt returns and kick returns?

A: Well, I think it's more the penalties. He had a nice punt return the other day, I think it was 24 yards and would have been a 30-yard net. He did a great job of getting back and tracking that ball and getting underneath it and being under control and set the return and got to the outside and we had two dumb penalties which has been our Achilles heel on punt return all year.
Q: With just the fact that Sherels seems so different returning the kicks than he does returning the punts, is it that he maybe is not as decisive when returning kicks as he is on the punts?

A: I don't know. He is still averaging nearly 30 yards a return. I think the one he got tackled on against Detroit was poorly blocked and he kind of stumbled coming out of the gate anyway and the timing was all off and it wasn't a very good return. It was maybe a bad call on my part at that time of the game, but I think that he gives you everything he has. I think he is quicker than fast as an athlete, and that suits a punt returner better than a kick returner. But I think he has been great for us as a kickoff returner, as well.

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