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Carroll: ‘Adrian [Peterson] gives them a chance to always score’

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm with 7 Comments »
November 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Here’s much of what Pete Carroll had to say today:

(On how coaching for the Vikings has shaped his defensive philosophy…) “Yeah I was there for five years and I was fortunate to get hired when Coach Bud Grant came back after retiring in his first year back and I was really fortunate because I had just gotten fired in my first year in the league, coaching the secondary in Buffalo. So I was lucky to get back in the league and fortunate to get on his staff and it was a very special time for me. I felt very lucky because Coach Grant let me hang around and kind of follow him around and ask him a bunch of questions. After he retired, he still stayed as an advisor to the program so he was there and available for us and with the coaches that were there, Jerry Burns and Rob Schnelker  and all the great guys that were on that staff, Paul Wiggin. We had a marvelous time during those times. But it was a really an extraordinary time for me because the opportunity to be around Coach Grant and I thought that he was such a unique figure and such an extraordinary leader inn his way and an amazing guy. I was really impacted by the time around him. So it was a great memory at the time I was there.”

(On if there are any updates on Brandon Browner’s prognosis…) “No. No further update on it other than that it’s a pretty serious deal and we’ll take all week to figure out where it fits and see how he’s responding and all that kind of stuff.”

(On the phases of Percy Harvin…) “Well I didn’t want to get too definitive with our phases and all that. So we’re in phase three. But he’ll practice today, which is good.”

(On Giacomini and Okung…) “I’ll throw everybody in a kind of a heap right here, but these guys are all in a one-day-at-a-time process of showing us that they’re okay and they’re capable. So Breno [Giacomini] and Russell Okung will practice today and see how they are tomorrow and then just keep going and we’ll make a decision, late in the week, where all of these guys fit in and we won’t really know officially until we get to game time. But, we’ll take it. They have to endure the days and show that they’re capable and all that.”

(On if Unger and Bryant are cleared to play…) “They will be back at practice today.”

(On the role of Harvin when he’s ready to play…) “Well we’re just going to bring him back appropriately, whatever that is. We’ll figure that out, plays-wise and how much we go to him and all that. But, we’re not going to play him unless he’s ready to go full speed and all that. But if you look at where he is, he would be like guys coming out of camp – first preseason game. So we’ll be careful with it. We need to see where he is and how he reacts and responds to the days and then we’ll just kind of determine it as we go. There’s not a grand plan here because we don’t have enough information yet.”

(On what he saw in Harvin…) “Well I don’t know that you can really appreciate how quick he is, the explosiveness that he has unless you get to watch him and you see it and compare it to guys and all. he’s extraordinarily fast and when you’ve coupled that with how aggressive a player he is, how physical he is running with the ball in his hands, he separates from other guys. He’s just amazingly quick, explosive athlete and we just get glimpses of that in OTA season. We haven’t really seen it full-go yet and I think we’ll come to appreciate it most when he starts playing. But, he’s really special in that regard.”

(On Harvin being a kickoff returner…) “Absolutely. Yeah, I’m counting on that.”
(On if he will start as a kickoff returner when he’s healthy to play…) “We’re going to wait until he’s able to play a full game and we know that he’s back and all that. There’s no rushing that at all. But, I know he wants to get the opening kickoff, first chance he gets. So he’s exactly in the right frame of mind about that. We’ll take a little bit of time to make sure that he’s ready, that he’s in great condition and he can handle all that.”
(On Hill and McDaniel’s prognosis…) “Jordan Hill will practice today. Tony [McDaniel], we’ll keep out today.”

(On if playing the Vikings will be similar to playing the Buccaneers in terms of playing an opponent with a losing record…) “There’s no question yeah and they score a lot of points and they’ve done plenty of stuff. They’ve got plenty of fire power. Adrian [Peterson] gives them a chance to always score and they’ve been in these games, it just hasn’t worked out for them. They look good the last time out. I think there was a great lesson in if anybody ever wanted to underestimate a team, based on their record. You could’ve done it against Tampa Bay and they played great against us and then they showed it. They’re a good football team; they just have not been on the right side of the scores. These guys seem exactly the same to us and we’ve played them tough last year. We respect the heck out of this group. So we shouldn’t fall into any type of category of not thinking that they can’t play really good ball. We’re not doing that.”

(On the comparison between Lynch and Peterson…) “It’s an interesting comparison, to tell you the truth. It’s kind of cool to watch because they’re both extremely dynamic. They have so many things that they can do so uniquely, but they are different and they both have a really definitive style. Marshawn’s [Lynch] way of running and Adrian’s [Peterson] way of running, they’re not at all the same but they’re extraordinary players and really fun to watch. This is a fantastic game for somebody to watch running backs and to compare the two. So our style of offense is a little bit different than theirs and the style of running game, but both guys are great players and it would be great to watch it on the same field.”

(On if he will continue to rotate their offensive line throughout the season…) “I really think there’s no reason we can’t and it’s a very fortunate situation that we’re in. I would really like to keep it going and when you think if Breno [Giacomini] and Russell [Okung] can play in the game, they will not have played the full game at all. So to think that they can go out there and just handle it is probably too much to expect and we have confidence in our guys. We’ve played good football with all of our guys playing. So I’m hoping that we will find it. We’ve got to figure it out during the week and see what happens, but we’re available to mix the rotations of those guys. I know it’s not common, but we’ve kind of grown through that a little bit. So I think it’d be good for all of our guys to do that. Keep everybody fresh and ease our guys back in kind of and we’ll see what happens.”

(On if rotating the offensive linemen was Coach Cable’s idea…) “We’ve been talking about getting Alvin [Bailey] in the game. We wanted to do that. You can check back. There’s been a number of times where we’ve looked to doing that. But finally, he wanted to make the call and see if he could go to ‘The Bullpen,’ as he called it and bring him in and see what happens. Now it was necessary to bring him in. He played at right guard, he played left tackle and he could play both tackles spots, both guard spots, Alvin [Bailey] can. Michael [Bowie] played both outside spots. So it just gives us great flexibility. But Cab [Tom Cable] was ready to do that. There’s very line coaches that feel comfortable with that and Tom [Cable] had brought those guys along far enough where he felt that we’d be alright and that we could work it out and the players adapted to it very well too.”

(On the continuity of the offense being oversold) “No I don’t think it’s oversold, I think we’ve just grown through that. We have had lack of continuity for some time. So its kind maybe used to the chaos  a little bit, but we’re okay about it and I don’t think that its oversold. I think right now, we’ve been fortunate that we’ve raised now eight or nine guys that can play. That’s pretty darn good. Not very many teams that would feel like that I would think. I can’t say that we’ve felt like that since we’ve been here. In college, a little bit more so when we played more guys so it wasn’t as crucial, but you still get that feeling that you shouldn’t change them. You still get that mentality and that’s kind of common.”

(On if he ever installed this player-rotation method for past teams…) “No but we’ve rotated guys more in years past. I felt a little more comfortable about that. But this is the first time I’ve done this in the league that I can recall.”

(On Michael Bowie…) “Well Michael [Bowie] has showed from the start that athletically, he had the quickness and he’s a huge guy. The athleticism to fit in, that didn’t take but a couple of days to see that, and then it was just a matter of can he adapt and can he handle it? Can he learn? Can he pick it up and compete as well,’ during all of that and he was really, going right back to what we talked about in the preseason, we liked those guys right off the bat. Both he and Alvin [Bailey] have just impressed us right from the start because they both fit the kind of perimeters of what you need physically and then they got enough playing time that they just developed into guys that can play regularly for us. So it’s been really a steady messaging that they’ve sent us that they’re ready to go.”

(On what he said to Bennett after he was fined for hitting Matt Ryan…) “Matter a fact, not until today that I get to talk to the league about it and really I didn’t know that he was fined for that. I hadn’t heard that yet. But under the circumstances of what the rules say and what position that he was in, I can kind of see how they called it. We’re protecting the quarterback in every way and we need to do that. It really came down to ‘Did he lunge or not in to the legs of the quarterback’ because you can’t lunge into the quarterback. You can swipe him and you can wrap him up. So he wrapped him up and there was a little bit of a tap in there. Fortunately it wasn’t dangerous, but it could have been. They’re sending the message that they just don’t want us in the legs of the quarterback and we get that. But it’s a very difficult situation and at the league office, they realized that it was a difficult situation. It wasn’t malicious. None of that. It was just a situation that happened. Very much like the hit that Bruce [Irvin] had on the sidelines. Bruce [Irvin] did everything he could to take his head to the side of the hit and the receiver was defenseless for just a flash of an instant and they’re going to use that play to teach from I think in the offseason, from what I’ve heard already. That was one again, where our player tried to do the right thing, but he just couldn’t avoid and so he gets a penalty thrown on him. So really Michael’s [Bennett] play was carefully done in just a flash of a moment too and he got pushed and they acknowledged that he got pushed too. So that’s just ball and that’s the way it’s going and I know that the league is really tuned in to figuring out how to help the situation. Not so much in the safety, we’re all for safety, but how to help the officials make these calls because it’s very, very difficult and it happens so fast,. We understand it. We’re just trying to learn what tell our players and that’s what happened today and I showed it to the players and the whole thing in the meeting today.”

(On if he has noticed any changes to the aggressiveness of the defense because of the strict personal foul penalties….) “I sense that there is a change. I sense that there is a change in the aggressiveness and I think that has to do with some of the tackling issues that are going around and just the messaging is so strong that you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you can’t hit here, you can’t hit in this manner, and everybody is respecting that and we’re trying to adjust to it. And in that, there seems to be some indecision at times and that indecision is all it takes to miss tackles and to miss hits and stuff like that and miss the play making opportunities as well. But we need to do it and we need to keep growing and learning and we’ll get better I think as we go along.”

(On if he emphasizes tackling Peterson better this week…) “I don’t recall making it the key issue that we were trying to do too much. We missed some opportunities and stuff like that to fit properly, and I felt like we weren’t coming off blocks as well as we needed to, we weren’t finishing the plays as well as we needed to, and in the running game often that’s how you stop it. All of that is called upon this week; this guy is a great player. We have to scheme properly, we have to execute properly, we have to play with great effort, and we also have to tackle very diligently to get this guy on the ground consistently throughout the game. I’m really pleased that last week we took a real step forward, and I’m hoping that this challenge definitely draws the focus and the attention to what we need to be looking at and hopefully we’ll play really well against him.”

(On emphasizing players doing their job…) “We have to just do it more effectively as coaches and make sure that they’re hearing it. He’s a great player so he’s going to take advantage of the mistakes that you make, and he’s really good at reading the line of scrimmage so if a guy misses a gap he hits it. That’s part of it, that’s just part of it. It’s really a great focus for us and we need to continue to get better in the running game to continue to charge through the end of the season here. This comes at a good time, I’m glad we made progress in the proper direction and we’ll see if we can carry it over. This will be a good test.”

(On the Vikings’ special teams…) “They’re amazing. They’re leading the league in kickoff returns and punt returns as individual players. 35yards is the average for Cordarrelle Patterson which is extraordinary, and he is a fantastic returner. I’ve watched everyone that he’s had, and he attacks and flies up in there, he’s hard to get on the ground, and he’s a big guy with great speed. Marcus Sherels is just really fast, really fast, and he’s made it obviously now that he’s a big deal. We have a really good kickoff coverage unit, we have a really good punt coverage unit, we’re extremely proud of the way our guys work, and we take a lot of pride in doing that right. It’s a great matchup, it just is a great matchup and we’ll find out where we stack up against the best guys in the league.”

(On Cordarrelle Patterson…) “I thought he was an incredible talent. I loved the stuff he could do, I thought he was a freaky talent, and I realized that he was very young, in terms of a couple of years of junior college, and a semester at Tennessee and out. I thought that he had huge upside because of the wonderful potential that he has. We loved him in the draft and in preparation of it.”

(On the player’s physical health with the bye week coming up…) “Well now that we’ve made it to this time it’s great to have it this late. I would’ve told you that wherever it showed up, but at this point it seems like we can take great advantage of it if we can fortunately get a big time win this weekend and head into the bye. With all of the guys that have returned to practice for us being able to play, and then resting and getting them back for that following week for the next game, we should really benefit from it. It is kind of interesting that it’s so late, but we’re going to take full advantage of it.”

(On the kickoff team…) “Kick coverage in general, it’s everything. There’s great discipline because they play in a coordinated fashion, it’s tremendously connected to the kicker, we have a great punter, Jon Ryan is having a fantastic year punting or we would never be able to cover how we do in the punt game. But without the element of full out great effort, going for it and taking your shot when you’re down there all the discipline in the world is not going to get you what you need. You have to have all of that to be at the level that we’re trying to aspire to, to be the best in this league. We’re very fortunate, we have a great group, Brian Schneider does a fantastic job with all his guys to get them connected to the scheme and then get them motivated to go for it. The leadership of Heath Farwell and some of the guys, Michael Robinson being back on this team, Jermaine Kearse has done a fantastic job for us, Mike Morgan, Malcolm Smith, all of those guys that are the core guys of this special teams unit, they’ve got great pride about it that makes them run. If you want to watch something, watch us when we kick the ball out of the endzone the race that goes on to get to the goal line. I don’t know if you people notice that, but if you take a look, these guys are racing to be first to the endzone. They get points for it, and they get motivated to do it, and it shows you how intently involved they are in what we’re doing. It takes all of that to be great at it and this is really from the heart, special teams.”

(On what his comfort in terms of Steven Hauschka’s kicking range…) “Well obviously 53 is good, and he hit the wall with that ball, we made a big deal about the fact that it just didn’t barely make it, he hit it all the way to the stadium wall. He’s hit balls right around 58/59 yards and made them. We practice stuff like that so if we need one we’ll take a shot at it some time, we don’t want to feature those kind of kicks. I just assume punt the ball and put them on the ten yard line with Jon Ryan. That’s a tremendous aspect of our special teams that we try to utilize because Jon puts them on the ten yard line and we stop people a ton when we do that. I look for those opportunities, so if we’re anywhere close like that we’re going to go put the defense out there and go play ball instead of giving our opponent the ball there at the 40 yard line or something. Right now it’s working great, and Steven Hauschka is ready to bang one if we need one and in that range, the 55 yarders and all that, he’s comfortable with doing that. I bet that ball would’ve gone 60 yards last week, I don’t know how to gage that, but I think it would’ve.”

(On his confidence growing in Steven Hauschka’s field goal ability…) “It hasn’t changed much. He’s having an incredibly accurate year, but as far as the dynamics on how far he can kick it, that hasn’t changed much. We’re still trying to punt the football, pin them deep and play defense, unless you need it for a game winner.”

(On Tharold Simon and Jesse Williams prognosis…) “Jesse is home, he’s out of here now and he’s in a long process to get back with a long term recovery. Tharold will be called back to practice next week so we’re excited about him coming back. We really haven’t seen much of him at all. He’s in terrific shape to come back, but we’re going to wait one more week and then he’ll start working with us.”

(On Jesse Williams going home…) “His recovery was definitely a long term shot and so we released to go ahead and get out of here and continue to work. He’s working out really hard, he likes what he’s doing and all of that, but that’s a long loop before we figure out where that all stands.”

(On the Vikings’ passing game…) “We don’t know. We don’t know if Christian Ponder is going to play or not, it sounds like they’re going to wait later in the week so we’ll figure it out. Christian gives them a guy that can go out there and spread the ball around, works the perimeter really well, he’s really mobile and he’s really good on the run. They feature him getting out of the pocket, and he scrambles well too. He’s a 4.6 guy so he can run when he gets out and he’s averaging six yards per carry so we take all of that into account. If it’s Matt Cassell, Matt is an accomplished pocket quarterback. He’s proven that he can play big time, he’s got good numbers, he completing almost 70 percent of his passes so he’s on it. We’ll feel comfortable adapting to those two guys whichever way it goes. Maybe Josh Freeman comes into the mix too if Christian can’t play. We’ll just have to take that as it comes, but we feel like we have good sense for them and they certainly want to style their offense after watching Adrian Peterson run the ball. That’s good thinking and he’s a great player. Christian seems to use that very well, and they’re using Cordarelle Patterson how the used Percy Harvin a year ago. He’s back there catching a lot of balls on the perimeter and they’re trying to get him to catch and run. It’s a really cool part of their offense.”

(On Jeron Johnson and Derrick Coleman…) “Both of those guys will practice today. Let me say this in just a general sense, we’re really excited about the guys coming back. There are a number of guys that returned to the practice field today, and for those guys who want to play so much and want to contribute and be part of the team, it’s really exciting for them. To see the tackles come back, Max Unger is back, Red Bryant comes back. Those guys hated missing this game last week, but you see guys coming back, Jeron is going to be ready to practice with us, we’ll find out how far Derrick can go. He’ll be a little bit limited until we know, but it’s a lot of guys returning in one week’s time and you can feel it in the locker room, you can feel it on the practice field, these guys are pumped up to get going again. We’re in a good spot and hopefully we can take full advantage of that, and also keep those guys with their heads in the ball game like they like too. It’s a pretty exciting time.”

(On Greg Scruggs and Korey Toomer…) “Scruggs does, Scruggs is getting closer. He’s been working real hard with guys and he’s a couple of weeks away from figuring out whether we can do something. Korey is a little further away than that.”

(On if he is pleased with Percy Harvin’s recovery time…) “Absolutely because he’s ready to go today, he’s ready to come out and work. That doesn’t mean that he’s going to play in this game, we don’t know that yet, and he’s got to make it through the practices. He feels 100 percent. He feels like he’s ready to go and go for it. He’s run really hard, I’ve seen him on the practice field a lot and watched him in his workouts, and he’s on it. It’s a pretty excited time so we’re all encouraged. Check in with us tomorrow.”

(On if Percy Harvin wants to come back this week to play against the Vikings…) “Yeah because this is the next chance that he’s got. He is absolutely a turned on football player. He wants to go and do everything that he can possibly do. He has that fantastic attitude about competing, and this is the next chance so this is the most important one in the world to him.”

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. banosser says:

    I think we see Okung Breno and Harvin this Sunday.. and the D holds AD under…. 115

  2. Don’t kick off to C.Patterson.

  3. Sounds like Ponder has healed up since last Thursday and is ready to go. http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/category/_/name/minnesota-vikings

  4. seatowntp says:

    I am cognizant that I am stating the obvious. . . However, with that being said, the return of all these quality players, at this exact point in the season, is incredibly exciting! These widespread and strategic returns so substantially elevate and propel this team from an (almost) very good category to a dynamic, potentially elite squad at the perfect time – the playoff stretch.

  5. xcman – thanks that was great. PC must be a fun coach to play for. Love the enthusiasm. Nice to see him all over the refs – and he was right. Glad he pointed out that they were probably told we play tough and they were looking for it even though the call on ET wasn’t warranted. Great stuff.

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