Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Locker Room Buzz: Minnesota Vikings
By Ben Goessling
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Observed in the locker room following the Minnesota Vikings' 23-7 loss to the New York Giants:
Wilf staying course: Vikings owner Zygi Wilf admitted frustration after the team lost in his home state but dismissed the idea, at least for now, that the Vikings would consider any staff changes after a 1-5 start. "I'm sticking with my team," he said. "That's our team. We're going to stick with it." It's tough to tell if Wilf's comments qualify as the dreaded vote of confidence for coach Leslie Frazier & Co., but if the Vikings do have changes coming, they weren't happening on Monday night.
Peterson says Vikings have to be more physical: There have been few points in Adrian Peterson's career when he has looked as irrelevant as he did on Monday night. The league's reigning MVP gained just 28 yards on 13 carries, with only five of those coming in the second half. It was just the fourth time in Peterson's career that he has carried the ball more than 10 times and failed to gain less than 30 yards, and in the Vikings' past two games, Peterson has 23 carries for 90 yards. So what's wrong? Peterson says the Vikings' entire offense has lost some of its physical edge from last season. "The group as a whole, we just need to start hitting guys in the mouth," Peterson said. The running back said his strained right hamstring was bothering him at various points on Monday, but said the league's new rule prohibiting running backs from hitting defenders with the crown of their helmet hasn't weighed on his mind.
Sherels shoulders blame: Punt returner Marcus Sherels had the Vikings' only touchdown when he posted an 86-yard return in the first quarter. But a play after Sherels dropped a would-be interception that he could have returned for a touchdown in the third quarter, he fumbled a punt at the Vikings' 3-yard line, leading to a Giants touchdown. "Two mistakes there that changed the game," Sherels said. "Can't happen."
Jennings on Packers: Heading into next Sunday night's game with Green Bay, there will be plenty of talk about the verbal spat between wide receiver Greg Jennings and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after Jennings left Green Bay and signed with the Vikings in March. But Jennings wasn't adding any fuel to that fire Monday night. "Honestly, it's another football game," he said. "We've got to win it. We haven't won in a long time, and it's another football game that gives us the opportunity to win it."