Josh Freeman will start at QB against the Giants on Monday. pic.twitter.com/W8YUvNkBYf— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 16, 2013
Minnesota Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Q: Just your thoughts on going into Monday night. Obviously you guys are looking for a win, but the Giants are, too. Just your thoughts on what you’re going to face here at MetLife Stadium?
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Q: Coach, do you have your quarterback situation figured out this week? Do you know who you go with as the starter?
A: We’re going to watch the guys practice a little bit, this is our first practice since our game on Sunday and try to make a decision pretty soon. I just want to get a chance to sit down with them today and watch them practice, try to get something done.
Q: Coach, how has Josh Freeman been catching up and figuring out your system?
A: He’s done pretty good. We had him last week for the first time and he picked up things fairly well. We’re going to try to give him some more this week to see how he handles it. He’s done a good job in the meetings and what we’ve asked him to do on the practice field.
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Q: Do you anticipate, even if it’s not this week, he’ll be the starter? Is that why you traded for him?
A: At some point we’re going to get him on the field, for sure. That’s one reason we brought him in, to get him out there this season and that’s why he’s here.
Q: How does uncertainty at that position affect the way you prepare week to week?
A: It has a major impact. You want to have your quarterback situation solidified and everything revolves on your team around that position. To go into a ball game with that position being in flux, it affects a lot of things. It’s not ideal, by any means.
Q: What have you seen from Eli Manning this season? Obviously, that has been a lot of turnovers, and there’s speculation that he’s maybe forcing things a little too much. Is that what you see?
A: The accuracy is still there. He still moves fairly well in the pocket. You can see him still leading that offense. He’s had some turnovers, for sure, but watching that Chicago game, he was so close to putting together one of those great last-minute drives that he’s done. He’s real close to being where he wants to be, it seems.
Q: What have you seen from the Giants’ defense this season, particularly against the run, what they’ve been able to do and obviously knowing that Adrian Peterson is probably looking to bounce back from his performance on Sunday?
A: They’ve been up and down. They battle. They’ve come up short. They’ve given up some yards, just like here in Minnesota. They’ve struggled in some areas, but they play good in spurts and I’m sure this long layoff they’ve had since the Thursday game will help them to go back and look at some things and work to improve. We expect a much improved defense versus the run and the pass. As they gain so many guys back in the secondary, we expect their pass defense to improve as well. It will be much improved.
Minnesota DE Jared Allen
Q: What are you seeing from Eli Manning this season?
A: I just watched the film. I know the team is having some tough times, kind of like we are over here, but … he’s still a two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Super Bowl MVP and he has the ability to hurt you with his arm. One thing I did notice just from watching a little bit of that Chicago game is they’re still running the ball pretty well up there. So we’ve got to be stout on run defense and hopefully force them into some third and long situations and disrupt his timing and show him different looks.
Q: Eli has been hit quite a lot this year. Do you see him rushing things when he is free?
A: No. On the film I’ve watched so far… I mean obviously I’m not a quarterback, so I don’t know about mechanics and timing and stuff like that. He’s been getting hit, but I think it’s a situation of where they’re at and I think, just like any quarterback, at some point you have to get the ball out or you take a chance of getting hit. One of the games I’ve watched was the Chicago game, the end of the game interception was an overthrow. I didn’t watch the whole game. I don’t know. Maybe he felt some pressure there, but that’s the kind of throw you’ve got to get. You’ve got to get him into guaranteed throwing downs. Hopefully we can change looks up on him and get some pressure on him and force him to change up his timing and his rhythm.
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Q: When a team has turned the ball over as much as the Giants have, do you go into a game thinking you can put that kind of pressure on a team right from the start?
A: Our game plan doesn’t change much. I think right now we have some things we need to straighten up over here, and first and foremost is our run defense. If you go into the game and just think, ‘we’re going to force them to turn the ball over,’ you’re going to get your own. You need to get them in situations to force bad throws, or be able to put pressure on them. When teams turn the ball over, I know we got used to it last year for a spurt, it can be one of those things that can be kind of like a domino effect, it keeps happening. Anytime a team is struggling, you do want to put them in situations to remind them of their struggles. Unfortunately, we’re kind of battling the same thing over here, so we have to be consistent in what we do and get back to fundamentals and that stuff will take care of itself.
Q: How tough is it for a team to have uncertainty at the quarterback position like you guys have right now?
A: It can be tough at times. This is our third starter in four weeks, so I don’t know what’s going on. It can be tough, but honestly we try to keep the mentality around here that we control what we can control and that’s playing solid defense. There’s so much we need to fix from last game on our side of the ball that we don’t even have time to look at what’s going on, on the other side. We need to get back to fundamentals on our side and truly be worried about what the defense does. I remember back in 2008, we kind of had a revolving door of quarterbacks between Gus and Tavaris and we didn’t care. Our mentality is we don’t care on that side of the ball, we need to take care of and defend the grass on our side of the ball. We played solid defense back there and we were able to win the division. This time I messaged our guys, right now it doesn’t matter what our record is, let’s take this opportunity to sure up things on defense, get back to playing winning defense, and let the chips fall (…) at the end of the season and hopefully we’ve done something historic and come back and make a run at this thing.