VIKINGS: Coach Frazier relying on vets to hold locker room together
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The Vikings vow to protect their locker room despite the frustrations mounting with each loss. The emotions of an 0-4 start can poison a locker room if players grow weary of the coach's message, stop believing in the game plan...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.
The Vikings vow to protect their locker room despite the frustrations mounting with each loss.
The emotions of an 0-4 start can poison a locker room if players grow weary of the coach's message, stop believing in the game plan or start pointing fingers.
"When you're in the midst of a situation like ours right now where we're 0-4, it's important that you're clear what the message should be and what the message should be going out," coach Leslie Frazier said. "It's something that we do have to address."
The Vikings' roster includes eight former Pro Bowl players and nine starters 30 or older. The experience will help the locker room stay positive, linebacker Chad Greenway said.
"There are no positive things, really, other than the fact we have a long ways to go and we really want to work hard to right this ship," Greenway said. "If anything is positive, we have the right guys to get it done."
Several impressive individual performances -- including defensive end Jared Allen's 6-1/2 sacks and running back Adrian Peterson's 376 rushing yards -- have been offset by the Vikings' failure to make fourth-quarter plays, Greenway said.
"We're just not making the plays that are making the difference in the outcome of the games," he said.
What's in a number? Nose tackle Remi Ayodele said he doesn't look at individual stats until the end of the season.
That might be best, because right now he'd find a line of zeroes under his name.
Ayodele has no tackles through four games, but he can take pride in one number -- 76.2, the average rushing yards allowed per game by the Vikings, which is fifth in the NFL.
"I'm in there taking two blockers most of the time," said Ayodele on why he's not worried about stats.
Spot duty: Backup Patrick Brown played six snaps in relief of left tackle Charlie Johnson, who left Sunday's game in the fourth quarter because of a triceps injury.
While Johnson is expected to recover quickly, Brown said he was pleased with his play.
"Whenever something happens, I have to be ready," he said. "That's my job. I'm prepared just like I'm going to be a starter and need to jump in at any time."
Brown is looking to stick on the Vikings' roster after brief stints with the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets since 2010.
Slight change of plan: Talk about being ready when your number is called.
In Week 3 against Detroit, linebacker Erin Henderson played five snaps. Sunday against Kansas City, he played 62.
Henderson took the majority of the nickel snaps with brother E.J. Henderson limited because of knee soreness.
Quote of note: "No excuses. We practice just like everybody else; we had the same amount of time as everybody else."
-- Wide receiver Percy Harvin, on whether implementing a new offensive system with a new quarterback hindered the Vikings during a lockout-shortened offseason.
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