As has become the custom with the Vikings, the team will have no media access on Thanksgiving Day so players can get home as quickly as possible to celebrate the holiday. That means we won't get our usual chance to speak to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on Thursday.
Bevell, however, was a guest on "Vikings Live at Winter Park" on Wednesday on KFAN Radio. Here are some of the highlights of his conversation with play-by-play announcer Paul Allen as he talks about the offense and the move from Brad Childress to Leslie Frazier as head coach.
Q. What changes for you and the offense on Sunday in Washington?
A. “It’s probably just going to be subtle differences that you’ll be able to see. Maybe just some different things in personality. But as far as the structure of our offense it’s not going to change. We’re a run-based offense. We want to be able to use Adrian Peterson to our advantage. Obviously, still be able to throw the ball, throw it efficiently. But we want to get more points on the board. That’s something we’re not doing right now. We are getting yards but yards doesn’t add up to points and wins and we need to get those points ringing up on the board.”
Q. What about the preparation of the game plan for the Redskins? Is that altered?
A. “Just a little bit of changes. We still go through it the same way that we do as an offensive staff. We tear apart the opponent that we’re getting ready to play. We begin to game plan the runs that we want to do, the passes we want to do. Had Coach Frazier [be] able to step in there this week and kind of just run things by him. Look at it from maybe a little bit different perspective, what he’s seeing from our offense, his philosophy, what he wants to infuse into that and then be able to go from there and kind of just still do what we do.”
Q. You guys had your first practice Wednesday in four-and-a-half years without Brad Childress leading the way. Was it surreal?
A. “I think it’s been different all day just in terms of having that different voice. Not saying it’s good or bad, just saying it was different. … Practice was different with Coach Frazier out there and not seeing Coach [Childress] out there but there was a great hop in the step. The guys were moving around quickly, we had very sharp drills so I think there’s a little bit of excitement there as well.”
Q. Is this a situation of that was a 31-3 loss last Sunday against Green Bay, this team is 3-7 and you just have to get things right and be more disciplined? Kind of take baby steps?
A. “Absolutely. We’ve got to get it back, drill it down. Get it back to the basics of football. Number one on offense is protecting the ball. We haven’t done a good job of protecting it. We need to be able to do that. We need to be able to score points, we need to be able to run the football, we need to be able to convert on third downs. The list is kind of going on and on. We need to cut down on penalties quite frankly on offense as well. We’re having too many procedural ones. You’re going to have a hold and things here and there but you can’t have delay of games, you can’t have guys jumping offsides, you can’t have illegal shift penalties. Those kind of things. Because those are things you work on and those are just paying attention to the little details.”
Q. How do you get around the loss of right guard Anthony Herrera, who suffered a torn ACL on Sunday and is done for the season?
A. “That’s a big loss. Anthony brings the spunk, he brings the fire, he brings a competitive spirit and drive to that offensive line. Ryan Cook actually stepped in, did a nice job during the game [against the Packers after Herrera went out in the first quarter]. We’ve got to be able to get him up to speed, have to get Chris DeGeare ready to go. So guys have to be willing to step up and we quite frankly need a leader to step up on that offensive line besides Steve Hutchinson to be able to bring some of the fire up there in front.”
Q. Ryan Cook was a center coming out of New Mexico, played right tackle for you a couple of years ago but we’ve never seen an extended run from him at guard. Is he best suited to play that position?
A. “We think so. We think that he’s been solid in there at guard. He can use his size [6-foot-6] in there. He can use his athletic ability in there. I think it’s the right spot for him, but he’s done an outstanding job for us being flexible. He’s had to play tackle, he’s had to play center, he’s had to play guard and those guys are just indispensable and we have to have guys like that that play more than one position and he’s done it very well for us.”