This morning at The Breakers Resort in West Palm Beach, Fla., all 16 AFC head coaches took an hour out from their schedules at the NFL owners meetings to meet with reporters over breakfast. Delivered by three AFC coaches, here are notable thoughts that have some relevance to the Vikings’ current storylines.
Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel on the return of running back Jamaal Charles, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Week 2 of last season …
Why it’s relevant to the Vikings: If you haven’t heard, the Vikings have their own star running back trying to bounce back after a devastating ACL injury.
Crennel says: “Jamaal says his knee is doing good. He’s running straight ahead and he’s making good progress. The trainer says he’s on schedule. His rehab people say he’s on schedule. So we’re excited about that news. Now, that being said, you always have to wait until you get them back on the field to see how they really do. But we’re optimistic right now … I think during the process, you have to impress upon the young man that his rehab is important. And it’s got to be the proper rehab that we have to get done to give him the best chance to play at a high level when he does come back. Because you don’t want that guy coming back too soon and then reinjuring himself. So you talk to them about that. You have the trainer talk about it. His physician has to talk about it. Because when they do start feeling good, they want to do more. And then you can do some preventive things too by fitting them with a brace and letting them work with that brace for a while until that knee gets stronger and they gain more stability. [It can be worrisome] particularly during this time. With the rules the way they are now, we basically can say hello to our guys and all that but we can’t talk football with them. So you have to rely on your trainer a bit to be that liaison for you to get that message across.”
Browns coach Pat Shurmur on the true value of a star left tackle. Cleveland, of course, is the proud owner of five-time Pro Bowl selection Joe Thomas, selected No. 3 overall in 2007 ...
Why it’s relevant to the Vikings: They own the No. 3 pick in next month’s draft and will strongly consider taking Southern Cal left tackle Matt Kalil.
Shurmur says: “Every position has to pull their own weight. And that’s the challenge. Plus your really good players have to continue to improve. With Joe, he’s done that. He’s obviously been a huge part of what’s good with the direction we’re going. We just need everybody else to do the same. … I think standout quarterback play and left tackle play go hand in hand. I think if you’ve got a quarterback who’s going to stand back there and hold it, and if you equate left tackle play to giving up sacks, then it’s hard for the left tackle to be good if the quarterback doesn’t get the ball off on time. But if you keep it in a situation where the defense doesn’t know if you’re going to run it or throw it, then that tackle can be very successful. … [With Kalil] he’s obviously played at a very high level at one of the premier schools in the country. He has excellent feet and that’s what you’re looking for. Plus he’s got great size. A big guy who can move his feet like that, those guys are at a premium. I think there are some similarities [between he and Joe] as far as their ability to move their feet and pass protect.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on what he remembers about Alan Williams from their days playing together at William & Mary in the early 1990s and what he admires about Williams as a coach ...
Why it’s relevant to the Vikings: In January, head coach Leslie Frazier hired Williams as his new defensive coordinator.
Tomlin says: “Alan was a very mature guy. Maybe I was a very immature guy when we were in college. I just always had a great deal of respect for him. He was an older player, of course. But he was a guy I looked up to, a guy who did it right, a guy who worked hard, kept his mouth shut. We all respected him in that regard. And it’s kind of been the same thing with him in coaching. He’s been a guy who’s always worked hard, kept his mouth shut and built a nice resume for himself. It’s awesome to see a guy in that position get the opportunity that he’s getting. I have some good friends up there [in Minnesota]. I’m excited for those guys and do nothing but wish him and them the best. With Alan, I think he’s steady. I don’t think he rides the emotional roller coaster.”