Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.
Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune
Kluwe knows he needs to be better
- Article by: MARK CRAIG and KENT YOUNGBLOOD
- Star Tribune
- October 31, 2012 - 11:45 PM
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier downplayed the significance of the team's decision to work out free agent punters just five days after Chris Kluwe's poor performance helped put the Vikings in an early 10-0 hole en route to 36-17 loss to Tampa Bay.
"We worked out some different guys [Tuesday]," Frazier said Wednesday. "We worked out some linemen, some punters. We worked out a defensive back over the weekend. We worked out different positions. It's something we'll do throughout the season. We'll probably bring in some guys next week as well.
"[General Manager] Rick [Spielman] and the personnel department do a great job of just helping us to have a Rolodex of players that could be available if we have an injury or something else occurs. It's something that will be ongoing for us through the year, bringing in guys."
Kluwe averaged just 37.8 yards on six punts last Thursday. His second punt was a 20-yard shank out of bounds. The Bucs got the ball at their 42-yard line and turned the short field into a field goal
"Chris is a pro," Frazier said. "He'll figure this out."
Kluwe said the team's decision to work out punters doesn't bother him.
"That's the way the NFL is run," he said. "It's nothing personal. If they feel I'm not performing my job, they will find someone who can."
Kluwe said his problem Thursday is easily correctable.
"I'm just going too fast and not letting myself get situated with my drop," Kluwe said. "So that leads to an inconsistent drop and just not hitting the ball well.
"The main problem is you can't have a 20-yard punt in the first quarter on a long field against a team and give them momentum like that. That can't happen in the NFL."
Frazier said he doesn't think Kluwe's political activism has anything to do with Thursday's poor performance, saying, "He knows how to focus on his job."
Kluwe also was asked for his reaction to the outcry via Twitter and elsewhere that he "just focus on football" rather than choose to be such an outspoken proponent of gay marriage rights.
"Generally, I just ignore them," Kluwe said. "I read all of them, but I don't really think about them. The funny thing is, if you look at that argument, the basic foundation of that argument is why don't you worry more about a children's game than basic human rights. Yeah, generally I'm going to go with the basic human rights on that issue."
Kluwe (knee) was on the team's injury report for the first time this season, but practiced.Cornerback decision
The assumption is cornerback Chris Cook's broken arm will force the Vikings to move Josh Robinson from nickel back to starter and A.J. Jefferson from dime back to nickel back. Frazier won't make that call until the end of the week.
Asked what he was looking for from Robinson and Jefferson, Frazier said, "The consistency in practice and who grasps the game plan the best and gives us the best chance at this stage of the season to go out and be effective at the cornerback position opposite Antoine [Winfield].
"We have an idea of what direction we want to go. But we have to see how it goes in practice the next couple of days."Familiar style
When Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway puts on tape of the Seattle Seahawks offense, he sees a very familiar style.
Many of the Vikings' veterans were with the team when Darrell Bevell -- the Seahawks' offensive coordinator -- was doing the same job here through the 2010 season.
"I don't know if it gives us an advantage," Greenway said. "You still have to go out and play and react. But we do have a better sense of what [Bevell] is trying to accomplish, having been around him so much -- the type of scheme, the type of passing game he's going to utilize off what he's doing in the running game. And that play-action stuff. They're going to throw some [bootleg plays] at you, try to suck the linebackers up and throw over the top of you.
"All these things we know. But we have to go out and play the game."Etc.
• Tight end John Carlson (concussion) did not practice Wednesday. Also missing practice was linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, whose wife is having the couple's first child.
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