Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Sticking with Christian Ponder

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Injury report, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings injury report, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin Updated: November 5, 2012 - 1:38 PM

 Pondering the passing game

There are some issues with scheme, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said; the team has to come up with better ways to deal with defenses that are playing press coverage outside and a single safety up top.

Some routes could be better, Frazier added. And pass protection has to improve.

But Frazier’s Monday press conference focused mainly on the play of quarterback Christian Ponder.

Let’s get this out of the way: Frazier said he has not thought about benching Ponder, not even for a series.

“We do some things preparation-wise during the course of the week to prepare him for just about every situation that he sees,” Frazier said. “Then it just comes back to our being able to execute in certain situations.”

Frazier said Ponder seemed confident. Now it’s a matter of doing it on the field.

“I think the last couple of weeks there have been some things that have come up that we need to keep working on,” Frazier said. “Not only with him, but our entire offense, to get better production out of the pass game. He knows there are some things he needs to improve on, but there are also some things throughout our passing game that we have to get corrected in order to help him be successful.”

That said, Frazier fielded a number of questions that focused squarely on Ponder, including:

--On Ponder’s accuracy issues, particularly a miss to Devin Aromashodu and a high pass on a bubble screen. “He’s completed that with accuracy thought the season,” Frazier said of the screen. “For whatever reason, the ball sailed on him. He’s got to get his feet set and got to make that throw.”

--On whether his sore knee was an issue in Ponder’s accuracy: “He hasn’t complained about his knee,” Frazier said. “I don’t think that’s an issue.”

--On Ponder appearing uncomfortable in the pocket: “If you get a lot of pressure usually that will create that,” Frazier said.

On Ponder’s confidence: “Part of being a quarterback at our level is throwing into tight windows,” Frazier said. “He’s capable of doing that. We’ve all seen him do it and (we’ve) just got to consistently do it because if we get those opportunities on Sunday in this ballgame we’ll have to take advantage of it.”

Bottom line is defenses are going to continue to load up the box until Ponder and the Vikings figure out a way to take advantage of that situation. “It’s not just what Christian is doing or not doing,” Frazier said. “But some of the things we’re doing as a whole.”

 

Harvin unhappy?

Frazier was asked about Harvin being caught on camera complaining to Frazier.
“He just wants to win,” Frazier said. “We were struggling with some things and you know he had frustration along with a lot of us because we felt like we could do more than what we did yesterday. … We have a lot of competitive guys on our team who want to win and want to see things happen for our team. He’s one of them. I appreciate his competitiveness and there’s a way to communicate and he and I have talked about some of that and we’ll continue to work on that.”

 

Stopping the run

The passing game isn’t the only thing that needs work, Frazier admitted.  After seeing porous run defense for a third straight week, Frazier said he and his staff would go to “square one’’ to see that change.

“Our run defense doesn’t even resemble the type of run defense we’re capable of playing,” Frazier said. “And we have to get back to the drawing board and come up with some ways to defend the run better than we’re doing. We have to look at some things and try to get some things corrected, and really almost start from square one when it comes to our rush defense. It’s not up to par by any means.”

Seattle totaled 195 rushing yards – led by Marshawn Lynch’s 124 – and averaged 4.3 yards per rush.

Frazier said there were missed tackles, and some occasions where the Vikings still were not where they needed to be. “We don’t want to keep coming back on Mondays and talking about our run defense,” he said. “So we’ve got to figure it out.”

 

 

Injury update

As mentioned before, the Vikings injury report coming out of the game focuses mainly on Percy Harvin (ankle) and defensive tackle Letroy Guion (turf toe). An MRI confirmed Harvin’s ankle sprain. Both he and Guion are considered day-to-day. Tight end John Carlson (concussion) was scheduled to meet with a doctor Monday, but is expected to be back at practice on Wednesday. 

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Buffalo 17 FINAL
New England 9
Cleveland 10 FINAL
Baltimore 20
Dallas 44 FINAL
Washington 17
Indianapolis 27 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
Houston 23
San Diego 7 FINAL
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 37 FINAL
Miami 24
Chicago 9 FINAL
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
NY Giants 26
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 17 2nd Qtr 1:54
Atlanta 3
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Green Bay 14
Oakland 7 2nd Qtr 2:44
Denver 17
Arizona 10 2nd Qtr 1:35
San Francisco 13
St. Louis 6 2nd Qtr 0:53
Seattle 0
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
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TBA
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Houston 6:00 PM
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(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
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Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
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Oklahoma State
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Florida
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
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Norfolk State 62
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South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
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La Salle 73
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Pittsburgh 97
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IUPU-Ft Wayne 78
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Longwood 63
New Hampshire 58 FINAL
Manhattan 54
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Binghamton 57
Northeastern 70 FINAL
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Towson 72
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William & Mary 56
Tulane 60 FINAL
Cincinnati 50
North Florida 51 FINAL
Florida 63
(14) Georgia 51 FINAL
Seton Hall 70
Tennessee St 75 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 87
American Univ 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 77
Massachusetts 78 FINAL
Boston U 57
Quinnipiac 69 FINAL
Saint Josephs 67
Lafayette 49 FINAL
Saint Peters 34
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(20) Michigan State 57
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Lehigh 75
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(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Indiana 51
(24) Green Bay 66 FINAL
Dayton 72
Western Mich 55 FINAL
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Virginia 57
UNC Greensboro 61 FINAL
LSU 82
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North Texas 55
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Houston Baptist 86
Lamar 63 FINAL
Rice 97
Miss Valley St 40 FINAL
Alabama 71
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 49
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Tenn Tech 76
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(23) Iowa 77
Purdue 62 FINAL
Illinois 55
DePaul 99 FINAL
Illinois State 62
Sam Houston St 46 FINAL
Wichita State 70
South Dakota 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
(4) Notre Dame 63 2nd Half 7:59
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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