Run defense remains a problem

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 5, 2012 - 7:32 PM

The Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch became the fourth consecutive opposing back to run for more than 100 yards against the Vikings.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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The Vikings gave up 195 rushing yards in their 30-20 loss at Seattle on Sunday, and had a back run for more than 100 yards against them for the fourth consecutive game.

Coach Leslie Frazier talked at length Monday about needing to improve his team's run defense.

"Our defense doesn't resemble the type of run defense we're capable of playing," he said, adding the team might have to "start from Square 1."

Said linebacker Chad Greenway, who leads the NFL with 94 tackles: "Obviously what Coach says is the golden word, but from our standpoint in the defensive room, it's more about going out there and just doing our job.

"We have to stay the course and just do our job a little bit better, starting with myself. Everybody does that across the board on this team [and] we'll have a chance. Everybody just has to look at himself and say, 'Hey, what can I do better?'"

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."

On Ponder

Frazier said he hasn't considered benching struggling quarterback Christian Ponder, who completed 11 of 22 passes for 63 yards and had a passer rating of 37.3 against the Seahawks, but he did talk about some of Ponder's issues Sunday.

• On his accuracy, particularly a high pass on a bubble screen to Percy Harvin. "He's completed that with accuracy throughout the season. For whatever reason, the ball sailed on him. He's got to get his feet set and got to make that throw."

• On whether a sore knee was contributing to Ponder's inaccuracy: "He hasn't complained about his knee. 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."

• On Ponder's confidence: "Part of being a quarterback at our level is throwing into tight windows. 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."

Awkward moment

After the Vikings took a 17-14 lead in the second quarter, Harvin was caught by television cameras yelling at Frazier along the sideline.

The Vikings had a first down at the Seahawks 14-yard line, but a 3-yard pass was followed by Ponder's errant bubble screen throw and a sack, leading to a field goal.

Frazier and Harvin downplayed the incident after the game, and Frazier did not elaborate Monday, saying: "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."

Versatile Schwartz

Geoff Schwartz continues to get a couple of series each game at right guard in a rotation with Brandon Fusco. He's also getting some snaps at tight end in a jumbo package the Vikings use on the goal line. He even ran a pass route Sunday.

But he doesn't expect to actually touch the ball. He hasn't in the pros, and he only did it once in college at Oregon.

"I had a 3-yard run," Schwartz said. "They pitched it to me by accident."

Praising Peterson

Adrian Peterson's big day in Seattle -- 17 rushes for 182 yards and two touchdowns -- had one Seahawks player gushing.

"It's not every day you're on the field with a running back of that caliber," defensive end Red Bryant said. "You hear about Jim Brown, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders. Adrian Peterson is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

''I can't come up with enough adjectives to describe how special of a running back he is."

Injury update

In addition to Harvin (ankle), defensive tackle Letroy Guion (turf toe) is day-to-day this week. Frazier said tight end John Carlson (concussion) should be back at practice Wednesday.

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