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.


Exit Interviews: Vikings close the book on miserable season (Part Two)

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Vikings players, Antoine Winfield, Kevin Williams Updated: January 2, 2012 - 1:05 PM

A demoralizing 3-13 season ended Sunday with a 33-26 loss to Chicago. That's the end. Now the Vikings players head into the offseason with far more questions than answers. On Monday morning at Winter Park, after final meetings with the coaches, players spoke to the local media. Here is a sampling of what the Vikings had to say ...

[[[ Click here for Exit Interviews: Part One ]]]

CORNERBACK ANTOINE WINFIELD
On the likelihood that the Vikings will experience major roster turnover before the 2012 season ...
“That’s every locker room. It’s going to happen, change is going to happen. I’ve been fortunate to be here eight years. I hope to be here two more. ... That happens every season. I’ve been in the league for 13 years and every year there’s different guys around me.”

QUARTERBACK CHRISTIAN PONDER
On using the offseason to work with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave ...
"I think it's going to be great. Me and Bill are going to spend a lot of time together, go through the whole offense this past year to see what we can do better, what I can do better. I think it's going to be really good for us to be together and kind of play off each other, get a good understanding of what he thinks and what his thoughts are on what exactly he wants to get accomplished. I think it's going to be really great. ... You know, I really had no clue what [this offsense] was going to be like. It's hard to tell how an offensive coordinator's going to call plays. And personnel? You saw, we went through a lot of different personnel. It was definitely different. I had no expectations of what the offense was going to be like. Now I have an understanding of what it's going to be like going into next year."

DEFENSIVE TACKLE KEVIN WILLIAMS
On suffering through 3-13 just two years after a run to the NFC title game in 2009 ...
“That year stands alone. We did some great things and, shoot, Brett [Favre] played the best year of his life. We knew you couldn’t duplicate that and you’ve just got to move on and take it year by year and game by game.”

QUARTERBACK JOE WEBB
On a competition with Ponder for the starting spot ...
"It’s going to be interesting. We always pick one another up, have high spirits. We’re great friends. So we’re going to compete to the end, no matter what. Whether he’s the starter and I’m coming for his spot or I’m the starter and he’s coming for my spot, we’re going to always compete. But we have fun with it."

SAFETY HUSAIN ABDULLAH
On his uncertain future after suffering four concussions the past two seasons ...
"What concerns me most? The fact that I've had four. I'm trying to learn more about this. I know it's an ongoing study and I'm just trying to figure out more about it, get more information about it and then just go from there. ... It's a little concerning  just the fact that I had two last year and two this year in a short time span. So they thought it was in my best interest [to go on injured reserve]. Even though, at the time, I wanted to go back out there, they were like 'The last thing we want you to do is go out and get another one right now.' So I'm very thankful that the team took that step in helping me out health-wise."

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