Sunday's 24-21 win at Carolina was far from perfect, obviously, but coach Leslie Frazier said today that "nothing is gnawing at me after a Vikings win."
That doesn't, however, mean the Vikings don't have some serious work to take care of during the bye week. The players will leave today and aren't required to return until next Monday. The coaches will stay through Thursday morning as the team does its self-scouting and talks over a number of personnel issues.
The key topic today involved suspended cornerback Chris Cook and what to do with him going forward. Per rules of the collective bargaining agreement, the Vikings can suspend him for up to four weeks. Cook was suspended after being charged with felony domestic abuse last week.
"We're actually going to sit down and discuss that this afternoon," Frazier said. "Just see what direction we're going to be heading in. A lot of it has to do with what the league says. But we have a lot to talk about."
Asked if the Vikings would cut Cook, Frazier said, "We got a lot of things to talk about. A lot of things to talk about going forward."
Other highlights from Frazier's press conference:
- On Ponder's influence on the team: "Guys have been battling all along. We're doing things in the second half with third downs now. We're staying on the field now." Talking about some of the team's long drives in the second half, including Sunday's 13-play game-winning drive, Frazier said, "That's championship football."
- Asked why Ponder is so poised on third down, Frazier said it has a lot to do with Ponder's knowledge of football as well as his maturity. He also said Ponder's poise and composure is "light years" ahead of most guys in his situation," which, Frazier added, is "uncanny."
- Adrian Peterson catching five passes for a career-high 76 yards and a touchdown had to do with the team facing double-high safeties. "Christian knows what to do in that situation," which is to check down to Peterson, Frazier said.
- Asked if he wonders where the team would be if it had turned to Ponder earlier, Frazier said, "I don't go there." Frazier said he doesn't go there because he knows when Ponder was ready to take over, and it wasn't until three weeks ago.
- Asked about the decision to have Asher Allen, not Cedric Griffin, shadow Steve Smith on Sunday, Frazier said, "It's not a custom of ours [to shadow a receiver with one corner], but for where we are with our personnel, we thought that gave us the best chance to win." He also said the team will talk about having Allen take Griffin's starting job when Antoine Winfield returns a week from Monday.