We are now nearly seven full days removed from the Vikings’ 23-20 loss to the Cardinals, but today was the first day that offensive coordinator Norv Turner has spoken with the media since a last-second sack of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater put an end to the team’s comeback attempt.
Turner has had a week to think about the play call on that third-down play with 13 seconds left, and he still believes it was a good one.
“We’ve got a lot of sideline plays. This is one that’s worked for us last year, worked for us in the past,” Turner said. “We never have a sideline play where we don’t have a quick outlet. [Running back] Adrian [Peterson] was the quick outlet. The way they defended the play, if we had to do it again, we would have thrown the ball over Adrian’s head and kicked the field goal. They defended the play real well.”
Turner added, “I think everyone will learn from that play.”
Yesterday, Bridgewater explained what he thought of the play. He also, when asked, said he was not allowed to check out of the play that Turner called and into another one. Turner was asked about that today.
“It’s a good play. There’s no reason to check out of it,” Turner said.
Turner was also asked about Peterson playing 56 of the 68 offensive snaps against the Cardinals, noteworthy because Peterson was left on the field on more third-down plays and when the Vikings were in catch-up mode. In previous games, Matt Asiata or Jerick McKinnon got most of those snaps.
Turner responded with a tongue-in-check answer referring to the criticism that Turner got from both Peterson and some media members about Peterson’s limited role in the loss to the Seahawks a couple of weeks ago.
“I think probably, if you guys remember, after the Seattle game there was some questions of how much activity he had and how many carries he had,” Turner said. “So he was probably pretty fresh. So we thought we’d take advantage of that situation. He’s capable of doing all of it.”
So was that a one-time thing or can we expect to see Peterson doing more pass protecting and route running in place of Asiata and McKinnon?
“Every game is different,” Turner said. “And there’s things that we want to do with him. We want him to get his opportunities to affect the game.”