Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo didn’t reject coach Mike Zimmer’s accusation that the offense might have “a little too much volume,” but he did defend his need to have more plays at his disposal in certain weeks.
“There are some games where you maybe have a little more because you’re not sure exactly how [the defense is] going to play you,” DeFilippo said Friday, four days after Zimmer wondered aloud during a news conference that maybe it was time to cut back the offense.
“The key to game-planning to me is to have enough in your arsenal because you never know how the game is going to be played. You never know what’s going to go on in a game.”
That being said, DeFilippo also said he and Zimmer are in “constant communication on how to make this offense better.” So they have been working on ways to trim the volume without affecting DeFilippo’s ability to call a game.
“We made a conscious effort to really emphasize cutting out all the gray areas as much as we can,” DeFilippo said. “We do that every week, but especially, obviously, as we go along here.”
Turnovers the problem
DeFilippo sounds a lot more concerned about the volume of turnovers than the number of plays he has. The Vikings have turned the ball over 16 times, seventh most in the league.
“The thing that has hurt us the most in not being able to sustain drives is the turnovers,” he said. “I talked to our guys about respecting the football. We have to respect the football. When you have the football in your hands, you have everybody in the organization in your hands. I tried to explain that to our guys this week a little more forcefully. When we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, we’re pretty good.”
Barr will play
After missing three games because of a hamstring injury, linebacker Anthony Barr made it through a full week of practice and will play against the Packers on Sunday night.
“Eric Wilson did a nice job when he was in there,” Zimmer said of Barr’s replacement. “But there are just more things that we can do with Anthony that allow us to be a little bit more versatile.”
The Vikings listed four players as out: tight end David Morgan (knee), safety Andrew Sendejo (groin), receiver Chad Beebe (hamstring) and linebacker Ben Gedeon (concussion).
Sendejo will miss his sixth straight game. He’ll be replaced again by Anthony Harris, who had two interceptions in the loss to Chicago last week.
Staying the course
The Vikings are 0-3 in prime-time games heading into another one Sunday night. Zimmer said he’s not making wholesale changes to how the Vikings approach prime-time games.
“I know we haven’t won any this year, but we won three last year, and it’s the same routine,” he said. “I think it just comes down to finishing the game.
‘‘If you look at the New Orleans game, we fumble the ball and threw an interception. This last week [in Chicago] was kind of the same deal. Taking care of the football is big.”
• The Vikings will honor Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss during Sunday’s game against the Packers. Moss had 15 touchdown catches in 14 games against the Packers as a Viking.