Quotes from the Vikings locker room following Friday's 27-13 loss to the Texans...
Minnesota Vikings Quarterback
Q: What do you think of your performance tonight?
A: It was just the one series. It was the first preseason game and the younger guys needed the work. It was just two plays. I will play more in the next one and more in the one after that probably a whole half. It was an unfortunate two plays, a completion and an interception. We will learn from it and look forward to Buffalo.
Q: Was the interception a bad throw or tipped pass?
A: I don’t know. I think it got tipped, not at the line, but Jerome Simpsontipped it up. I think the defense actually screwed up. They had a missed assignment. Will shouldn’t have been where he was but I would like to see the film to see what actually happened.
Q: What would have been your ideal amount of work tonight? Two series or a sustained drive?
A: We knew it was going to be one drive but we would have liked it to be a touchdown and a long drive, but it is what it is. We have a ton of practice left to get better.
Q: When you are told that you will get to play one series, do you ever ask for two?
A: No, not really. You understand the whole reason behind it. Number one, you don’t want to get hurt, especially in the first preseason game. There are guys trying to make roster spots and need playing time as well. There is plenty of playing time in the next couple games.
Q: What will you take away from tonight?
A: You can always learn from turnovers. We can learn from everyone else playing as well.
Q: Based on what you saw, what from
A: He looked good. He had a few deep in-cuts. He is a good player and he has a lot of potential. He is going to continue to develop and tonight was big for confidence. He is still learning and he will continue to get better.
Q: How was tonight for Patterson’s confidence?
A: He kept going out there and we saw his potential and we have high expectations for him. It was good to see him come out and he did even better with the lights on.
Q: What do you think about your next game’s playing time?
A: Maybe a quarter, definitely more than a series. We will see.
Q: How much time have you had to practice with Patterson?
A: We have had some practice time. We have done a good job mixing it in with the ones, twos and threes with everyone and I think he is pretty solid. I think we know where he is going to be and is developing.
Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Cordarelle Patterson
Q: How did it feel being the first game?
A: It was great to be out here in front of the home crowd. The crowd was all into it even though it was only a preseason game, and I cannot wait till the regular season and how that will be.
Q: Do you feel that you got a chance to show the fans what you can do with a couple of those catches and that return?
A: You have to wait and see. I can’t say that I am going to do this and do that. You know, then it won’t happen. I can just look at the film, and see all of the mistakes that I had, and just go off of that.
Q: Does this take a little bit of the pressure off knowing that you can do what you did out on the field right away?
A: It took a lot of the pressure off. Being out there so long I was kind of tired because I was so happy to be out there. The first series I was kind of gassed out, but when I got that first series out of the way I was pretty good.
Q: When you knew the starters weren’t going to be in very long how did that make you feel knowing you would be getting more playing time?
A: It means a lot to me.
Q: How much progress do you feel you have made with route running in OTA’s and training camp?
A: I have come a long ways. I feel it. I had receivers telling me here that you have come a long ways since OTA’s with your route running but you know me, personally, I feel like there is a lot more that I can do to get better. I can sink my hips down, and get out of my breaks quicker.
Q: People have talked about your impact as a returner, but how important is it to see your impact as a receiver as well?
A: It is very important. That is my job, and I take every job that I do seriously, and if I can get some extra touches I will take advantage of them, whether it’s kick return or catching a pass.
Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Matt Cassel
Q: How does it feel to be in Minnesota?
A: It’s been amazing here. The fans have been amazing here, especially down in Mankato. It’s been great. It’s been refreshing, and a new start was exactly what my family and I needed. I am excited to be part of the Viking family.
Q: Do you feel that you’re pretty comfortable in the offense?
A: I have a comfort level, there is no doubt. But every time you get out there on the football field there is a learning experience. Obviously, there are a lot of things where we will watch the film and I will need to clean up, and we will need to clean up collectively as a group. That is why we do preseason, so we can get some of those rough spots out of the way, and clean up your footwork and your reads with everything else. Every time you go out on the field it is a learning experience. Tonight was the first step in getting ready for the regular season.
Q: That was a nice play by
A: That was the best touchdown pass I have ever thrown…threw that little flat route and
Q: How about the catch and run for Stephen Burton. Was he the second option on that play?
A: Right, I was trying to keep that backer from getting depth underneath him. He did an outstanding job. That guy was kind of draped on him, and he broke through. He has had an outstanding camp, and he continues to improve each and every day. Today was a step in the right direction, and it was an outstanding night for him, play in and play out, including special teams. He just has to keep working, and we all do.
Q: Being new, how does it help getting some game time experience?
A: It is huge. With the little nuances of any offense and the details of it, anytime you are in practice you’re are just getting three reps here and three reps there. But in a live situation, when the bullets are flying and the plays are coming in, you need to get to the huddle, and get to the line of scrimmage, and go. There is no substitute for that, and that is why preseason is so pivotal for the guys that are going to be the backups and not play that much during the regular season.
Q: What kind of progress have you seen out of Cordarrelle Patterson?
A: He has done a tremendous job. He comes out to practice each and every day, works hard, and he made some plays tonight. Again he is a big talented kid, and I am sure that he will be the first one to tell you that he has a long ways to go. But again, any time those guys can get on the field, and we can get some playing time together, and some experience in this offense, it is invaluable.
Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Stephen Burton
Q: Would you say you are the real high of this offense right now?
A: I wouldn’t say high, I am just a part of this offense, whether it is a little piece blocking or a big piece making a play down the field.
Q: If the Vikings keep only 5 receivers, a performance like tonight has to go a long way for you?
A: That is really up to the coaches I believe. I am just going to let my play speak for itself, and let them make the decision. I would love to be a part of this team.
Q: Returning kicks was a skill you demonstrated tonight; you looked pretty comfortable out there?
A: I returned kicks in college, I love returning them whether it be punt or kickoff. It is just fun to be out there on the field.
Q. What are your impressions of Matt Cassel?
A. Cassel is a great guy, a great quarterback and he is really smart. He knows what he is doing when he is out there, and he definitely has a great arm.
Minnesota Vikings Fullback Zach Line
Q: How invaluable was this playing time?
A: You want this time right now. I think Jerome (Felton) played about two series and I had the rest of the game. I was a little bit tired. I got a good little workout in there, got to play some special teams too. That’s what you want at this time in your career. You want to get on film, you want to earn the respect from your teammates and your coaches and hopefully I did a little bit of that tonight.
Q: When you were in the open field did it take you back to your college days of playing halfback?
A: I’m not the best open field runner, but it worked out. You never know what’s going to happen in the open field. Fortunately it worked out the right way.
Q: What did you see when the play unfolded?
A: When I came out of the backfield I saw that it was pretty wide open. I knew they were going to float over the top and that’s when I saw (Stephen) Burton coming over and making a nice block for me. He made it nice and easy for me to get down the field. Seriously, it was like a chariot right down the sidelines until the very end.
Q: Was that kind of a dream come true for you to score the first time you touched the ball?
A: It definitely gets the jitters out of the way. There is a lot left in the dream. You want to have a long and successful career and you want to win championships and help your teammates win some games. Personal stats are great but I want those to add up to wins for this team.
Q: What was the first thing that crossed your mind when you crossed the endzone?
A: It was loud, it was pretty exciting. I heard all of the noise and excitement. I tried to spike the ball but I think I was too tired. I was pumped. All of my teammates were there and they were pumping me up and cheering me on, and then going to the sidelines was chaos also but it was a good experience.
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle
Q: Any difference between this and college?
A: The only real difference between this and college is the speed and two-a-days
Q: How did you think you did?
A: I want to improve everywhere, not just in one place. I want to keep sticking to what I do every day and try to get better. I just want to get back and watch film and work to get better.
Q: Were you nervous tonight?
A: No, not at all.
A. Yeah, they are helping me a lot every day.