HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on how much
Just the beginning, we pulled him out after that.
(on if he’s discouraged with
We were hoping, obviously, he could do more. He was still a little sore, so we didn’t want to do it today. We’ll see how he is tomorrow and Sunday for the things he’ll do.
(on if he hoped Colin McCarthy would fully participate in practice)
We didn’t want him doing too much. We thought the beginning…Have him go on Wednesday, see what he can do. He practiced pretty much the whole practice, and we thought we’d rest him the next day, and then use him a little bit today to do some red zone stuff and some work today. Again, not overdo it so he’s OK for Sunday. We’ll see how he does on Sunday.
(on if Colin McCarthy will split snaps at linebacker on Sunday)
We’ll have to see how the game goes and what kind of game it is. We’re going there to win, so we need him on the field if he can help us win, we’re doing that. We’ll have to see how he is on Sunday once he gets going. If we feel we have to limit him, we’ll decide what package.
(on if he’s keeping the timing of next Thursday’s game in mind with injuries)
Someone that is more doubtful or questionable to play once we get to Sunday, we’ll factor that in. If we feel the guy can help us and go in there and play, we’ll play him. Whoever is healthy to play and we feel can help us, is going to play. If we’re using Kenny (Britt) or (Colin) McCarthy in that spot, if we feel they’re both good on Sunday and can contribute to Sunday, then we’ll definitely have them on the field. If we feel they really can’t contribute, then there is no reason to push it. Then we’ll wait for Thursday for them.
(on if the playing surface in Minnesota will influence his decision on who will play)
For me, it doesn’t. It’s going to be harder, there’s no doubt. You’re sore maybe after a normal game from that. To me, if they go up there and move around well in warm ups when we warm them up, we’ll play them.
(on how much better
He’s a lot better. It’s something when you hurt your shoulder, it’s going to probably bother him for a little while. He’s still not obviously the same, but I think now he’s learned how to deal with it. But it’s not near as painful as it was a week ago.
I think it’s a little of both there. I think he got more reps last week because of Jared (Cook). He played (in) more three-wide receiver (formations) than he has in a while, in the last two games, when Jared got hurt in the Detroit game. He’s just dependable. He’s what you call a pro, he knows what to do and he goes out and does it. He made some tough catches. The touchdown pass, he showed some very strong hands there catching the ball. It was a great ball, and he caught it and made a play with it. Heck, with the fourth-and-three, we went for another 15, which is good as anything I’ve seen as far as that could have been ugly the other way. A lot of guys would have let that ball go, either would be incomplete or an interception, touchdown the other way. Kind of what (Alterraun) Verner did to the tight end in Detroit. All those visions are going through my mind when I saw that ball. We all know he can block, but he’s doing a nice job catching the ball too.
(if Craig Stevens’ catches have been a pleasant surprise)
I know the quarterbacks are very confident in him. When he’s in the game, they always feel good that they know that he’s going to be in the right spot and do the right thing. He’s showing it now. Now he’s getting some opportunities because of the injuries. So that’s good to see. He’s been a nice weapon for us.
(on if he expects offenses to retain the upper hand in football games)
Unless they change the rules again. Unless there are rule changes, I can’t imagine how that would happen. It’s a little harder for the defense to do certain things they were able to do in the past. The development of quarterbacks—if something would happen there, where you don’t have any quarterbacks. But I don’t see that happening. I would image the offense will always have some type of upper hand. That’s what you want, I guess. Last night you didn’t get it. People want to see points, want to see action. Or the other way, you want to see some great defense too obviously. That’s fun to watch too. No, that’d probably be hard to have happen.
(if he prefers the type of football he experienced as a player)
Even when we played with the run-and-shoot, there was a lot of offense those days. But there were a lot of hits, too. Those guys earned those catches because they had to go over the middle and catch some balls and get down. They took a beating, but came back and kept playing. They were probably tougher then. I liked it when we played, obviously. I think everyone says that. They like the era better they played in. I kind of liked it then. There are too many calls that are hard to make, and I think it does affect the game. It’s hard, it’s hard to play. For certain positions, it’s hard to play this game, and play the way you’d like to play. I liked the play back in the ‘80s, I think, the early ‘90s.
(on how tough it is to play up in Minnesota)
It makes it a lot harder, probably for a lot longer. I think it’s one of those things where you play there, even when maybe their record wasn’t good, it’s going to be loud in the first quarter. If they don’t play so well, it’s not loud, the booing starts. Now that they are playing as well as they are, the crowd is going to hang with them for all four quarters and make our job a lot harder, I think. That is a weapon. I’ve played in a dome for a lot of years in the Astrodome, and that makes a huge difference, especially inside, it seems to be a lot louder being indoors. So it definitely adds to the game. Heck, they’re off to a great start. They’re looking at their division thinking, why not them? We need this win badly, so it’s going to be a game where we have to go play our best game, or we’re going to come home disappointed.
(on if Mall of America Field is louder than most)They’re probably similar. I think this one is smaller. The dome only held 55,000, our dome, the Astrodome. I’m not sure how big this one is, but I know it’s an old one, and the locker room isn’t real big. I know it’s probably the longest walk there from the field to the locker room. We don’t play there very often, obviously every eight years. I told Keith (Millard) the last time we were playing there, I was playing against him I think. A lot of years have gone since we’ve been in there. They’re all loud, but this one seems to be as loud as any that you play in.