Vikings postgame interviews: 'they all hurt'
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 24, 2010
The following transcripts come courtesy of the NFL.
NFC Championship, Sunday, January 24, 2009 - Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
Vikings Coach Brad Childress
"I'm proud of the way our guys (played tonight). They fought themselves back into it. When you play a team of this stature and turn the ball over five times (it makes it hard). To be able to get it back to where we got it back to is a testament to these guys. I'm sorry that we weren't able to follow through. It's disappointing. I'm proud of our guys...I don't think anyone gave them a chance to come down here and be able to play that way."
(on his strategy on the last game series at the end of regulation) "It was all in line with the number of timeouts that they had left. We just had a fullback in there and we broke the huddle with 12 (men). You can't call back to back timeouts. We had just come out of a timeout."
(on turnovers) "We've had no three turnover games this year. So to have five against a good football team, it's very difficult to overcome. I thought our guys did a great job in this environment here. I don't think there was a false start penalty. I don't think there was a procedural penalty. I thought we took care of this setting here extremely well."
(would he have gone for the field goal if there wasn't the penalty for 12 men in huddle) "I believe that we would have, yes."
(on Brett Favre) "I thought it was a gutty, gutty performance. I thought that he grinded it out. He found a bunch of different receivers....I just thought that he did a nice job of competing. He would be the first to tell you that he wishes he had a couple of those (throws) back."
(on the crowd) "They tend to be pretty riled up here. You'll have to check the decibel meter to tell me if anything was more excessive than it usually is down here. It's a great environment."
(on if he sensed that this was a classic game) "I just knew that we were just trying to find that one more point than everybody else. Classics are usually relegated by somebody else. I was asked that question by our local TV. (I was asked) What is it that makes something a classic? Who defines a book a classic of a game as a classic? You guys do (in the media)."
(on if he knows if Favre will return) "I don't know. I just talked to him. I'm sure that he's going to go home for a while. I told him to go home and lick your wounds. I'll do the same and we'll catch up down the road. Nobody wants to be rash about any decision making right now."
(on Favre injury in the middle of the game) "I didn't speak to him. I spoke to the trainer. They taped it up pretty tightly. He wanted to go back in. At the time, I'm not sure if we had a turnover or a punt. He was going back in the game. That wasn't in question."
(on what made the difference in the game) "You can spread it all the way around. It's hard to win games when you turn the ball over like that, particularly around the five yard line and the seven yard line when you think you're going to have a chance for a minimum of three points."
(on if the season was a success) "I just prefer to look at all of the positives. It was a great season for our team and for the state of Minnesota to be able to look at a team like that compete. Among other things, but to look at No. 4 (Favre) compete in purple (was special). I just prefer to look at the positives."
(on the loss) "Yeah they all hurt. I don't even know where to begin. All I can say is that has been a great year. Sure I hoped we would have gone a little further. This is a great group of guys. It is just disappointed. And that is an understatement."
(on INT on last drive) "After the penalty we were out of field goal range. I am not even sure what the exact yardage was that we needed, but the play was designed actually to go to Bernard (Berrian) in the flat – man coverage – they checked out of it and we went in motion. I was actually late to Sidney (Rice). I probably should have ran it. I don't know how far I could have gotten, but in hindsight that is probably what I should have done. I don't know how many yards we needed for a field goal, but I knew we needed some. It was just late to Sidney (Rice)."
(on the 12 men on the field penalty on the last drive) "In those 30 or 40 seconds the communication was obviously lost and for the most part I thought we handled that part of it well. That was not one of them."
(how do you feel?) "I've felt better. It was a physical game. A lot of hits, but you win that you sure feel a little bit better. The style of defense that they play we knew there would be those types of hits."
(when you got injured did you know you would come back?) "No, I didn't know. I didn't know. I knew when I got hit I felt my ankle which I can't tell you how many times I've twisted my ankle or had it bent one way or the other. That was one of those times where I knew that if I were to come back, I needed to come back right away because it's one of those when you sit around for a little bit I won't be able to move it tomorrow. It took me a while to kind of get up and just see. Darrell (Bevell, Minnesota offensive coordinator) was asking me on the sidelines if I could reach out on some of the run plays and protect myself in the pocket. I thought I could do it."
(was it a late hit when you got hurt?) "I did not see the replay. It felt that way. I have no idea. Of course I didn't see the interception and still don't know exactly what happened, but it was not a whole lot different to the one later to Sidney (Rice). I was a little late to Sidney on that one and it was costly."
(more on 12 men on field) "I think that was a communication issue. It goes without saying how loud it was. Tonight I don't think we had any false starts, I may be wrong. For the most part communication was good at the line of scrimmage. That was not one of them. To be honest with you I don't know who should have been in or not. I have no idea, no idea right now."
(when will you decide about returning?) "I would not say months. But I know people will roll their eyes. In a situation like this I really don't want make a decision right now based on solely on what's happened. I do know the year could not have gone any better aside from us not going to Miami. I really enjoyed the guys. I wonder if I can hold up, especially after a day like today physically and mentally. That was pretty draining. I am going to go home in a couple days and talk it over with the family."
(on going out on top) "I'd love to win the Super Bowl, who wouldn't, but I can't print anything for you guys, but I'm going out on top one way or the other. I didn't think I had anything to prove coming in, but if there were doubters out there maybe I sold notice to them. My goal was to get to Miami and obviously that is not going to happen, but if it is (my last game) no doubt I'm on top."
(are you leaning one way or the other?) "It is hard to think about anything other than the loss. I may wake up tomorrow and who knows."
(did you think the hits tonight were dirty?) "I guess every time I get hit I think it's dirty. Peter (King) was telling me in the locker room that the one I got hurt on was a high-low and that was the reason for the Brady Rule. Pete Morelli, the head ref, has called a lot of my games. He's a great guy. It is like playing the game, you make decisions and you live by them and I think had he truly saw that and felt that he'd have thrown a flag."
(have you ever felt this bad after a game?) "Yeah, this season, yeah. I think after the San Francisco game. That would probably be about the same. As far as just total exhaustion, but as far as physically this is by far the worst."
(on Saints) "I've got a lot of respect for their team. If I was on their sideline I would have been cheering and hooting and hollering and doing whatever it takes to win. That's the other thing. I want to give them a lot of praise and credit. Sean Payton has done an unbelievable job. I would have loved to have represented the NFC, but, as I told Sean though out the year 'If it is not us I hope it is you guys.' I like their team. I like the way he handles the team. I like Drew Brees. I think he's a hell of a quarterback. I think he's a class act. I don't know all those guys on that team, but they've done a hell of a job this year. They are well deserving."
(did you talk to Brett Favre after the game?) "Of course I talked to him. It is tough when things like that happen to you, but you have to move on from there and that's what we are telling him. Things are going to happen throughout the game. That's why it is a team game. You have to have a team effort to win."
(on the loss) "Painful. Painful. As Brett (Favre) said this is a great group of guys. I wouldn't want to be with any other team in this league but the guys that I am with right now. It is hard."
(on Favre's performance) "Great job as usual. Great job of leading our offense and getting the ball out and hitting open guys. Like I said, unfortunately we had a couple of turnovers that hurt us and also a penalty that was huge."
(on 12 men in huddle penalty) "That is it. 12 men in the huddle. I'm not sure why it happened or how 12 men ended up in the huddle, but it is what it is."
(on INT late in the game) "It was kind of tough. I saw the defender out there in the flat so I kind of idled it down. I did not know how close he was to me and Brett (Favre) was rolling away from me so of course that made the throw a lot harder. I tried to get back to it, but the defensive back was already running and was able to step in front of it."
(on Favre coming back next year) "I'm not going to put too much pressure on him. I'm going to let him sit back like he said he would do and talk to his family and things like that. We definitely would love to have him back."
(ever play in an environment like that?) "I don't think so. It was crazy out there and super loud."
"This was a real tough one. I felt they didn't win the game, but rather we lost it. You can't turn the ball over like that and expect to win."
"This is a great group of guys. We fought and fought and we have nothing to hang our heads about."
T Bryant McKinnie
"I didn't think the crowd noise was all that much of a factor. But you can't turn the ball over like we did tonight. But our guys fought hard and that's something you can be proud of.
(on Brett Favre) "You have to hand it to him that he fought hardest of all of us out there. He wanted to win real bad. I hope he comes back next year and leads us here again."
RB Chester Taylor
"You know, even with all of those turnovers and fumbles we still had a real good chance to win. We beat ourselves on offense. Everybody's feeling bad right now and it will hurt even more tomorrow. We feel like it just slipped through our hands."
DT Kevin Williams
"You have to hand it to them (Saints). They fought just as hard as we did and both teams left it all on the field. But they fought harder and they got the last punch in."
WR Bernard Berrian
"We kept battling back, even when we were down because we know what kind of offense we have. This season was a success. It's not the success we all wanted. But I have to tell you, this loss hurts; especially when we knew we should have won. It's hard to put the feeling I have right now into words. I felt we beat ourselves more than they (Saints) beat us.
"I didn't feel the ball was slick or anything. I really can't explain why the ball was on the ground out there a lot. They (Saints) just did a real good job of attacking the ball. "
TE Visanthe Shiancoe
"We lost the game ourselves. It's as simple as that. With all of the fumbles and turnovers, you can't win a game like that by doing that. "
(on INT and 12-men in the huddle situation) "I noticed the call but I didn't think we had 12 people in the huddle. Like I said we need to be more on point with stuff like that. We have to be a real more precise."
"Hey, we all fought out there. We played as a team and we left it all on the field. Because of a lot of things that happened, we are not going to the Super Bowl. The Saints are a great team. They played well and we played well. But they came up with the final play to win and take it from us."
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