Archived News

Vikings Press Conferences 7/31/11

HC Leslie Fraizer
Q: What is the plan for quarterback Donovan McNabb before he can practice?
A: Well for any of our guys who arenít able to practice, I think there are about 12 or 14 guys who wonít be able to, theyíre going to be able to sit in the meetings. Theyíll be able to watch practice. They just wonít be able to participate in any of the things that weíre doing. Donovan, along with the others, theyíll still be very involved from a mental standpoint, just not involved in the physical part of practice.

Q: Who will take first-string snaps until the newly signed free agents can practice?
A: The incumbent, the guy who has the most experience. And right now thatís Joe Webb for us.

Q: How will your past relationship with Donovan McNabb help with what you guys want to do here and how accepting it was for him to come here?
A: That definitely made a difference. Our past, the fact that we came in the league together, my time as a first-year coach with the Eagles and his rookie year as a player so that made a difference in the conversation. My familiarity with him and vice versa so as we were going through this process in talking to his agent and talking to him, that made a difference. Iím looking forward to getting the chance of watching him play and bring some cheers out from our fans.

Q: The move for Donovan McNabb is for right now. How much do you hope that your players take that message, that there is no rebuilding this season?
A: I think the players that know me and are familiar with me, theyíre not surprised by this move. They know how important it is from my standpoint that we look at this business, this season as a new season and the fact that weíre in the hunt. I donít think most of our guys that have been here are surprised. When we sit down and talk tonight, Iíll reiterate the fact that weíre not in a rebuilding mode. I donít think any of those guys believe that anyway and theyíre looking forward to competing for the NFC North Championship.

G Steve Hutchinson

Q: Can you talk about this team and how you put this back together in such a short amount of time?
A: We got a pretty good core coming back. Thereís Donovan (McNabb) signing. When youíre putting in a new system, especially on the offensive side of the ball, thatís the one time you almost really miss the OTAís, get a chance to get a little head start and get into camp with some understanding of what youíre doing but I think weíve got pretty bright guys on the offensive side of the ball and we should be able to catch up in a hurry. We were able to distribute playbooks earlier this spring when we had the temporary lift of the lockout and guys were able to review them for most of the summer. Theyíre not going to have it down-pat, myself included, but at least weíll have a head start as to what the terminology is because youíre able to read through the book.

Q: First impression of Donovan McNabb?
A: Iíve been able to play with Donovan a couple times in the Pro Bowl. Iíve been around him enough to know that heís a great leader, full of energy. Heís going to bring a lot of energy to this team and be a leader on the offense and I think everyoneís excited to have him.

Q: People are making comparisons with Brett Favre coming in here to Donovan McNabb coming in here. Are there any similarities you see?
A: They are both quarterbacks who have been around a long time. Both are at the top of the position and guys who are going to be good leaders on and off the field and around the locker room so thatís what you can hope for especially when youíre doing a new system on the offensive side. You need somebody in the quarterback position that can take hold of the reigns and kind of dictate how weíre going to do it.

QB Christian Ponder

Q: I just asked McNabb how much longer he plans to play. He said five to six more years. How do you weigh his nature that he believes he can play that much longer?
A: Obviously anyone in this league is always trying to be here as long as they can and of course thatís going to be his mentality and heís good enough to do that but my attitude is that Iím going to go out there and compete and try to win the starting job but at the same time try to soak up as much information from a guy who has been in the Pro Bowl six times and been to several NFC Championships and a Super Bowl. Of course Iím going try to compete but learn at the same time.

Q: What do you feel you need from him as far as guidance?
A: Obviously he has been successful. Heís been in the NFL for awhile. I think the biggest thing Iím going to soak up from him is preparation, how he handles being an NFL quarterback. Obviously heís successful at doing something so I just got to figure out what that is and copy it and then hopefully use it against him to win that starting job (laughing).

Q: Donovan McNabb said that you guys talked a little bit this weekend. What thoughts did you share with each other?
A: Yeah, it was kind of a brief introduction. We just talked to each other. He seems like a great guy. He seems like heíd be awesome to work with. I know itís going to be fun with him and the rest of the guys in the room in Joe (Webb) and Rhett (Bomar) and Coach (Craig) Johnson and Coach (Bill) Musgrave. Itís going to be a great group, a great room and us three young guys are going to learn as much information from him as possible.

Q: Do you have an appreciation for guys like Aaron Rodgers who are first round picks but then had to wait two or three years for their time and maybe were better off for it?
A: Oh yeah, I think so. I think thereís an advantage to being thrown in early and trying to get playing time and thatís the answer everyone wants but thereís an advantage to sitting back and waiting and learning from a guy like Brett Favre or Donovan McNabb. Obviously those guys are successful and you can learn something from them and I think it paid off for Aaron. A Super Bowl ring already isnít a bad deal so I am looking to do that here.

Q: When Frazier came out a couple days ago and said the starting quarterback is going to be Donovan McNabb, was there any disappointment on your part?
A: No, obviously itís not a surprise. The guy deserves the starting job. He has been in the league for awhile but my mentality is still to go in and compete and try to get that job from him. He deserves being the starting quarterback and somewhere down the road Iím going to push to take that over and weíll see.

Q: Did you always sense they were going to bring a veteran quarterback in here?
A: We talked about it. When I came up the day after the draft it was kind of brought up and they werenít sure what they were going to do yet, but obviously I think it wasnít a surprise that with this whole lockout thing, missing minicamps and OTAs, I think itís definitely going to be a big advantage for me. I donít have the pressure to learn everything in two weeks and get everything down. Thereís a guy coming in that I can learn from and it takes that pressure off but at the same time I would have loved to start Week 1 and Iím still going to try and do it in my mind. I doubt itís going to happen but in my mind Iím still shooting for that job.

DT Kevin Williams

Q: What were your impressions when Donovan McNabb was brought into the mix?
A: Itís an exciting feeling for us not going through OTAs. To get a veteran who has played the game to lead us this year. I was excited we picked him up.

Q: Is it a sign that thereís no rebuilding around a rookie quarterback?
A: I think thatís the main focus. We still have a few important pieces here and we are still trying to win now. I think we wouldíve taken a step back starting a rookie this season, not saying he [Christian Ponder] couldnít do it, but this league has gone on with proven quarterbacks, you see them every year. To have McNabb come in and tutor is going to help us out in the future.  

TE Kyle Rudolph

Q: How excited are you about the [Donovan] McNabb signing?
A: Iím excited. Itís a great addition to our team. Anytime you can add a veteran guy, especially a veteran Pro-Bowler, itís great for your team.  

Q: Do you think heíll be good for Christian Ponderís development?
A: Definitely.  Anytime you can get a guy thatís been there before, to be able to teach and kind of bring him along, itís definitely great for Christian [Ponder]. I know heís very excited as well. 

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