On if he expects the NFL to discipline DT Ndamukong Suh due to his penalty: "I talked to him on the field about it because obviously it cost us a touchdown, and it was behind the play. It wasn't very far behind the play, but it was behind the play as an offensive lineman. He wasn't going to catch (DeAndre) Levy. What he explained to me was he didn't want to hit him high because if he hits him in the head right there it's a peel-back and that's a penalty also. He was trying to hit him at the waist and ended up in a bad spot and went low. It's a penalty. It cost us a touchdown in that situation because we turned the ball over on the next play offensively. I have not heard anything from the NFL and usually we don't when it comes to other fouls. I don't think there was any attempt to injure or things like that. It wasn't 40 yards behind the play. It was hitting the guy from behind or some of the things that we have seen from some other players recently. You know, going low and hitting guys from behind. The biggest thing was taking some momentum away from us at that point and also taking that score off the board because that would have certainly gone a long way to getting us a lot of the hole we were in early in the game."
On S Louis Delmas' penalty: "I think that's certainly the one that is most avoidable in those situations. You want to avoid all penalties, but that was the most avoidable. He had gone over to try to stand up for a rookie that was all by himself on their sideline. You just got to grab your guy and get him out of there. You don't need to become a part of that. 15-yard chunk at the point was an important part of the game, and that's something that we have to do a much better job with."
On the offense and T Corey Hilliard: "Yeah I mean Hilliard's done that his whole career for us. When he's had to play, he's gone in and done the job for us. Just because we had close battles in training camp I don't think that changed our opinion of him or did anything else. That's what his role was on Sunday. He went out and accomplished that. We need 53 guys doing that. Whether they're inactive, a backup, a special teams player, a specialist or a starting player they all have a role when it comes to the week of preparation and then on Sunday he did it. We didn't get sacked in the game. I know there's one on the stats that said we got sacked, but that was an aborted snap and that's not going to be a sack. There was a lot of concern from outside the organization about the matchups with Riley Reiff and with Jason Fox and subsequently with Corey Hilliard, but we ran the ball better than I can remember running it against Minnesota. Even though a quarterback got hit a couple times, we kept it clean enough to throw for a lot of yards and score touchdowns and stayed sack free. I think on offense we had a holding on a wide receiver and a holding on the tight end. We had two false starts on the offensive line. They were the only penalties. I thought they did a good job in this game. It was a tough matchup. Jared Allen still made his plays. He knocked down a couple passes and did the things that he does, but we prevented those game changing type plays. I thought that combined with the run game was important."
On how much of the run game success was on the offensive line using TE Brandon Pettigrew versus using RB Reggie Bush making something out of nothing: "I mean, he did make something out of nothing a few times. I thought there were some big holes also. I thought that was a combination of a few things. You mentioned Pettigrew and I thought Pettigrew blocked very well in this game. Particularly some of the behind the ball stuff that we do with him. The way the coverage was. Particularly early in the game. Later in the game they got out of our their two-deep coverage and they started pressing the line more because they were having problems stopping the run and that's been something we have struggled to do against those guys for a long time. We haven't been able to get them out of their two-deep coverage. Having to make them pay for playing late in the box. Reggie was able to do. I think it was combination of all things. The effect that the passing game had on the schemes that they playing, the blocking of our tight ends, the blocking of our offensive line and the running of our running backs. I think all it played a factor."
On how to lessen the wear and tear on Bush: "We're going to go win games and score points. Reggie's a tough guy. There's probably I don't know how many running backs carry or touch the ball as many times as he did yesterday, but anybody that did is probably experiencing the same kind of things today. His thumb happened on a pass. That's life in the big city. You're a running back in the NFL, there's going to be some Monday's where you're not going to be feeling great. Feel a little bit better when you get the win and when you make the plays that he made. That's what we're looking for from him and not anything else."
On how important was it to have the performance from WR Nate Burleson that was given yesterday: "It was big. Two really big plays. Explosive play down the middle and then the fade stop on the sideline that put us on the first and goal both of them were huge plays. We had talked a lot about needing contributions from a lot of different guys and Nate was one of those guys. He sort of quietly had a good training camp. Again, read whatever you want into preseason games, but you know when it was a real game he was in the right spots. The quarterback got confidence in him and he made the plays. We expect that from Nate. That's why he's here."
On the change of holding the lead this year from last year: "You want to win the game. You always want to say ‘Win the fourth quarter.' I think we had seven and they had zero. I think I'm not a hundred percent. We might have had 10 in that quarter. I think we had one penalty in the fourth quarter. They had a few. We had no turnovers in the fourth quarter. We got a couple. We won the fourth quarter in that game. Even though we had some plays where we didn't play our best early in the game, we botched a field goal snap or we botched a hold, we didn't punt the ball especially well early when it was fourth quarter. Sam dropped (a punt) on the one-yard line. We came through in a lot of areas. We grounded out some first downs. Took a lot of clock off the board. Kept big plays off the board defensively. That's why we won the game. It wasn't the way we started the game. It was the way we finished the game."
On TE Joseph Fauria making a strong push for playing time: "He made very good use of the time he was in. And scored the touchdown that was the difference maker. A two score game at the end is a whole lot different than a one score game. Even though we had more shots to be able to get it in, his making of the catch on the fade made it a 10-point game at that point and was going to make it very difficult for the Vikings to get back in. He made a couple other first-down catches and did a nice job in his role. We've said for a long time, the greatest reward is the opportunity to do more. And if he can continue to show that stuff, show it in practice, deliver in games, I think there's going to be good opportunities for him."
On what he thought of Fauria's touchdown celebration dance: "Not so much. I don't really pay a whole lot attention to it during the...it's actually on film. And I don't know if you want that. I mean, there's a reason I don't dance at weddings, anywhere else, because of cameras. There are a lot of cameras in NFL games, so I'll just probably leave it at that."
On the team's resiliency after things going wrong early in the game: "These guys believe in each other. They believe in their coaches. They believe in the schemes and they know that they're talented, so it makes it easy to be resilient. We took the opening kickoff and put a great drive together, right down, ending up getting stalled. Botched a field goal. Nobody lost any confidence there. Then the very next play Adrian Peterson goes 80 yards or whatever it was for a touchdown. Watch the way we rush the field goal for the extra point attempt right after that. Nobody was looking down, nobody was feeling sorry for themselves. They went out and got stops on defense, held Adrian Peterson, went and moved the ball on offense, got points. There's going to be highs and lows in an NFL game. There's going to be highs and lows in an NFL season. The better you deal with those, the better chances you have. We certainly need to play better in a lot of phases. I didn't see very many games...I did see a game on Thursday night. I saw a little bit of that. But talk about the Super Bowl champs came back, games didn't end very well for them, got a punt block, ran into the returner, did a lot of things. Even Denver intercepted the ball, dropped it before they got to the goal line. There's things that come up in games that you don't do your very best, but the key is to putting those behind, overcoming those and I thought the team did a very good job of that. I thought getting a score at the end of the first half was really big, going in 14-13 was a lot different than going in whatever 14-6 or even 14-9 at that point. And I thought that was a nice boost going in. Defense was able to get a big stop right away. I thought those two series was a big swing for us."
On the formula the coaches use when challenging plays and if somebody told him to challenge: "Nobody told me. You have to make that decision in real time. I can't wait until after it all happens. I mean, the guy made a big play. He's running down, he had gone to the ground to make it. There was a possibility that the ball was loose and at that point, that big chunk of yardage, I thought it was worth the risk at that point. A lot of the times you have to fly blind on those. And you just have to go with what happens. If that ball moves just a little bit, I mean, Calvin (Johnson) had been the recipient twice of the ‘Calvin Johnson Rule,' but if that ball moves just a little bit in his hands, with contact with the ground, it's going to be an incompletion. That's a huge chunk of yards right there. And at some point there's risk-reward. It's not a five-yard, it's not a three-yard play. Those big chunks I think are important and if there's a chance then you want to go, but you don't get a lot of time. When we saw the replay and got a real good look at everything, we knew we weren't going to win it. I mean, you saw the defense was down there, everybody else, it wasn't like we were throwing a fit. We knew we weren't going to get it. It was funny when we threw the flag, when I threw the flag, when the official asked me when it was challenged, and he said ‘Good challenge, I don't think he caught it.' That was another guy, it wasn't his call, but that's what he saw on the field also. Now obviously when they went under the hood they got it right. That's the whole thing with replay. Even though we were on the losing side of a bunch of replays, I think in the end it served a very good purpose in getting the plays right. The ball did sort of move on Calvin. He didn't get two feet down in the end zone. (Jerome) Simpson made the catch. There wasn't a thing there. Reggie (Bush) was six inches from a touchdown two different times. It is what it is."
On the right cornerback position being an open competition of if he prefers CB Darius Slay: "It was more of a call to the bullpen. Slays still our starter out there, but it was more of a call to the bullpen. He had given up a play in front and then a play behind, and it looked like they were getting ready to start picking on him. And like I said yesterday, the biggest thing there is we didn't want him to start playing conservative because of the double-move play he had given up over the top. You just need to put that fire out and what better person to put a fire out than a very experienced player like Rashean Mathis who came in and did a good job in the fourth quarter. All our rookies, Slay included, are going to have a growing experience. I thought it was important, the fourth quarter of our first game, it was a three point game I think at the time....actually it was 10 at the time because they had just made the big chunk and then they made it three, but at that point of the game it was time to call to the bullpen, but we still got a lot of confidence in Slay, he made a couple nice plays of the game, it was really good experience for him. We saw him in the preseason get better each step along the way. Regular season, as he found out, is a completely different thing."
On how G Larry Warford and T Riley Reiff played: "I think it just goes to the offensive line in general and you just look at the results of the offensive line. That's a spot that it's not individual play, it's how the whole group plays. I thought they run-blocked well, and they obviously gave us enough time and kept the quarterback clean enough to be able to make plays down the field. There's some things that those guys can all do better. There's a bunch. Riley got out of position one time, was lucky to not get a holding call on him one time. But they battled every play and I thought put together a good performance together as a group on the offensive line."
On if it was too early with the halftime score 14-13 (Vikings) to start going for two-point conversions instead of extra point attempts: "I don't even look at the chart until you're into the fourth quarter, and even then, it's got to be later. There's way too many things that can happen at that point."
On how much the secondary helped the defensive line on Sunday: "I don't know. Maybe. I think the biggest thing that helped our d-line was getting the run stopped, which obviously after the first play, we did a much better job of. But it makes it a little bit easier to rush when you've got the run stopped, and then also being 10 points up in the fourth quarter on a couple drives, particularly at the end. That allows those guys to now not have to play the run, even though they did run Adrian Peterson a couple times in those situations, five-yard run, 10-yard run, that's not going to hurt us in those situations. I think their ability to get the run stopped, along with the linebackers, safeties and corners, that went a much longer way into what we were doing coverage-wise."
On getting rid of the ball quickly: "We get rid of the ball pretty quick anyway. It wasn't any particular thing. We have outlets for the quarterback; (Vikings DE Jared Allen) knocked a couple of those quick ones down. That's sort of the give and take. We had a couple schemed up, where we were going to hold it up longer but we weren't really get those accomplished. We got some pressure, quarterback threw it away or something like that but we managed it, didn't put ourselves in bad situations that way and was able to get the ball driven. We had eight three and out stops on defense and the offense, I think after that two point drive, I don't know what the percentage was but I think we scored just about every drive after that until the end where we got a little bit conservative on one of those last drives, where punted the ball down to the one yard line, don't want to risk a turnover in some of those situations. I thought the offense really moved the ball well. I thought they really put a good game together against a good defense. They got a team that's a playoff team that we all expect to be a playoff contender this year also."
On RB Reggie Bush's impact to sell plays: "Well he had 190 yards, so I would give him some attention too. It might not have been a good fake or anything else but they knew he was wearing number 21 and he was making plays in the game. I think it goes back to that dynamic we have on offense. We have a couple unique weapons in WR Calvin (Johnson) and Reggie and then we have a lot of other guys that can fit in those places and everyone just needs to do their job and contribute to the offense. I think we that this week."
On TE Brandon Pettigrew's drop and fumble: "He has worked really hard at ball security. The one he fumbled on the screen, he's making a cut back and he has two offensive lineman out in front of him and both of them go after the same guy. You can see his eyes on the play, he looks inside and he figured that guy is out of the equation. Well both guys missed that guy and that guy was the guy. It wasn't a guy facing him up and he wasn't protecting the ball. As a ball carrier there is no excuse, you have to be able to see the whole field but that's what happened on that play. When you're catching the ball, there is going to be contact on every play, particularly tight ends, that's one thing you're going to have to do. He got drilled on that one but he has to do a better job of coming with those and we all know he can."