Darrell Bevell on the Vikings’ Mindset During Their Week 12 Win Over Washington: “I would say it was more relaxed…”

November 29, 2010 – 12:20 pm by Michael Bean

It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but the Minnesota Vikings did enough to win on Sunday in Leslie Frazier’s first game as interim head coach. The Vikings defeated the Washington Redskins 17-14 thanks to a stout defensive performance, a renewed commitment to the running game, and a time-consuming game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter that staved off a potential ‘Skins comeback. At 4-7, the Vikings are almost assuredly out of the playoff picture, but stranger things have happened I suppose. For now, the Vikings are just pleased to have a fresh outlook on the remainder of the 2010 season now that Brad Childress was shown the door. Frazier and the rest of the Vikings coaching staff, including  offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell are auditioning for next year and beyond. So, don’t be surprised to see the Vikings show some punch down the stretch as they try to salvage what’s been a disappointing ’10 campaign.

Bevell joined KFAN in Minneapolis to talk about Brett Favre’s game-clinching first down scramble on 3rd down, the display of emotion from the Vikings following the game-clinching drive (something that’s been lacking in Minnesota this year), what goes into setting things up throughout a game as an offensive coordinator, how he would assess his first game calling plays since Childress’s firing, how Frazier tried to work with the offensive coaches to implement certain things, how he thought the team was collectively more relaxed this week, the solid job done by Toby Gerhart in relief of Adrian Peterson, and the primary difference between Childress and Frazier as it relates to his specific duties and responsibilities as offensive coordinator:

On the Brett Favre boot-leg rush that sealed the game for the Vikings:

“Well I wouldn’t say it was supposed to work exactly that way. Obviously it’s a pass, but there’s three options to throw it to. And believe it or not, the fourth option – the last option – is to run. So he did a great job and I told him he looked like he was young again on that play.”

On the display of emotion by the Vikings after the game-clinching drive:

“Yeah, we haven’t seen enough of that. It’s fun to get a win and particularly the way that last drive – whatever it was 6 minutes-13 seconds – to be able to grind it out and not put our defense back on the field.  That’s something we were proud of on offense.”

On what goes into setting things up throughout the course of games as an offensive coordinator:

“You’re doing that really the whole game, and you’re taking a look at it. The guys upstairs do a good job of helping me out with ‘hey, are we getting the edge? Can the quarterback  get outside?’ You know, all the little things that come off of the runs that we have, if we’re running some outside plays, ‘hey, do we have a deep shot down the field? There’s all sorts of little things that we’re looking at.”

On how he would assess his first game as the offensive coordinator since Brad Childress’s firing:

“I thought it went well. Again, our offensive staff communicates well. Leslie came over to our side and threw a couple tidbits in there that we was looking for. I thought it went well.”

On what kind of things interim head coach Leslie Frazier said during the game regarding the play and strategy of the offense:

“There were a couple of times where he said he wanted to run it again, or there were a couple times where he was asking what we were trying to set up, what personnel we were trying to use. And just continued to communicate and told us several things that he was seeing from a defense perspective.”

On if he would say that the team was generally more relaxed yesterday:

“Yeah, I would say it was more relaxed. The guys had one purpose in mind, and that was to come out and get a win, and to be able to execute at a high level. To be able to do that, we talked all week about just being able to let it go. Don’t think too much, just go out there and play. They’ve been playing the game a long time, and I really believe our mistakes were cut down in this game because of that.”

On the solid job done by rookie running back Toby Gerhart in relief of Adrian Peterson who got injured in the first half:

“Yeah I thought Toby did a really nice job, had a nice showing. He seemed to be one of those guys that the more you gave it to him, the better he got as the game went on. He looked at things well, he ran hard, he got those tough yards. You know, four and five yard runs – I mean, that’s a great deal for us. It keeps us in normal down situations. I thought he did a great job.”

On the primary difference between Childress and Frazier as it relates to his specific duties and responsibilities as offensive coordinator:

“I think it was hearing a different voice and hearing how he wanted things to be played in the information he was giving me. I was getting different information than I was from the coach before, so it’s just being able to adjust on the fly and doing what he wants to get done on the field.”

Listen here to Bevell on KFAN in Minneapolis with Paul Alen (interview begins at 15:00 mark)

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