Vikings defensive coordinator says the game plan isn't the problem


The Vikings own some of the worst defensive statistics in the NFL, but don't blame the struggles on the game plan.

Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams has been delivering a message to the players all week: Stick to the plan.

"Just talking with some of our players about kind of how we do things here in Minnesota -- just about our way of doing things and what we expect in terms of expectations and we’re still building that," Williams said at a press conference this week, via ESPN. "We’re still building the foundation to win football games, and we want this to be the model of the NFL. To be that, you have to build a firm foundation. You have to go through, sometimes, some growing pains, which we are right now. You don’t want it, but to build something solid, sometimes you have to go with that. It’s no different from raising your kids, building a family, building a top-notch organization."

Veteran defensive end Jared Allen wasn't as optimistic about the defense when the Vikings were getting blown out by the Packers on Sunday night. "I've never played on a defense this bad in my life," he said.

Williams might be right, but if building this defensive foundation is like raising kids, then it's going to take a while. Minnesota ranks near the bottom of the NFL in nearly every major defensive category.

  • Total defense: 24th
  • Passing defense: 29th
  • Rushing defense: 20th
  • Points allowed: 30th
  • 3rd down defense: 32nd

Being on the field for as much as 40 minutes hasn't helped. The offense hasn't been able to consistently put together lengthy possessions, and the defense has been tired because of that.

"We need to stay on the field, so we can call more than a couple dozen (plays), excluding the two-minute drills, and get into our game plan," offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said.

If they can do that, fans might finally get a chance to see more of rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

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