Following the Minnesota Vikings narrowly escaping a 19-17 victory over the winless Detriot Lions at home on Sunday, many of the team’s players maintained that they shouldn’t be the ones worrying about play calls.
Not Eric Kendricks.
Kendricks didn’t mince words in his postgame press conference and held his coaches accountable.
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‘It’s a Little Bit on the Coaches’
After the Vikings gave up their third 100-plus yard rushing performance in five games this season on Sunday, Kendricks called out his coaches, saying that they need to make more adjustments on the sidelines and not settle for making those changes at halftime.
“We need to realize how they are trying to attack us,” Kendricks said. “Preferably in the first quarter, then go out there with a plan. We don’t want to make those adjustments at halftime. We have to also play sound and make a play when it is presented.”
Kendricks admitted that everyone organizationally is to blame for the struggles of stopping the run this season.
“It’s a little bit on the coaches, but it is also on the players as well,” he added. “We’re out there. We’re seeing things. I am a veteran. I have to know what all is going on out there. We have to all be cohesive on that.”
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Kendricks Admits Lack of Confidence in Offense on Final Drive
Star Tribune reporters Andrew Krammer witnessed Kendricks’ honesty in his postgame press conference. He touched on how Kendricks admitted he lacked confidence in the offense on the game’s final drive after an abysmal second half with questionable playcalling.
Alexander Mattison fumbled the ball in the final two minutes of the game, which led to a late Lions touchdown that nearly cost the Vikings the game. Forced to air the ball out with 37 seconds remaining in regulation, the Vikings relied on Kirk Cousins to air out the ball, completing 3 of 3 passes for 46 yards to set up Greg Joseph’s 54-yard walk-off field goal.
“Eric goes, ‘Sure, I guess I could tell you I’m confident, yeah, but we had just given up the score, and it was nerve-racking, ‘” Krammer said on the Access Vikings podcast. “Kendricks kind of alluded to what the coaches wouldn’t say, at least what Mike Zimmer wouldn’t say: ‘No, we didn’t have a lot of confidence there because for 30 seconds there, the season was kind of on life support.’ ”
The Vikings will need all the confidence to climb out of their 2-3 rut with some of the steepest competition upcoming. Their next six opponents have a combined 21-9 record, five of which have only one loss.
“We aren’t going to look lost. I know how we operate. It hasn’t changed since I have been here,” Kendricks said. “It is my seventh year here, and we just grind. We watch film, we’re a smart team, we come and do the work, and nobody complains. We are going to get back to work and get it right.”