The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Vikings News

September 11, 2013

Vikings offensive line has sprung a leak


"There's some things we've got to work with him on," head coach Leslie Frazier said. "We've got to go back and look at his technique, some basic things he did so well a year ago, we have to get back to him doing on a repeated basis. We'll do some technique and fundamental work to get him back on a foundation because we need him to play well on every snap"

Kalil said he would have his head turned in to watch for the snap from center John Sullivan, then drift too far to the outside after the ball was snapped and he turned his attention to the defensive end. That opened an inside rushing lane for the attacking ends, something that Kalil is working hard to address this week in practice.

"Playing well last year, people have higher standards of me, which is fine," Kalil said. "It's not something that I don't already know I have to go and fix. I'm not freaking out. We've still got a long season and I know I'm going to get better and fix those mistakes."

Ponder's performance — 18 of 28 for 236 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and a lost fumble — has grabbed most of the attention and criticism this week. But the porousness of the offensive line, coupled with the struggles on defense against dynamic Lions offense, have served to ease some of the burden on the unproven quarterback's shoulders.

Frazier, Peterson and receiver Greg Jennings were all adamant that the loss to the Lions was a team-wide failure and that concentrating on Ponder's woes was unfair.

"It wasn't just him," Jennings said. "He can't win the game for us. He can't lose the game for us. Trust me. That's the tough role that he has. If we play well, Christian looks great. If we don't play well, Christian will not look great. ... He doesn't bear the whole load."

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