Q&A: With Head Coach Dennis Green

The Vikings have had a lot of questions over the past week, and head coach Dennis Green has some of the answers.

Vikings head Dennis Green has won the NFC Central Division four times in his nine seasons with the Vikings and made the playoffs via the wild-card berth four more times. Green is now in his 10th season as head coach, but his best season was 1998, when he led the team to a 15-1 regular-season mark and an NFC Championship game appearance. He is also the Vikings' vice president of football operations.

While dealing with free agency, Green has led the Vikings to the playoffs with seven different starting quarterbacks — Sean Salisbury, Jim McMahon, Warren Moon, Brad Johnson, Randall Cunningham, Jeff George and Daunte Culpepper.

Prior to coming to the Vikings, Green coached Iowa, Dayton, Northwestern and Stanford in the college ranks and was an assistant with San Francisco in the NFL.

Q: Balance on your offense is obviously important, but what is it on your offense that you need to get going?
A: We need to do everything. There is no one thing that we can say we need to get going because that's not going to get it done for us. We need special teams to stop making mistakes and get some real solid play. We need defense to put pressure on the quarterback and shut down the run for four quarters. We need our offense to be consistent and get a lot of first downs. So there is not just one thing that we need.

Q: How can you get Randy Moss and Cris Carter more involved?
A: All we do is just focus on getting better. We only have really one agenda. The agenda is not to get anybody the ball; the agenda is to win the ballgame. That's one agenda and we've always had that same agenda in the 10 years we have been here. By using all of our weapons, whether it be Cris, or whether it be Michael Bennett, the fastest running back in the National Football League, or Randy Moss, the fastest receiver in the National Football League, all of those things help us win. But it all still comes down to one agenda. To do that you've got to use everything you've got.

Q: How have you felt about your offensive line in the first games?
A: I think the offensive line has been solid. I don't think we've had any one phase of our game that has played as well as they think they can play or I think they can play. But our offensive line has been solid.

Q: The situation with the return game between Troy Walters and Nate Jacquet, is it pretty much who has the hot hand?
A: We like for one guy. It's just two games and it's average at best. We're trying to get that to be more a part of our game because of the field position. Nate had a very good preseason and it helped him make our ball club. Troy did it for us last year. We didn't really get it going the first game. We decided to give Troy a shot at it. Because of the numbers, you can't have them both up (active). We don't carry six receivers for a game because we don't use six receivers. We normally use four and then one is a reserve. That one reserve for us fortunately can return kicks. So it's good having both guys. It's just that everybody can't be up every week according to NFL rules.

Q: How is Travis Prentice doing?
A: I think he is doing well. We haven't got into a rhythm yet so therefore Prentice and Doug Chapman haven't played like we want them to play. Hopefully we'll get into a rhythm real quickly and then we can use all of the weapons that we have. VU

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