McKinnie thinks he was thinking too much

Left tackle Bryant McKinnie didn't seem sure how to frame his last game. He admitted that it was one of his worst games but also said it wasn't as bad as he thought. One thing he knows for sure: "It was entirely too much thinking going on," he said. Julius Peppers was in his head and in the backfield.

Bryant McKinnie had a lot on his mind during last Sunday night's game with the Carolina Panthers.

The Vikings left tackle knew he was going against one of the NFL's best pass rushers and was trying to eliminate some "tells" that had become public a week earlier. He was also thinking about holding and false start penalties.

"I think what threw me out of my game is that when I tried to jump the snap count one time and the ball didn't get snapped, I got a false start. And then they called me for holding, so it took me away from something else that I normally do, something that I tend to do when I'm pass setting," McKinnie said.

After the game, McKinnie wrote on his Twitter page that he thought there were some corrections he needed to make and things that could put him in a better position.

"I was talking about the snap count. That will put me in a better position to get off the ball, and I have to sit in there. I attempted to jump it and I got caught offsides," McKinnie said. "I just have to make it where I don't have to look at the ball. When I'm in a position to hear it, I don't want to have to look at the ball if I can hear the cadence. That's the whole thing is, we can't snap it early. We have to snap it on time. It can benefit the tackles."

The week before, the Bengals told radio broadcaster and former NFL tackle Tony Boselli that McKinnie had a "tell" that helped show defenses whether a run or pass was coming. McKinnie said he knew of a tip he had when he was in his three-point stance, but he played the majority of that game in a two-point stance. He didn't believe other teams knew about that before the Bengals game.

His game against the Panthers was his first on the road since that information became public.

"I thought about that too, and then I was trying to position my foot, sometimes trying to make it look like a pass when it wasn't. It was entirely too much thinking going on because of something somebody reported that really didn't have anything to do with it, really," McKinnie said. "By the time I line up, how much time do they have to realize, 'Oh, his foot's way back' until everybody on the defense can see it. And I was thinking about that and I shouldn't have been. But I'm not thinking about none of that right now."

Although he didn't face Peppers full-time in the first half, McKinnie gave up a sack to him in the third quarter and another to rookie Everette Brown on the first drive of the game. By the fourth quarter, he was replaced by backup Artis Hicks. McKinnie said would have rather stayed in the game and tried to resolve his issues.

"I think they just thought that mentally I was a little confused, like I didn't know what was going on actually. I was trying to figure out what I needed to do," he said. "When I watched the film, I had an idea. The two penalties, it just makes you not as aggressive because you're trying to eliminate some things to avoid penalties. It kind of took me out of my game plan."

McKinnie also said his performance wasn't as bad as he thought when he reviewed the film.

"It wasn't my best game, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was," he said. "They made it seem like he was back there every play and that wasn't the case. But I definitely need a better game this week. It looked like I got out of whack with my techniques. I've been focusing a little more on my technique."

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell agreed.

"What we need to improve on is our technique, the tackles abandoning their technique. They started doing a little bit different things," Bevell said. "Any time Julius Peppers is having a game like that, you can abandon your technique pretty quickly. It's going back to our technique."

Although McKinnie said he wasn't getting much help from running backs or tight ends, a common practice when facing a premier defensive end, Bevell said there were times that the Vikings had a lot of help for their offensive line and still didn't adequately protect.

"You can use five-man protection, six-man protection, seven-man protection and there was times that we were using all of them in that game. There were times that we had a seven-man protection called and we still had pressure or we still got sacked," he said. "Obviously that's not good enough. That's something that we've addressed. We've talked about and it's something I'm confident we'll improve on."


The humorous line of the week may have come when Brett Favre was asked if he resented being touched on the arm by head coach Brad Childress during a sideline confrontation.

"I didn't even know. I was probably more resentful of Julius touching me several times. Those seemed to hurt a little," Favre said.

"… A couple of sacks hit me from behind. I had no idea. Had I been looking at the rush, maybe I was able to buy a little time. At that moment, I was trying to figure out a way to get us in the end zone."

Viking Update Top Stories