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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Kluwe: Opener 'just a bad night'

    Posted on Fri, Sep. 15, 2006

    [size=13pt]Kluwe: Opener 'just a bad night'[/size]

    Pioneer Press

    After one week, the Vikings' Chris Kluwe ranks 27th among NFL punters with a 38.0-yard average, but he isn't making any excuses.

    In addition to adjusting to a new directional punting style, Kluwe has taken on the duties of holder on field goals and extra points this season, but he said that didn't justify his miserable performance in Monday night's 19-16 victory at Washington.

    "Just a bad night," he said Thursday. "Hopefully, it never happens again."

    Special-teams coordinator Paul Ferraro said basically the same thing and that he didn't think the PAT snap Kluwe muffed after the Vikings' opening touchdown drive had any effect on his punting.

    Kluwe, who had a 44.1-yard average as a rookie last season, wasn't so sure.

    "I tried not to let it bother me, but who knows?" he said. "I tried to put it out of my mind because if you focus on that, obviously you're not focusing on the task at hand. I'd like to think I did, but who knows?"

    Kluwe was more definitive on the question of directional punting, which he said had nothing to do with his off night.

    On that, he and Ferraro were in complete agreement.

    "If you look at four games prior to the Washington game, he did a great job with directional punting for four straight weeks," Ferraro said. "So we're not going to look at one game and all of a sudden decide he can't do that. He can do it, and he's got to do well with it."

    Kluwe, whose 28.4-yard net average is worse than all but three NFL punters, said all five of his punts at Washington were directional kicks but that he just has to do a better job, starting with Sunday's home opener against Carolina.

    "I just think he had a bad night," Ferraro said. "I don't expect to see that kind of performance from him again. He knows he needs to improve, and he will."

    Passing grade: The Vikings didn't get any sacks in the season opener after registering 12 during the preseason, but defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin said he was satisfied with the pass rush.

    "It was adequate," he said. "Whether or not we sack the quarterback depends on a lot of variables. Whether or not he's willing to stand in there and challenge us downfield and things of that nature. I thought we were successful in pressuring the quarterback. It showed up in our ability to get off on third downs, so we're pleased with that. Sacks will come."

    The Vikings limited Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell to 163 yards passing, and Washington converted just 31 percent (4 of 13) of its third-down opportunities.

    Defensive end Erasmus James said he expects to get more sack opportunities Sunday against Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme.

    "Especially with a quarterback who loves to drop back and stays in the pocket," James said. "It creates some time for us to get back there."

    Carolina placed left tackle Travelle Wharton on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday and will start right tackle Jordan Gross in his place.

    James said the fact he faced Gross last season should help him a little but that the Vikings are in a different system now and he expects the Panthers to give Gross some help.

    Add special teams: Punting isn't the only area where the Vikings need to improve.

    Ryan Longwell also must do a better job on kickoffs, where they rank 30th among NFL teams, with an average opponent's starting position of the 32-yard line.

    "Certainly, I would like to see the kickoffs a little bit deeper than they were," Ferraro said. "I think you'll see that on Sunday."

    Briefly: As of Thursday afternoon, fewer than 300 tickets remained for Sunday's game, which will be televised locally. The Vikings have a streak of 86 consecutive home sellouts.

    • An NFL spokesman said the league is satisfied that an interference problem with the wireless frequency was responsible for the failure of the Vikings' coach-to-quarterback equipment Monday night.

    • There were no changes in the injury report for either team. Panthers receiver Steve Smith (hamstring) did not practice and remains questionable.

    Sean Jensen contributed to this report. Don Seeholzer can be reached at [email protected]

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    marcosMN is offline Star Spokesman
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    Re: Kluwe: Opener 'just a bad night'

    Yeah, I buy that. He's shownn awesome ability. One poor outing shouldn't label him a bad punter. I'll bet he boots the hell out of it on Sunday.

  3. #3
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Kluwe: Opener 'just a bad night'

    Defensive end Erasmus James said he expects to get more sack opportunities Sunday against Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme.

    "Especially with a quarterback who loves to drop back and stays in the pocket," James said. "It creates some time for us to get back there."

    Go get him James!
    Not only does Delhomme like to sit in the pocket, but their OL is hurting as well.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?


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