DeFilippo blames himself in poor offensive outing against Jags
EAGAN, Minn.—When Vikings first-year offensive coordinator John DeFilippo spoke to players this week, he pointed the finger at himself.
DeFilippo told them he didn't call a good game in Saturday's 14-10 preseason loss to Jacksonville at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings had just 238 yards of total offense after having rolled up 406 in a 42-28 win at Denver the week before in the preseason opener.
When DeFilippo met with the media Tuesday, it was more of the same. He was unhappy with his performance.
"I'm looking forward to myself bouncing back, our whole offense bouncing back,'' he said. "Personally, I didn't think it was my best effort. Starting with me in the offense, I think that we all need to do better and we will be this week.''
Next up for the Vikings is Friday's game against Seattle at U.S. Bank Stadium. It's the third preseason game, which is considered the most important because starters generally play about half of it.
When DeFilippo addressed players, Minnesota wide receiver Laquon Treadwell said it wasn't a surprise he pointed to himself.
"He's been doing that since he's been here,'' Treadwell said. "If he felt like he didn't call a good practice, he'll put it on his shoulders. .... We hold ourselves to a high standard, so we take a lot of the blame also.''
There wasn't much blame to throw around in the first preseason game. Playing one series, quarterback Kirk Cousins completed all four his attempts and led the Vikings to a touchdown. The offense continued to look crisp the rest of the game.
Against the Jaguars, though, Cousins completed just 3 of 8 passes for 12 yards while playing four series.
"If you want to get better, you judge yourself harshly,'' DeFilippo said of his self-evaluation. "There's a couple plays that I would like to have back. I wouldn't say that I disliked the whole way I called the game. I think there's always two or three plays, whether you win or lose.''
DeFilippo named only one he didn't like against the Jaguars, a naked bootleg that resulted in Cousins being sacked for an 11-yard loss by Yannick Ngakoue. The Vikings, though, did get a first down after Nagakoue was called for a celebration penalty.
"Put that sack on me, that's not on the offensive line,'' DeFilippo said.
DeFilippo noted that Aviante Collins, who played little last year as a rookie, was in then at right tackle. He was a starter on a makeshift line that featured left tackle Riley Reiff as the only player projected to start at the beginning of training camp.
DeFilippo said "it's not ideal" that the Vikings likely won't have their offensive line intact for any preseason game. Center Pat Elflein remains on the physically unable to perform list and might not play at all in the preseason.
At least the Vikings are expected to get right guard Mike Remmers back Friday from an ankle injury. Right tackle Rashod Hill also could return from an ankle injury. And left guard Tom Compton is now considered a starter with Nick Easton out for the season after neck surgery.
"You just try to make the best situation out of the situation you have,'' DeFilippo said of the missing linemen.
At least the Vikings could have starting running back Dalvin Cook back against the Seahawks. He hasn't played since suffering a torn left ACL last October and sat out the first two preseason games for precautionary reasons.
"We're looking forward to possibly seeing him out there,'' DeFilippo said.
In terms of DeFilippo being disappointed at some play calls Saturday, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said coodinators "always second guess" themselves and there is a need quickly to move on to the next one.
That's what DeFilippo will do.
"As a competitor and someone that strives to be perfect all the time, even though you know that you're never going to get there but are striving for it, I think you're always thinking that way,'' he said.