Tomlin on the Vikings


Coach Mike Tomlin offers some insight on the Steelers' opponent this week – the Minnesota Vikings.

Q. What is at the top of running back Adrian Peterson's skill-set?
A. He's got all of the physical talent, but he's also got the mental makeup, and I think that's what makes him special. There are a lot of physically talented guys who play this game, but he has an interesting competitive edge to go along with the freakish talent.
Q. Does Peterson make Favre a better quarterback?
A. No question. What they've done there is they have a tailback who's capable of winning the game, and now they have a quarterback who's capable of winning the game. You have to go in with a two-pronged approach and pick your poison throughout the game. People who step into the stadium with a commitment of stopping one or the other ultimately lose because the other guys is going to beat them.
Q. Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian, Chester Taylor, Percy Harvin – all of them are within a reception of each other. Is that a product of the West Coast offense?
A. It's also a product of Brett. He's got an inclusive mentality in terms of using all his eligibles. He spreads the ball around, he does a nice job of checking the ball down to the backs and he utilizes his tight end particularly in the red zone. They do a nice job of spreading the ball around, which makes them tough to defend.
Q. Their defense has forced nine fumbles in six games. Do they work at stripping the ball?
A. They do. But they work equally as hard at running to the ball. They make themselves opportunistic by the way they play. They have a core belief there that they're going to be the fastest team in the NFL, and not necessarily in terms of 40-times but in how they run to the football.
Q. The Vikings two defensive tackles – Kevin Williams and Pat Williams – are known as the Williams Wall. Are they the best pair of defensive tackles you have faced?
A. That's a legendary partnership there, with those two guys. They've been to three straight Pro Bowls together, and considering only three guys from the NFC go at their position, they've occupied two of the three spots for the last three years.
Q. Seven tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks for Jared Allen. Is this going to be Max Starks' toughest assignment of the season?
A. It will be, but that's OK, because that's what we're in this business for. I'm sure that Max is excited about the challenge, but you don't want to discount the guy who plays left end over there – Ray Edwards – who's a solid player in his own right. The Vikings have the most formidable front that we'll face. They're capable of putting the quarterback under duress without blitzing.

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