Here's what Joe Lombardi and Renaldo Hill had to say ahead of the Bolts' Week 10 game vs. Minnesota.
Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi on Vikings LBs Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks
"They've been together for so long. They play off of each other so well. Part of the magic of their third down is those guys' ability to communicate with each other and recognize protections. They have a way of making you wrong. They figure out what you're doing and they figure out a way to defeat it. [Vikings S] Harrison Smith has been a part of what I've always considered the straws that stir that drink out there, as far as their ability to disguise and everything. Harrison isn't going to be playing, but those two guys, I think, are one of the best tandems, linebacker-wise, in the NFL. They've been doing it a long time together. It's a challenge. We played them on Christmas last year and they were both out. That made it a lot easier."
Defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill on Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
"He's seen a lot. He understands what the defense is doing, he's able to get the ball in and out of his hands. He's not going to sit back there and pat the ball for long. He's been around — he's been through the paces. He definitely knows where to go, and if it's not there, then he knows that rush is coming. He does a good job managing the game and making sure he doesn't lose the ball for those guys and they possess it. That's the reason they're a top offense; because that guy is a general back there."
Lombardi on if the Vikings playing three overtime games this season factors into gameplanning
"I guess you just kind of hope that they're tired. They're going to have a week to recover, so I don't put a whole lot of stock to it. If they come in and they're a little beat up and tired, that would be great. But, I expect to get their best shot and everyone being 100 percent. We've been in those situations. I'm sure that they're doing a good job of adjusting their practice schedule to make sure that they're getting recovered and that they're ready to go for Sunday."
Hill on Vikings WRs Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson
"Those are two terrific receivers. They do a lot for that team. These are really good route-runners. When we talk about guys who take the top off, or can change the pace, I think these guys are multi-cut route-runners. They can get in and out of breaks, they do a great job of setting up routes at the top. They're a handful. They can line up in multiple spots, it's hard to identify what locations they're going to be in. This is a good group. Besides going against that Dallas group, this is probably the most polished group between those two teams."
Lombardi on if he has used the film of his former games against the Vikings to prepare this week
"When you have the same coordinator, especially when you get into special situations — third down, red zone — you'll go look at the archives a little bit more closely if you don't have as much of a sample size. But your scheme is so much about matchups. Sometimes, when you're looking at different players, even though the scheme is the same, it's like, 'Does this apply given their current cast of characters?' There is a little bit of that, but you're really trying to focus on who you're playing against as much as what they're doing."
Hill on the Vikings offensive line
"You're trying to put together your rush plans on how to get to this guy, [Vikings QB Kirk Cousins] but he's not holding the ball long. He knows where to go with the ball, and he has a good understanding about that clock. We're upstairs, late night, trying to figure it out. We know if we can affect him early, that's a big part of the game. He's a steady guy, but we have to try and find our ways. Coaches, we're digging down deep trying to get those answers."
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