If you know Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave, you know that he’s generally a polite, personable character who can strike up a friendly conversation with anyone. If you know Musgrave well, though, you know that he has plenty of vitality in him when it comes to football.
The Vikings offense is well aware of this now.
As the Star Tribune’s Dan Wiederer explains on Access Vikings, Musgrave went outside the box to motivate his group for Tuesday’s practice after a subpar outing on Monday.
“Yesterday we took a step back in a couple of periods,” Musgrave said during his press conference on Tuesday. “We’re looking to make those corrections and get better the next time we’re faced with those periods for sure.”
That’s the measured, polite Musgrave speaking. The impassioned Musgrave addressed his players in a different manner, according to QB Christian Ponder.
“He had a great metaphor of lighting a fire,” Ponder said. “He finds some unique ways of motivating us. But it works. I’m not going to go into details.”
As Wiederer writes, Ponder was pushed for more detail and was asked if props were involved in the motivation tactic.
“Yep,” he said laughing. “Let’s just say it involved a bucket of water, some leaves and some sticks. It was interesting.”
It may well have been interesting. But it was also effective. The Vikings offense rebounded nicely on Tuesday, looking sharp in many of the team periods and even capping off a few drives with game-winning scores. One was to WR Percy Harvin on a deep pass down the middle of the field and another was finished by a Blair Walsh 57-yard dagger that split the uprights and had plenty of extra distance.
“It was important for us to step out and have a good practice today,” Ponder told Wiederer. “We made a point of it [Monday night], to have more enthusiasm. And we did. It was a great way to bounce back.
“He’s (Musgrave) quiet, but when he gets on the football field he gets a fire. He’s not afraid to yell at people, and he expects a lot out of us. He does it in his own way.”
Musgrave’s way is clearly the right way for the Vikings offense. As head coach Leslie Frazier mentioned to reporters after practice, every offense will experience times of adversity. What matters most is how the offense responds. Under Musgrave’s direction, the Vikings offense responded well on Tuesday.
That’s the sign of a good motivator, and of an offense going in the right direction.
Tags: 2012 Verizon Vikings Training Camp, Bill Musgrave, Blair Walsh, Christian Ponder, Percy Harvin
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