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Updated: September 16th, 2013 4:22pm
Cook, Greenway and others offer mixed bag on defensive breakdown

Cook, Greenway and others offer mixed bag on defensive breakdown

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said there's 'clarity' between the players about the current 0-2 record and what needs to happen to turn it around.

However, that clarity appeared to be lacking in the waning moments of the 31-30 loss to the Chicago Bears. Many players offered mixed opinions on Monday about what exactly went wrong to lose the 30-24 lead late in the fourth quarter.

"It happens every week. Every team across this league, it happens. Sometimes teams are able to exploit it, sometimes they're not," Greenway said. "Situations sometimes dictate what's going on there too. We just can't have those breakdowns in two-minute [situations] at the end of the game."

Greenway didn't get into specifics, but admitted communication issues on the final drive that produced the game-winning touchdown. That drive was the first of five second-half drives by the Bears that went longer than six plays as the Vikings' defense forced two punts and two turnovers.

However, the execution and seemingly the communication fell apart in the last 3:05.

"Communication issue really just within our scheme," Greenway said. "For us, it's a move on kind of week because if we don't move on and get past this thing, we can't let 0-2 define us. There's 14 more ball games."

Poor execution on the Bears' game-winning drive included cornerback Josh Robinson getting shoved to the grass by Bears' receiver Brandon Marshall, who is five inches taller and 30 pounds heavier.

Marshall grabbed a 10-yard reception on 3rd-and-1 to move the chains to the Vikings' 29-yard line.

Robinson said the Vikings' defense was all on the same page during the final drive and that the loss fell solely on bad play at the end.

"I just need to be more physical," Robinson said.

Cornerback Chris Cook was in coverage on Bears' tight end Martellus Bennett for the final touchdown and didn't speak to the media after Sunday's loss, but offered up his insight on Monday.

"I didn't want to talk yesterday. I was a little emotional. We were in a very close position to win the game," Cook said. "We just got to execute a little bit better. We were just a little bit off. It was a play that I could have made, should have made. I've made it before. It hurt more being as it was in the end of the game and we were in position to win it on defense."

Bennett and Bears' receiver Earl Bennett had lined up together and ran similar looks against the Vikings earlier in the game, but on the final play, Earl Bennett ran a twist underneath his tight end.

Left on an island from an apparent breakdown, Cook initially went with Earl Bennett and didn't break on Martellus Bennett until quarterback Jay Cutler released the ball.

"They just did a twist release, something that we've seen before," Cook said. "Like I said, a few guys were off. And when guys are off, other guys try to cover it to help them out, and things happen. It's football, man. It's a fast game."

However, Cook denied any communication issues despite waving over for help on the final defensive play.

"I wouldn't say it was miscommunication," Cook said. "Those guys on offense get paid, too, and they practice against the same looks that we give 'em. They just made plays in the game when it counted, and we didn't."

Defensive end Brian Robison was asked the same question if some members of the defense didn't know the calls throughout the last drive.

"Not to my knowledge," Robison said.

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for 1500ESPN.com. He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer
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