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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media Tuesday

Posted Sep 12, 2017

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

After watching the film, like I said afterwards, I thought it was a really good team victory. Thought we played well in, really, all three phases. I thought the crowd really helped us a lot, they were loud from the beginning of the game to the end. It’s just good to get a win under our belt to start the season. We’re on to Pittsburgh and trying to get prepared. The coaches have been working real hard all day, trying to get going there on the short week.

Q: On a short week, how much does your process change?

A: Well, we’re basically a day behind but we’re catching up. We did some work on them before so we have a little bit ready to go. Players will have a little extra time tomorrow morning because I’m bringing the players in in the afternoon. They can get some more recovery time and we can get more game planning stuff done.  

Q: How was the communication on the offensive staff last night?

A: It’s not so much in between plays but input on some of the play calls is part of it. Mostly that happens when the defense is on the field or halftime, things like that. But, it was good, there was good communication. I thought Pat [Shurmur] called a great game. I thought they did a nice job with the game plan.

Q: How did Sam Bradford do in terms of managing things from the line of scrimmage?

A: Really good, I think there’s some you’re always going to get tricked on. He was pretty effective in all of them that he made.   

Q: How important is that with a rookie center?

A: Well, it helps a lot. [Pat] Elflein, basically we’ve got three centers playing on the interior, so those guys communicate a lot about things they see. Sam can trump them at any time.

Q: Was that the best performance you’ve seen from Bradford?

A: He played really well, he played really well. Some of the third downs that we converted, 3rd-and-8, 3rd-and-9, whatever it was, there were a few of those. Honestly, he played good, don’t get me wrong. He got help from the offensive line, they gave him time. We ran the ball better. We had some play actions. I think it was just all a combination of things. When you’re humming on all eight cylinders, it’s a little bit easier, not that it’s easy to play quarterback. All those other people helped him too. Made some great catches, [Stefon] Diggs made a great catch. [Laquon] Treadwell made a really good catch on a back shoulder. Adam [Thielen] made some great catches, Kyle [Rudolph] made a good catch on the touchdown. I think guys played well around each other and I think that helped as an offensive team.   

 Q: How did the offensive line play?

A: Good. 

 Q: What allowed the defense to play so well without recording any turnovers and just one sack?

A: Well, we didn’t anticipate we were going to get a whole bunch of sacks because he gets the ball out quick. He’s a tough quarterback to defend. They’ve got a Super Bowl winning coach over there. We’re just trying to fight, scratch and do what we could. 

Q: How good is it to face such talented quarterbacks at the beginning of the season?

A: I don’t know, we’re going to play a lot of potential Hall of Fame quarterbacks as we continue to go forward. Just trying to take one week at a time. This week is a different week. The offense is going to be different. The preparation is going to be different. It’s going to be about how we prepare defensively for this offense, this offense is different than the other offense we just played. Even though the quarterbacks are both excellent, I understand your point. It’s still about the collective offense that we’re trying to take care of. 

Q: How do you feel about role of Brian Robison?

A: Fine.

Q: When you look at the effectiveness of the run game in the first half versus the second half what do you think got it going?

A: Well, we got some good looks. He [Sam Bradford] checked into some good plays. We had some good plays up that they probably hadn’t seen. I think all of that. I think we settled down a little bit, got our feet wet.

Q: Did you think Dalvin had anxiety in the beginning?

A: No, I don’t think so. I don’t see it as the run game wasn’t effective. We had some bigger runs in the second half, true. But we had some very effective runs in the first half too.

Q: Was that the plan to let Dalvin carry the work load?

A: Well, you kind of go with the hot hand sometimes and he was rolling pretty good at that point.

Q: What did you think of Trae Waynes?

A: I thought he played well. He obviously got beat on the double move. He tackled well. I think he had one stop fade or hitch that he got converted on him on third down. But other than that I think he did his job.

Q: How about Mackensie Alexander?

A: He did alright. I’m just trying to think. For the most part he did well. 

Q: How did you feel about Adam Thielen’s performance?

A: I think Adam does what he always does.

Q: Did you notice a difference with how the defense approached Dalvin Cook?

A: That’s really hard to say, we’ve had 65 plays. It’s hard for me to say. I think because we were effective pass protecting and throwing the football, we got some good run looks as well. So, maybe that’s the question you’re asking. I don’t know. You’d have to talk to New Orleans on that.

Q: Did you think they crowded the line more?

A: Not necessarily, no. I mean they had some two-shells, they had some zero blitzes, they had some three deep. They had a quite a few different things. They kind of just did what they did.

Q: What stuck out about Riley Reiff’s game?

A: I thought he played well. He’s a fighter. I thought he did a good job in the run game and the pass game. I thought it was good to see and encouraging as we move forward.

Q: How do you think Ben Gedeon did in his first game?

A: I thought he did good. The one seam ball that they threw on him, wasn’t necessarily on him, even though Pro Football Focus probably said so. He was getting help out of the safety on that particular play. He covered it back. He covered 41 on a wheel route down in the red zone one time. I thought for the most part he was in the right place in the run game. Good for a first time rookie outing.