EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer hosted a free youth football camp on Saturday for 350 young people.
He spoke with the media that day and then called in to KFAN's 100.3-FM 9 to Noon show hosted by "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen to discuss a decision to take some time to rest and recover from his eighth eye procedure since the fall.
There were several items of interest in the two sessions, including his thoughts about the two newest Vikings and an all-time great.
3 notes on adding Michael Floyd:
1) The Vikings signed St. Paul native Michael Floyd on May 10, adding the 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver to the position group.
"Michael is a big, strong, physical guy," Zimmer said. "He had a couple of really good years in Arizona, and what we're trying to do is continue to add as much talent and depth as we possibly can.
2) Floyd, who started his career with Arizona, spent part of 2016 with New England after an arrest for DUI. Zimmer said the Vikings took multiple factors into consideration when they decided to sign Floyd.
"We always do that and try to weigh every situation, but he's from here," Zimmer added. "I think he has a good support system with Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph partly. A lot of those things were factored into it."
3) Floyd arrived in Minnesota last week and will be able to participate in OTAs. Zimmer said he thinks the veteran will quickly pick up the Vikings offense.
"Michael is a very intelligent person, so I don't think he'll have any problem catching onto the system or anything like that, but to get out here and do it and be around the other guys and quarterbacks, I think that will help," Zimmer said.
2 items about the defensive line
1) The Vikings signed former Bears defensive tackle Will Sutton on May 17. Zimmer told Allen that the Vikings had liked Sutton when he was in the pool of draft-eligible players in 2014. Zimmer and Allen think that Sutton will benefit by returning to a 4-3 defense instead of the 3-4 currently deployed by Chicago.
"We actually wanted to sign him the year he came out and got drafted by the Bears in the third round," Zimmer said. "We felt like when they went to a 3-4, it was probably not a real good fir for him. His game is based on quickness and acceleration and penetration, so we've kind of had our eye on him for a while. When he was able to come free, we did a nice job of being able to get him."
2) Sutton's signing gives defensive line coach Andre Patterson and assistant Robert Rodriguez another talented player to work with. The position group had a pair of Pro Bowlers, Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph, as well as veteran Brian Robison and Danielle Hunter. Zimmer told Allen he looks forward to seeing Sutton developed by Vikings coaches.
"Andre Patterson is the best defensive line coach in football," Zimmer said. "He gets these guys to play better than they've ever played in their entire lives. Regardless if it's (Sutton) or Jaleel Johnson or whoever it is, I have complete faith in Andre Patterson."
1 great celebration of history
After Zimmer hosted the camp, he visited the home of Bud Grant Saturday to celebrate Hall of Fame Coach's 90th birthday.
Zimmer has made it a point to build relationships with Vikings Legends and connect current players to the history of the franchise. He told Allen that he enjoyed the visit.
"I'm hoping some of his coaching rubs off on me," Zimmer said. "It's always great to sit down and talk to him. He's got a lot of wisdom, and I enjoy every time I'm around him."
View images from the first children's ProCamp held by Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and the Mike Zimmer Foundation and Vikings players and coaches.