EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN. –When Stefon Diggs caught a Teddy Bridgewater pass on Chicago's 29-yard line Sunday, he wasn't satisfied with just making the catch. Diggs kicked it into gear before the ball met his hands, immediately creating separation between himself and the defender.
In fact, Diggs didn't even meet another defender until the 10-yard line, at which point he powered through a tackle attempt by Bears safety Chris Prosinski. Chicago cornerback Alan Ball made contact with Diggs at the 6-yard line, but the rookie didn't slow down. Instead, he surged into the end zone for his second touchdown with Ball wrapped around his waist.
In Monday's press conference, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer praised the rookie receiver's performance. Specifically, he commented on Diggs' ability to continue the play and pick up yards after making a catch.
"He was a pretty good punt returner, too. He didn't do it much later in his [college] career, but he was a good punt returner, so you saw that run-after-catch ability," Zimmer said on Diggs's ability to create space after the reception. "You know, he's shifty because he's got great stop-and-starts, he's tough, he's competitive."
"I probably didn't know the determination like he had on that second touchdown, I guess, where he said, 'Hey, I'm getting in the end zone,' " Zimmer continued. "I know he's that kind of kid, but I think that competitive part of the run at the end was something I hadn't seen as much."
Here are four more points from the podium:
*Zimmer on Teddy Bridgewater: *
**"Teddy in the last two weeks has completed 16 out of 18 [passes] on third downs – not all for conversions, but those completions add up. We move the ball well when we convert on third downs, and we score touchdowns […] He's felt good these last two ball games. He's felt really good about the plays and things – I think maybe sometimes in the past he saw some things that were covered that really had a chance to still get open – and he's thrown those."
Zimmer on the ratios of pass and rush plays:
"I don't think there will be [tension between the balance]. We want to run the football, and we want to be efficient throwing the ball. I don't particularly see us as a team that's going to be throwing the ball every play – it's just not who we are, how we're built right now. But, I think you can see when we're effective throwing the football, how much better we can be offensively."
Although Zimmer historically tends to favor the run with Minnesota, he intentionally works to blend the two, which was well demonstrated against the Bears. In the Vikings' first possession Sunday, they drove 93 yards in 13 plays – during which they ran six running plays and seven pass plays. At the end of the day, however, the Vikings had 36 rushes and attempted 20 passes.
Zimmer on younger players filling in on defense:
**"I think it's good for this football team when they see guys that haven't played a lot step in and perform the way they've performed. I think it gives everybody confidence that guys can go in and be effective. There's no, 'Woe is me because someone is hurt.' I think they have confidence in what we're trying to do defensively, so I think all those things are good for the team. Sure, we'd like to have those other guys back in there, because they're better players at this particular point in time."
Zimmer on winning record when his mom attends games:
"She'll be there [on Sunday night]. She reminds me every time that she's good luck. I said, 'It has nothing to do with blocking and tackling, does it?' She doesn't like that."
When asked about how his mother will fare in upcoming games as the temperatures may drop below Sunday's 36 degrees, Zimmer chuckled.
"We'll get her a big coat," Zimmer said, smiling. "She's a coach's wife – she understands."