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Monday Morning Mailbag: Zimmer's Standards Set The Tone

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the Mailbag! Every Monday we'll post several comments and/or questions as part of the Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can't post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

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The Vikings keep finding ways to win, despite the injuries. It seems like the identity of the team is very good defense, win the turnover margin, win on special teams and play smart on offense. I am very excited about this team even after the injuries. I was wondering: How does the team keep their morale positive, and does the ultimate goal (Super Bowl) remain the main goal for this team? -- Jarvaris Lee

The team keeping a positive morale is a tribute to the players - their mental toughness, competitiveness and resiliency. They believe in each other and they fight no matter what. But it's also a testament to the leadership they receive from the coaching staff, which starts at the top with head coach Mike Zimmer. As for the ultimate goal, yes it remains the Super Bowl. Zimmer says regularly that he has the highest standards for his team and that both he and the team believe in their ability to achieve that standard. I'm sure that on the first night of training camp Zimmer told the team what their goals were for the season, and I'm just as sure that those remain the goals right now despite the adversity that's arisen in the meantime.

Yet another amazing team performance from the Vikings! How does Zim and Co. inspire such a change of atmosphere during halftime and how can we get that rolling from the first snap? I'm so proud of how the team is handling adversity! -- Andrew Parrish San Pedro, CA

In both Week 1 and on Sunday in Carolina, we've seen a much different-looking Vikings team after halftime than we saw in the first half. I do give the coaching staff a lot of credit for that in terms of making adjustments and motivating players during halftime. As Zimmer said after the game on Sunday, the fact that much of the core of this team has been together for three years, especially on defense, allows coaches to more easily and quickly communicate with players at halftime to make quick, effective adjustments. More so, though, I think the reason you've seen better performances in the second half is because this team has a lot of smart and poised players who trust each other and trust the preparation process they went through during the week. They know not to panic when things don't go well at first, and so they stick to the plan, trust the preparation and each other, and then over time they start to turn things around on the field and build momentum.

If we don't count Sendejo's fumble recovery then subsequent fumble on the same play against the Packers, then the Vikes haven't turned the ball over at all this season so far! That's pretty darn impressive! -- Jordan C.

Outside of points scored/allowed, turnover margin is the strongest win-loss indicator in the game. Through three games, the Vikings have not turned the ball over on offense and they're plus-eight in turnover margin. That is as big a reason as any as to why they're 3-0.

Has the deactivation of Laquon Treadwell been on any particular regression or just the great play of our WRs, especially Adam Thielen? -- Ray Bustos The Dalles, OR

I don't think it has anything to do with Thielen because he's been active for all three games and Treadwell has been active for two of the three. Jarius Wright was inactive for the first two games and he was the one who saw a bump in playing time with Treadwell inactive. Zimmer said something in his postgame press conference regarding the three-man rotation at cornerback with Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes that I think may apply to the wide receiver situation. He said that all three of those cornerbacks had earned the right to play. So maybe Zimmer felt that Wright had earned the right to play, too, and so that's why he was active for this game and Treadwell was not. I don't look at it as an indictment of Treadwell, rather, it's more a credit to Wright for the work he's put in at practice.

Great 3-0 start! I watched Everson Griffen's postgame sound and I even heard during the game that he got sick. But even though that happened, he stuck through it for the team and he emphasized the point during that video that "It's not about me, it's about the team" when asked about his illness and how he kept going. I really admire that attitude. Plus, with all the adversity that we have gone through so far this season, Coach Zimmer has rallied this team to a 3-0 start, through three very tough teams, two on the road, and proving doubters wrong in the process. I love what Coach Zimmer has instilled in our organization. Sure, there is a lot to clean up this week before next Monday night when we play the New York Giants, but I love the way things are going so far this season! On to the week of practice and Monday Night Football versus the New York Giants! SKOL! -- Levi Bauer Eagan, MN

Well said, Levi. I know that Zimmer agrees with your sentiment on Griffen. During his postgame press conference, Zimmer paid Griffen as high a compliment as a coach can pay a player by saying that Griffen is a player who will never take a play off and that he's a team-first guy.

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