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Postgame Locker Room Quotes After The Oakland Win

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

There was a lot of good things that happened tonight. I think some of the adversity that we had to go through with the weather and being able to adjust because things don't happen exactly right during the season, there's a lot of ups and downs. I thought that was actually good, they were able to get through some of that. It was great that the fans that were here, they stayed and they were pretty vocal along the way. As far as the game, I thought offensively we did some good things, we did some good things on third down. I think we had one penalty and they had 14, we won the turnover battle. I thought [Jeff] Locke punted the ball down well, inside the 20 three times, so the field position was good. Defensively, I think we can do a lot better than what we did tonight. We've got a lot of work to do, we've got a long way to go. We've got to keep grinding and keep getting better.

Q: Do you think that the wind affected the play at all, even early on?

A: It was swirling. One time it was going to our right and then later it was going to our left. I don't think it really affected too much. There's some balls that sailed a little bit, but not too bad. Teddy [Bridgewater] might have started a little slow. He completed balls, but he wasn't as accurate as he normally is early, then he settled down and I thought he threw the ball well.

Q: You don't think the inaccuracy early was because of the wind though?

A: I don't know. You'd have to ask him.

Q: What did you want to see defensively that you didn't?

A: We over-ran some things today, I thought we could have been tighter in coverage a lot of times. We got beat on two stutters, two double moves. I thought we could have pressed more, I don't know why we weren't pressed more, I will have to look at that. Some of those things, we want to be up in people's faces and not off all of the time.

Q: Can you put your finger on why you're 7-0 in preseason games as a head coach?

A: No. Really, all I do look for is how we play, the performance that we give, the things we're doing, if we're doing things right or wrong, because I think that will tell you more about your football team than the preseason record.

Q: How much was wind a factor for Blair Walsh?

A: I don't know, you'd have to ask him. I mean he missed three field goals and an extra point. I don't know, he pushed all three of them, I think.

Q: Does that concern you?

A: A lot of things concern me, not just that. Not covering the out-route, that concerns me. Over-running balls, that concerns me. Not running the ball near as well as we should be offensively, that concerns me.

Q: How do you think Anthony Barr did?

A: He was okay, I thought. I think he knocked one ball down. I didn't particularly watch him. We blitzed him once or twice to just kind of get his feet wet.

Q: How do you think Charles Johnson performed tonight, it seemed like whenever Teddy Bridgewater needed a play that's where he was going?

A: Charles [Johnson] continues to make plays. He catches the ball, he runs good routes. The touchdown that he caught, I though the guy was grabbing the heck out of him along the way, but Charles is a big, strong receiver that has good speed and I think they're developing a pretty good comradery between them.

Q: What happened on the Shaun Hill interception, it looked like a miscommunication?

A: Yeah, there was a miscommunication.

Q: Was it just the wrong route ran?

A: Probably. If you were a betting man.

Q: Teddy Bridgewater came in completing 80% of his passes, is there a certain number you're looking for from him?

A: To me it's more about quarterback rating and moving the ball. We want completions and we want to be able to run the football. I think when you get that combination to a certain number, you're pretty effective offensively, and he's been getting a lot of completions. I thought we did good on third downs when he was in there and that helped keep the time of possession in our favor. Two out of the first three series we went three-and-out or maybe three out of four or something like that on defense and we continued to move the ball offensively. We've just got to get some points, we've got to finish them with points.

Q: Has Trae Waynes looked more comfortable out there?

A: Yeah, I think he's starting to. It's still a process with him, like it is with all of the young guys. I'm not sure that any of the rookies are not having to work through some of the process.

Q: Is Terence Newman your best option right now in the slot?

A: I don't know.

Q: What do you like about Terence and what he's able to do in there, I know you said he's played that position for you before?

A: It was a long time ago. He's just a smart guy, he knows what to do. Right now, I wouldn't read too much into any of this stuff. Like we played [Eric] Kendricks to start the game at Mike, then we played [Gerald] Hodges and then we played Audie [Cole]. We're just looking at different combinations, we're trying to get Kendricks going against guys that are a little bit probably better than the guys he'd been playing against. We're just moving all guys around. You never know what's going to happen. We might get a nickel hurt and I've got to find a guy to go in there. We had [Shaun] Prater in there tonight, we were going to put [Marcus] Sherels in there, it didn't get to that spot, we're just trying to think down the road, down the future of how we can get guys on the field and different ways to use, we'll probably put Trae [Waynes] back in there at some point.

Q: Why do you think you had trouble running the ball with your first team offense?

A: Well, they had a bunch of 8-man fronts most all night. They dropped a safety down almost every single play and they're a big defensive front. I think one guys is like 357lbs. or something, so they've got some big guys in there. We've got to do that better.

*Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater *

It's always good to get another win. Like I said a week ago, we want to establish a winner's attitude around here. I think we did a good job tonight in coming out. We had some issues with Mother Nature, but those are some of the things that you can't control. All we can is just control how hard we work, how hard we go out there and compete and we did do a good job of that tonight.

Q: How much was the wind affecting your passes tonight?

A: It wasn't affecting the passes at all. We practice in the rain, hail, sleet, snow, whatever it is, whatever the condition is. Today I think we did a good job throwing the ball around the park.

Q: How do you think T.J. Clemmings did tonight?

A: I think T.J. did a great job today stepping in for us. I don't think we had any sacks with the first unit. We had one issue come up and it was just a different look. Pretty sure if it was the regular season, we would have had more time to prepare for those different looks, but right now we're focusing on becoming a better team, we're focusing on some of the things that we can do to help ourselves become a better team. In the regular season, I'm pretty sure if that look comes up again, we'll be ready for it. But I think T.J. did a great job. The offensive line is doing a great job of just showing him the ropes around everything, and he's doing a great job of just stepping in right now.

Q: Mike Zimmer is still undefeated in the preseason. What is it about the preseason for you guys?

A: It's that mindset that we approach every game as if it's a regular season game. Like I said, we want to develop a winner's attitude around here, a winner's mindset and what a better way to do it than the preseason.

Q: Do you have any concerns about Blair Walsh after tonight's performance?

A: Not at all. Blair, we know what he's capable of doing. He's a Pro Bowl kicker and we're glad to have him on this team. We know that Blair is an exceptional player and he's going to do some great things for this team.

Q: What do you see from Charles Johnson?

A: Charles, he came up big for us tonight. You talk about that touchdown catch he had today with the defensive back all over his shoulders. Charles, he's a big, physical guy. He helps out in the run game with his blocking for the running backs and it showed tonight in the passing game in just the first half – not even the entire first half, but the first quarter. He showed that he's going to be big for us this year.

Q: How big of a threat is he in the red zone?

A: He's a huge threat. A guy that size who can run, he's very physical also. We like to get him some mismatches and we had one tonight and it ended up being a touchdown.

Q: Is there a benchmark or a certain number that you are aiming for this season when it comes to your completion percentage?

A: Right now, I am in the position where I'm just the guy who distributes the football, whether that is throwing a hitch route or a flare out of the backfield, I want to be perfect. That's the mindset, but no one is every going to be perfect. Something always comes up, the receiver could slip running a route or you could get hit throwing the ball, but I think we try to aim to be over 70 percent in the quarterback room. That's one of our goals. We take pride in completion percentage, we take pride in taking care of the football and commanding the offense. It's going to be a fun year. I have a ton of weapons at my exposure; and I can't wait to get everyone going.

Q: How strange was it to see Blair Walsh miss three field goals?

A: Like I said, Blair is an exceptional player. He's a Pro Bowl caliber player. He's been to the Pro Bowl before, so we know what to expect from Blair. Tonight we had wind factors, different things, but Blair, he's a strong guy. He's able to bounce back and the team, we told him we have faith in him. We're going to continue to trust him and he's a Pro Bowl player.

Q: Was it nice to get some guys involved tonight that are going to be some of your top receivers?

A: Definitely. You want to get those guys rolling heading in to the regular season and take advantage of the preseason, take advantage of training camp and just use this time to get those guys going.

Vikings Kicker Blair Walsh

Q: Did the misses have to do with technique?

A: I won't know until I look at the film. It didn't feel real good with how I hit the ball obviously and the results showed that. I have to do better. Preseason or regular season that cannot happen, and I know that.

Q: Was it difficult with the wind, with the rain, all that stuff that was going on too? Did that add something to it?

A: I mean it's not easy but their guy made his field goals. You have to think it the same way; you have to go out there and do your job, make your kick and move on. One miss leads to the other. You make one of those first two and the last one doesn't even have to happen. So it's sort of, they all come off of each other. You have to just be able to do your job.

Q: Did you find yourself getting discouraged as the night went on?

A: Yeah, I mean it's discouraging in the moment, but I think when you look back on what you've done so far and what I've been doing in camp and that's the most frustrating part about it. You want to take your results and how you do pregame and in camp and what you've done in your career and do that right now. I'm not doing it right now and I'm not translating it over, and I need to fix it.

Q: Are you feeling good in practice and it's not translating to the games?

A: Yeah, we're doing really well in practice. We have good operation but we all know that playing and practicing, playing in a game is two different things. Got to be successful in the game if you want to stick around in the league.

Q: On the second kick were you trying to play with the wind to push it through but it stayed straight?

A: The 49 yarder? I wasn't playing it out there; it just kind of drifted right off my foot. I thought I actually hit good contact on it. I got a good hold of it but it just didn't go where I wanted it to go.

Q: Were the winds different from one kick to the other? Dramatically different?

A: It switched around a bunch during the game but you know, it was consistently windy if you could say that. It's just one of those games where you want to move past it, realize what you did wrong and do better in Dallas.

Q: How do you move past it?

A: It's what I've been doing the last three years. When you miss, you have to look at the next kick as the only kick that you have left. Take each opportunity at a time, I know it sounds cliché, but that's what keeps guys in the league and that's what keeps us around.

Q: 43 yard extra point?

A: Jeez, that was fun. You don't want to have to hit those either but it's good that we executed well on it and continued to do it once you backed up.

Q: Is that kind of a thing with the 33yd now, the penalty becomes that much of a bigger deal?

A: It can. A night like tonight when you have the conditions and it's windy, it will definitely affect it. We had a nice wind kind of with us on that kick and we were able to use it as an advantage. I'm sure there will be spots where if that happens in the regular season we would go for it.

Vikings Linebacker Anthony Barr

Q: How good does it feel to get another win under your belt?

A: It feels great. We have to keep stacking them up, especially when it starts to count.

Q: Your first game back and you had a deflected pass in the game. What gives you the instinct to jump up and deflect passes and what's it going to take with that next step to intercepting the pass?

A: Formation recognition and trying to understand what the offense is trying to do in that situation. The ball is coming out quick so I shortened my rush and got my arms up and hopefully like you said, next time it will be an interception.

Q: What's the big difference from year one to year two in a Mike Zimmer defense? What makes it easier?

A: Obviously just having a year of experience under your belt. Understanding your position and trying to understand everybody else's around you, makes everything more fluid and a little easier. An extra year under your belt definitely helps.

Q: What's it like when you have a rain delay during the middle of a game? How hard is it to ramp yourself up and get ready to get back into the game?

A: It's tough. It's frustrating not really being able to get into a rhythm but that's why we are professionals. We have to go out there whenever we are asked to and do our job.

Q: What do you look for in that all important third preseason as you will probably play some into the second half?

A: We're just going to try and build on what we have done on these past three games. Correct the mistakes from this and continue forward.

Vikings Wide Receiver Charles Johnson

Q: Describe your touchdown catch on the timing route.

A: It's something we do routinely in practice that translated to the field. That's what you expect to see.

Q: What's the concentration of the passing game as the preseason progresses?

A: I think we're just taking it one step at a time. We're concentrating and treating every game like it's a real game, although it is the preseason. We want to win on every snap, and that's our focus, so we translate what we do in practice to each and every down on the field.

Q: Do you feel like there's any more concentration to get you and Mike [Wallace] involved as the preseason progresses?

A: I know I spoke to, [Offensive Coordinator] Norv [Turner] at the beginning of the week and he talked about getting me more involved just so we can get things rolling. We know there's limited snaps for us out there and we want to give everybody some touches, so it will all come together. Our main focus is winning games and trying to perform the best we can as a team. The other things will come.

*Vikings Linebacker Brian Peters *

Q: Describe what happened on your interception.

A: I was dropping where I was supposed to be and he was kind of eyeing right where I was. I think he got some pressure and just chucked it, threw it a little bit low and outside for me and was focusing on catching it, then getting up and running.

Q: Did you think you were going to get into the end zone?

A: I thought I did for a second, but at that last second, someone kind of turned me and I went and fell down at the one-and-a-half yard line.

Q: Have you ever been in a game with such a long delay?

A: I was trying to think of it, but I've never been in a game with a delay — not that I recall, except for baseball games. It made for an interesting dynamic. You've just got to control your mindset and control your focus. Chad [Greenway] gave us some good advice, just to lock in and focus, plug your headphones in, for the guys that still have to go play, treat it like it's the beginning of the game. I did that, plugged my headphones in and locked in and got ready to play.

Q: What did you listen to?

A: I listened to a lot of random stuff, but I've got a few playlists. Timeflies Tuesday's Beast. I listened to that on repeat four times before I went out there.

Q: What's it like to come into a game and protect a lead and close it out for the starters?

A: I think it's a testament to the depth we have on the team and the job they've done of getting all those guys in, but I think having the Hall of Fame Game allowed us a little more playing time and a little more splitting of the reps. When it comes down to it, no matter if it's for a series, a quarter, or whatever it is, you've got to be ready, and that's kind of the nature of the beast here in the NFL: when they call your number, be ready.

View in-game images of Saturday's preseason game against the Raiders.

Raiders Quarterback Christian Ponder

Q: You thought you might get booed and you did.  How did that feel?

A: I was prepared for it so it didn't really affect me. It made it kind of fun coming back. It was good to see a lot of the guys, a lot of the staff and a lot of players and reconnect with them.  But you know it was expected, so I got a little chuckle out of it.

Q: I know you thought you might do a bow?

A: Yeah it never happened because it kind of happened late when I was running onto the field already, so I probably wimped out.

Q: You did kind of cruise down there on that first drive, ended up with three points. Was it nice to get on the field and kind of get right going no matter what stadium you're in?

A: Yeah it was, you know the first drive went pretty well, we'd like to finish with touchdowns rather than field goals but it was good to get points on the board. I thought that, playing three or four drives or whatever it was, there were some good things and some things that I can improve upon, but it was good to be out there.

Q: That pass to Seth Roberts took you for 39 yards, what are your impressions of him so far in camp?

A: Yeah he's made an impression. I know he's a younger guy, and he stood out to me. He was practice squad last year, wasn't he? So he didn't get a whole lot of reps through last year, so he's the guy who stood out and is fighting for a spot on the roster, and he's making plays.

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