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Postgame Quotes: Vikings-Dolphins

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

Okay obviously we made too many mistakes tonight, gave up too many big plays defensively and then weren't able to – well we had drives but we weren't able to finish down there. I think it was a good opportunity for these young guys to get a fourth preseason game in. You've got another chance to get out there and evaluate a lot of the different guys. I'm excited about getting going, to start the season and get going for Monday night vs New Orleans. Questions?

Q: In terms of the preseason as a whole how did things go?

A: Well I think there are some definitely good things offensively that we've done. Areas that we've been working on we've improved at. There's still a lot of areas we have to continue to get better and that's going to be our focus. Defensively, I think when we get the guys that have played a little bit more, then I think we'll be okay.

Q: How strongly did you consider using the starters tonight?
A: I don't know.

Q: When you have a chance to look at these guys fighting for a roster spot, how much does tonight factor into the overall decision?
A: I think there's some guys, probably several guys that were kind of on the bubble that ended up getting a lot of playing time tonight so it's another chance to get us another evaluation out of them. I personally feel like having the fourth preseason game and the cuts after that is better in the fact that if you cut them earlier and they get picked up by another team, they've got one week to try to learn everything. It's just difficult. This way I think you get a truer evaluation of what it is because they've been doing these things really since OTAs, most of them. We're going to continue to look at the waiver wire. We're going to continue to try, you know just because whatever the 53 that we have this weekend doesn't mean it's going to be the same 53 when we're lining up on Monday night.

Q: How tough are these next three days making life changing decision for these guys, both good and bad?
A: It's always hard for the coaches and the guys that have put a lot of time and work and you've got a chance to get to know these guys. Quite honestly, these guys, it's really up to them and they have to go out and be able to prove it and be able to play at the correct level, do things right, not make mistakes during the games and things like that. A lot of them had their opportunities and they either took advantage of them or they didn't. 

Q: What are your thoughts on Mitch Leidner's play?A: I thought he did good for being here a short time.

Q: What did you think of Mackensie Alexander's penalty?   
A: Well I don't think it was very good. We had a little discussion about it.

Q: What did you think about the cornerback play throughout the preseason?

A: Well it wasn't very good tonight, but I think we're going to be okay with it. We'll be okay.

Q: How about Eric Wilson?

A: I'll have to look at the tape of today. Obviously, I hate to judge him on a couple plays tonight he didn't do well.

Q: Going forward with Michael Floyd is it a good thing that he can attend the meetings and be emotionally attached still?

A: Yes, I think that's really important that not only for him and making sure he's staying on the right path, but being a able to come in and stay related to the football part. He can still get into the weight room and do those things and be able to go out on his own and routes. I think all that stuff is much, much better than having a guy go away from the facility for a number of weeks.

Q: Did coaches have problems with that rule before?

A: Well, I mean it was hard to monitor them because they weren't around. They weren't around for football, for meetings, for understanding game plan. You can still sit in on the game plans that we're doing. In the past it was difficult. It was difficult not only for the club but for the player.

Q: Did you see enough in the preseason games with him?

A: I did. I do think so. He does a lot of really good things that do not show up on the stat lines. He's an excellent blocker, he's physical, he makes contested catches, I think he's really good with that. I think Sam [Bradford] has good flow with him as well.

Q: Where is he with the offense in general?

A: I think he'll be fine. He's a smart kid. I don't think that'll be an issue. There will be times when he's probably confused here or there. When we start getting into the game plan and focusing and not running a hundred different plays it makes it a lot easier.

Q: How is Jarius Wright with the quarterbacks?

A: Good, Sam likes him. Sam likes him a lot. Jarius has always been a productive player when he gets in the game. We'll just go from there.

Q: Can the quarterbacks throw to Floyd during his suspension?

No.

Q: Will Taylor Heinicke's injury affect him Week One?

A: I don't think it will.

Q: Do you know his status?

A: I think he's in concussion protocol.

Vikings Wide Receiver Michael Floyd

Q: How do you feel that you performed throughout the Preseason?

A: I think I did alright. I think I gradually got better, each and every single day. It's always kind of tough coming into a new offense and learning it, but when you have good teammates and good coaches and you always stay into the playbook, it kind of comes natural. That's football for me.

Q: As everyone is trying to bring their game to a peak to start the season, how tough is it to have to put a pause on your game for now?

A: You knew it was coming, but I don't think I have to hit pause on it. I think it's just that I obviously can't be out there, but I'm still going to be staying in the playbook and the game plan for each and every week. That's how I'm going to stay focused and keep my mind on football.

Q: What do you think some of the challenges will be in terms of staying in football shape?

A: I just got to workout like I always do, being prepared each and every week. There's really no stopping the working out. I kind of have to put into a little more extra work to make sure that when I do get out there, it's a great transition.

Q: Is there a special training program in place for your time away in the next four weeks?

A: We haven't really gotten to that, but I'm sure they'll have something set up for me.

Q: Do you feel like you'll be able to come back into the offense seamlessly when you do become eligible to return?

A: I think I'll be in a great position, and that goes with staying in the playbook, knowing the game plan, how the routine is, how they do it here, and just staying focused.

Q: Is there an emotional benefit to being able to see your teammates and be in the locker room in addition to just studying the playbook the next few weeks?

A: Yeah. I think guys watch film different than others, so whatever you can see out there to help the guys that are going out and playing, that's always helpful.

Vikings quarterback Mitch Leidner

Q: Some ups some downs, but you played in a pro game…

A: It was a lot of fun, great to be back playing ball again. You know for awhile there I didn't think it'd happen but these guys in this locker room and this coaching staff are honestly one of the best I've ever been apart of. I couldn't have done it without how welcoming these guys were. These guys were willing to help me learn, and they believed in me when I got in the game. I really don't think I could have done it without them, and coach Shurmur and coach Stefanski gave me the tools to be successful out there, and it really was a lot of fun.

Q: What happens the next three days?

A: I have no idea, all I've heard is rumors up to this point, and kind of how it goes down. You know I'm just here having fun playing football trying to rally guys, have some fun and make some new friends so whatever happens happens.

Q: Was your head kind of swimming out there in terms of it being a lot to get out there?

A: Honestly it wasn't too bad at all. There was a couple times where hearing the play call was a little bit tricky for me but other than that you know I owe it to Isaac Fruechte. Me and him walked through the game plan a lot of times in his hotel room the last couple days. And then coach Stefanski walking through it with me. So again they're a great coaching staff and they're great players on this team to really help give me the tools to go out there and play tonight. 

Q: Whatever happens you've been able to walk out here and wear the purple and play, big highlight for you?

A: Yeah, definitely. You know it's something you dream about as a kid growing up in Minnesota. Actually I don't even know if you dream about this because it seems so far away. For it to actually happen it's pretty cool. I'm just so thankful to the Vikings and this organization for giving me this opportunity.

Q: How'd you feel about your outing?

A: It was great to get back out there, ultimately you know we're not satisfied because we didn't get the win. You know that's the ultimate goal on this team and from what I've learned over the last couple weeks being here it's a very competitive environment and you always want to win every time you step on the field. You always want to fight. It's still great to be back out here. I'm very thankful to these coaches, this organization and ultimately these teammates as well. I couldn't have done it without them, how welcoming the teammates were from the second I got here, just an unbelievable group of guys, you know friends I've made forever now. You know you only dream about that as a kid in Minnesota growing up here and watching these guys play so, you know really great group of people to be around. And then coach Shurmur and coach Stefanski giving me all the tools out there to go out and play and be successful out there.

Vikings Wide Receiver Isaac Fruechte

Q: What is it like waiting for that phone call when roster cuts are happening?

A: For me, I just try and cast my anxieties on the Lord and just try and stay in the Word. And just relax as much as I can. I know it's hard and every time your phone rings you're like who is it? But, just try and relax and see what happens. 

Q: In a preseason game like this does it seem like any play can determine whether or not you make the team or get cut?

A: Yeah, like I said earlier I try not to think about that honestly. I just try on focusing on making the plays when they come my way. Whether that's on the punt team or catching the ball on offense when the ball comes my way. You wish you could have some back, but that's part of football. Just moving forward and next play mentality I guess.

Vikings Defensive End, Danielle Hunter

Q. What are your thoughts on the NFL and its players taking action with what's happening in Houston?

A. It's sad seeing all those people stranded in those homes. I mean this hurricane is worse than Katrina so you can imagine how devastating it is. I'm glad the organization is doing something about what's going on in Houston right now. In times like this that's what it's all about, helping out.

Vikings Wide Receiver Cayleb Jones

Q. How did it feel to be out on the field today?

A. It felt really good to be out there and compete. It's a little disappointing because we didn't win. At the end of the day the ultimate goal in football is to win and we didn't do that.

Q. Are you happy that you have been presented the opportunity to play these past three games for the team and show what you can bring to the table?

A. I'm happy and fortunate that I have the opportunity to play and capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves. I'm thankful for coach Zimmer for giving me a shot to come out and play and show what I got.

Q. Could you walk us through that touchdown play where you had to fight your way through to make that happen?

A. I was praying that there would be a chance for me to make it happen. What really helped is that they messed up on their coverage and I felt like I was waiting there all day. The QB (Heinicke) back found me and we made the play. 

Q. What was this week like for you? Knowing that you are going to get a lot of opportunities handed to you.

A. Do or die. Do it for my family and for everyone back home in Texas going through everything. I know how important it is to have this opportunity present itself so that you can have the chance to do what you have to do. 

Q. What's this been like for you coming from training camp last year to preseason up until to this point?

A. I feel like I have grown tremendously, like a new man. I understand the importance of coming in and working even when you don't get the praise or the attention. Whatever you have to do, you got to keep working and working because God is good and being diligent will pay off in the end.

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