Presser Points: Zimmer Assesses Newcomers After OTAs

EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings first two days of the Vikings 2019 voluntary Organized Team Activity practices are in the books.

Wednesday’s session was held indoors because of rain, but it was open to the media, and Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer spoke after the session.

“A couple good days of workouts so far. Guys are working hard,” Zimmer said. “I like how the coaches are coming together with things we’re trying to do and the teaching aspect of this time of year. So, we’ll keep going and try to keep getting better every day.”

Zimmer was asked if he was “concerned” that receiver Stefon Diggs was not at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center for the first two OTAs.

“No,” Zimmer responded.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins mentioned during his media session that he was looking forward to having Diggs back in the building on Thursday.

Here are four other topics Zimmer covered during his press conference:

1. Rhodes returning to form

Earlier this offseason, Zimmer told media members that Xavier Rhodes “needs to play better” and took responsibility for the Pro Bowl cornerback getting back to form after a season in which he dealt with some nagging injuries.

“I’m going to make sure that he plays better, because those guys (Rhodes and Trae Waynes) are important in our defense and what we do,” Zimmer said at the Annual League Meeting in March. “That’s going to be part of it. It’s partly my job to make sure that he plays better, and I’m going to do it.”

Zimmer was asked about Rhodes’ performance so far, and he said he’s “doing better.”

You know, getting back to the technical things about his game, what he has to do. We talked during the offseason about things he needs to continue to work at, and we’re helping him do that, and he’s been a really good student and doing what we’re asking him to do.

2. Thoughts on Taylor

The Vikings have several new faces in the wide receiver room, including Jordan Taylor, who had 29 catches over two seasons with the Broncos.

“He’s a guy that’s got good height, catches the ball well, I think he’s been running good routes, his acceleration out of the cuts has been nice,” Zimmer said.

Taylor, who returned 11 punts for a total of 103 yards (9.4 average) in 2017 for Denver, had a few reps at the post on Wednesday.

Responding to a comment about the 6-foot-5 Taylor not looking like a “typical punt returner,” Zimmer said, “You know, [Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor Gary Kubiak] thought he was a good football player. So that was the connection there.”

3. The Garrett-Cousins connection

After Cousins spoke about getting to know Vikings rookie center Garrett Bradbury as a person, Zimmer acknowledged the chemistry he believes will come.

“They’re both good guys. They’ll get along great; we won’t have any issues there,” Zimmer said. “I think Garrett’s going to be an excellent addition to this team. He’s a smart guy, good guy.”

4. Update on Joseph

Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph was present at Wednesday’s OTA practice but did not take reps during the team portion. Zimmer was asked if Joseph received a rest day.

“No. He had surgery in the offseason,” Zimmer said.

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