MANKATO, Minn. —The Vikings first preseason game of 2016 is just one week away, but that will be just one element of Minnesota's visit to Cincinnati next week.
The Vikings will wrap up the 51st training camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato and travel to Cincinnati on Tuesday for a full-padded practice with the Bengals on Wednesday and a shoulder-padded practice Thursday.
Zimmer said starters from both teams could get a lot of work in Thursday's practice through a mutual understanding between the teams.
"That was the idea, to get the guys that typically play throughout the season to get more work that day," Zimmer said. "Usually that day is basically a walk-through, and you don't do much, so we're going to get some good situational stuff done with their good guys. It'll be fun."
Asked a follow-up regarding rotations of players, Zimmer said, "I don't know what [Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis'] rotation will be for that practice but ours will be just like we've been doing."
Here are four other highlights from Zimmer's session with the media.
Zimmer was the defensive coordinator of the Bengals from 2008-13. He said his strong relationship with Lewis played a "big factor" in making the joint practices possible.
"If it wasn't with Marvin, I probably wouldn't have done it," Zimmer said. "We have a great relationship and have had one for a long, long time even before I started working for him. I respect the things that he does and I know that his team will represent them and our team will represent us in the correct way."
No pitch count
Defensive tackle is one of the most grueling positions in the world of sports. Sharrif Floyd has played 43 of a possible 48 games in three seasons, but has been hampered by injuries.
Zimmer still plans to heavily implement the dynamic talent in 2016.
"He has had an injury history, but if you're healthy you go," Zimmer said. "He's not on any pitch count."
Trash talk between players and coaches?
Zimmer was asked if opposing players ever do much trash talking with coaches during games. He said it happens from time to time, but recalled more of a polite hello from a few years back.
"Oh yeah. One of the better ones, it wasn't really trash talking but we were playing in Dallas and Mark Brunell was playing for the Redskins and he runs out of bounds and says, 'Hey Mike how are you doing?' It was just kind of weird but there's been some other situations that have been a little more heated.
A major topic of camp conversation is the safety position alongside Harrison Smith. Andrew Sendejo is back after starting 13 games in 2015. As are 2014 draft pick Antone Exum, Jr. and 2015 rookie free agent Anthony Harris. The Vikings also brought in veteran Michael Griffin in free agency and drafted Jayron Kearse.
Zimmer has said he wants game action to help evaluate the players.
"I want to get a good look at them," Zimmer said. "I don't know about rotating them a lot. But I want to get a good look at them."