EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer told the media Friday that he's decided on a starting quarterback for Sunday's season opener in Tennessee.
Zimmer said he "might" have told the team whether or not he chose veteran Shaun Hill or newly acquired Kyle Rudolph to lead the Vikings offense.
But Zimmer wasn't about to reveal to the public, or the Titans, whom he had picked.
"I guess we'll find out Sunday," Zimmer said.
Hill has 34 career starts with three teams and would make his first career start for Minnesota. Bradford has 63 career starts and threw for 3,725 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. He, too, would make his first start in Purple.
Here are four other topics Zimmer addressed during his session:
A helping hand
Nobody on Minnesota's defense knows Zimmer as well as Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes.
The 38-year-old is in his third stint playing under Zimmer, which included four years in Dallas, two years in Cincinnati and now two years in Minnesota.
Zimmer said Friday that Newman, the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, is a leader on and off the field for the Vikings defense.
"I think he really helps a lot of these young guys and understanding not just about coverages and things but how to be a professional," Zimmer said. "I think some of the younger guys respect him. Even guys like Harrison Smith, they try to learn from him. [Andrew] Sendejo and [Xavier Rhodes] a lot. So I think it's been a lot of that.
"He obviously knows, he's been around me a long time, so I'm sure when I'm in a bad mood he can tell them to listen to what I'm saying and not how I'm saying it or something like that," he added.
Week 1 impressions
Zimmer has been around the league long enough to know that a team's season isn't over just because of a poor showing in the opening week.
Case in point: the Vikings lost 20-3 to San Francisco in Week 1 last season but went on to win the NFC North with an 11-5 record.
Zimmer cautioned about buying into the hype or listening to the doubters no matter what happens against the Titans.
"Just thinking back on it, I think that everybody is going to be an instant evaluator after the first week," Zimmer said. "They're going to say, 'Oh, this team is in trouble, and that team is great.' I don't think that it really tells you anything.
"I think you can find out about the team in the first week but there's so many … to me the first week is always kind of a roll the dice kind of a deal," he added. "Because you never really know what the other team is going to do and how they're going to attack you."
Support from the locker room
Numerous Vikings players praised Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman's acumen this week for pulling off the trade for Bradford, noting it shows the front office believes in the Vikings roster.
When asked about his team's mood heading into Sunday, Zimmer mentioned the trade and echoed his players' thoughts on the swap.
"I think the veteran guys appreciate the fact that management went out and tried to do whatever we can do to help win," Zimmer said. "I think that showed that they have confidence in this football team.
"I don't know that necessarily the mood changes but they feel like they're trying to give us the very best opportunity we can to win," he added.
An update on Teddy
Zimmer said Thursday that Bridgewater underwent successful surgery earlier that day. He said he texted Bridgewater on Thursday night and that the quarterback was "in good spirits."
Zimmer then expanded on what Bridgewater's role would be this season if he were to show up around Winter Park.
"That's pretty much up to him, how he's feeling and how he wants to get … one of the things he said was he can't wait to get back here and be around the guys.," Zimmer said. "So, I'm sure he'll try to be around, but the most important thing for him is to do the rehab and the things that he has to do.
"He'll be in the training room a lot, so guys will see him, and he's more than welcome in the meetings and all that," he added.