Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Presser Points: Zimmer on Edwards Calling Plays, Evaluations of Waynes, and Gedeon

MANKATO, Minn. — At the end of the Vikings offseason program, Head Coach Mike Zimmer mentioned that he wanted to be more involved with the offensive side of the ball heading into 2017.

He considered allowing defensive coordinator George Edwards to call the plays on defense.

Zimmer mentioned on Tuesday that he hasn't made a decision yet but the preseason would be an opportune time to try it out.

"I'll probably have him call one preseason game and see how it goes," Zimmer said, adding that he hasn't finalized the decision. "I think it will be good to practice in the preseason and see if it helps me to help other areas of the game. I am kind of thinking that way."

Here are four other topics that Zimmer addressed Tuesday:

Experimenting with Exum at the nickel

Antone Exum, Jr. is entering his fourth season with the Vikings.

Exum has battled injuries since last playing in a game on Dec. 6, 2015. He played some cornerback in college at Virginia Tech but began his pro career as a safety. On Monday, Exum worked at safety and nickel cornerback.

"He's a former cornerback," Zimmer said. "I was sitting there looking at him the other day and I said maybe we ought to take a look at this guy at nickel. He's got the body type for it. He's got good quickness, acceleration and he's got the body-type to him. It's just something to look at, and it's a good time to kind of experiment with guys now."

Böhringer update

When the Vikings drafted Moritz Böhringer out of Germany in the sixth round in 2016 the team knew he had a lot to learn.

After spending last season on the practice squad, Böhringer is much more comfortable out on the field entering his second season with the team.

"He's much improved," Zimmer said. "His routes are much better. [Receivers coach] Darrell Hazell is doing a good job with him. He's catching the ball better, and he has a better understanding of the offense."

Although he has improved a lot, Zimmer identified a few things that can help the wide receiver take his game to the next level.

"The transition from the top of the route to accelerating out is going to be the biggest thing. He's a little bit of a high-cut guy. He's got to be able to sink his hips and accelerate out. He didn't catch the ball great last year, so that's got to be one part but he's doing better with all of those (things). Those two things, combined with catching the ball, will help."

'Old-school' Gedeon

Vikings have two clear-cut starters a linebacker heading into 2017 in Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks. Zimmer plans to have a mix of veterans and younger players compete for the third spot.

Zimmer was asked about fourth-round pick Ben Gedeon's progress. So far, Zimmer likes what he sees from the former Michigan Wolverine.

"He's kind of an old-school linebacker tough-guy, but he's got very good instincts," Zimmer said. "We're playing him in a couple of different spots just to get him acclimated. He's smart, and if you tell him one time he usually gets it pretty good."

Waynes heading into year 3

Trae Waynes, the Vikings 2015 first-round draft pick, is entering his third season as a Viking and could push for the starting cornerback spot opposite Xavier Rhodes this season. Zimmer said Waynes has handled his status well.

Zimmer has tried Waynes on the outside and at the nickel back position in his young career but thinks that Waynes is better-suited on the outside.

"When he came in he had a lot to learn, and I think I probably messed him up a little bit trying to play him at nickel," Zimmer said. "I was giving him a little bit more to do with some of that."

Zimmer described the Michigan State product as having a "reserved" personality but has recognized his ability to handle coaching as well as learning from his teammates.

"He's not a real talkative guy, and he's pretty quiet in the things he's done," Zimmer said. "I think he's learned a lot from (Terence) Newman, and he's learned a lot from Xavier and Jerry (Gray) obviously. I think he's handled it really well. I think this will be a big year for him. Hopefully he plays great cause that's what we are expecting.

"He doesn't say much to me. He listens and takes it all in. He's not really a guy that's going to talk a lot of noise out there on the field. I know he's a competitor. He's just a quiet guy, which is OK."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.