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Presser Points: Zimmer Talks Quarterbacks, Green Bay Rivalry

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –The Vikings secured a Week 1 "W" against the Titans with veteran quarterback Shaun Hill in the huddle, but Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer told Twin Cities Media on Monday that he hasn't decided who – between Hill and Kyle Rudolph – will start against the Packers Sunday night.

Zimmer said there were a couple of takeaways from Hill's performance. He finished 18 of 33 (54.5 percent) for 236 yards and a passer rating of 77.3.

"We want to score touchdowns," Zimmer said. "[Shaun] was good with the football. He took care of the football like we try to do, and offensively they did, but no, we want to score touchdowns. That's not going to change."

According to Zimmer, a number of considerations affect the decision of which quarterback to start after losing Stefon Diggs for the season.

"Even last week, I knew we'd play Green Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium next week, so a lot of different things go into it."

Bradford arrived in Minnesota just over a week ago and has been spending as much time as possible learning the Vikings offense. Both he and Hill said they will prepare as if they're going to be the one starting on Sunday.

When asked if Bradford is far enough up to speed to be able to make checks and call audibles, Zimmer responded, "Oh, yeah."

Although he hadn't spent any time with Bradford prior to the trade, Zimmer said he's been impressed by Bradford's ability to learn so much so quickly.

Here are four other topics Zimmer addressed in his session:

Don't allow defense to dictate offense

Tennessee challenged Minnesota's run game on Sunday, limiting Adrian Peterson to 31 yards rushing on 19 carries. Although the Titans stacked defenders at the line a number of times, the Vikings continued to run the ball and keep the offense on the field.

Zimmer said a team can't stop its run game just because it's hitting resistance.

"You can't let the defense dictate to you just because they're in overload," Zimmer said. "There were a couple [times] we got out of it, but there are times when we have to run the football against extra guys in there. We understand that. It's not going to go away."

As long as Peterson is in the backfield, Zimmer said, defenses will load up to stop the run.

"Some of it is, you're going to have an unblocked guy, and you have to make the unblocked guy the guy that you want to be unblocked," Zimmer said.

He added: "I just don't feel like you can [avoid running]. If that's the case, you're going to throw it every down. I think there's times when you get out of things and times when you need to man up."

Defending the shifts and motion

When the Titans came out with tricks up their sleeve offensively, Zimmer said he attacked it with a little too much gumption in the first half.

"I was extremely aggressive," Zimmer said of his defensive approach in the first two quarters. "When they're giving you a lot of complicated shifts and motions and movements, a shift and a motion and then a play that's going back – two guys running this way and one guy running that way – the more you add, the more complicated it gets. I was giving our guys a lot of calls the first half."

Zimmer said one of the adjustments the team made headed into the second half was to go back to what they know and execute well. One player he used as an example was linebacker Eric Kendricks, who finished the game with six tackles and a 77-yard pick-six.

"He was seeing ghosts a little bit a couples times, and really, all of our guys were at times, especially in the first half," Zimmer said. "I think we, like I said before, settled down. We got under control."

No rush with Laquon Treadwell, young players

Second-year receiver Stefon Diggs didn't see a regular-season game until Week 4 in 2015, and Zimmer said there's no rushing this year with Laquon Treadwell. Zimmer said the first-round pick still has work to do to show he's ready to hit an NFL field.

"We're trying to do things right, get him ready to play and get him ready to go when the time is correct," Zimmer said. "I think all these young guys need to learn – not just him but all these guys – about professional football a little bit. It's not like you just come in, and you're the best player on the field right now."

Zimmer said the coaching staff works to recognize when a young player has "turned the corner" and is ready to go.

"Well, you think you know, but then sometimes they go back around the other corner," Zimmer said. "You just keep plugging away, keep trying to get them better."

Zimmer wants to even out 'rivalry'

The Minnesota-Green Bay rivalry is an intense one, a long-standing border battle between the two NFC North division teams.

Zimmer said it's important for the players to not get too caught up in the rivalry aspect of the game prior to facing the Packers for the Vikings home opener.

"All we have to do is figure out who to block, when to block them, when to cover and all that stuff," Zimmer said. "I think it's great for the fans.

He added: "We need to beat them a lot more often for it to be a rivalry."

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