Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater
I'm excited to get back out there. Training camp has been going good. I'm excited to get back into that game mode, a week of game planning. It's going to be exciting to get out there and compete. It will be some of the guys' first time experiencing the Hall of Fame atmosphere and I know it won't be the last time for some of the guys, especially a guy like Adrian Peterson. So, I can't wait to get down there and to see the guys go out there and compete.
Q: How many plays are you hoping to get in on Sunday?
A: I have no idea. It's just going to be fun to be able to get back out there, get back in rhythm, in the playing-like field, game-like situations. It's going to be fun to be able to work some situations – third downs, red zones and who knows.
Q: What happened with those two interceptions in Tuesday night's practice?
A: The first one was just awful, bad ball placement. I probably should have just thrown the ball to the running back on the swing route, but it happens. It can be avoided. I'd rather it happen out there on the practice field than during the season. Then, the second one, in the two-minute situation, the ball had to go to the end zone. I just tried to lay it out there and give my guy a chance, but Xavier Rhodes, he's a long guy, so you have to be very accurate when you're throwing on his side of the field.
Q: What do you like most about Stefon Diggs?
A: I love that he remembers his mistakes more than his good plays. You make a good play and everyone is going to pat you on your back and tell you how good you're doing, but to be able to process those bad plays, learn from them, and then not make the same mistake twice, that's what I love about him. He goes out there each day trying not to make the same mistake twice and that should be the mindset for everyone on this team. We try to take pride in being precise, accurate and everything, whether it's me being a passer, wide receivers running their routes, running backs hitting the holes and things like that. So just taking pride in not making the same mistake twice, I love that about him.
Q: How does Matt Kalil look?
A: Matt looks very good. The good thing about Matt, he's able to go against some of the top pass-rushers in the NFL, Everson Griffen and Brian Robison. Then we have some young guys also who have given those guys a good look. Each day he's competing. He and Everson are going at it every day and I'm excited for him.
Q: What does an extra preseason game do for you preparation-wise in terms of what you do preparing for games?
A: It allows us, like I said, to get back into the feel of game planning. You get to experience what a week of game planning would be like. I know for me, going into my second year, it's going to be very helpful to get to see all of our hard work in training camp pay off out there on Sunday, so I can't wait to get out there.
Q: You were sacked a lot last year. Do you feel comfortable behind the offensive line?
A: Definitely. This is a new and improved offensive line. Nothing in this league stays the same. A lot of those sacks last year, I take credit in that. I could have gotten rid of the ball much faster, made faster decisions. Like I said, this is a new team this year, nothing in this league stays the same. We're going to do some things differently to avoid some of those sacks this year.
Q: Is it good to have Coach Zimmer back and did he address to you guys what's going on in that situation?
A: It's definitely good to have Coach Zimmer back. I'm not too sure about his situation. Right now, we just have to continue to focus on football. It's a family-first atmosphere here though. Like I said, we just have to continue to focus on football right now.
Q: When you game plan a preseason game, does the opponent matter at all or are you just trying to do your thing?
A: Both. That's a good question. When we play teams, of course you're going to try and scheme around them, but also, you want to go out there and just execute all of the plays that you've been running at training camp. That's going to be our approach to this game.
Q: Adrian Peterson is not a secret weapon anymore, but how different is it going to be for you guys to let him loose when the regular season comes?
A: It's going to be very different. He's going to be running like a caged animal that's been caged for too long. Right now, we just have to focus on preseason and trying to get better right now in preseason. Adrian hasn't played in a preseason game in how long, so we're going to go out there with the guys that we have and we're going to expect those guys to carry the load.
Q: Do you still feel like the season is a long way away?
A: Not really. Being able to get back into this first preseason game, it kind of gives you that season-like atmosphere. I'm going to continue to say, it just feels good to be able to get back into a week of game planning. So I can't wait to get out there Sunday night and just compete.
Q: Have you seen a difference in Stefon Diggs' route running?
A: Yeah, definitely. Stefon, he's doing a great job in his route running. He still has some room to improve, but we all do. That's why we're playing this game, that's why we're practicing. Each day, he comes in, he comes to work, he watches guys like Mike [Wallace], Cordarrelle [Patterson], Jarius [Wright], those guys, Adam Thielen, Charles Johnson. He watches how those guys practice each day and he just learns from those guys and that's what you love from a young guy.
Q: How do you feel Zac Kerin did during John Sullivan's absence?
A: Zach did a great job. He was in there with the first team offensive line and he did a great job. To be able to come in for a guy like John Sullivan, you have to be on top of your game. Sully is a very smart guy, he's making calls in the run game and everything like that, so Zac did a great job of just stepping in for him.
Q: Any cigars for Sully?
A: No, I almost shed a tear talking to him today in the walk-thru though. I'm very excited for him and I wish him nothing but the best.
Q: Is it difficult for you, being the quarterback, having different centers shuffling around in front of you?
A: Not really. You never know what can happen throughout the course of a game. Last year, Sully went down in the Buffalo game, I believe, and Joe Berger stepped in and was playing center. So it's good to be able to get a practice in with a back-up center to prepare you for those situations that may happen like Buffalo last year.
Q: Does becoming a father change John Sullivan at all?
A: I don't think so. It may make him a little softer, but I don't think so.
Q: Which do you think would have helped you grow more as a quarterback – being thrown in there like last season or being the starter to begin with?
A: I think just being thrown in there helped me grow the most, because I knew that time waits for no man and I had to make sure that I was sharp when my number was called and they prepared me for my moment. The biggest difference now is, like you said, I have time to prepare as a starter opposed to waiting on your number to be called. The approach is a little different, but last year I had the same mindset as if I was a starter, even though I wasn't, and this year is no different.
Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards
Q: How does Anthony Barr look working his way back from injury?
A: Our training staff, you know they're on top of it, so we're just going through the normal process of getting him back out there as quickly as possible. Coach [Zimmer] will update you exactly what's going on with it. We're not really talking about the injuries.
Q: You can't tell us whether or not he'll play in the preseason game?
A: No, it's Coach's decision. So, whatever he decides there, whether he plays or not, that's theirs to say.
Q: Will he go this afternoon?
A: Again, I'm not allowed to talk about injuries, okay?
Q: What young guys are you looking to keep an eye on during the Hall of Fame game?
A: Well, we'd like to see all those guys, see what they do the first time playing under the lights, see how they've progressed. They've done a good job in training camp, now to see them actually against another opponent, go out there and perform. But all our young guys, we're looking forward to really, it's their first test at it, so we're excited about getting a chance to see them live.
Q: With returning players in their second year in the defensive system, does that give you more time to work with the rookies?
A: We've really tried to improve on some things from last year. We've got some new things that we're trying to work on. We've spent a lot of time with the rookies this offseason getting them ready and through the training camp. The recall helps, where it's just not new for everybody all the time, but we've tried to pay attention to the details of everything as we've worked through this process.
Q: What is the status of Sharrif Floyd?
A: Again, Coach [Zimmer] is going to address all injuries. I'm not going to talk about injuries but he seems to be okay.
Q: Usually this time of camp, defense is usually ahead of the offense. Where do you see this team?
A: I think right now we have a pretty good feel for what it is that we want to do defensively. I think competitive-wise out there on the field, I think we've had some good play, we've had some bad plays. Our offense is, I think they're doing a pretty good job also within the second year in the system. With all the different weapons they've got over there on that side of the ball I think they've done a good job competing against us every day they cause us some matchup problems. So, from the aspect of it, I think it's been sort of give and take a little bit, offense and defense.
Q: What are your thoughts on having Mike Zimmer back today?
A: I thought it was great having him back. He just adds so much to what it is we're trying to get accomplished but hats off to him on understanding the situation for what it is.
Q: Was it difficult having Coach Zimmer gone the past couple days?
A: I mean anytime you're missing a head coach, you want him to be around because he brings so much to the table to us for our team. But I think our guys out of respect for him and the situation, I mean, they came in and worked and we worked through it and they paid attention to the details of what we're trying to do, but we're glad he's back.
Q: Coach Zimmer talked about how he asked Audie Cole to cut it loose, what have you seen from him in the past couple days?
A: That's one thing we try to make a point of emphasis of, rather than second guessing himself and not going ahead and getting downhill and shooting his gun, so to speak. That's one thing we're trying to make him conscious of. Quit second guessing yourself and just go and go play. I think you can see him turning it loose and you know the interception the other night and he's just stopped second guessing himself and go play.