*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
Good afternoon, I missed you all yesterday, did you miss me? I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
Q: How do you feel about being in first place in the NFC North?
A: We're just worrying about Atlanta, we don't care about any of that stuff.
Q: What are you seeing with how Atlanta is using Julio Jones?
A: Yeah, they've got him everywhere – Z, X, slot, you name it, they've got him everywhere. He's a tremendous receiver, great athlete, catches the ball good, great size, good blocker. Yeah, he's tough.
Q: What kind of challenges does that present when Julio Jones lines up in so many different places?
A: Well, you have to really be sharp with all of your coverages and things like that. Sometimes they'll have running backs outside of him and they'll have tight ends outside. They run wide receiver screens to him, just about everything you can imagine they do. We're going to have be extremely sharp in the coverages. It makes it difficult when they can run the ball like they do, as well.
Q: What's your assessment of Anthony Barr's progression from a rookie to his second season?
A: I think he's doing good. I think he got set back a little bit with the hand earlier, he seems to be back to his old self now. I look forward to him even doing better these next six weeks.
Q: Can you talk about the value of a guy like Joe Berger and his ability to step in and play at a high level?
A: Joe [Berger], and having guys like him - number one, smart guys, guys that are extremely dependable and can play a lot of different positions are really, really, really, valuable. He's really done a nice job moving in to the center spot. Last year he played some guard when we got guys hurt. We didn't anticipate him being there the entire time, but he's really been kind of a steadying influence on our offensive line.
Q: Do you expect Harrison Smith and Everson Griffen to play on Sunday?
A: I would think so, yeah. [Laughs] I'd never say no.* *
Q: Since Trae Waynes didn't practice is there a chance he doesn't play Sunday?
A: No he didn't practice. There's always a chance, I don't know.
Q: What's impressed you the most with Adrian Peterson this season?
A: I told him today how much I appreciated him, everything he does for us. His leadership, the way he comes out here to practice, the way he prepares, really everything. I'm impressed with him, just the way he does things all of the time.
Q: Was that in the spirit of Thanksgiving?
A: No, sometimes I'm nice. I say nice things to guys, it's not often but once in a while I do.
Q: What goes into deciding to shadow a receiver?
A: Just feeling, really. Sometimes it's different routes they run. Sometimes it's the size, the speed, where they line up. There's a lot of different variables.
Q: What have you thought of Xavier Rhodes' season and some of his early penalties?
A: I think he's cleaned those up. I think he's feeling more positive about his technique. He needs to play good these last six games. We're going to need him to play really good.