*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
First January press conference outdoors in the history of the Vikings, right? It'll be cold out Sunday, we've been outside all week practicing trying to prepare the best we can with it. Fans need to be out and loud, crank this thing up and let's go to work. Questions?
Q: Has it been a good week of practice outdoors?
A: Yeah, the grass has been, the weather hasn't been bad, it's been in the 30s. The weather hasn't been bad, the grass has been great. It's nice to get out off the field turf. It's been good.
Q: Do you wish it was a little colder during the week for you guys to acclimate yourselves to the elements on Sunday?
A: I think when it gets down to 1 degrees and the things that they're saying it's going to be, you've just got to go out and play. The field will be in great shape, they've got it heated on the coils underneath, so it'll be great. We've just got to go play.
Q: Will the weather affect your defensive play calling at all?
A: It could, it could a little bit. It just depends when we get out there and we see how the ball is travelling and field position things, we'll check all that, yeah.
Q: Is Jerry Gray trying to be a tough guy with shorts out here?
A: We have a couple guys I think in shorts. One of the offensive linemen, I don't know who it was.
Q: Brandon Fusco.
A: Fusco was in shorts, yeah.
Q: What are your thoughts on Adrian Peterson being a first team All-Pro?
A: It's great.
Q: What does it say about him after hardly playing last season at all?
A: He's a great back, everything we expected him to be coming back. There's no surprises.
Q: Is there anything you saw that was a constant this season in helping you go 11-5?
A: I think when we ran off those five straight early in the year, a lot of close ballgames, we found a way to win them, I think that was important. That allowed us to get in a position where we could get into double-digits.
Q: How does the possible absence of Luke Willson affect the Seahawks offense?
A: He's a pretty good vertical threat at the tight end and he does a good job in blocking, the boots, those kind of things. They can put another offensive lineman in there, they've done that before, so we'll just to have to see.
Q: Did you do a lot of scouting of Everson Griffen when you were at Cincinnati and he was coming out of USC?
A: I don't remember to be honest. I knew him in the draft. I've gone out to SC a couple of times, but I don't remember being at his pro day or anything like that.
Q: Are you surprised that he has emerged as a leader on the team?
A: Yeah, he's a very energetic person that works extremely hard. He's a great teammate, but yeah, I didn't know that about him really until I got here. He's a kid that you love to have and he works extremely hard, he wants to be good. When he's out here he works really hard, in the weight room, every place. He helps bring a lot of excitement to the team.
Q: Did you help him become a better leader?
A: I've had talks with him several times about leadership things, but the big thing with Everson [Griffen] to me that was impressive was the team voted him a captain. When you get that kind of respect from the team, that's important, and I think that meant a lot to him.
Q: How much does the motivation and revenge factor work or play into this game?
A: I don't think it matters at all, I think every Sunday is different. Like I said about Green Bay when they got beat by Arizona, sometimes games just get away from you. Nothing that happened a month ago really matters at all on Sunday. They're a great football team, they've been to two Super Bowls in a row, so it's just for us being in the playoffs, it's just whoever is next on the schedule, that's who we play and I don't worry about it.
Q: How much of an aberration was that game against Seattle?
A: I don't think it was an aberration at all. I think they got after us, we didn't do much in any phase of the game. That has no bearing about what happened a month ago, what's going to happen on Sunday. We're going to go out there and take everybody's shot and see what happens.
Q: Would a win be even sweeter because Seattle has been to the last two Super Bowls?
A: No, you win the game, you move on to the next week. Like I've told our team, I know no one is giving us any chance to win this game and that's fine, but there's only four teams in the league that have better records than us, so we've done a couple things right. Whether or not we got beat by 38- 7 or whatever it was, the last time we played really has not bearing.
Q: Do you let your guys know that Seattle is the favorite in this game?
A: They know. I tell them every week no one expects us to win.
*Q: Riley Reiff said the other day that the team is using it as motivation, is it? *
A: That's just kind of how we are. Started out the season against San Francisco and there was an awful lot of people that jumped off the wagon, so we're just trying to do what we have to do to win football games.
Q: How has your team improved since the last time you played Seattle?
A: We've been turning the ball over a few times defensively in the last few ballgames. I don't know, maybe offensively we've been playing better.
Q: With the weather, how do you stress ball security?
A: I've stressed it all week long. Any time you get in the elements, it's going to be a big, big factor. It's not going to be wet, but it's going to be cold and that is different. Ball security will be huge in this ballgame for both sides.
Q: How do you think Zach Line has done this year at fullback?
A: He's done a really nice job. He's a good athlete, he's blocked a lot better than I anticipated that he would throughout the course of the week. He's a good kid, he's tough. In the past he's been injured a little bit and he's been healthy and goes about his business and does a good job. He does a lot of really good things.
Q: Do you think we will see Austin Shepherd more with only two tight ends on the roster now?
A: I don't know, we'll see. We might go with no tight ends this week, who knows?