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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media Friday

*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *

Finishing up preparations for Carolina. They're an awful good football team, obviously NFC champs. They're tremendous offensively with their weapons. Their defense plays hard and fast, got some very good players on it. It'll be a great test for us to go down there and see where we're at.

Q: How do you feel about Xavier Rhodes progression through this week?

A: I think there is a good possibility, we'll see. 

Q: How are Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers similar and how are they different?

A: They're both dynamic guys, obviously. There's a little bit more designed runs for Cam Newton. The offense is different but they both are accurate, strong armed, avoid the rush well. It's different, these guys have huge receivers that will be a test for us physically as well.  

Q: Was Stefon Diggs sitting out practice today as a precaution?

A: Yeah, it was precautionary.  

Q: How have Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo been able to work well together?

A: I think they communicate well. Almost all the time they're in the right place. They help a lot of guys get lined up. They play real hard and physical. So, it's been a good tandem.   

Q: Are you confident Diggs will play?

A: Yeah.   

Q: How has Shamar Stephen been playing with his increased role?

A: He's doing good. He's played well. He's getting better as a pass rusher. He's played the run very well. He's growing up, he's talking a lot more. Before you couldn't hardly get any words out of him so now he's a lot more vocal. But he's been playing good.  

Q: Because of Carolina's run-first offense, would Stephen have gotten more snaps than Sharrif Floyd had he not been hurt?

A: I don't know. Sharrif's not here so we don't even need to talk about it. .

Q: How does Sharrif's injury affect your defensive tackle rotation?

A: It doesn't. It is what it is.

Q: How has your cornerback depth helped maintain gameplans and continuity on defense?

A: We look for a certain style of corner here and I think that always helps. I think Mackensie Alexander is going to be a good player. He's got into both of these football games a little bit and I don't think the stage is too big for him. He'll go compete. Obviously, you know Trae (Waynes) has done a good job and (Terence) Newman. Hopefully we get Xaiver (Rhodes) back, so I think that's a pretty good group.

Q: Based on what Cam Newton presents, who does that put the most pressure on defensively? Is it just the defensive ends?

A: No, not really. It's everybody. They run some boots to keep the ends honest and some reverses. Part of it is his scrambling ability and they've got a lot of quarterback runs, the option game and things like that. So, it's probably isn't anybody who he doesn't put pressure on the linebackers, safeties and defensive line.

Q: It looks like Xavier Rhodes is ready to go, is there still a plan to cycle Trae Waynes into the mix for game action?

A: I always try to have a plan, so we'll see how it goes.

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