Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Finishing up preparations here for the Saints, it ought to be a great game, an exciting game. I think our crowd will be into it, nice and loud, and help us on defense. Hopefully we'll go out and play a good game for them.
Q: Is Sam Bradford where you expected him to be after five practices?
A: It's kind of hard to judge with five practices. He's working in, but he's got a way to go still.
Q: There's a Boston Globe report that says Sam Bradford may dress Sunday, is there any truth to that?
A: I don't know how the Boston Globe would know, because I haven't made any decisions yet.
Q: Is that a possibility at all?
A: Well, every question that you ask, you ask if there is a possibility, and there is always a possibility for everything.
Q: Is Sam healthy enough if you do need him to play?
A: I think so.
Q: When you only have five practices, what is the biggest thing you need to see in order to determine if Bradford is game ready?
A: It's kind of hard to get reps when you're getting your starter ready, when you got 40 reps in a practice and he gets five and [Teddy] Bridgewater gets five. Want to talk about the Saints?
Q: As a defensive coach, what part of New Orleans' offense kept you up at night while game-planning?
A: Each week, everything keeps me up. They're very explosive offensively, they're second in the league. Obviously, they got a great quarterback that knows where to go with the football, gets the ball out in the right place. He's very accurate, gets the ball out early. The running game is much improved. The two backs, [Alvin] Kamara does a great job making guys miss, the other back, [Mark] Ingram is a strong, physical runner that gains yards after contact, all those things. They do a great job in play actions, do a great job in screens, so we'll have to be on point.
Q: What is your biggest message to the team in the playoffs as opposed to the regular season?
A: It's not really too much of that message, it's just that we got to be on point, we got to be ready to go. If you make mistakes, you go home.
Q: How do you feel the team's mental state is currently?
A: Good, I think they're ready to go. I think we'll play well.
Q: What has changed not only for your team but also for New Orleans since you played them earlier in the season?
A: Throughout the course of the season you get guys injured, so there's different things that happen there. They're missing some guys, we're missing some guys, but for the most part a lot of the core things are the same.
Q: The game plan is in and you're done for the week. What do you do now to decompress and find moments of zen before a big game like this?
A: [Laughs] I don't know that I have moments of zen. I have moments of nervousness, sitting in the locker room before the game. Really what you do is you just keep studying, that's what I do. I keep studying and keep trying to figure out what's the best thing, the best situation we can do. You go through a lot of what-ifs. If they do this, how are we going to combat that? And then get a bottle of red wine.
Q: At this point in the week when you've been studying for so long, are there ever times when you'll have something in the last day or so that clicks and makes a difference in the game?
A: Oh yeah, definitely. I still got a lot of work to do, honestly, as far as preparation and studying the things that I need to study. You go back and review things quite a bit. It's really just like getting ready for a test every week. You go back and you start studying on your tests, you go back and review and you think about some other things, this might be good in this situation, this might be good in that situation. Once you get in the game, it's really just playing the game, and you are kind of making adjustments on the fly.
Q: Is there a fine line to preparing but not over-preparing and overthinking things too much?
A: I think definitely, especially when you have a lot of time between games. We as coaches tend to want to try to do too much, and it's important that you remember that if you play fast and you play physical and you do the right things, usually that's the best way to go about it. We didn't get to this point by tricking everybody, we got to this point by executing and doing things that we do. I think that's always the best way. Take care of the football, try to get turnovers.
Q: Was Terence Newman able to practice today?
Q: Is he a full-go for Sunday?
A: Well, it's limited on the report, or questionable I guess would be on the report.