*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
Well after watching the tape, I don't feel a whole lot differently than I did yesterday, but I can clarify a couple things. Part of it was some of the things that we did do that were so uncharacteristic in this ball game. Things that we've worked on for three years since I've been here. Trying to be a smart football team. We jump offsides inside the five-yard line. We get the ball first-and-goal on the two. We get first-and-goal on the eight. We have first-and-10 on the 17 and I think we came away with three points and an interception. We don't go out of bounds twice with two different people in two-minute drill. Let's see what else was there. There were so many of these things that were so uncharacteristic of our football team that was really disappointing to me. But the thing that I admire about the good teams is whether they win by 50 or they get beat by 50, they move on and they get ready to go. We'll work hard on correcting mistakes. We'll work hard on getting people in the right place and doing the right things. Try to do a better job as coaches as well.
Q: What happened on the kick return touchdown?
A: Well, one guy was getting double-teamed and he didn't fight back into the double team, he took the easy way. Then one of the guys that was going to the ball got tripped and fell down. Then we had a poor effort on the other side. I'll address those issues as well.
Q: Did any of the guys that you mixed in for Andrew Sendejo and Jayron Kearse factor into that?
A: No, not really.
Q: What can you do to help out the offensive line?
A: Yeah, we need to. We need to. We didn't do a good enough job in that way.
Q: Is it about the scheme or guys needing to play better?
A: Yes, we need to do a better job.
Q: Do you wish you had given more tight end help?
A: I wish we would have done some things differently, yes.
Q: Is it difficult to continue having a tough mentality after a performance like that?
A: I'm not worried about this team's mentality. We had a pretty tough loss at San Francisco last year and we fought back. I'm anxious to see the determination that this team has going forward. You never know, every team is different. I think I have a pretty good feeling on these players, typically, and with this football team.
Q: Can you do anything else personnel-wise with the offensive line?
A: Yeah, there's a lot of things we can do. But we go back, there's some other things that happened in the pass protection, too. One back got run over by the safety, he got beat. Another back missed two pick-ups in the ball game. We didn't get the protection turned the right way a couple times. There was a lot of different things that happened throughout the course of the game. Those are the things that as much as I'm upset about the performance, I'm upset about as well. The things that we didn't do right. I pride myself in knowing protections so I've got a pretty good idea on protections and how to help things. So we're going to see what we can do.* *
Q: But can you make any personnel moves to help the situation?
A: Yeah, I understand exactly what you meant. I understand. We're going to look at all options and go from there.
Q: How much of the pressure do you just chalk up to being beat by a superior matchup?
A: Some. We got beat. Guys got beat one on one several times, I guess, both sides. T.J. [Clemmings] actually played better on the left than he did on the right. Jeremiah [Sirles] got beat a few times by 55 [Brandon Graham] and 51 [Steven Means]. [Jake] Long got beat when he was on the left, twice I believe. Inside, we kind of protected pretty good for the most part. [Alex] Boone got beat one time, I think, because he tried to jump a guy. That was the other thing. We got a 15-yard penalty from saying something to the referee. Those are all dumb things. We did several dumb things in this football game that we characteristically [don't do]. We kind of pride ourselves on being a smart football team, and we did not do a lot of smart things in this game. So, that's why I was as upset as I was.
Q: What do you attribute those things to? Is there anything you have been able to figure out?
A: Some of it is guys pressing. I talked to Adam [Thielen] there on the sideline, and he said, 'I'm trying to score a touchdown.' Well, the guy has got you around both arms and both legs, and you're two inches from out of bounds. He said, 'I've got it coach. It was dumb.' So, this team typically knows when they make mistakes and they've been told things to do. I don't know.
Q: Is one of the options maybe to have more blockers on the field offensively?
A: That's a possibility.
Q: It seemed like Sam Bradford had been pretty good in the face of pressure before. Is there more he could have done or that you'd like to see going forward from him to cut down the pressure?
A: Well, yeah. It's a whole bunch of things offensively that we didn't do good. Everybody's saying how I said it was the offensive line. I said the offense in general was not very good. Some of it was getting the protection turned the right way. Some of it was getting beat one on one. Sometimes it was not getting the ball out. It looked like he made a bad throw on the over route to [Stefon] Diggs. Well, Diggs was 10 yards short on the route. So, that's what I'm saying. It was a combination of things offensively that irritated me more so than just one particular thing or just the offensive line. We have to get better in every area offensively.
Q: Not just with this game, but with all of his work so far this year with Sam Bradford, is he a little slow to start with is accuracy?
A: I don't know. I'm not too Pro Football Focus-y in that way. I just see what he does and check the game out. I don't know.
Q: Was there a tackle combination that's any better than any of the others you were rotating in there?
A: Not particularly.
Q: How do you think Jake Long overall?
A: I thought he was rusty, but I knew he'd be rusty going into the ball game. He has been in pads one time in a year. So, part of it was to get him some plays in there, because he had one day of pads this week, and we knew he'd be a little bit rusty. So, it's just the way it goes.
Q: Do you still hope to work him in though?
A: Yeah, we'll see. We're trying to figure out everything right now. This is a gut-check day.* *
Q: What gives you the confidence that you can fix it?
A: Well the confidence I don't know, but I do have faith in this football team. Obviously, faith is belief without proof. So, right now I don't any proof, so I have to have faith that we'll get it done and I think we will. But, until we prove it, it's just throwing stuff against the wall.
Q: What's the update on Andrew Sendejo?
A: He's day-to-day. So, we should be alright.
Q: What were your impressions of Jayron Kearse after watching the film?
A: He was average.
Q: What about the run blocking?
A: That was better for the most part. We got on guys pretty good. There were a couple of things like the point of attack, but for the most part we got on guys pretty good.
Q: What happened in the short yardage situations?
A: Well the first one, the third-and-two inches, I was trying to get a measurement and I think that kind of messed them up. We got knocked back a little bit toward the outside of it and they kind of caved us down. That basically happened on the second one too. It wasn't all the offensive line. We jumped off sides on first-and-goal on the two. Those were all dumb plays. That's what I'm saying about uncharacteristic things we did in this ball game.
Q: Did Jerick McKinnon look okay after coming back in game?
Q: How did you guys think you did defensively overall?
A: We did some good things. We turned the ball over four times. You should have an opportunity to win, but they weren't allowing us to hit the quarterback very much. So, we played a little bit more coverage in the ball game. I thought we did a good job for the most part there. Obviously, jumping off sides inside the five-yard line wasn't good. Not good enough.
Q: Are you going to approach the week differently following the loss?
A: We're going to change some things up this week, yes. They don't know it yet, so we'll just let them figure it out.