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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media Monday

*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *

After watching the tape, like in every ball game, there's some good things and some not so good things. Our guys fought hard, I think they played hard the entire ball game. We didn't make enough plays to get it done. We'll get back to work this week and try to get a win. We just need to get over the hump.

Q: Do you think some of the players on defense are pressing to make too many plays?

A: Yeah, but when you're struggling and you've got a bunch of really good guys, guys that really care, guys tend to try to do a little too much, including myself. Instead of allowing guys to make plays, you try to make plays for them. We just need to settle down. We need to do what we do. Get back to being the Vikings defense again.

Q: Do you feel like you were trying to make plays for them yesterday?

A: Well, a lot yesterday. I mean hey, we lost three games in a row. You're going to shoot all of the bullets out of your gun if you can. Sometimes it backfires and sometimes it doesn't. I think the players felt the same way. We tend to have a few more misalignments than we typically do. A few more not being in the right place when we typically do. We maybe changed some things too much. I've always said that if I'm going to lose, I'm going to lose my way. So we just get back to doing things my way. 

Q: What are your options at left tackle?

A: I don't know, we'll see Wednesday.

Q: Are you considering moving Alex Boone to that spot?

A: I know that Alex has not talked to me, he's talked to you. Which is probably not the right avenue to go about. We'll discuss it and we'll figure out what the best thing to do is.  

Q: What can you do to fix the short-yardage situations?

A: That's been part of the issue, because I went back in the last four ball games and offensively we're five and out of 13 in third-and-one or fourth-and-one and defensively we're 0-4. So consequently, we have not been able to get off the field defensively in some of these situations and offensively we haven't been able to sustain drives. So that's going to be one of the big emphasis' this week is try and figure this out and get back to being a lot more successful. We should be more successful there. We got knocked back a few times. There were a couple times where we probably should have made it. Anyways, we haven't gotten it. So, when you talk about eight third-and-ones or something like that on offense, that's a lot of possessions there that you lose throughout the course of a game.

Q: In those situations is it more physical, like you just getting pushed back or just missed assignments?

A: A little of both. It's a little of both. We had a couple of mental errors on one. Sometimes you get in those short yardage situations and all of a sudden you get a different look. And you get some stunts in there and they happened to hit them right. If you hit them wrong, then it could be a big play.

Q: With the running game in general, do you feel like the running backs are picking out the rights holes, or are there a lot of opportunities where the hole might be there, and they're missing something?

A: Well, there's a little of both when you're talking about all this stuff. We had some really good runs yesterday. We had a nine-yard run, a 15-yard run. We had another 11-yard run, but our issue is that we had three runs from the one-yard line, on the goal line. And then we had, I don't know, two other third-and-ones. So, now you've got five runs that you get nothing. That brings your average down quite a bit when you start talking about some of those things. So, it's not all about the average, and we're trying to fix it. We're trying to make sure that we get there. Sometimes we get them blocked, and we don't get up on the safety, we don't break a tackle. Sometimes we don't get them blocked. So, it's a combination of things right now, but some of these quick throws that we're using are a lot like runs as well.* *

Q: Where does Blair Walsh stand with you right now? Obviously, he's out there kicking, working out. Are there any discussions or talks about him?

A: Rick [Spielman] and I haven't sat down and talked, really, today yet. We'll do it this afternoon about all the different things.

Q: Do you want to open the discussion about possibly making a change at kicker?

A: I don't know. We'll see how … We're going to see what all the options are. We're going to see what the options are at tackle. We're going to see what the options are at kicker, and then make a determination and go.

Q: Is bringing in another tackle an option, or are these the guys you've got?

A: Yeah, there are options.

Q: Do you expect Jake Long to be put on injured reserve today?

A: Yeah. I don't know about today.

Q: How has Captain Munnerlyn coming along?

A: He was running today, so I think he has got a chance [to play] this week.

Q: In general, how do you think Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander, those two guys, faired getting more run?

A: Trae, for the most part, did a pretty good job. He got beat on an out route on third down. He got beat on an inside breaking route on I think it was first down. Mackensie has got to do better.

Q: When your defense is playing its best, it's disruptive and causing chaos. That seems to have been missing the past few weeks. Is there anything you've noticed?

A: The biggest thing is that I counted about every throw that was made on us yesterday and if the quarterback was in the pocket, he had the ball out in 2.5 [seconds], around there, almost. Very rarely was it longer than that, and so, they're getting the ball out. We're going to have to adjust how we do some things with the pass rush. We're going to have to adjust some things with some of the other areas that we can do so that we can take advantage of that, but when they're getting the ball out that quick, then you've got to adjust. It's hard to … Every year you go through this. This isn't anything new. We'll just keep getting work with it.

Q: Is that why you feel some of the blitzes haven't gotten home for sacks?

A: Yeah. Everybody's working on pressures, as well, and actually, we had a couple we should have had some freebees on yesterday, and we messed them up. But again, that could be partly me, too.

Q: Have you been emphasizing taking it week to week?

A: You know most of my guys are pretty smart. We understand that we've lost some games. But, this team is used to winning. So, they don't like it. They're frustrated by it. I'm frustrated by it, but the bottom line is we need to win football games. The best way to do that is do what we normally do, prepare, win the crucial situations of the game, study, work hard in practice, play hard in the games and execute. But, right now there's pressure on everybody. My dad told me a long time ago, *if you make through the downs, the ups will take care of itself. *So, we're just going to keep doing what we do. If we get backed up into a corner, we're going to come out and fight. That's what this team has done and that's why we've overcome things in the past. So, we'll continue to do that.

Q: Have you been a part of a group that's lost this many offensive linemen?

A: I have no idea. Every year, wherever you are, it seems like one position gets hit and that team seems to get hit the most. We think about the guys, you can throw in Mike Harris and all these other guys, so you know it's been a lot of guys. But, I'm sure we're not the only team in the NFL to have one position hit. And honestly the offensive line I thought protected the quarterback pretty well yesterday. For the most part he had a clean pocket a lot of times. The quarterback played outstanding in my opinion. He made a lot of great throws, but we struggled on third-and-one.  

Q: With the linebackers covering tight end, are they too aggressive at times when covering during play action?

A: Are you referring to the long touchdown? [Reporter: No, there was one to (Jordan) Reed before. It looked like (Anthony) Barr came up to play the run and they got behind him] Well Harrison (Smith) got beat by (Vernon) Davis early and what was the other one? I can't remember. But, I mean how catches did he have? Two? *[Reporter: Three] *Three and he's a good player. Not Davis, I mean Reed. How many did he have? Not many, like two or three. But, he's a good player. They're both good players.  

Q: Do you expect Adrian Peterson to play this year?

A: I have no idea.

Q: Is there update on how he's progressing?

A: No. 

Q: Do you feel for a guy like Jake Long who came to help this team and have it end like this?

A: Yeah, it's hard. He comes in late, tries to get back and get his feet going. He has people saying he's all washed up. Then he's getting back and feeling comfortable again and then has the Achilles. I feel bad for all of my guys because they try to do the very best for me every time they can.

Q: Did Bill Parcells give you any advice about the issues with the run game?

A: We talked this morning. I'll let that conversation be between me and him.  

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