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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media Monday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

Yesterday, I thought it was a good team win. We did some really good things special teams wise, as far as pinning them backed up inside the 20-yard line several times. Offensively, we moved the ball well. Defensively, I thought for the most part we played well. There's still a lot of areas we need to clean up. Offensively, we had the two turnovers and we got in scoring position a couple times and not taking advantage of that. We've got to get better in the return game on special teams. Defensively, there's still a couple things that we need to get cleaned up. We're still trying to get better each and every week. It'll be a good challenge again this week with the Ravens coming into town. The crowd was fantastic yesterday. We're looking forward to another good outing with them as well.

Q: Have you taken Teddy Bridgewater off of the Physically Unable to Perform list?

A: No, he won't come off the PUP list. He's going to practice but he has 21 days. He'll stay on the PUP list until he's ready to play.

Q: What are your thoughts on Teddy being cleared to practice?

A: It's great, he's worked extremely hard. Obviously, not only him, the training staff, the doctors, [Head Strength & Conditioning Coach] Mark Uyeyama, all those guys have done a great job with him. Trying to rehab him and getting him ready to practice. So, it's a great deal for Teddy. We'll take it one day at a time just like we have the last 14 months.

Q: What is your practice plan for Teddy?

A: He hasn't practiced in 14 months so we're not going to dose him out tomorrow or Wednesday.

Q: Has he been in all the meetings so that he knows the offense?

A: Yeah, he's good. He's been taking the script every week and running it by himself over there on the other fields. He'll be ready, Teddy is smart.  

Q: At the beginning of the season, did you think he would be ready to practice after six weeks?

A: We didn't know, had no idea. Just had to see how he progressed as we went forward.  

Q: Why do you think the defense has been so effective on third downs?

A: I don't know, honestly. Sometimes it's just the way it goes, you get into good stretches. We been pretty good in coverage and our rush is usually pretty good. I think our linebackers have done a good job. We've had to change up some things because some people have tried to scheme us in some different areas. It's just six weeks now or whatever. So, things could change fast.

Q: Have you talked to Anthony Barr about the hit that injured Aaron Rodgers?

A: No, I haven't talked to him. I don't know what the scrutiny is. We're playing football. It's unfortunate that he got hurt but I think everything was above board. We're not a dirty football team. We'll never be a dirty football team as long as I'm here. We're going to play within the rules and sometimes things happen.

Q: How did Brian Robison perform?

A: Yeah, I thought Brian played well. He did a good job in the running game, a good job in pass rush. He got a chance to move around a little bit on some different guys and I think that helped. I thought Brian played well.

Q: Is it nice to see guys like Jerick McKinnon step up when their number is called?

A: Well, I think first of all, I think Rick [Spielman] has done a nice job of creating the roster. Like everybody, we don't want to have injuries. But, that's part of understanding the NFL. Even the guys that we end up not keeping, I think we had good depth to pick from from that group. In saying that, having a good locker room and a resilient group and understanding things happen throughout the course of a season, maybe some of the trials and tribulations we went through last year maybe helped to get guys to understand, that's just part of life in the NFL and we go about our business. Each guy tries to get better each and every day.  That's really all we're trying to do, get better, try to get better this week. When guys numbers get called, they go out and perform just like the other guys would.

Q: What has been the key to getting the screen game going?

A: Well, it was one of the big points of emphasis we had in the offseason. I wanted to get better at screens because I know how difficult it is to defend. It can slow down your pass rush. It can get guys hanging on the back more and not necessarily rushing the quarterback. I think Pat's done a great job with it but maybe more importantly is we've got offensive lineman that are very athletic and can get out in space. It's easy to set up a screen and then you get out there and a big guy can't block a little guy. These guys are athletic. They've been able to get in space and be able to block them. Timing of it is essential. Making sure you get the right timing of the screens. That's one of the big emphasis the offense had this offseason.  

Q: Are you considering making Jerick McKinnon the starting running back?

A: I like it the way it is.  

Q: Why has the rush defense been so effective?

A: For the most part, we played in our gaps well. We got off our blocks, we tackled good. We had one that came out, we missed a tackle on one that bounced out the back door. I think overall it was a solid, fundamental, defensive front.      

Q: How do you think Emmanuel Lamur did once Anthony Barr went out?

A: I think he did pretty well. I know he had a couple tackles. There was one play in the flat. There was one time he had the tight end man-to-man. One time he covered him good. I think he was solid. In all these guys there's things we can do better and things we do good. We're just trying to get better. All of us.

Q: Is it part of the plan to have more guys in coverage?

A: I think it's how the game played out. They free released the back the first couple third downs. Then later on they maxed protective a couple times and we ended up sacking them on one of those. As the game got on it was more try to use more coverage in this situation. Going in we have a plan. I heard this from one of the coaches, 'Your first quarter you kind of go with your game plan. Your second and third quarters you make your adjustments to what they're doing and fourth quarter you let it eat with your best plays'. That's kind of what we try to do.

Q: How much does the depth from the defensive line and the way you guys rotate help you out?

A: It's good. We're starting to get some play out of Jaleel Johnson now a little bit. Stephen Weatherly is getting in there a little bit. We've got to continue to do some of that. Shamar [Stephen] is a good player. He goes in there and spells Tom Johnson, Linval [Joseph], Brian Robison, Danielle [Hunter] and [Everson] Griffen. I would like to continue to get more rotation but I'm happy with the way things are going there.

Q: Is Case Keenum the starter again this week?

A: We'll just see how it goes.

Q: Do you still see Everson Griffen doing the little things play-to-play besides the sacks that aren't on the stat sheet?

A: Yes, that's how we do things here. All of our guys are pretty much like that. He ends up getting some opportunities to win one-on-ones but there are other times where he has to play a certain block a certain way or try to free something up for Brian Robison or somebody else so that's just how we do it. I think most of our guys are very unselfish defensively. So we just do what we do.

Q: How is Sam Bradford feeling?

A: Pretty good.

Q: Is Sam Bradford practicing Wednesday?

A: I don't know.

Q: What can you do to better your kickoff return game?

A: We can block better, for one thing. We can block better. We can catch the ball on the move, which we didn't do very good yesterday. Moving forward, it's a lot about timing. It's a lot about getting the guys blocked. We have to do a better job there in the kickoff return game. The punt return game is basically the same thing.

Q: Would you give Rodney Adams a look possibly?

A: Well he hasn't been active so it is going to be hard for him to play if he's not active.

Q: Is it possible to activate Rodney Adams?

A: Anything is possible.

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