Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Good afternoon. After watching the tape, obviously there were some really good things. Defensively, they were one-for-four in the red zone, we had four turnovers. I thought we pressured the quarterback very well. Offensively, I thought we made some big plays in some of the passing game. We have to do a better job in the running game. Defensively, we have to do a better job in some of the coverage things. Overall, it is a good first win, a good learning experience and things to move forward with.
Q: Did you see any common theme in the breakdowns of the coverage?
A: We had a couple that are not typical of us. Two of them were pretty easy. We had one that was a hard one that we didn't handle the right way.
Q: What was the impact you saw right away with Sheldon Richardson and how well he worked with Linval Joseph?
A: Sheldon played very well. Rushed the passer well. Played the run good. I told him, "I hadn't see that guy before." He came on. He played really, really well.
Q: How does it help your defensive ends when you have help from your interior guys?
A: Well the one sack Danielle [Hunter] got, Sheldon [Richardson] actually knocked the quarterback off the spot and back up into Danielle and he got a sack on that one. Those are the kind of things that happen.
Q: Is Kirk Cousins' throws and touchdown passes in tight windows is that just guts or talent?
A: He is pretty accurate. The one to [Kyle] Rudolph was a tight window. The one to [Stefon] Diggs, the one to [David] Morgan. He has been doing it in practice, too. He throws into tight places. When he needs to hum it, he can hum it. There was another throw in there, can't remember which one it was, but he hummed that one in there pretty good, too. I thought it was probably a little bit of both. A little guts and a little bit of arm talent.
Q: Is that a trust thing for him to throw and trust his guys will get open?
A: Yes. I think he is developing good rapport with all of the guys, really. He moved well in the pocket last night, or yesterday, whenever it was. Had a couple scrambles which were good. Anytime you can do that, it helps some of the man coverage stuff that the defense does.
Q: With some of the quarterback scrambles, what was San Francisco doing to get Kirk Cousins out of the pocket so quickly?
A: One of the scrambles, he was just climbing in the pocket like he is supposed to do and it opened up and he took off. I am trying to remember the other one. Typically, that is what happens. You step up in the pocket and you see a clearing and you take off. They might be in man coverage and running with their backs to you.
Q: How was the communication of the offensive line?
A: I think it was pretty good. There was some communication that we have to clean up. For the most part, it was good.
Q: How do you think the offensive line handled some of the twists early?
A: I think a little bit there were a couple that happened on the left side that we were late getting back to. That is part of it.
Q: What are the challenges this week if you don't know who Green Bay's quarterback is?
A: I don't know. I just started watching so I can't really tell you anything about that yet. I just started watching.
Q: What did you think of Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay's comeback win?
A: Yeah, I don't have a TV so I didn't watch it.
Q: How does Aaron Rodgers' mobility disrupt what you try to do?
A: It's tremendous. The guy is an unbelievable player. He's obviously, I don't want to say anybody's the best but he's pretty darn close to being the best guy. I mean his arm is unbelievable. I still remember when I played him in a preseason game in Cincinnati. He ducked under a guy, spun, rolled to his right and threw a 30-yard dart on the sideline over there and I said, "Holy crap". Since that day I've had the utmost respect for this guy. He can make every throw, he's smart, he's tough obviously. He's a great player
Q: Was Aaron Rodgers first preseason game as a starter was against you in Cincinnati?
A: Well, I think that game, because I remember talking to Coach [Brian] McCarthy a little bit before the game about it, that was his first year. I think that was a preseason and then the next year I think it was a preseason game too. That was at our place. That one you're talking about was at their place I believe. In Cincinnati. You can watch any tape and see those throws now.
Q: Did you watch Green Bay's comeback win on tape today?
A: I did just finish watching it. It's remarkable. The guy is unbelievable. There aren't enough superlatives to say about this guy. He's just amazing; receivers did a great job as well. I thought their offensive line blocked really well at the end. We're going to have our hands full.
Q: How you think Coach John DeFilippo did with play calling?
A: Good. He did good. There's always some that you want back. There's a bunch I want back from yesterday too, but I think it's a good first start and moving forward I think we both try and iron out things that we feel like "Should of done this or should of done that". I think it was good.
Q: Is there anything you would like to see improve on the two-minute drills?
A: Part of it there was probably me. I told [John DeFilippo] Flip that I didn't want to give them the ball back at the end of the first half. We're back there on the 10-yard line. We're just trying to get the first down and really you're not thinking field goal at the time and then we got in around the minus 45 or something. Then I was still at that time thinking about letting the clock run out. I mean things were going pretty good so we gave it one chance and we tried to throw the screen and we lost five yards. At that point I just said, "To heck with it".
Q: How much did the play fakes they ran have an effect on how much they were able to hit George Kittle?
A: A lot. I mean a lot. It was misdirection this way, misdirection that way, and then somebody sneaking out the backside, somebody sneaking out the frontside. We practiced a lot of them but it happens so much faster in the game and they were so much flatter than we anticipated. They did some good things scheme wise so we need make the adjustments quicker than what we did.
Q: How big of a weapon can Dalvin Cook be catching passes?
A: Again, that team [San Francisco] plays a certain style of defense and makes it tough to run the ball on, and they play a little looser in the underneath coverage, so when you get a chance and he took a couple, he caught the ball and got around the linebacker to the perimeter a couple of times which ends up being big gains. I think he had a 15-yard and a 14-yard, or 16 and 14-yard catches. Those are all good.
Q: Did anything stand out to you about the game that Mike Hughes had?
A: He did some good things, and he had a couple mistakes. A couple plays that they hit on us were things that he just blanked out on. But he was competitive, he got up there and he typically challenged the receivers. A lot of young guys, when they go in there and they're playing their first game, they're going to play a little bit cautious. He wasn't like that at all. He tries to be too perfect all of the time, because he wants to do everything right, so sometimes he tries to do everything a little bit too perfect instead of just using his ability and some of those things.
Q: Do you expect Trae Waynes to practice this week?
A: I do.
Q: Is Aviante Collins' injury considered long term?
A: It is.
Q: Do you expect him to be out for the season?
Q: What was your assessment of the defensive line rotations?
A: We need to get the rotation down a little bit better I think, but I have confidence in all of those guys. Jaleel [Johnson], [Tashawn] Bower, [Stephen] Weatherly, [David] Parry, I have confidence in them. We've talked about doing a little bit better job of how we're going to handle that.
Q: Did you see how those rotations may have helped the first unit stay fresh throughout the game? Or do you think you'll notice the effects as the season progresses?
A: I think a little of both. I think we'll do a better job with it, and I think it'll help us down the road but it will also help us in these particular games. Now this week will be hard, because they won't let us substitute, but we'll just have to get out there and go.
Q: With Aviante Collins' injury, how do you feel the depth of your offensive line is effected? Is Brian O'Neill ready to contribute?
A: A.C. is a good football player and we're going to miss him, but we're going to continue to build depth, we're going to continue to push, and I think O'Neill is getting better, yes.
Q: You mentioned wanting to run the ball better than you did yesterday. What goes into that?
A: Sometimes we didn't get to the second level. They were lined up a little bit different, the linebacker was shaded a little further away. All those things determine your calls, so when these two guys are trying to get those two guys, if he's way over here and then he moves on the snap we have to be able to see it a little bit quicker. I thought we had some good runs, but I thought we didn't get to the linebacker enough.
Q: You would like your linemen to see it quicker, or your quarterback?
A: The linemen.
Q: You said this is the first time you've seen this performance from Sheldon Richardson. Is this just a regular season mode as opposed to a preseason mode?
A: I guess so. But now it's on tape, and I know what he's going to look like and what he's supposed to look like. But he played very, very well. He was strong at the point of attack in the running game, he made a lot of tackles. He played real hard, pushed the pocket. There were two times that he took the guy with one hand and knocked him back. He played really, really well. We need him to continue to play like that.