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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media Monday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

After watching the tape, I think there was a lot of good things that we did, especially in the first half of the ball game, and then we made some mistakes. In the second half, we threw a bad interception and we had a punt blocked to give them short fields twice. We took a sack in field goal range on third down, which knocked us out of field goal range. We made a couple of mistakes defensively in the red zone. There were quite a few things that we needed to clean up from this past ball game, but we got a bunch of fighters on this team, they've been a resilient bunch all year long. I expect it to continue to be that way.

Q: What's your process like getting back to normal after a game like that?

A: We had a meeting this morning, we did our lift and our run, and I told them basically the same thing; we can't make these mistakes in playoff games or we'll be going home. There's always good and always bad in some of the games, but we made some critical errors in that game that could have gotten us beat. There were some other situations, like the third and one where we stopped them and they kicked the field goal with time left, and obviously the two-minute drill, or the 25 second drill I guess it would be. Those were all good things. But there were enough other things in there that we need to get corrected, and I thought it was important that we watch the tape today and watch some of the mistakes so we can try to not do those again.

Q: When watching film, were you able to watch the final play of the game like any other play?

A: It's been on TV a couple of hundred times, so yeah. We actually watch it with the defense as well, just to show what we should be doing.* *

Q: Do you put the emotions of yesterday's game behind you, or try to use those emotions to propel you for Sunday's game in Philadelphia?

A: No. I think like everything, that one is done and gone with, and we're moving on to Philadelphia now.

Q: Was watching the tape this morning enough to convey that to your guys?

A: Yes, I verbally said it and I talked to the captains today. It's kind of what we do, we move on and go to the next one.

Q: How soon after Stefon Diggs scored that touchdown did you start to think about the Philadelphia game?

A: Well, you go home, you get up today and you watch the tape from last night, and then you kind of put that to bed and start moving on to Philly.* *

Q: Have you noticed this team's ability to bounce back from mistakes?

A: Yes, they're a pretty resilient bunch. When they've made mistakes, I forgot the other one, the fourth-and-ten, we let them convert, we would've won the ball game there. They're pretty determined in what they're always trying to get done. They're always trying to get better. They're a good group of guys that work really hard.

Q: How is Andrew Sendejo doing and what did you think of that play?

A: I think he's doing a lot better. He was actually the first one that greeted me in the locker room after the game. You know, it's really hard to say. I don't know if they were trying to pick him or if they just got tangled up. He hit helmet-to-helmet, obviously. I don't know the intent of it. We'll probably turn it into the league and see what they say.

Q: What is your impression of the Eagles? How much will you look at last year's film?

A: It's very, very early on Philadelphia. I've watched a couple of their games offensively now. We've still got a lot of work to do. We will watch the game from last year, obviously. At the time when we played him last year, he was a pretty young quarterback. We'll just try to figure it out.  They've got some great schemes. Some of the things they do are very tough to defend. So, we'll have to work on that. I know they've got a great defense. I haven't started watching their defense yet but their front guys are really good. #27 [Malcolm Jenkins], the safety, he's a very good player. We'll just have to start studying them up.

Q: Was Stefon Diggs the primary target on the final play?

A: Well, he was the one we were trying to get to to get in field goal range. Typically, most teams have three guys back and you try to get some kind of three level route. We were just fortunate on that one.   

Q: What happened on the fourth-and-ten play?

A: We had a miscommunication I guess. That's the best way to say it.  

Q: How do you think the offensive line performed?

A: You know, there were some really good things that went on. #94 was a tough guy to block, Cameron Jordan. I thought we did some good things. [Mike] Remmers being on the left side, [Rashod] Hill getting a lot of work on the right side and getting [Pat] Elflein back. I think there was a lot of good things that happened there. 

Q: Why did you decide to go with Mike Remmers at left guard?

A: Because I thought he was the best player. Then I asked him about how he would feel about going on the left. He said, 'great'. So, that's what we did.

Q: Is having the two NFC teams still alive with quarterbacks that didn't start the season as starters proof that defense can trump all?

A: Well, I think both teams have really good defenses, number one. Number two, I cant speak for [Nick] Foles right now because I haven't watched enough on him, but our guys have played great all year long. I don't know what his record is, 13-1 or something like that, so he's played good. The thing that both teams have, they both have good teams. They have a good offensive line, we have a good offensive line. We have good defense, good receivers. I think it's a credit to Doug Pederson and the things he's done there. 

Q: With a guy like Fletcher Cox and the motor he has. How do you prepare for someone who seems to be getting better as he plays?

A: He's a good player, too. And [Brandon] Graham. That's part of the NFL. You have to play great players every week. It will be part of the plan to figure out how we stop some of these guys. The unfortunate part is they've got a lot of them and so we're going to have to figure out ways to take advantage of what we can do to slow them down.

Q: You said you spoke to the captains today. Is there anything special about sharing this win with Terence Newman?

A: No, we didn't have a kumbaya.

Q: What stuck out to about the defensive performance in the second half and why it was so great in the first half?

A: Well, they made some plays. They got some guys that are tough to defend. They hit some balls on us. I told the defense it was going to be a dog fight. We knew it wasn't going to finish 17 to nothing. They get in their fast break mode and you have a guy like Drew Brees throwing the ball all over the place and knowing where to go and getting the ball out. I mean we did some really good things. There were sometimes when we covered the heck out of them and they end up making plays. Then there were times when we didn't end up covering them quite close enough, or we were two steps too short of where we were supposed to be and they took advantage of it. I'm not discouraged about the second half of what happened. I think we could have played better in the red zone than we did and if you go back to the first game when we played that team we played really good in the red zone. But, if you look at some of the other critical areas we rushed better than they did, third down conversions we were 50% on offense and they were two-of-nine, time of possession was in our favor. There were a lot of really good things that happened. They were three-for-four in the red zone and we were 2-for-3, I think.

Q: How long did it take you to come back to reality and get a little upset about things that you did wrong?

A: Well, I actually didn't see the extra point because I was in my office in the locker room. I was already sitting there. [Bob] Hagan was the most excited guy in the building, I think. He came into my office and gave me a bunch of fist pumps. But I always think about those things and what we could have done better, how we could have not had to be in that situation to win the football game.

Q: Did you make plans for somebody to get you a beer?

A: No, no beers. No beers.

Q: Prior to yesterday, Case Keenum only had two fourth-quarter comeback drives in the NFL. Was there a moment this season that defined it for you that he could be that guy when the game is on the line?

A: No. I think you all worry too much about stats to be honest with you. Guys go out and play and they play. They don't care if it's the game winning drive in the fourth quarter or this guy kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter. They just play. That is what Case has done all year long. He's a battler, a fighter. He never flinches. He doesn't back down from anything and that's just who he is. Whether it's the fourth quarter playoff game or it's the fourth quarter of OTA's out here, I don't think he cares. 

Q: Of everything this franchise and the fan base has gone through, can you describe how you appreciate how much this season has meant to you and the people that cheer for you?

A: Well the crowd was unbelievable yesterday. That atmosphere was electric. I can remember the very first call I was making to the defense. It was so loud and it reverberated in my headset. I know [Anthony] Barr and I had a hard time with communication yesterday sometimes. Defensively, Barr had a hard time hearing the call. I had to call it three or four times. I got an awful lot of texts. I don't know how many, but an awful lot of people that were really happy. Minnesotans that were really, really happy about how this thing went down. When I got home I happened to turn the TV on, you see all of the fans at the Wild game going crazy, and somebody told me at the basketball game. It was pretty cool. I'm glad that we can give them something good to cheer about. 

Q: Was last night a reminder that you'll just never see it all even though you've spent a lot of time on a lot of sidelines and it sometimes probably feels like you have?

A: Yes, and you forget. There are times when things happen. I was in Cincinnati playing Denver the first game of the year. Obviously it wasn't a playoff game but it was the first game of the year. We are winning 12-7 or something like that and there is 20 seconds left. We intercept the pass. We're out of bounds. Then they throw a pass, one of our guys tips it up and one of their guys catches it and runs 50 yards for a walk off touchdown to win the game. There is a lot of things that happen in sports. That's why you play it until the end. Keep fighting until the end. You never know what will happen.

Q: When you go to a sloppy field like Lincoln Financial could be, how will that effect how fast your defense will play?

A: Well it will if we're not conscious about it. I've got a tape put together of guys sliding from the last game, slipping on the field. I'm going to make our team well aware of it.

Q: So what do you do to prevent that?

A: Well we are going to have to make sure we have the right shoes on, number one. Second, part of it is when you're planting, you can't plant on your up field foot. You have to make sure you're getting in the right spot. If I'm going this way, I can't go like that or I'll slide out underneath me. A lot of it is getting in the right position.

Q: Now that Sam Bradford is healthy, do you plan for him to be the backup this week?

A: I don't know. I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I'm just trying to finish up the things yesterday that we had to do, then start getting going on Philadelphia and we'll worry about that later on.

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