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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media on Friday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

Very, very big, important divisional game this weekend against the Lions. Good football team. They do a nice job of running the football. Big and physical up front. [Matthew] Stafford throws the ball exceptionally well. Got some great receivers to throw the ball to. Got a really good punter and kicker so we are going to have to play really good to win.

Q: How is the acquisition of Damon Harrison change the look of their defensive front?

A: They’re not doing much different than what they’ve always done. Just got a different guy in there.

Q: What does Damon Harrison bring to their defense?

A: He is hard to move off the ball. He is very athletic, powerful at the line of scrimmage.

Q: What is the boost will Dalvin Cook bring to the passing game when he comes back?

A: I don’t know, really. I don’t know how much it’s the running game or passing game. Just overall, I think he will help us.

Q: When you decide whether or not Dalvin Cook plays, is bye week factor in to part of the decision?

A: Everything is part of the decision. If guys can play, they play. That is just how we do it around here. We are not going to worry about six weeks down the road or anything like that.

Q: Do you expect Dalvin Cook to play Sunday?

A: I’m hopeful everybody plays.

Q: What makes Darius Slay so effective?

A: He is really smart. He can get the football. I know he doesn’t have a lot of interceptions right now, but he can get the football. Really good break and drive, excellent feet.

Q: Do you have any idea from if Stefon Diggs or Adam Thielen will be receiving more attention by defenses?

A: Every defense is different. Sometimes we don’t really know. We anticipate certain things that we are going to get. Just like I think teams anticipate some of the things they might get from us. It’s all part of the cat and mouse game. Typically, every team has, like us, if the slot guys are hurting us, we have these calls to take care of it or if the outside guy is in. So they are going to have that in their game plan. Whether or not they decide to use it, when to use it, all of those things. Most of the time it is not every single play.

Q: How long into the game does it take to know how the opposing team is approaching you?

A: You usually know pretty early, because typically if they got some new defensive things, they’re going to show it to you early.

Q: How does game planning for third down change when they trade away a third down target like Golden Tate?

A: It makes it tougher, honestly. Tate was a great player and excellent on third downs, but now we have to kind of figure out what they’re going to do differently, who’s going to be in there, are they going to use [Theo] Riddick, which is probably a pretty good option. Maybe they go with other wide receivers. We could get a bunch of variables there. When he [Tate] was there, you knew he was going to be in there.

Q: Is it hard for a guy like T.J. Jones when stepping in, given he’s only had three catches this year?

A: I don’t think so. Those guys were practicing. During the week you prepare like crazy for whatever the game plan is, so he’s got a lot of reps in the practices this week.

Q: What have you liked about what you’ve seen out of Eric Wilson?

A: He’s done a good job. He knows what he’s doing, he’s been here a couple years now.

Q: Do you see a scenario that if Riley Reiff returns, you would continue to play Brian O’Neill at right tackle instead of Rashod Hill?

A: We’ll just have to see if Reiff returns.

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