Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Same things I said last night. I thought there was a lot of good things that we did. Offensively, we moved up and down the field on them. Defensively, I thought we were doing a nice job of taking things away they were trying to do. Unfortunately, we had a couple turnovers. Basically that cost us the football game but there are a lot of good things to build on. We’ll continue to try to get better. One thing, like I told the football team today, the last few weeks during practice, I watched this team go out there and do the things. I feel like we are starting to become a pretty good football team.
Q: With all the good from yesterday, is that just the reminder of winning the turnover battle?
A: Yes. If you look at the turnovers throughout the course of the year, the times we’ve won the turnover battle, we’ve won.
Q: Where do you see the most progress that has been made in the first half of the season?
A: Pretty much all over. Defensively, I feel like we’re eliminating some of the things that hurt us early in the year. I feel like the running game is getting better. I thought Latavius [Murray] ran with a purpose. I thought the offensive line did a nice job in some of those things. That is just my feelings.
Q: How much are you potentially disappointed with your 4-3-1 record?
A: I’m not disappointed.
Q: Why is that?
A: It is what it is. We have eight more games to go and that will determine what we end up doing.
Q: Where have you seen the biggest strides in the running game?
A: Getting to the second level, probably. I think we’ve done a nice job doing that.
Q: How big of an impact has Pat Elflein been helping the run game get to the second level?
A: Pat has done a nice job all year. He does a really good job of getting a guy turned, getting his hips in the right place and then getting up to the next level.
Q: Is there any cause for concern with Dan Bailey?
A: I mean is there concern? If I say I am always concerned, it is going to be big headlines. I have a lot of confidence in this kid. Every day in practice he is spot on, kicks the ball good. He doesn’t seem like he’s flustered in any particular way. It is what it is. He’s not the only one that made a mistake last night.
Q: How often do you see guys forget to cover the ball in the open field trying to get extra yards and fumbles?
A: It happens but it’s not all the time. Guys are always trying to get extra yards. We’d be disappointed if they weren’t. You have to protect the ball when you start getting into crowds and I think it was the second guy that came in and got him.
Q: What is it about the defense specifically when a young guy gets a shot, they usually perform well?
A: Most times they are talented guys. I’d like to say it’s a lot of other reasons but they’re talented guys. That’s why they’re on the team. I think they get an awful lot of help from some of the veteran guys. I know that Anthony Barr was very into the game last night talking to those linebackers about certain things. I know Terence [Newman] and Xavier [Rhodes] were talking to Holton Hill quite a bit last night. That is part of the reason why we meet together all the time on defense so everybody understands what their responsibilities are in relation to everybody else.
Q: What do you think Holton Hill did well in his first start?
A: I thought he tackled well. I thought for the most part he handled the times when he had to pass off receivers, he did that well. The times he pressed for the most part were pretty good. He lost a guy one time on a route. But for the first time out, the game didn’t seem too big for him.
Q: Being down two starters, how do you feel the offensive line looked yesterday?
Q: Were there more personnel groupings and changes that needed to happen on the fly last night?
A: We had a few more personnel groupings, yeah.
Q: Was it more challenging with the crowd noise?
A: Well, the communication was difficult with the crowd noise especially in the beginning of the game. Eric [Kendricks] had a hard time getting the communication out to the rest of the players. The headsets went out a couple times, but hey that’s part of it. We’d rather have it loud.
Q: How has Matthew Stafford looked with the improved running game this year?
A: I’ve watched two games this year. I haven’t watched enough on him. I mean he looks the same to me as far as that, obviously the running game is better from what I can tell. I’m in the second part of the second game right now, but they’re running the ball a lot more. They’re determined to run the ball it looks like, but it’s way too early for me to give anything.
Q: He has pulled out a lot of wins that came down to the wire.
A: Well he’s still running around a lot and he still throws the ball around very well. It looks like their offensive line is playing good but again this is a game and half that I’ve watched.
Q: How does Matthew Stafford compare to some of the other quarterbacks?
A: Well, he’s got a great arm. He’s got really god receivers, he throws the ball very accurately and makes him extra difficult because he really tries to move in the pocket. If you get too high on him he comes out and out to the outside. He’s not afraid to run at any particular time so that makes him a lot more difficult. And then his throwing ability.
Q: Is there a point at which a receiver can freelance to try to get open?
A: Well, I wouldn’t say freelance is the right word. We have scramble rules that we do and different things. Like I told them in the meeting today, the receivers need to stop saying that stuff because one person doesn’t lose a game, one person doesn’t win a game. We win around here as a team, we lose around here as a team. Guys make mistakes, miscommunication, whatever you want to call it happens. I will never put anyone of those one things on one player ever. We talk about there’s 22 guys on the field for 150 plays in the game. Guys are going to make mistakes that’s what it is. The team that makes the least amount of mistakes wins, but no one person loses the game.
Q: Are you referring to Stefon Diggs pointing the finger to himself?
A: I don’t know.
Q: What did you see from Everson Griffen?
A: He was out there some. I don’t know. I’m not going to evaluate the players into the media though.
Q: Is there anything that’s changed with the way handle your messaging to the team?
A: No, I pretty much tell them how I feel just about every time. I’m encouraged after this ball game. I’m encouraged after the last four weeks. If I was ticked off I’d let them know, trust me.