Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
After looking at the film, there were some good things, obviously some bad things. We started out poorly defensively but we fought back, had a chance to win the football game. We made too many mistakes, had some bad penalties and we have to make those corrections, get them corrected fast and then move forward. Home game this week and time to get back with it, which we will.
Q: What did you mean by you need to keep coaching Kirk Cousins the way you want him to play?
A: I just think play within himself as far as if the play’s not there, throw the ball away. He knows that. It’s not anything different than anything. I think, like every position, we’re coaching the heck out of him and trying to do the same thing with the offensive line and receivers and DB’s and everybody else.
Q: How do you evaluate where the offense is at in terms of the running game being where it’s at and yesterday Kirk Cousins saying the passing game needs to be better?
A: I do think the running game is good. I think Dalvin Cook is tremendous, the things that he’s doing. The way that we’re blocking with the offensive line. There were some really good things in the passing game, the deep ball to (Stefon) Diggs. He made some really good throws and then he missed some. Sometimes that’s going to happen, but we’ll continue to work on it and make sure the receivers and quarterback and everybody else is on the same page. There was some miscommunication there yesterday.
Q: Do you believe the production with Dalvin Cook is sustainable beyond these two games?
A: I don’t know. I think (Alexander) Mattison went in there and ran the ball four times for 25 yards or something. He ran the ball pretty good as well. Each game will be different, like I said before, we’ll just have to see where it goes off that. (Dalvin) Cook is running extremely hard, physicality, breaking tackles. I think the offensive line is doing a good job with him and the tight ends have being doing a pretty decent job blocking the edges.
Q: In terms of Kirk Cousins’ accuracy, how do you put a finger on his game yesterday after watching the film?
A: Well, he can do better.
Q: What were some of the problems? Was there miscommunication?
A: Some, yeah.
Q: On some of the early plays the Packers were able to hit, was there a common theme with you not being able to start as fast as you’d like?
A: Yeah, there was. We made some mistakes, basically on the back end of some of things but that included some of the running game. We’ll get that fixed.
Q: Did you have clarification on the call that negated Stefon Diggs’ touchdown?
A: I think it was a bad call. It got replayed. I still think it was a bad call. The guy was not trying to block anybody. He was trying to get out of the way.
Q: Are you satisfied with how it was communicated because Dalvin Cook wasn’t sure the penalty was even on him. You weren’t sure if it was on Dalvin and the league said it was on him. How did the whole process get communicated to you?
A: The official on the sideline was talking to me. He kept saying the second guy through. He didn’t say what number. He didn’t say who it was, so I didn’t understand really what he was saying. Technically, he was not the second guy through so, I don’t know.
Q: When the league was looking at all these changes, how much was it talked about that they could go look at a touchdown and discover a penalty later in the process?
A: It was talked about. I’m just sitting up there watching some tape right now and there was some offensive pass interferences that they missed in the game that I’m watching. They need to start being more diligent with what they’re doing.
Q: What are you learning about the mechanics of challenging a play, when you’re going to get the information to challenge a play, and if it’s worth challenging?
A: I get pretty good communication. The officials have been good communicating with me. They’ve been really good. He (an official) came up on the interception or something and said, “Don’t throw your flag.” I wasn’t going to, but he said, “Don’t throw your flag, because it’s going to get reviewed anyway.” They’ve been really good about that kind of thing.
Q: Overall on the penalties, how frustrating is it compared to last year, when you were rarely penalized?
A: Very. Undisciplined. I know (Garrett) Bradbury had two, I think (Stefon) Diggs had two, I think (Adam) Thielen had two. They got to start playing within the rules. And they know the rules, it’s their responsibility to do what they’re supposed to do.
Q: What have you said or what did you say to Stefon Diggs about his penalty?
A: I’ll keep it to myself what I’ve talked to him about.
Q: Would you like to see more of an intermediate passing game? What would it take to get that going?
A: I think we tried some. We missed the ball to (Stefon) Diggs in the middle. Then the interception, they dropped extra guys out and probably fooled him a little bit, but we tried some of those. They just covered them.
Q: Does the offensive pass interference penalty on Adam Thielen effect how you coach your receivers to get open?
A: If you extend your arm, you’re going to get called. That hasn’t changed one bit. It’s never changed. If you go out there and you extend your arm, you’re going to get called. That’s the rule. There is no gray area with that whole thing. It’s been the same way for a long time.
Q: What about the running game have you been the most pleased with thus far?
A: The whole thing, really. We’ve been running the ball effectively. I think we’ve been running violently. We’ve had some big runs in there, so it’s been good.
Q: Are you considered about the attempt to turn no calls into calls? Are you concerned about what it does to the flow of the game?
A: I think maybe they decided that they were going to fix the play in the (2018 NFC) Championship game, and there’s been some unintended consequences from it. That’s how it is. Just got to play by the rules and do what we’re supposed to do.
Q: What can Kirk Cousins do to improve within the red zone?
A: I think it’s the passing game. That’s where we got to do a better job there. He was high to (Kyle) Rudolph on the one. The guy made a good play on (Stefon) Diggs on the one, and then he’s got to throw the ball away on the other one.
Q: Was the throw to Kyle Rudolph a miscommunication?
A: I don’t know that. I don’t know that.