Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Good to get back home this week in front of our fans. Big game for both teams. Hopefully our crowd will be nice and loud. We will need all the help we can get with them.
Q: Have you found yourself having to dedicate more time to the offensive side in the last day?
A: Yes, I’ve spent some time in there.
Q: What direction are you trying to offer in that room?
A: Just ideas, thoughts.
Q: Did Kevin Stefanski have a particular message to the offense?
A: I met with the offense, too.
Q: What did Kevin Stefanski say in his introductory message to the offense?
A: We’ll keep that private.
Q: What benefit can come from Kevin Stefanksi take from all of the coaches he’s worked for?
A: All good coaches take something from people they’ve worked with in the past. That would be the biggest thing.
Q: How in your eyes does this move prevent the season being wasted?
A: I don’t know that it does. I just felt like this is what we need to do at this particular time. I didn’t feel like we could continue to do what we’ve been doing the last few weeks and accomplish much that we want to do. It may work, it may not work. You get feelings and you trust your gut and it’s no difference than it’s fourth-and-eight and you have to call blitz. You meet it head on and you go. That is just the way we are going to do it. Are we going to talk about Miami or are we going to keep talking about this?
Q: Will Kevin Stefanski be calling plays against the dolphins?
Q: What do you do to bring a team back to earth?
A: I am not going to tell them that.
Q: Is it accurate you’ve lost 16 pounds due to stress?
A: I don’t know if it was stress. It’s probably 17.
Q: What do you think of Frank Gore?
A: Frank Gore is a tremendous back. He’s very physical, great runner, great vision. He’s been a great back in this league for a long time. [Kenyan] Drake is a heck of a back. They’re very similar in backs with what we played last week. Very strong, physical runners. Catch the ball out of the backfield well. It’s a credit and a testimony to him that he’s been able to do it this long.
Q: Do you have to be lucky almost or some guys can just do it that way?
A: I don’t know. I don’t really know him but I’m assuming it’s a lot of things. Probably health and probably takes care of his body. I don’t know him personally.
Q: Does their return game particularly bring any concerns with special teams issues?
A: Yes, I mean we need to do a better job in all phases on special teams. We need to do a better job in all areas. I’d like to be a lot more explosive on special teams than what we have been. I thought there were a couple opportunities that we had the other night that we didn’t get it taken care of. Hopefully we can get that better.
Q: What did you see with their cornerbacks and Xavien Howard’s come up this year?
A: Yes, he’s done a really nice job. He’s had a lot of interceptions. Their defense is similar to ours in a lot of ways. They’ve got two edge rushers that are really good. [Kiko] Alonso is a guy that really runs around. They mix the coverages pretty good. They’ve done a nice job with that. A lot of ways they’re similar to us defensively
Q: Have you sent anything into the league about Bobby Wagner’s blocked field goal?
A: I haven’t sent anything in. I did call them that night and asked a question.
Q: What have you learned about that play since after the game?
A: I am not allowed to say.
Q: What is the relationship like between Kevin Stefanski and Kirk Cousins and how can that help Stefanski maximize the skills of Cousins?
A: I think number one they have a good working relationship. They sit in meetings all the time and talk a lot. There is a lot of back and forth with those guys. I feel like Kirk will be open to suggesting things a little bit more.
Q: Will it be nice to get back to a regular noon game at home?
A: Yeah, it will. We’ve had east coast, west coast, night game, afternoon game, late afternoon game. It’s nice to get into a little routine hopefully here this week.
Q: Does the fact that you are back home with a new look on offense, does that give a chance to hit the reset button?
A: It’s kind of been like that. Not so much the reset button really, we’ve had everything in front of us and we knew it would be tough going to New England and we knew it would be tough going to Seattle, and we didn’t get those games done. But we still have everything that we need to do in front of us, and if we go out and play the way that we’re capable of playing then we have a chance to do what we need to do.
Q: Is there a line you have to be aware of between playing with a sense of urgency and playing tight?
A: I don’t think they’ll play tight. I think it’s just going out and playing football and doing what they’ve been taught to do for a long time. Everybody understands the stakes of this particular game and the next couple of games. Our guys are pretty smart guys, they understand that. But I have a lot of confidence in this group, we have really good guys on this team and they understand where they’re at. There’s obviously pressure, but there’s pressure every single week. That doesn’t change anything. It’s going out and performing and doing the best, and I don’t think that we’ll play tight.
Q: When you see a play like the Dolphins had to end last week’s game, what is your immediate reaction?
A: I think that obviously they did a great job of being able to move the ball down the field that way. There’s a little of both, they did a great job, I feel bad for New England because they got beat on a play that probably shouldn’t have happened. But it did, and the more that you’re in the NFL you see these kind of things all of the time, the Hail Mary by [Aaron] Rodgers and all the different things that go on. That’s why I’m never comfortable until that last zero hits the clock.
Q: Was the third-and-short issues on Monday night due to lack of execution or play calling?
A: The one, they did a really good job of covering it. The other one they loaded up inside and we got beat inside. You can always say it is play calling if it doesn’t work, or you could say it is execution if it doesn’t work. They did a good job.
Q: What changed the rest of the game from the standpoint of Diggs and Thielen being covered?
A: I think they’re mixing up the coverages really. The first two third-downs of the game they did that, they mixed up the coverages. They’re changing it up a little bit.
Q: On Monday you held them to a certain amount of rushing yards, but they did not score very much on your defense. Do you care much about statistics if you hold teams to a certain number or just don’t let them over the goal line?
A: Well, it’s important, but at the end of the day it is really about total yards. We don’t ever want to give up a lot of yards rushing. The quarterback had 60 yards, there was the one toss play that we had him boxed up pretty good and he came out the back door and got 17 or so yards. I think on one run a corner took a bad angle, we missed a couple tackles on the outside. I thought we played the run a lot better in the second half, it was part of the reason why I think we were able to do good on third downs.
Q: Would it help the offense get going if Kirk Cousins can keep plays alive with his feet?
A: Yes, I talked about those first two third downs. They were running double coverage all over the place and not really putting anybody on the quarterback.