Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Good morning. Alright, getting ready to go play the Saints. Excellent football team, well coached. Really aggressive defensively. Do a good job on special teams. They blocked two punts this year. They've run some fakes. We're going to have to be on point with all those. Offensively, obviously they're a fast-break, fast-tempo team with a great quarterback, receivers, good backs, good offensive line, tight end. We'll just get prepared and ready to roll.
Q: Do you think the week break was enough to get Eric Kendricks ready to play again?
A: I think so.
Q: Will Alexander Mattison be ready to go?
A: We'll just have to see.
Q: What's working so well for Dennis Allen against the run on third down?
A: They're very aggressive. Cam Jordan's an excellent player. They play a lot of under front where they get extra guys in there. They're aggressive attacking the offensive line. On third downs, they get an all-up look basically and then do a lot of different things out of the same look. They want to try to pressure on third down, try to attack your protections. Overall, they're probably 40 percent man-to-man, so we're going to have to defeat some man-to-man.
Q: What kind of progress have you seen Dennis Allen make? How are they different from previous years?
A: Yeah, they've made a lot of progress. They're much better. They've got good personnel. (A.J.) Klein's playing good for them. (Demario) Davis is playing really good, I think. They've added a few pieces. The corner (Marshon Lattimore) obviously is really good. They've got solid safeties. Part of it is the personnel and then he's added a lot package-wise as far as the different looks, especially that you're going to get on third down. They've kind of kept moving toward that the last couple years.
Q: Would Michael Thomas be a good matchup for Xavier Rhodes this week?
A: Yeah, he might.
Q: What did you like about the tight end a couple years ago when you had him in for a visit and is what you liked about him then still showing now?
A: Yeah, well he's playing really well. He's got a great catch radius. He's made a lot of big plays for them. They do a nice job scheming him open as well. He's running well. He's catching the ball well. He looks better than I remember him a few years back.
Q: What does Everson Griffen mean to this team as a leader?
A: I think just the energy that he brings. Trying to get everybody energized and flying around, that's kind of how he plays.
Q: How do you balance wanting to be aggressive in blitzing Drew Brees, but also accounting for how good Brees is at handling the rush?
A: Yeah, well you have to change it up a lot of time anyway. You can't just sit there and play two deep, you can't just sit there and play three deep. You got to mix up all the different things. You got to give him as many looks as you can give him. He's very smart, he's a great competitor, extremely accurate, obviously. Moves well in the pocket, so we'll just have to see.
Q: How do you look back at the Minneapolis Miracle?
A: Come on, man. We're concentrating on the Saints this week, we don't care about three years ago or whatever it was.
Q: Does Alvin Kamara look like the same dual-threat player that you've faced before?
A: Yeah, he's extremely shifty in the way he runs, but he's a physical runner as well. Catches the ball out of the backfield, runs good routes. The thing that impresses me is that not very often does one guy bring him down. He slips and steps up out of tackles, he's got the limp leg. So he does a really good job with that, even in the middle of the field, the perimeter, he can go the distance at any time like he did last week, I think it was last week against Carolina.
Q: What type of challenges does Demario Davis present for the run and short passing game?
A: Well he's always typically on the end of the line, and so being able to get him blocked on the point of the attack is going to be big for us. I think he's done a great job, I think he's done a great job in adding on the pressures that they run. He's done a good job on being in coverage for the check downs. Yeah, he can be (a problem). They have all kinds of problems. We got all kinds of problems this week.
Q: What is the importance from a long-term standpoint for Kirk Cousins to play well this week?
A: Importance level is to play well this week, and we'll worry about the long term and all those other things later on. We're going to focus on the Saints, and go down to New Orleans.