Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Started preparations for the Giants, they’re a team with momentum, they’ve won the last two ballgames. This young quarterback looks really, really good to me. Moves in the pocket, throws well. They got some familiar faces over there with Rhett Ellison and Mike Remmers, and I think defensively they’ve got some young guys that are ball hawks. We’re going to have to protect the football and play good to go win on the road.
Q: How do you feel going against Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur? Does your familiarity with him help or hinder you?
A: I don’t know. Pat’s a good friend, good football coach. We appreciate everything that he did when he was here. He’s doing a nice job there, they’re sixth in the league in total offense. They’re doing a really good job, and it’ll be fun to go play.
Q: Does it become more challenging coaching against someone who worked on the offensive side of your staff?
A: No, Pat has his system that he runs. I’m sure he’s probably calling them the same things that he’s called them before. I would assume that. When I came here, I kept the same terminology as I had when I was in Cincinnati, so I’m assuming he’s doing the same thing. He’s not going to tell me the plays, so it won’t help.
Q: What stands out to you when you look back at your time working with Shurmur?
A: He’s a great person, great family. His wife and his daughter, they’re terrific people, and his son, Kyle. I think about the personal relationship that we had, being able to go in and talk to him all the time and the way that he took over in a tough situation and helped us to win games.
Q: Is it easier or harder to prepare for Daniel Jones as opposed to Eli Manning?
A: Well I think you prepare for both the offensive system, and then you go and get the player. Daniel Jones obviously is a very, very talented kid. I think he’s a really good player, and I think he’s going to be a great player. He’s got an outstanding arm, he’s got good feet in the pocket, he moves well, he scrambles. Right now it looks like he’s playing pretty free and nothing really affects him. He’s turned the ball over a couple of times, but it hasn’t affected him. Fourth and five to win the ball game against Tampa Bay he scrambled in for the touchdown when they were playing a double-double coverage, so I think you have to kind of do both.
Q: Is Jones’ ability to run harder to defend than Manning’s tendency to stay in one spot?
A: Definitely. He scrambled several times to get out of an issue. There was one time where he got pressured from the right side and avoided to the left, and then threw a pass down to about the three yard line. He’s really accurate, too. He threw some great balls in the preseason, so I really like what this kid is doing.
Q: Over the years what have you learned about preparing for rookie quarterbacks?
A: The first thing I always remember is a rookie quarterback has won a lot of games. Typically, all these guys have won. We treat him with the utmost of respect and I feel like this guy is no different. We have to treat him with the utmost of respect and treat him like he’s an All-Pro guy. We just have to go out and do our job. We have to do it efficiently and make sure everybody is on the same page and try to make this as hard a day for him as we possibly can.
Q: Does having a lot of veterans on your team make it easier to bounce back from a disappointing loss?
A: I think we can go back, and I know everybody jumped off the bandwagon this week, two years ago we were 2-2 and we won 13. Three years ago we were 5-0 and we won eight. This isn’t going to define us where we are right now. What’s going to define us is how we prepare for this game and the next and the next game. I tell the team all the time, the teams that I respect the most, are the teams that when they go out there, no matter what happens the week before, we put everything we have into this week and whatever happens that week, we put everything we got into next week. That’s how you’re going to maintain success.
Q: New York signed linebacker Devante Downs to their practice squad this week. Do you see any gamesmanship there?
A: I don’t know. They might. Pat (Shurmur) was here, so how much more gamesmanship can you get?
Q: What’s the biggest way you saw Pat Shurmur influence Kevin Stefanski?
A: I know a lot of the concepts that we’re running now are concepts that Pat (Shurmur) had, some of the same terminology. I think just the way that Pat dealt with the relationships with the staff, I think Kevin is very similar in that way.
Q: Do you get any sense that Kirk Cousins’ confidence might be lacking?
A: No, I don’t think that. I don’t see that. I just think he needs to go play, just play the game. That’s usually what I tell him, just go play the game. Don’t worry about consequences, do what you do.
Q: After looking at the tape, why did you get the sense that Kirk didn’t pull the trigger?
A: I don’t know. I don’t know. After about six o’clock on Sunday, I was on to the Giants so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. You can ask him (Kevin Stefanski) tomorrow.
Q: Are you big on teammates apologizing to teammates, as Kirk Cousins did to Adam Thielen this week?
A: Are you talking about (Kirk) Cousins talking about that? Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know exactly what he said. I didn’t read the article on that. I saw the headline. I don’t know. I’m not a fan of it, no.
Q: It was on his radio show, he was on with Adam Thielen.
A: He was probably just being nice. I mean, seriously, I’m not worried about it.