Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Okay, getting ready for a really good football team in Seattle. They've had nine games with seven points or less and they're 8-1 in those games. They're a tough, competitive bunch. They've got a really good defense. (Jadeveon) Clowney, (Ziggy) Ansah has really played well for them, Bobby Wagner, (Shaquill) Griffin, the corner, is really, really a tough competitor. Offensively, pretty much everything stems around Russell Wilson. He's outstanding. (Chris) Carson is a really hard running back and they've got some excellent receivers. (Tyler) Lockett does a lot of damage. (DK) Metcalf, the young guy, he's been playing well for them. They have Josh Gordon now, so they have big, fast receivers.
Q: The Seahawks are good in close games. How much of that is that due to Russel Wilson or what are the factors?
A: I think it's a factor of their team. They create a lot of turnovers. They don't panic in crunch time. They're 4-0 in games decided by three points or less. They know how to finish games.
Q: How did Jadeveon Clowney change the dynamic of that defensive front from last year to now?
A: Just added another dynamic player. They're using him a couple different ways. He's a get-up-the-field, cause-havoc kind of guy.
Q: Wilson is one of the shorter quarterbacks in the league. Do you do anything differently or stress to the defense to get their hands up?
A: I guess the biggest thing, he moves really well. We can't just rush and stop and peak, we have to rush. We have to be disciplined in our rush lanes and be where we're supposed to be because he'll go up, he'll go back, he'll go out, he'll go left, he'll go right. He goes all the different places. The receivers do a great job of taking off when he starts to scramble. He sees an end come underneath and he's out.
Q: Is Wilson's mobility the root of how he can challenge all three levels of the defense? Or what does he do to challenge all three levels?
A: First of all, he's really accurate. They've got the quick passing game. They've got the RPO's. They've got the shots down the field. When he starts to scramble, he throws such a great deep ball that a lot of bad things can happen.
Q: What do you see when they get in the red zone and what do you think of Wilson's decision making when they get to the red zone?
A: He's a lot like (Aaron) Rodgers in the red zone to me. He moves, makes it difficult for the defense, the combination routes that they run. He's going to add that extra dimension of moving, whether it's the boots or the scramble where guys uncover. That's a big part of it when they get down in there.
Q: What were you most pleased with last year from your red zone defense when you played them?
A: I guess we fought our rear ends off in that ballgame. I guess that would be it.
Q: Regarding that game, it was after that game that you made the change at offensive coordinator. How bold of a move was that in the middle of the season and did that lay the foundation of how you wanted to play?
A: I don't know. I just did what I thought was best at the time.
Q: How have you seen Kevin Stefanski grow in a year since then?
A: I think he's grown a lot. I think the way the offense has evolved and the way we're trying to attack defenses, communication with the players. You're always going to get better when you get opportunities to do things.
Q: How do you feel about having a top-ten offense for the first time in your career?
A: I just want to win games. I don't care.
Q: Have you seen your passing game adapt with Adam Thielen being out?
A: We've had to a little bit, yeah. We've had to use Irv Smith a little bit more, Olabisi (Bisi Johnson), use the running backs a little bit more. I mean we've had to adjust, and that's what you do.
Q: Does adding Thielen back to the diversity you've been able to create, does that create a benefit moving forward?
A: I think so. I mean you have confidence in the other players that have been able to come in there and step up and do their job.
Q: What have you seen about how Seattle creates turnovers on defense?
A: Yeah, especially in the games they win, they get a lot of turnovers. Fumbles, punch the ball out, get a lot of eyes on the ball, so they do a really good job in that. We're going to have to possess the ball and take care of it.
Q: Kirk Cousins is averaging over ten yards per attempt in play action when Dalvin Cook is on the field, and that drops when Cook is off. Is there a reason for that?
A: Probably because Dalvin is on the field.
Q: What did you improve about your pass defense during the bye?
A: We spent a lot of time with it. Spent a lot of time in the last couple of days on fundamentals, re-teaching the things that we feel are important going forward in these last five ballgames.
Q: Is it more of a technique thing as opposed to coverage and bigger picture?
A: It's always a little of both, it's never just one thing.
Q: Do you think a late bye week may pay some dividends down the road?
A: I think with 11 games, you got a pretty good sample size of who you are and what you've done and the tips that you might be giving and things like that, and if you can make it through those 11 ball games, I think it gave us another chance to sit back and reevaluate and get back to some fundamental things that kind of slip and get away when you're game planning for somebody each week and next week and on a short week. You're concentrating so much on the other team you don't concentrate on your own team quite as much, so I think it gave us an opportunity to do some of those things as well.
Q: Is the type of season Stefon Diggs is having garner a higher magnitude of appreciation with Adam Thielen being out and Dalvin being on the field at the same time?
A: No, we've always had higher admiration for him (Diggs). We know he's a good player, and we've had opportunities to get him the football. We hope it continues, he's had a good year.
Q: What was the thinking on releasing Josh Doctson?
A: Well we felt like we were in good shape at receiver and we needed some other guys.