Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Starting preparation for Chicago. Need a good week of work this week. Need our fans nice and loud this week, help us here to get this victory.
Q: How have you seen Chicago make up for the loss of Bryce Callahan?
A: They really do a great job. [Sherrick] McManis is playing in there now. I think defensively they play really good complimentary, together football. I think their backend does a really nice job with their coverages, they play cover-two to one side and cover-two to the other, play quarters, play a little bit of three-weak. They do a nice job of understanding every part of the concepts that they’re doing and then their linebackers do a good job and they’re getting a good rush. It all works together. They’re playing great on defense.
Q: When you played them in Chicago, what did you see was happening offensively that you need to change for this week?
A: Well, we turned it over three times, so that wasn’t good. I thought they kind of, what’s the best way to say this – they were dominating us for a long time.
Q: Having played against Kahlil Mack once this season, what would you like to see done differently this week?
A: I’d like to win this time. I guess without getting into game plan stuff we got to play better.
Q: How much confidence does the team have now after these last two victories?
A: I don’t think we ever lost our confidence. We’ve won a couple games and we need to continue to play good but I don’t think we’ve lost our confidence.
Q: In games like this, do teams need to take things to a different level or do you just treat it like any week?
A: Again, without getting into game plan things, I think yes. It is going to be a heightened sense of urgency. For us, playoffs have already started. We know that we have to win this game in order to get into them. There has to be heightened sense of energy and focus and study time. You have to make sure that your bodies are rested and understand it is going to be a physical football game on Sunday.
Q: What did you learn about Mitch Trubisky the first time you played him?
A: I probably didn’t know he was as fast as he was, running. He had some really good runs on us. We had to adjust during the course of the ball game. That was part of it. He does a nice job in the RPOs and the passing game that they do.
Q: Is Mitch Trubisky one of those guys that requires a disciplined pass rush?
A: Yes, and that goes not just with the defensive line, but it could be with the linebackers in their drops, the depths of their drops, the areas where they’re at so that you have a few more eyes on him.
Q: Is there anything you guys can do to get Adam Thielen going quicker?
A: Yes I think there are a few things we can do. Obviously, he is getting some double coverages but that is mostly on third downs. But they are obviously paying a lot of attention to him so I think there are a couple things we are going to try to do.
Q: How difficult is it to play against Matt Nagy’s large volume of plays?
A: Yes, they give you a lot of different looks. That is the difficult part of it.
Q: Is Chicago’s explosion of takeaways due to the change in scheme? Are they playing differently on defense this year compared to the last few?
A: No, I mean not a whole lot different. Obviously [Akeem] Hicks is a great player, [Khalil] Mack is a great player. I think Eddie Goldman has been playing really well. Scheme wise, it really isn’t that much different, no. Just guys making plays. The thing I notice the most is in the back end, they’re relying a lot on the pass rush, so they’re able to play a little bit tighter. I also feel like they do a good job in their zone concepts. They’re able to jump some balls. I think [Eddie] Jackson has helped them some in that regard, but they’re playing with a lot of confidence, and that helps too, because you can sit on some routes and go get it.
Q: Just 17 yards out of running backs a month ago against Chicago. Where do you feel your run game is now?
A: Well we only ran it 14 times I think, right? This team is going to be hard to run against, but you can’t run it 14 times.
Q: With the jockeying of playoff positioning going on, there seems to be some gamesmanship between coaches. Doug Pederson joked that he called Matt Nagy to give tips, do you expect that type of stuff at this time of year?
A: I don’t care who he called. I really don’t. I didn’t hear that, but I don’t care who Doug calls or who anybody calls.
Q: What is the potential availability of Eric Kendricks and Xavier Rhodes?
A: I don’t know, we’ll see.
Q: What makes Akeem Hicks so special?
A: Power. He’s a big, powerful man. Great bull rush, really good. For a big man, his quickness, side to side.
Q: Is Kyle Rudolph’s big game something he can build off of for the rest of the season? Or was that the result of a favorable matchup?
A: It’s possible, a lot of times it’s based on the coverage that you’re getting, but last week was a week that we saw some opportunities for him. Each week is a little bit different, so we’ll just have to see this week as we go.