*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
We need to get our fans there early, six o'clock game, nice and loud. When they have the ball we have to try to affect their offense the best we can. We're looking for a good night Monday night.
Q: How much more confident from last season to now does a healthy locker room make you feel?
A: I think they have confidence. I don't know that they've never had confidence to be honest with you.
Q: With Randy Moss going into the Ring of Honor on Monday what do you remember about him?
A: Well, I remember that we had to line the receiver on scout team two yards off sides every time we played against him because he was going to get on us so fast. That was one of the things. Basically, most every coverage was dedicated to him and he still had great games.
Q: What made Randy Moss so hard to game plan for?
A: He could run by you, he's bigger, faster. He had change of direction. He had great hands. I mean he really could do it all.
Q: What was the sideline like Thanksgiving Day when Randy had a big game in Dallas?
A: I don't know. I was probably making corrections or trying to. What year was that? *(Reporter: 1998) *That's 20 years ago almost. I can barely remember yesterday.
*Q: Do you still get butterflies for the first game of the year? *
A: Every season is exciting. This is why we do this. This is why we go out here and practice. This is why we go out and lift weights and we condition and all the things we do, for one game each week and so every week it's exciting. You get a chance to go out there and compete and try to execute and play together as a team.
Q: Is the season opener the hardest to prepare for?
A: I mean it's always difficult, yes because you really don't know exactly what they're going to do. I'm sure they've added new wrinkles. That's kind of how it is every year. Our first game you never really know what the other team is going to do offense or defense or special teams for that matter.
Q: Is it any easier knowing Sean Payton?
A: I don't know. He knows me pretty good too. I know him pretty good. Sean's always been a great offensive coach. He does a great job. They've got unbelievable skill weapons. He does a good job. He's hard to defend.
Q: What types of challenges do the running backs being able to catch the ball out of the backfield present to your linebackers?
A: Well, it obviously depends on the coverage. Who's covering them. Sometimes we have safeties covering back, sometimes it's zone, but a lot of different things. Ingram is very good coming out of the backfield, catches the ball well. They use those guys in a lot of spread formations where there's no backs in the backfield and try to put pressure on whoever is on them.
Q: What is it about Jerick McKinnon's skill set that makes him a good kick returner?
A: He's kind of a stocky frame guy that has low center of gravity. He can hit the hole quick. I think he sees things like a running back does and I think he's always been a pretty good open field guy.
Q: How helpful do you think the long touchdown return will be for the special teams unit going forward?
A: I think it's good for him too, but anytime you execute and do things right everybody feels good about it.