*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
*Congrats to Sid Hartman on his Media Entrance over at the new stadium, that's a great honor. Sid's been a good friend of ours for a long time. We wish him continued health and happiness. *
Q: How is it having Rhett Ellison back off the PUP list?
A: Yeah, Rhett's worked extremely hard. Rhett is a great kid, team guy through and through. It's nice to get him back on the field.
Q: Have you sensed that it was hard for him being out so long?
A: Well, I'm sure it was but he's worked real hard. He's been over on the side working as hard as he can. Probably a little ahead of schedule.
Q: Were you surprised at all that you got him back this quick?
A: Not really, no. We have great doctors here and Rhett's a tireless worker. I figured he would be back.
Q: Did Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill just need a little rest before they threw again?
A: No, not really. We try to do the best we can. I told you guys when I first got here I would try to be as transparent and honest as I can. I will be, but there are certain things that I'm not going to tell you and if he had an issue with his shoulder than I'm going to make sure that I err on the side of caution. Also, because if I played him and he got hurt, you guys would be killing me in the press. So I'm always going to protect the players. I'm going to do what I think is best for the organization and you're going to have to respect that.
Q: Did you adjust the practice schedule because of the quarterback?
A: No, I felt like the team was tired and they needed some time to get away.
Q: Was today's practice better?
Q: When you said 'if he had a shoulder issue', you're not confirming or denying any shoulder issue?
A: That's what I said, if, correct.
Q: Do injured players lobby you to play a lot?
A: Well, a lot of the times it's up to the trainers and the doctors. I'm never going to put a player out on the field that can't protect himself or is not healthy. A lot of times they'll say, 'Hey yeah, I can go.' But I tell them, I say, 'If you go out there and get hurt in two plays,' like what happened a couple times last year, ' it's hurting the team.' If you can go and play the game you can play, but if the doctors tell me they can't do it then they're not going to do it.
Q: Were you in favor or against the use of the video tablets on the sideline during regular season games?
A: I don't know, I was not for it.
Q: Does that help the defense or the offense more and does it change any strategy?
A: Well, personally I think it's like you're watching film. A long time ago they outlawed having replays, video replay, up in the coaches box and things like that. Basically that's what it is. You can watch every single play and watch who was wrong, who was right, the different blitz they put in that week. It's the same on both sides it's just, I guess maybe I'm older so I'm used to the pictures.
Q: Have you decided whether Adrian Peterson will play these next two weeks?
A: I have.
Q: Will you tell us?
A: That's one of those that I'm going to not tell you.
Q: Why won't you tell us?
A: It's not necessary. Why is it necessary?
Q: It's a preseason game, there's no competitive advantage whether you tell us or not tell us, Chargers aren't going to care.
A: Chargers aren't going to care, Call Mike McCoy and ask him if they're going to care. Just ask him, call him. Ask him if he cares.
Q: Would you care about a preseason game in that way? Why?
A: I would. Cause I think it's important.
Q: There is no competitive advantage whatsoever for Mike McCoy.
A: If they knew Adrian Peterson was playing in the backfield, I think they would probably be having a lot of run blitzes and a lot of eight-man boxes and stacking the line of scrimmage.
Q: Isn't that what you want for him to get practice?
A: Well, we'll see in the game.
Q: Did Blair Walsh and Jeff Locke share anything with you about kicking in the new stadium?
A: They haven't told me much, we're going to go there Friday. We're going there Friday to practice.
Q: Is it more important now to get Teddy some action in the final preseason games?
A: I don't know, he's played an awful lot of games. It's not like he's a first year rookie. He played eight the first year and what, 17 last year. So he's played in 25 games or something like that. We're going to continue to do what we think is best.
Q: How important is the overall offensive continuity for this game?
A: Well it's important that we try to continue - Really what this is all about is a process - There's a lot of things that we're doing right now that we may or may not be doing during the season. Some of it is looking at different skill sets of players. Some of it is not showing what we don't want to see. Every time we go out we want to look great but there's an end game here that is probably more important.
Q: Have you seen good offensive growth since the start of training camp?
A: I think we're getting better at a lot of the things we're working at. We've installed a lot of new stuff and we're trying to get precise at that. In the game last week there was a lot of, six out of seven guys would have the right thing and one guy would miss and mess up the play. Like I said the other day, it's the same stuff.
Q: Does the movement along the offensive line make it harder to decide a final five?
A: We obviously want to have the right combination but it's more important that we get it right as opposed to saying 'Oh well let's just get settled.' And then we don't have it right. I'm assuming that we're pretty close to what we want to do and hopefully we can continue to improve together.
Q: Do you feel like Matt Kalil has cleaned up some things from last year and if so what things?
A: Yeah, I think he's much improved. He has been as good as any of the offensive lineman we have right now. We've changed how he pass-sets, pass protection, the combination with [Alex] Boone and him has been good. The communication has been good, he's been working hard on the backside on runs, he's done good.
Q: How important is the personnel you have available when you call blitzes?
A: It always matters, I mean there's a combination of things. It's partly what I think the offense is going to come out in and what their protection is going to be. Then part of it is who we blitz and how we attack it. I'm always trying to figure out how to get the best blitzers involved if I can.
Q: If you don't have somebody available that you think is particularly good at a certain type of blitz, will you not call it?
A: That depends, that's a hard question to answer because if we're going to defeat the protection then I'm going to call it. If it's a run blitz it might be different, but if it's a pass blitz it'd be more about defeating the protection.