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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media Tuesday

*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *

A lot of the same things from last night. Obviously, since I talk to you guys about every 12 hours. I thought the offense was efficient last night. We did a nice job on third downs.  We took good care of the football. Defensively, we did a nice job not giving up big plays other than the one screen. We're going to have to get better, we missed some tackles the last two ball games to give up big plays that we have to correct or it's going to end up costing us. We've got to do better there. It was nice to see the offense score touchdowns in the red zone. Really the way they moved the ball with first downs, I thought that was key. We were able to keep the time of possession good. We were able to get the defense off the field. Then when we were able to get the lead it was probably a different game.

Q: How important is the threat of the pass rush?

A: There's numerous ways you can affect the quarterback. In the professional game, that's a big part of it. Whether it's rush or coverage or disguise. I think people respect our pass rushers and probably a little bit of our blitz package as well.   

Q: How much does the extended use of nickel packages put stress on guys?

A: It's been kind of like that. Carolina was in a lot of nickel, Green Bay was in a lot of nickel. I'm trying to think back to all the games now….I've been watching Houston for a number of hours now. That's just kind of the pro game now. It's just a whole bunch of nickel stuff. I thought Captain [Munnerlyn] did a nice job in the slot last night. Obviously the outside guys all did a good job. The two safeties played well.    

Q: Do you see the need to rotate between your defensive backs?

A: I don't know. Each week will be different.    

Q: Was it an easy decision to have Xavier Rhodes cover Odell Beckham, Jr.?

A: Yeah, we have evidence that he can play both sides and that's always a good thing. You see guys do it in practice but you never really know. I don't know why but corners tend to get comfortable playing one side or the other. The way they break and do things, they tend to get comfortable. So if you have evidence they can do it I think it allows to do things. He wasn't covering him one-on-one all night, it wasn't like that. He came out of the game some. Newman went over there. Hopefully we mix up the coverages that we played a little bit.

Q: Do you use Rhodes as an example for Trae Waynes?

A: Yeah, the one in the end zone was one in the end zone. I don't worry too much about that. I thought Trae played well last night. I thought he played well, really, the four games that he's had opportunities to play.  

Q: Did you talk with Chad Greenway before the game about his role?

A: No, Chad's pretty smart, he knows kind of the game plan and things going into the game. He's a team guy, he just wants to win. When he gets the opportunities he'll go in and play. It's all product of the game, really.  

Q: Did you talk to Everson Griffen about his offsides penalty?

A: Yeah, they were going to snap it. Oh yeah, they were going to snap it. I haven't seen him today so I'm sure I'll mention something to him. They had to get that one.   

Q: Were you thinking of challenging the call on Jerick McKinnon's run that almost went for a first down?

A: I was and then we saw the replay upstairs and his elbow was down before the spot. Or we felt like on the replay it was.   

Q: Is variety an important aspect of defending number one wide receivers?

A: Yeah, always. The best part is if you can rush, if you can rush the quarterback it always helps. But there's a combination of things. Different looks, different disguises, different coverages. Sometimes you're trying to be physical with them at the line. Sometimes it's help over the top. There's just so many different things. We're fortunate we have smart guys. Especially with the safeties, they communicate good with the things we're trying to get done.   

Q: Is your cornerback rotation drive-by-drive or is it mostly to get guys rest?

A: It's a little bit of both. Sometimes it's a break, sometimes it's….Xavier got kind of out of sorts a little bit so we got him out of there for a little bit. It's fine, it's good for these other guys to get in there and get an opportunity to produce.  

Q: Do you think that was one of the better first down performances you've seen?

A: Anytime you're not in second-and-10 it's a lot better.  We had some second-and-sixes in there. We had some second and less than five's. We hit some plays on first downs. It just makes the game so much easier when you can….and harder for the defense vice versa. If it's second-and-three it's hard to call games when you're stuck in second-and-three and you're trying to get them behind the down.

Q: What do you attribute that success to?

A: For the most part we did a nice job up front. I think Sam got us in a lot of good plays. I thought we had a good mixture of the things we were doing. A couple times we threw the bubble out to Cordarrelle, he made some nice runs. I think there's a combination of a lot of things.

Q: Is Sam Bradford fully capable of switching plays at the line?

A: Yeah.

Q: How did Jeremiah Sirles play?

A: He played well. He played well again. Another spot. The thing about him is he's going to battle all night long. He had some bad plays like everybody. He's a battler, it's important to him. He's done a nice job.    

Q: Any clarity on Andre Smith's injury?

A: Not yet.   

Q: What are your thoughts on Alex Boone's performance?

A: It was probably his best game here.    

Q: Is Blair Walsh putting in extra hours?

A: I guess so, I don't know. I have no idea.

Q: Will you talk to him this week?

A: No. I don't talk to Eric Kendricks when he makes a bad play. We correct it and move on. That's what we do here.  

Q: Are you bringing in any kickers to try out?

A: No, not yet,    

Q: Has Sirles played his way into a possible starting spot?

A: Right now we're not planning on that but we'll see how it goes.     

Q: What was it about Boone's play that you liked?

A: Fundamentally, he was very good. He had the one holding penalty which I guess was holding. But he got on the guys. He was good in pass protection, physical in the run game. It was his best game he's played since he's been here.  

Q: How's your day going?

A: It's a grind. Quick turnaround for Houston, they're a good football team. They've got a lot of fire power offensively. Defensively, they're physical and they do a great job. It'll be another playoff team we've got to contend with. Bill O'Brien does a nice job with that team. It'll be a good test. We're going to need that crowd loud again.     

Q: Did you spend time on Houston last week?

A: The coaches did, yes. I didn't and the players didn't, no.     

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