*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
I thought we had a good first day. We’ve got two more days left. We’re trying to polish up a few things. We’ve actually still got a little bit of install going on. The effort was good today and we need to continue to get better these next two days.
Q: Have you been pleased with everything you’ve seen during the offseason so far?
A: Yeah, it’s been good. There’s always some days that are better than other days. Some days the offense is better than the defense. Yeah, it’s been good.
Q: What have you seen from Trevor Siemian?
A: He’s a guy that, obviously, has had a lot of experience. I think he’s catching on the system well. It’s a completely different system for him. He’s been throwing the ball good, he’s got good command of the offense so far.* *
Q: What does it say about this team that you have guys that could hold out but are here participating?
A: For one thing, all these guys, they like to be around each other. So, I think that’s part of it. We’ve got a lot of really good guys on this football team that care about not just them, but they care about each other. It’s kind of just the way we do things.
Q: Are you seeing the fruits of your labor with the mentality and environment you’ve created here?
A: It makes it easier when you’ve got good guys. It’s not like pulling teeth all the time. You get guys that come out here and want to work. They want to get better, they’re good teammates in the locker room. Honestly, that part, for me, has not been that difficult. We’ve got the right kind of guys here.
Q: How did you see Dalvin Cook handle the mental side of his recovery?
A: Number one, he’s attacked his rehab really, really hard. Even when you joke around with him, I’ve heard him say he’s the same guy that he was. I say, ‘Well, that’s cause you’re young, if it was me it’d be a lot harder’. He’s got a great attitude about it. I think he feels like he still has something to prove, he’s got a little bit of a chip on his shoulder in the way that he’s attacking this rehab.
*Q: What happened with Hercules Mata’afa last week? *
A: He tore his ACL.
Q: Is that a tough blow for an undrafted guy like him?
A: Yeah, really for anybody. It was kind of a fluke deal.
Q: Do you have a sense for where Kendall Wright might fit into things?
A: I’m getting a sense but we won’t know until training camp. He’s done a good job at all the positions we’ve lined him up at.
*Q: Do you see him as a guy you could line up on the inside and outside? *
A: Yeah, I do. Obviously, they’ve all got more strength at some things than others. Yeah, he’s done a good job in all the areas.
Q: What’s expected of the players during the time off between mini-camp and training camp? Do you have much say over how they spend their time?
A: We don’t have a lot of say, obviously, because it’s a dead period. But our emphasis to them will be to continue that when they come back here for training camp, they’ve been continually doing football drills, not just running to get in shape, running long distances, things like that. That’s when they’ll get the pulls, when they come out here and they start stopping and starting. Mark Uyeyama, who has done an unbelievable job this offseason, is going to talk to them about making sure that they’re hitting some dummies so that their bodies are used to the contact kind of stuff, with their hands and with their shoulders. I think we did that pretty good in phase one and phase two, so hopefully they’ll hopefully continue on when they’re out on their own. I’ll remind them.
Q: During the red zone session of today’s practice Sheldon Richardson got a little bit upset. Do you like seeing that passion?
A: He got upset? He’s probably not going to get upset at me. It’s just one of the situations we try to cover.
Q: How has Latavius Murray looked in spring drills, and how do you size up the running back competition right now?
A: Latavius had a great spring. He looks way better than he did at this time [last season]. Obviously at the beginning of training camp last year when he was hurt, but he was out there today and I said, “You’re running the ball really good.” He’s seeing things well, he’s making good cuts, and I think there will be good competition.
*Q: You mentioned in the offseason that you wanted to see a focused Laquon Treadwell. What have your early impressions of him been this spring? *
A: So far, so good. I happened to see him here Friday and I asked him, “What are you doing today?” He said, “I’m just getting some treatment.” Hopefully that’s improved, that part of it. He’s done a nice job, he’s caught the ball well this spring. He’s still got some areas where he’s got to continue to improve. He had a false start out there today, and he had one wrong route, but he’s learning the offense as well.
*Q: What have you seen from Trevor Siemian as he’s acclimated himself, not only to the playbook but to the team? *
A: He’s not an overly outgoing guy, but he takes charge in the huddle. I’m not in the locker room with him, so I don’t see it, but the relationship with the quarterbacks has been very good.
Q: You’ve seen a lot of quarterback transitions during your time here. At this point in camp have you seen anything that has pleasantly surprised you?
A: Well Flip [Coach DeFilippo], like we’ve said before he’s very detailed and very passionate about everything. We can have really open conversations. He listens to the things I say would hurt defenses. It’s been really good. I think he’s done a great job with the offense. When I sit in the meetings with them he does a great job of communicating exactly what he wants. He’s detailed with the work, the plays and alignments, all the different things that they’re doing. We talked about adding more screens, and we ran quite a few more today, so that’s been good. It’s really been seamless.
*Q: When the two suspensions that came down in April, how did you address Kentrell Brothers and Cayleb Jones? *
A: Well I talked to them both about what the situation was and what happened and those kind of things, which I’ll keep to myself. Like I usually do, I tell them my true feelings on everything.
Q: How do you think Sheldon Richardson is fitting in and how potent of a combination can he and Linval Joseph be?
A: He’s doing really well. He’s fitting in really well. Part of it is when you bring a guy in, how does he fit in the culture, how does he fit in with the guys on the team? He’s done outstanding. He’s done really well on the field. I think it’s going to be really good but I’ll reserve it until when we get the pads on and look at that. So far in shorts he’s done really good.
*Q: Do you think that they will make each other better? *
A: Yes, well I think it’s going to help each other. I don’t know how much better it makes each individually, but I think they’re going to help each other with their play.
*Q: How do the offensive linemen separate themselves? *
A: There’s a lot of things technique-wise that you look at. Pass protection, a lot of certain things with the technique. In the run game it’s a little bit tougher to evaluate those things because you’re not coming off the ball and all that. It’s always mental mistakes, going to the right guy, working together with the guy next to him. It’s all those things.
*Q: Where do you see Danny Isidora at this point? *
A: We’ve been mixing him in some with the first group and some with the second group. He continues to get better. I went back to watch all his plays from the past season and when he was in he did a good job. We just have to see how it shakes out when we get to camp.
Q: Do you expect David Morgan to take a big leap after last year?
A: It’s hard to say big leap but he’s become a lot more involved with the offense. I don’t know if he’s going to have a 100 catches. That’s not really his game, but the rest of the stuff I see him a lot more involved in the offense, yes.
Q: Is blocking his thing?
A: Yes, but there’s some routes that he runs well as well. I think that he’s probably not going to be in too much on third down. That’s just not who he is.