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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media Wednesday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

Q: Have you seen Dan Bailey kick yet?

A: No, I haven't.

Q: Is the impact that Sheldon Richardson is making what you anticipated?

A: Yeah, really he's been doing really well. It's a position that we've been looking for more rush there, and he's helped us quite a bit. I think that's helped out the ends, helped out Linval [Joseph], all of those guys.

Q: Getting that push up front helps Everson Griffen as well?

A: Yeah, it definitely helps the ends. The tackles can't get out quite as fast to get to the defensive ends, because a lot of times they'll have to hang on a three-technique a little bit more.

Q: What are your impressions of Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen?

A: Big arm, really athletic moving in the pocket and scrambling. I think he looks to throw when he's scrambling. Moves well in the pocket but will definitely pull it down and run.

Q: It seems like they scheme for his mobility by utilizing the read option?

A: They got a lot of misdirection things, similar to a lot of the things San Francisco did. He could keep the ball off of some of the option stuff and some of the RPOs.

Q: What went into the decision to bring back Tom Johnson?

A: Tom's a good football player, and I thought that if we add another three-technique and it helped us in the pass rush, that would help our wave.

Q: Do you envision Jaleel Johnson playing a little bit more nose tackle?

A: Yes. That way we can leave Jaleel pretty much at nose along with Linval [Joseph], and then use those other two guys as three-techniques.

Q: Are you surprised he became available?

A: Yeah. We obviously didn't want to let him go, but Tom's a good football player. He's been great for us in the time that we've been here, so that's all been good.

Q: How well do you know Sean McDermott? Can you talk about the differences you saw from Buffalo's defense in the first and second half last week?

A: I thought that they played a lot better in the second half. I've known Sean for quite a while when he was in Philadelphia and at Carolina. We used to sit down and talk defense, things like that. I would go to the Combine and he would call me. He called me this year before the season about some of those things. He's a good football coach. I think their defensive front is aggressive. They got some really good players in there. [Tremaine] Edmunds, Star [Lotulelei], Jerry Hughes, [Kyle] Williams, these guys are all good. They come off the ball and they try to wreck the football game.

Q: McDermott took over the defensive play calling at halftime last week. How hard would it be for you to give up play calling yourself?

A: I don't know, you'd have to ask him that. For me, I don't want to be a second guesser. If I make the call and it's the wrong call, then it's my fault. I don't want to sit there and complain to George [Edwards] that I wouldn't have made that call. I don't think that's right. Everybody does it their own way. I know he's going to find out, if he's doing the things I'm doing, it's a little harder than just being the head coach.

Q: How encouraging is it to see how active your front office was these past few days?

A: I texted them the other night, all those guys, and thank you for trying to get some more players in here. Number one, they always do a great job. Rick [Spielman] always says I want to get the players in here that you want to get. We have a great relationship, a great working relationship, and I think that George [Paton] and the scouts they do a great job of evaluating talent. They spend all day looking at players around the league to see who might become available and if they do, they've already have a book on them. I think we got a great front office. It's great to see. We felt like we needed to make some moves after that game.

Q: Is there a benefit to having a veteran kicker that has been through it and knows the pressure?

A: Yeah. This guy has been a really good kicker. Hopefully, he's really, really good for us. I kind of feel the same way about him as I did with the quarterback position. Somebody asked me the other day about the five years I've been here we've been trying to get that position solidified, so if we can get that position solidified like we have with the quarterback I think that'll be good.

Q: Have you watched the Adam Thielen catch a few times in the last couple days?

A: Well, I haven't watched in the last couple days. I watched it a couple times Sunday night and Monday, but Adam made not only that catch – which was a great catch, but also great throw by Kirk [Cousins]. He was getting hit around the knees at the time and he made a great throw. Adam is a great competitor, great catch, made a great catch in the overtime on the over route. We're glad we have him. 

Q: How is the late hands technique taught to receivers?

A: The receivers practice it all the time. They run down the field. Number one, if you're running and you stick your hands up you're going to slow down. They want to continue to run, really they want to look back and then at the last second put their hands up. He was falling down at the time. We're glad he got pushed into the end zone. 

Q: The Vikings are putting Dennis Green in the Ring of Honor this weekend. Do you have any memories of knowing him or going against him?

A: I didn't know him very well. I know that I was at a coaches symposium after I got the job here and I walked up to him and introduced myself and we talked for a while about the Vikings. I know he was a great coach here and seemed like every time he played us when I was defensive coordinator he kicked my butt. It's well deserving, great for his family, and I'm sure everybody wishes he was still here to be here for that.

Q: Are you concerned about…

A: No. I'm concerned about the running game. I think their quarterback has a huge arm. Kelvin Benjamin is a heck of a player. Their linebackers are fast, downhill guys. The way they play their defensive front they move them, they're really good in different spots, but they're going forward all the way. They're going to be playing the run on the way to the quarterback.