*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
It'll be nice and hot out there for us today, so it should be good. We need to get in the heat a little bit and keep grinding. I think it has been a good first two days after reviewing those two practices in pads. We still got a long way to go, but I still see improvements in some areas. But we still got a long way to go.
Q: What did you glean from the personnel meeting yesterday?
A: We just talked about each guy on the team and things they got to get better at, kind of where they're at and where to go from there.
Q: Have you set a depth chart yet?
A: It's sitting in my office.
Q: Can you talk about the offseason and training camp the Linval Joseph has had?
A: He was rehabbing all offseason basically, but he looks good. Right now, he's strong and powerful. I think he's feeling his way back in now a little bit. He's doing a really good job, and I expect good things from him this year.
Q: Do you feel like there's still more you have to see from Linval Joseph once he gets back to 100 percent? Is there more he can do for you?
A: Yeah, I really believe that this guy has a chance to be really, really dominant in a lot of areas. The one area that we're trying to get him to use his ability more is in the pass rush. There's times when he shows it, and there's times where he wants to just hunker down. He loves playing the run, but if he could ever develop that mentality of when it's time to pass rush, I think he could go to the next level.
Q: What role can the defensive line play in helping you guys create more takeaways?
A: It's the pressure on the quarterback with those guys typically. To go a little bit further, if we could get into some second-and-12s, that helps doing some of those things instead of second-and-fives. The first downs are going to be important for us. With them, whether it be the different types of passes on first down or the running game, if we can get offenses into more manageable situations for us, I think that will help create more turnovers.
Q: Do you see Adrian Peterson practicing today?
A: I think he'll be out in pads today.
Q: Have you made any decisions on whether or not he will play in the preseason? Does the hamstring change things at all?
A: We've talked about it a little bit. We'll see.
Q: You've said some nice things about Edmond Robinson in the past. What is it specifically that you've seen from him?
A: I think that he's just basically understanding things a lot more. He lines up good. He can play a couple different positions. He's powerful when he takes on a block. He's fast. He's quick-twitched. He's a young guy that continues to develop, coming out of Newberry. He has come an awful long way, and he keeps getting better every day. I think he has a chance to be a really good linebacker someday. It may not be now, but he's a great worker and a good kid who studies hard.* *
Q: Have you maintained optimism with Matt Kalil after the second day in pads?
A: Actually this morning I was just up there watching the offensive line, and I've been much impressed with a lot of the things that Matt is doing. He's trying to get to the second level. He's coming off on the double teams with Boone really well. When he sets right, he's very good in pass protection. Right now, about 75 percent of the time, he's right in his sets, so we're just looking for that one quarter more. If he just continues to do that, he's going to be good. When he gets in trouble, he takes bad angles on his sets and Everson (Griffen) will take advantage of it. That's a good battle every day. I think it's making them both get better. They've got to compete every day.
Q: What have you seen from the battle going on at the center position?
A: It's a good battle. Both of them (John Sullivan and Joe Berger) have different strengths, and we're just trying to figure out what's the best combination for the other four guys in there. Whether it's the physicality or the intelligence or how we can work that out. We're going to keep rotating them this week, and I'll try to figure it out after the next break we have.
Q: Getting back to the D-line for a second, why has Tom Johnson played so well here?
A: He's a really hard worker. I think this is a good system for him. He's kind of a slithery guy. I think our defensive line coach (Andre Patterson) does a great job, too. So, I think he has helped him quite a bit. But Tom is a very good worker; he does a lot of stuff that people don't see. He's a tough guy, and he has got some quickness and acceleration in the pass rush. He uses his hands good.
Q: What have you been seeing from Willie Beavers? It Seemed like Tony Sparano was getting after him pretty hard a couple times.
A: I don't think he's the only one. Tony has been staying on them pretty good. Beavers has a chance to be a good player. He has got a thick, wide base, comes off the ball, he's powerful. He's still making young mistakes with the way his technique is and that, but he's doing a good thing. When they should start worrying is when they're not getting after them.
Q: Zach Moore has been rotating with the second team?
A: Maybe a little bit, some in there. Zach is doing a good job. He's strong. He has the size. He needs to cut it loose a little bit. He has got an opportunity.
Q: Back to the takeaways, I remember you saying last year that in this scheme sometimes you have to sacrifice the chances for the fundamentals. Does that change at all when you get guys in this scheme for so many years?
A: No. I means that they can probably play a little bit faster, which allows them to see things a little bit quicker, but I'm kind of preaching turnovers more this year, because I think that can help us get to somewhere else. I don't ever want it to be in expense to fundamentals.
Q: What are your expectations for Jerick McKinnon this year?
A: My expectations are that Jerick is going to help us a lot offensively as a changeup back, in the passing game. I think there will be a lot of combinations for him on third downs. We want to be able to use Jerick a lot. I'm hopeful that he has a very good year.
Q: Do you expect him to practice today?
A: I don't think so. I don't think so.* *
Q: Alex Boone is a guy who seems to bring a big personality to the offensive line. Have you seen any sort of changes since he has come into this unit?
A: Yeah, quite a bit. I think he has been good for our offensive line room. He has been vocal in a good way. I was actually just talking to Chad Greenway about how Boone was in the locker room, and he said, 'He's great. People respect him.' He has kind of changed the mentality of the offensive line room, him and Coach (Tony) Sparano, and that's a good thing. That's part of the reason why we did what we did this offseason.
Q: You said a few days ago that you had a conversation with Trae Waynes about using his assets to improve his play on the field, how do you think he responded to that conversation the first couple days of pads?
A: Good. He's working real good. Trae's a quiet guy, but he listens; he tries to do what you ask him to do. I thought he had a good day two days ago. We'll just keep working with him, but I think he's going in the right direction.
Q: How do you feel Tre Roberson has handled the transition from quarterback to cornerback in the NFL?
A: Really amazingly. He does some things that are very natural for a guy that has never played corner before, just watching him backpedal and break. He has still got tons to learn, but as far as athletically – when you're used to playing quarterback, and now you're backpedaling and trying to learn defensive schemes and coverages – I think he has done really good.