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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media Wednesday

*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer   *

Started preparation today for the Baltimore Ravens. We know how good that division is – the AFC North. The physicality that they play with. A good football team, very good defensive team; aggressive up front, good guys in the back end that cover, Super Bowl MVP at quarterback, a lot of speed at receiver. It'll be a good test for us this week.

Q: The Baltimore Ravens have had a lot of success creating turnovers. What do you think has been the key to that?

A: Well they're aggressive. If they get in some of these third down situations they attack the football. They got a bunch different looks in the coverage as far as some of their fire zones, and zone blitzes, and things they do. They've got some excellent edge rushers [Matthew] Judon, Za'Darius Smith, [Terrell] Suggs, and then their corners play aggressive, tight. Nickel back is a good player. 

Q: Does it amaze you that Suggs is still playing at the level that he is?

A: Well he's a good player. He's smart, very instinctive, sees things really well, adjusts on the move. He's always been a great rusher.

Q: Is there a particular plan on how much you want Teddy Bridgewater to practice today?

A: Yes. 

Q: Can you elaborate?

A: No.

Q: Is there any additional challenge for him coming back with a new offensive coordinator than the last time he practiced?

A: You'd have to ask him that. I don't think so.

Q: How important are the Baltimore Ravens two safeties to their defense?

A: [Eric] Weddle tries to disguise a lot. He tries to give you some different looks, tries to trick you. Their whole defense is good. I think that's why they've been good for a long time. Dean Pees been a really good coordinator for a lot of years.

Q: You've seen Joe Flacco a ton through his career. What do you see with him right now relative to where you've seen him before?

A: Each year is different. I haven't seen him in four years. He has always been a big-armed guy, moves better than you think he does in the pocket. He loves to throw the stop-nines, the fades and the long ball and things like that. That part hasn't changed at all. He still looks the same guy to me.

Q: How much different are they as a team from the last time you faced them?

A: I don't remember the last time we faced them.

Q: How does that change your preparation?

A: It doesn't much. Most of the guys aren't there anymore. [Marshal] Yanda was there, but he's on IR [injured reserve]. [Joe] Flacco was there. The receivers are different than when I was there. Most of the linemen are all different. The tight ends are different. Other than Flacco, offensively, it's a different crew. Defensively, [C.J.] Mosley, [Terrell] Suggs, Jimmy Smith was there. It is a different team for the most part.

Q: How do you walk the line to get Teddy Bridgewater enough work so you can tell where he's at but also still get the two guys ready that might need to play Sunday?

A: We have to give him some plays, and I think some of it is he's been in a very controlled environment for the last 14 months. Eventually, we have to work him into some uncontrolled environments.

Q: Is Sam Bradford around? Is he going to do anything this week?

A: I don't know. We'll see. I know if he's around but we'll see what he's going to do. He is feeling better, though.

Q: Is Sam Bradford back in the building?

A: [Yes].

Q: On Monday, you said you didn't think Anthony Barr's hit was dirty, but Mike McCarthy came out later that day and called it an illegal act.

A: I've moved on to Baltimore. I don't want to talk about that. I've got all kinds of plays to show of a lot of people. I'm not even going to talk about it. 

Q: John Harbaugh was talking about the ups and downs of their season, at 3-3. What have you learned about handling the ups and downs since you've become a head coach?

A: That's part of the NFL. I was talking to the players today. Every team in this league is good. That's why they call it any given Sunday. That's how it is. You go out and you play your best. Some you win, some you lose. You have to try to stay as steady as you can and continue to try and get better. That's what we're trying to do. We respect every team we play. I think Baltimore is a great football team. I know their coaching staff. I know the things that they've done. I get it. The fans go up and down. Inside the buildings, it's a different deal.

Q: What do you see out of Baltimore's running game?

A: They're running the ball good. All the backs are running good. [Terrence] West, [Javorius Allen], they're all a little bit different, but they're running the ball good. They've got a lot of window dressing in their plays. Shift to motion, unbalanced. They make it difficult for you.

Q: What type of impact have your defensive backs had to become number three against the run this year?

A: I don't know. I didn't even know we were, to be honest with you. They tackle pretty well.

Q: What about Trae Waynes specifically, playing strong against the run?

A: He's tackled well. He's tackled well. Harrison [Smith] tackles well. Xavier [Rhodes], [Andrew] Sendejo, those guys all tackle pretty well. Whether you're good or bad in the run game, most of the time the perimeter run force is big because your big plays come out of that. Your average ends up going up if you give a lot of big plays in the running game. We might have given up one last week or the week before. Those kind of things hurt your average.

Q: Is there a boost in spirit with Teddy Bridgewater being back?

A: I think everybody feels really good for Teddy. He's worked extremely hard to get to this point where he can get back out on the practice field. We still don't know where it's going to go or where that's going to lead to. But, I think everybody feels good for him because they know what kind of kid he is and how hard he has worked. He's probably not going to play this week. We need to put the brakes on things a little bit. 

Q: What do you want to see out of him to know he will be ready for game action?

A: Movement, being able to protect himself. Being able to move out of the way and move away from the defender that comes free.

Q: Are you able to see that in a practice environment?

A: Yeah, we've got guys come free once in awhile. 

Q: How is Baltimore's special teams unit?

A: They're the best special teams that we've played by far. They've got the two best specialists in the league. They can make a field goal from any distance, just about. They've had a punt return and a kick return [touchdown]. Their core special teams group is really big and really good. So, we're going to have to be really good this week on special teams. It's going to be a big factor in the ball game.  

Q: How is Case handling everything?

A: Good, Case is Case. He just does what he has to do to get ready. You'd probably have to ask him more than me. I get it, the fans and the media and everybody is so excited about Teddy being back. He's still got a ways to go. So, we need to just remember that. That he's still working, a work in progress. If and when the time comes, we'll get him in there and we'll go. For right now, it's business as usual.  

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