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Transcript: Zimmer Addresses The Media on Friday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

Well, we finished up some of the preparation for the Steelers today. Got a little bit of card work in and we have got another walk-thru this afternoon. I'm anxious to see these guys play. I'm hopeful that we will go out and perform the way I want and like I expect them to.

Q: Will the efficiency dictate how long the first team plays?

A: Yeah, probably my mood mostly.

Q: What do you look to get out of the first preseason game?

A: We want to look crisp, we want to look sharp and I want to see the things that we have been practicing being taken to the game field. Whether it is techniques or alignments, certain things against people that you really haven't prepared for and how they react to certain things that they're not prepared for. Obviously, it is evaluation of a lot of different players going against other players.

Q: What have you thought of your back-up quarterbacks?

A: I like them, I like them. I think Shaun [Hill] has been doing a good job. [Mike] Kafka and Taylor [Heinicke] have both been good at times and not so good at times. That's part of it, being young guys and working into a new system. Shaun has been in the system before, so he has a little bit of an advantage.

Q: Taylor Heinicke looks like he is getting more snaps than Mike Kafka has, is that just because he is a younger guy and you want to see what he has?

A: Well, we're trying to rotate them some, but yeah, he has gotten a few more. It's just what it is. We have a plan for the game, as well for these guys.

Q: Defensively where would you say you're at for speed, reaction, recognition and all of that?

A: Well, I think we are faster, we are seeing things quicker than we were a year ago. Like I said, I don't know how good we will be but it will be good to get against somebody that we really haven't practiced a lot of their plays and things like that. Really, they have a great offense they move the ball up and down the field so it'll be good. They've got some really speedy receivers. I have played against them for so many years with [Ben] Roethlisberger and the back is a good back and the tight end is a good player. I have a lot of respect for them.

Q: Does Gerald Hodges look better being in his second year of the system have a better understanding of it?

A: He does have a better understanding. He has been doing things much better this year. We just want to keep him going on the same track.

Q: Is Anthony Barr going to sit out on Sunday?

A: I don't know yet.

Q: How about Scott Crichton playing on Sunday?

A: I don't know yet.

Q: Do you have to defend against any sort of a lull at this point in camp or are you seeing guys are professional enough to handle their responsibilities here.

A: I thought yesterday practice we started a little slow but when we got into the competitive part of things it picked up, that was good to see. Usually the first day when you're going on cards, it's a little bit, not as crisp because you're trying to get the right looks from the other side and it takes a little longer, the tempo is slower. I have not seen a lull to this point. I think it's kind of good that about this time you're playing somebody, just because it kind of juices things up again.

Q: Have you been to the Hall of Fame before?

A: Twice.

Q: To some of the players it's a business trip to them, but how important do think it is for them to see the museum?

A: We didn't do the ceremony but we're going to go to the Hall of Fame and see it. I just thought with the team that we have and the youth that we have. I thought it was important that they see some things that gave them the opportunity to do the things that they're doing right now. Making the money, the prestige and how this game grew from really a lot of these past great players. A lot of guys don't know who some of these older players are. I showed the team a short video on Mick Tingelhoff last night, so they have a better understanding of who he is because it was the 1960's when he was playing. Those things are important to me that we all understand that we're privileged to do this, especially with all those guys playing and making $5,000 dollars a year and stuff like that, they were getting summer jobs. It's really a testament to how this league has grown through a lot of these players that are in the Hall of Fame and all of the players, too.

Q: As a coach, is Mick Tingelhoff's consecutive games played streak amazing to you too?

A: Yeah, it's pretty good. It's pretty good. I made sure we had that part in there.

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