Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Good morning. After watching the tape, we've still got a lot of things we've got to get corrected. We are doing some things better, we continually keep doing a good job in the passing game, protecting the quarterback, our offensive line is blocking well and then defensively, we've been getting some three-and-outs. I thought third downs were much better this week with both sides, offense and defense. I think our special teams keeps improving, but we still have a ton of work to do. We've got to get better in a lot of different areas, so we'll start working on those this week. I gave the team a bunch of points of emphasis this week that I want to try to get some extra work on, so we'll start today.
Q: What was the thinking behind making the long snapper move now with two preseason games remaining?
A: Basically it was to get the timing down between the center, holder and the kicker and the punter.
Q: Did it have anything to do with Blair Walsh not having to go back and forth between different long snappers?
A: No, they were good snaps the other night.
Q: How did Anthony Barr fare the first time out?
A: He did alright for the first time out. He didn't do anything really spectacular. I think he's got to get back into the game tempo a little bit more. There's a couple times when he didn't flash like he normally flashes, but it's his first time.
Q: Is it still a process of getting him physically up to speed?
A: No, I think physically he is fine. It's just the extra burst that you need to have during games.
Q: Why did Kevin McDermott win the competition?
A: Well, he was faster with his snaps, he was more accurate with his snaps. We charted every one.
Q: Did you get a chance to go back and look at what Blair Walsh did the other night and was there any common thread between the misses there?
A: No, it looked like he rushed one, but other than that, no, not really.
Q: So you didn't think Cullen Loeffler had any bad snaps necessarily?
A: A couple of them were high. There was about two of them on the two extra points, the two field goals, were a little high, but they were manageable for sure. No, releasing Cullen Loeffler had nothing to do with what happened the other night. It's a process of what happened during training camp this whole time.
Q: How did Eric Kendricks fare the other night?
A: I think he did good. Yesterday, [Assistant General Manager] George [Paton] and [Linebackers Coach] Adam [Zimmer] and [General Manager] Rick [Spielman] and myself sat down and put all of the middle linebackers on the tape and watched every play, just to kind of get a gauge, make sure we're all seeing the same thing with where we are at – I mean, throughout the whole course of the preseason. As far as the other night, he fitted one thing wrong and then they got basically the same play again later and he got it right after we corrected him on the sideline, but for the most part he did alright.
Q: Was he out position on the goal line when they scored on the run?
A: No, he got a lineman up on him really fast, so that wasn't it.
Q: Does he have any challenges with linemen coming straight ahead at him?
A: No, actually he punched guys pretty good the other night. Probably better than I anticipated after watching all of preseason.
Q: How far has Edmond Robinson come this preseason?
A: He keeps getting better every day. He's a guy that really played a completely different position in college and so I think he is improving. He's got the size and the speed and the things we like. Maybe similar to [Gerald] Hodges when Hodges came out of college. I wasn't with him when he got here, but he played a very similar position back in college, so it takes a little while.
Q: Do you like how Chase Ford competes for the ball in the air?
A: Yeah, Chase does a really good job in the passing game. Actually before that on the two minute drill, he caught the ball one-handed, got out of bounds. Those are thing we've been preaching all training camp. But he catches the ball well, he runs good routes and he's got to continue to maintain consistency.
Q: How close is MyCole Pruitt to returning?
A: He's getting close.
Q: What have you seen from him when he is on the field as far as blocking?
A: Well, he's got the body to be a blocker. He's willing. I think he's going to continue to get better. Right now I wouldn't say he's a killer blocker, but I think he'll be better than adequate when it's all said and done.
Q: Do you see Chase Ford in a battle to make the team and do you see a scenario with keeping four tight ends?
A: Right now, we're looking at all those options whether it's different guys we keep and all that. I think a lot of people are in battles, but I don't want to be specific about who is competing for roster spots.
Q: Did Scott Crichton pick up where he left off prior to his ankle injury?
A: He actually did pretty good. He played inside a little bit, played outside some. The ankle didn't show any big hindrance throughout the game, so it was probably a good performance for Crichton.
Q: Do you think he and Justin Trattou are the top guys to enter the defensive line rotation?
A: I don't know, we'll see. We've still got two more good looks at these guys.
Q: What did you see from Justin Trattou the other night?
A: I thought he did well, like he always does. He continues to get better. A lot of effort, helps on special teams, so does [Scott] Crichton. I think he's improved a lot since we got here, so it's just keep going on the process.
Q: Have you decided who will be out there with the first team at middle linebacker on Saturday night?
A: Yeah, we've decided, but we're not going to tell you right now. I haven't told the players yet what we're doing.
Q: As we get closer to the regular season, do you make more of an effort to get guys like Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson more involved in the offense to make sure there is a chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater?
A: Some, but some of the things that happen during the game dictates where the ball goes. We planned on getting the ball to Mike [Wallace] a little bit more last week, but it's just the way the game came out. I really don't want the quarterback to predetermine exactly where the ball is going. We could get him the ball on some easy throws but we're not really trying to do that.
Q: After watching the tape how did you feel about the run defense?
A: It was alright. Some good, some bad, like always. There's an area that we need to work on with that, that will be one of the emphasis this week.
Q: Just to clarify, you've decided who you're going to start this week or have you decided who your middle linebacker will be for the regular season?
A: This week. This week.
Q: When do you think you will decide who will be the starter there in the regular season?
A: I'm just trying to get through this week. We'll see, if it goes good this week, then maybe we will go with it the rest of the way. If guys are playing good they'll keep playing and if they're not – I just haven't told the players yet so I don't want to tell you.
Q: How do you evaluate your running game when you're missing a pretty big piece of the running game in Adrian Peterson during the preseason?
A: We obviously didn't run the ball well enough the other night, which is another emphasis that we have this week that we've got to get going. I've talked to the team this morning about that. I do think that we're coming off the ball good, there's one area that we definitely have to get better at in the running game and then we have to finish better in the running game. I guess the easiest way to say it is, there's one area that's kind of holding us back right now that we've got to get better at.
Q: With the new faces on the right side of the offensive line, does that lead to an adjustment period with the running game too?
A: I don't think so, I think those guys are doing fine. I think T.J. [Clemmings] is doing a good job and there's a couple of plays we had the other night that we didn't block correctly, that might have been a little bit of the confusion with the 3-4 [defense] a little bit, but I don't think that will be an issue, no.
Q: Have you got any update on Carter Bykowski's injury and is there any chance that he returns this season?
A: I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see what we end up doing with that. Sometimes these things as it goes you figure it out. I've been told, obviously, what they think it is, but we haven't made any decisions for sure yet.
Q: Do you look to fill Cullen Loeffler's roster spot?
A: Probably not, not right now.