*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
After watching the tape, I kind of really feel a lot like I did yesterday after the ballgame. Disappointed that we didn't start better. I think we have some resiliency and some tough guys and some fight. Probably didn't play good enough to win; too many mistakes against a team like that. We're never going to have moral victories around here. Questions?
Q: Did they blitz more than you anticipated after recording seven sacks?
A: They blitzed a little bit more, yeah. We had a couple mental errors, we had a couple guys get beat, so it was a combination of things. I thought Teddy did a good job of getting the ball out, but there was a couple of time where we weren't able to adjust the protection because of some of the movement things that we had going on.
Q: Looking back, are there things you wished you had done to help Teddy Bridgewater with the protection? It looked like T.J. Clemmings versus Von Miller was a tough matchup.
A: We did help him quite a bit, it wasn't like the whole game. There are some times some guys are going to have to line up and play and there were some times T.J. blocked him, but the times he didn't block him, that's what shows up. So was there things that we could have done different? Absolutely, probably numbers of things in every area we could have done differently.
Q: Has T.J. Clemmings progressed over his first four starts?
A: It's more about consistency right now. There's times where he does really, really good and there's times when – he got beat inside one time, he had a mental error one time that caused a sack, he went to the wrong guy. It's things like that. But there's a lot of good things that he does and when he's good, he's good. He's a young guy that we're going to have to keep grinding with his making sure that everything is precise with him and continue to work with him some technically, but he continues to impress in some things. We've just got to keep going with him.
Q: How did Matt Kalil do?
A: Matt did good. He got beat on one game over there, but I thought overall he held his own against [DeMarcus] Ware. And there was times we helped him, too, but he had a fair amount of one-on-one's. He went to the wrong guy one time causing an issue.
Q: Do you feel like Teddy Bridgewater fared well under pressure?
A: Yeah, well that's always one of his strengths is his poise and getting the ball in the right place. The impressive part to me was what he did in the second half; he got hit and roughed up a little bit in that first half. And in the second half he kept his poise and made some great throws. He can play better, he can play a lot better, but I think he did some outstanding things in the second half.
Q: Did you originally plan going into the game throwing as much as you did or was that just based on how the game played out?
A: No, not really. The script didn't call for quite that many, but sometimes that's the situations that you get into. We were aware of who was in the ballgame for them and we were going to throw the ball when they weren't in the ballgame, so some of those times we get off the script because of that.
Q: Do you like where you team is headed now at the first quarter point of the season?
A: Well, I like this football team. I think they work real hard. We have to get better, there's no question. I think the teams that we've played, three out of the four were playoff teams last year. The last team we played was 23-2 or something at home over the last four years, but I'm not happy with where we are at, no. I think we have a chance to be a good football team and if we ever do put it all together, we can be a really good football team, but that's a lot of if's and injuries and there's all kinds of things, but there's a lot of football left to be played. I think we have a chance to be a good team.
Q: Do you feel like there is a hump that you can define that the team needs to get over to beat a good team like that on the road?
A: Yeah, we have to execute better, we have to execute. Sometimes with this team, it seems like when we get in big games, everyone wants to make a play instead of just, "Hey, look here, this is my job, I'm going to do my job, I'm going to do this." So it's actually something that I'm going to have to continue to figure out. It's not like they spit the bit. They want to do good, they want to impress, they want to be with all of the elite teams in the league, so I think every time we get in these situations and we're able to teach and we're able to coach and we're able to fight back like we did in that ballgame, I think these are all great learning experiences with a young football team and at some point in time, we're going to get over the hump.
Q: How do you help Adrian Peterson become a better blocker so that he can stay on the field more often?
A: Honestly, Adrian only had one protection problem this last week, but other than that he did a good job in all of his protections. He's working very hard at it. We kept him in there on some third downs this time, so we'll keep going with it. The thing about Adrian is that he doesn't just say, "Hey, I'm a running back, I don't want to work on it." He wants to work on this. He wants to be out there as much as he possibly can, so he's committed to becoming a better pass protector and I believe he is. He's working very hard at it and knowing which guys to block and how to block them and there's a couple times he had Von Miller the other day, a couple times he had [DeMarcus] Ware.
Q: How do you evaluate Kyle Rudolph's play through the first four games?
A: Kyle is doing good. He's a great kid and he keeps working extremely hard. I actually had a talk with him today, each game is going to call for something different, for him to do something different for us. He's got to want to accept the role that he is in that week and stay patient with a lot of things and a lot of plays will come his way. I love his personality, his determination and he'll continue to be a big part.
Q: Is blocking still something Kyle Rudolph is working to improve?
A: He's improved in some of it, some of it he's still got to get better at.
Q: Is it pass protection or run blocking you'd like to see him improve on?
A: Just blocking in general.* *
Q: Where is Stefon Diggs at in terms of his knowledge of the offense?
A: I think he has a good overall understanding of everything. A lot of it is lining up in the right place, being at the right depth, making sure you run the routes the correct way. I believe he was short on one route the other day, but for the most part, for a young guy, I think he did alright.
Q: You mentioned last year during the bye week you liked to sit by the fire and watch film on your iPad, what will receive most of your attention on your iPad this bye week?
A: Well, we've already kind of started doing it, I don't have a fire with me right now. We're going through our cut-ups and trying out figure out what we can do better, areas of improvement that we need, where we can get over the hump, things I can do better. I think some things I feel pretty good about and then there's some things that I feel like we need to figure this out a little bit better. The one good thing about this bye, you've got four games you can kind of evaluate where your team is right now and how we need to go forward. I guess, that's a long generalization of just areas I feel we need to improve on.* *
Q: Do you players respond or get energized by aggressive coaching decisions?
A: I guess if they work. I think players want to be that way. I don't know you'd have to ask them, I guess is the best way to do it.
Q: Do you see a reaction from them when you're aggressive with your calls?
A: I did, I did, yes. I saw a reaction from them. I talk to them the night before the ball game about the plan, as far as, you have your offensive and defensive plans and things like that, but the overall plan of how we're going to play the game. I did a see a reaction out of them that night.
Q: How tough was calling a timeout in the final minute of the first half with the ball in Peyton Manning's hand?
A: Well, I did think that we were going to stop them and they weren't going to get a first down. I was trying to get the ball back for the offense, maybe get a punt return or something like that. I didn't know that he was going to throw the interception. Was that right before the interception? I wish I was that good.
Q: When you look at who the quarterback is, was it a tough call?
A: I do know he's very good in the two-minute drill and it showed at the end of the ball game, but I just felt like if we had the opportunity, we needed to get some points on the board before the half.
Q: Is that called timeout a product of having more head coaching experience under your belt, last year you mentioned you don't like using timeouts on defense?
A: That was a different scenario. Not game management timeouts, management like you have too many guys on the field or you're not in the right defense or whatever, those I don't like because you just waste timeouts. I expect our guys to line up and play. This was more of a game management deal, where we were trying to get the ball back and actually, the same thing was going to happen last week when we played San Diego, it was 3rd-and-18, I'm thinking they're going to check the ball down, we're going to call a timeout, get the ball back with a minute left and they went down to score. It can bite you at times, too. I didn't get to call it because they converted the 1st down.
Q: You mentioned yesterday you weren't pleased with your defensive play call on Ronnie Hillman's big run, looking at film did you see chances to stop him?
A: Oh yeah, we didn't execute it. I'll bet you I call myself a few names probably 20 times a game, you could have called a better call here, or I thought they were going to do this. I don't necessarily think it was the best call at that particular time, but we did not execute. We had about one, two, three, four, five guys that did not execute.
Q: Was Robert Blanton one of those five?
A: It was five guys, there's only 11 out there, so.
Q: What happened on the Owen Daniels reception?
A: We lined up wrong, a little bit wrong, not too bad. And then they ran a guy behind the line of scrimmage and usually we pass that and we missed the pass. Not the forward pass, the pass off.
Q: How do you feel about Linval Joseph's performance, he seemed to have some stops in short yardage situations?
A: He did. Linval continues to play well. You know, one thing about him that I'm very impressed with is that, I hope that our whole football team gets this mentality, he does an awful lot of dirty work that doesn't show up in the stat book. He allows other guys to make plays, he makes plays but he allows other guys to make plays and that's what I'm trying to teach this football team. It's not about individual goals, or individual stats or who gets to go the Pro Bowl or who doesn't get to go to the Pro Bowl. It's about wins and team wins and team playing together and doing your job, that's what I continue to try to preach to this football team and he pretty much takes it amongst himself. He rushed the passer better yesterday than he has, but I guess the best way, he's an unselfish warrior player, that's what I'm trying to get everybody to get to buy into.