Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Started today preparation this morning for St. Louis. They're a good football team, similar to us I think in some ways. They're very good defensively, they run the ball extremely well, put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, so it'll be a good test for us. We need to get our fans out there to be nice and loud and continue playing well at home. Questions?
Q: What stands out the most about Todd Gurley when you watch him on tape?
A: His vision, his acceleration through the holes, power when he runs, catches the ball well too.
Q: How do you think his style differs from the style of Adrian Peterson?
A: I don't know, I'm not really into comparing our guys to their guys.
Q: In the Chicago game and Detroit game, you had the same amount of rushing yards, but were you more pleased with how you got those yards in the Chicago game?
A: Yeah, I thought we ran the ball better in the last ballgame. The only thing we didn't do as well is we didn't break a really long one, but we had several we blocked better. We were more physical in the running game, we got to the second level better. I thought we were more consistent.
Q: What are your thoughts on Aaron Donald right now and did you think he would be this good before the draft last year?
A: Yeah, we knew he was going to be really good. Three-techniques are really hard to find that have the explosiveness and the quickness that he has. Yeah, we thought he'd be pretty good.
Q: The Rams have 26 sacks from 13 guys, how does that stress what you want to do offensively?
A: Well, we have to be sharp on the protections especially the pressure stuff because you can't just pay attention to [Aaron] Donald and [Robert] Quinn and [Michael] Brockers. You've got to make sure that you're aware of their corner cats – they have some corner cats and linebackers coming and safeties too, so they bring them from all different levels.
Q: How would you assess Teddy Bridgewater's season in terms of consistency?
A: I think he does a lot of things that people don't recognize, that people don't see, whether it's getting in plays, out of plays, moving in the pocket, avoiding a bad, negative thing. There's a lot to be said for that. Probably if I was going to critique him on doing something a little bit better, I think when we have the opportunity to hit some plays that come up the right way, that we need to hit them. That could be sometimes a protection breaks down, sometimes he came off the particular receiver too soon, or the coverage dictated it going somewhere else. But I believe he'll continue to get better at all of those things.
Q: Do you believe he is tentative at times?
A: No, I don't think that is it at all. I think he is careful with the football, but I would not say he is tentative. Sometimes young guys still get fooled once in a while and I think sometimes he gets coverage that came up a different way than he expected, so he ends up going somewhere else. But I wouldn't say he's tentative, no.
Q: How has he been progressing at identifying coverages?
A: He's good. Like everybody, even the good guys get fooled some. It's just being able to dissect it and he is usually pretty good at all that stuff. But there are times when he'll get fooled once in a while, but they all do.
Q: Do you try to disguise anything or fool Teddy during practice?
A: We try to do what the defense does, whoever we're playing that week, however they disguise we try to disguise however and give them as close a look as you're going to see in the game.
Q: How has T.J. Clemmings progressed in the running game?
A: Well, last week was his best week. I thought he did better in all areas really. He blocked better, he was more physical, he sustained better in his run blocks and also in his pass protection, so hopefully that will continue.
Q: When you guys defer on the opening coin toss, is it because you want the possession right out of the second half?
A: Yeah, when you have a chance to score at the end of the half and then get the ball back again. You have a chance to get an extra possession somewhere in there.
Q: Is there a different strategy for some different games?
A: Sometimes your opponent and who you're playing and where you're playing.
Q: What was the difference with Teddy Bridgewater and how he operated at the end of the game versus the rest of the game?
A: I think he just – as the game goes on – he seems to get a better feel of everything the team is doing. Like I say, sometimes when you come out early in the ballgame, you get a lot of different looks that change it up and doing different things or the safety is rotating different or the corners are playing their coverages a little bit different. And I think as the game goes on, he just has a way to be able to process, "Ok, well he is what they're doing." And I think Scott [Turner] does a great job on the sideline with him.
Q: Do you expect Stefon Diggs to practice today?
Q: When talking about Teddy Bridgewater and given the flow of the game as it goes on, what is something you can do to have that happen quicker in the games?
A: Well, we've worked on starting faster in some of these things, but the biggest thing is the more times you're out on the field, the more third downs you convert, the more situations that you get in, the longer you get a chance to stay out there and the more you get to process it. That's part of it is starting a little bit better and continuing the drives.
Q: What is your assessment of Terence Newman so far?
A: Good, good. I thought he did good. He gave up no catches in Detroit and he gave up some this week, the guy made a great catch on him on the one ball and then he gave up a couple short ones, but did good. Tackled well, physical in the running game.
Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater
Glad to be back home facing the St. Louis Rams. We know how important it is to play well at home, we want to try to continue this pattern that we're on. We know that St. Louis is a very good football team, I think they're top-10 across the board in every category on the defensive side of the ball, so those guys are playing some great football right now. I think they've only given up a total of 12 points in the past two games. Those guys are playing some sound football, they're very disciplined and like I said, they're playing some good football.
Q: How many defensive fronts have you seen that are as fast and difficult to block as the Rams are?
A: They're similar to Denver, but each team is different. Those guys have a ton of depth up front. Like I said, they're playing some sound football right now. They have guys who can come in off of the bench and make plays for them, get around the quarterback. They're great in their run fits. We know that this is a stingy defense. Like I said, they have a lot of depth and we understand that.
Q: What was the difference for you on those two final drives on Sunday?
A: I just have to continue to let the game come to me. Continue to just do a better job of getting the football out of my hands and allowing our guys to make plays. Whether it's taking the check-down and letting our guys go make a play rather than trying to get the big shot every play. So, just having some patience and letting the game come to me. I think that's what I started to do towards the end of the game.
Q: Do you feel better in a hurry-up situation?
A: We prepare for those situations, we practice two-minute every week, so we're very comfortable in that situation and it showed. The guys were very composed, like I said Sunday, those guys had that look in their eye that they wanted to go down there and score a touchdown and win the football game and we did exactly that.
Q: How do you look at your season so far, are you happy winning or do you want to be more consistent with your game?
A: You look at it both ways, but the most important thing is we're winning and that's all that matters. I know that there's some opportunities that we're leaving out there that we have to take advantage of. I can do a better job of, like I said, getting the ball out of my hands, allowing our guys to go out there and make plays instead of having to try to do it all by myself.
Q: Do you enjoy seeing confidence out of your receivers, especially Stefon Diggs?
A: Definitely. Those guys, I think they bring the swagger to the team. You look back in OTAs, those guys were competing against our secondary and throughout the course of training camp those guys were battling every day. That's what you love to see, guys that have that confidence in themselves and know that they're going to get the job done. Stefon [Diggs] is exuding that and that entire wide receiver room, like I always say, he has a great group of leaders in that room who show him how to get the job done and he's been doing a great job for us.
Q: What do you mean by having to let the game come to you, is it a weight you put on yourself?
A: No, there are times you put the tape on and I could have thrown a drag route or something, instead my eyes are downfield trying to make the big play. It's just being patient. We know that the big play is going to come, but until then you have to just take what the defense is giving you. That's something that I have to continue to get better doing.
Q: What did you think of the offensive line's performance both in run and pass blocking?
A: Those guys did a great job. We had a game plan built for those guys to just go out there and play fast and those guys did exactly that. We knew that Chicago had a nice pass rusher, [Pernell] McPhee, we wanted to slow him down and I think we did a great job of doing that. The offensive line did an excellent job of opening holes for Adrian [Peterson]. Those guys are just playing some good football right now.
Q: If you were a fan watching Sunday's game how fun would it be to watch Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley?
A: It'd be a ton of fun. I was able to get to know Todd [Gurley] throughout college and everything, I know what type of person he is. He's a great player, he's playing some good football right now, but to have Adrian [Peterson] in my backfield is a ton of fun. If I was at home watching, it'd be a matchup that I'd love to see. Luckily, I get to take part in it. I can't wait to see Adrian run and can't wait to see our defense slow Todd down.