Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Okay, this is unusual. Two days in a row thanks to Bob Hagan, so fire away.
Q: Is Kaare Vedvik your kicker or punter or both or not sure yet?
A: Not sure yet. It’s the first day I’ve seen him and I didn’t seen him do anything today because he was on a different field. Can you give me a week? Thank you.
Q: What is the general plan for special teams?
A: The general plan is to look at him this week and then make a decision whether we look at him for another week or we decide what to do. I can’t make a decision. He got here last night at 7:30. I met him, came out here to practice and he was on a different field, so it’s really hard to make a decision today.
Q: What was the thinking on letting Kevin McDermott go and Austin Cutting winning that job?
A: Honestly, we thought about doing that. We figured we had to get the battery down so we weren’t using two snappers in and out because we’ve got to work on this operations of the field goal and things like that. It really wasn’t anything that Kevin (McDermott) did. Kevin was a terrific team guy here, unbelievable person and it’s just the way it goes sometimes.
Q: What did Austin Cutting do to cement himself in that job?
A: A lot of times it’s being younger. He’s got a little more velocity. He’s a little bit more athletic. Like I said, Kevin (McDermott) didn’t do anything wrong.
Q: Is Kaare Vedvik someone you wanted to get into camp or did he become available and Rick Spielman say let’s get him?
A: Yeah, it was one of those deals that Baltimore had two guys. We’d been in contact with them for a little bit, quite a few other teams were trying to get him and so we just decided to pull the trigger. None of this came about until really yesterday. The first I heard about it was, I know I said I didn’t know anything about it at the press conference, but I was supposed to keep it hush-hush. Good with that, right? I didn’t really know anything about it until that morning. I didn’t even know there was a possibility that morning and then right before I came down here to the press conference they said it’s done but keep it hush-hush, so just being a good soldier.
Q: Will you see him in multiple possibilities on special teams?
A: Possibly, yeah. Again, I don’t know. I’ve never seen him. I know his stats, I know what he did in the preseason. I know what he did at Marshall. I know all those things, but you’ve got to get your eyes on a guy before you say he’s going to do everything. Might have him play safety, maybe he could play outside linebacker, I don’t know.
Q: How have Matt Wile and Dan Bailey responded to having someone else brought it?
A: I haven’t asked them. It’s part of the NFL life. Like I told you guys the other day, you’ve all got the six receivers or seven receivers and they might be on somebody else’s team.
Q: Is there a reason Matt Wile wasn’t holding today?
A: Yeah, he cut his finger in the game. He had stitches. You guys missed it.
Q: How long will that affect him?
A: I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. However long stitches take, I guess.
Q: Do you have enough time to evaluate everything with your battery between now and the opener?
A: Well, we need to, so we need to get it figured out, yeah. What’s today, the 11th or something? 12th, see I’m a day behind. We’ve got almost a month, so we’ll be alright.
Q: So you weren’t asking for additional kickers to be brought in, this was just a piece that fell into place?
A: No, like I said, I like Dan Bailey a lot. So, I called Jerry Rosburg when there was a possibility this might happen because I wanted to find out about this kid. Jerry Rosburg was the special teams coach with Baltimore, right. A good friend of mine and I asked him, what is he? Is he a kicker, a punter, a kickoff guy? And he just said he’s an NFL talent and so that’s kind of where it went from there. I still don’t know what he is and I definitely won’t know today.
Q: Is there any possibility he’ll both kick and punt?
A: Yeah, if he’s good enough. I don’t have a problem with that, but I don’t know, again. I think everything is a possibility at this point.
Q: Logistically, is it something that someone could do?
A: It’s probably difficult for a rookie, I would think. You’ve got a rookie snapper and then you’d have a rookie punter and a rookie kicker and then you’ve got to find somebody to hold.
Vikings Punter/Kicker Kaare Vedvik
First of all, I want to say thank you to the Baltimore Ravens, their organization and everyone there for helping me with everything to this point and for helping me get to where I am right now. Without the support and the help and encouragement from the organization, I don’t think I would have been here. I’m also extremely thankful to the Vikings and this organization, everyone who has made this possible to give me this opportunity to continue living my lifelong dream.
Q: Have you gotten any indication as to whether you’re a kicker or a punter?
A: I’m an athlete. I come here and I’m going to work. Whatever I can do to contribute, and whatever I can do to help this team win games and go to the Super Bowl, that’s what I want to do.
Q: Do you think you’re better at one then the other?
A: Not necessarily. I love them both, I have a passion for both. That’s my thing.
Q: Since you’ve gotten to the pros, how have you improved your skill set?
A: Being at the Ravens has been extremely helpful. I was with two of the best at what they do. [Ravens kicker] Justin Tucker and [Ravens punter] Sam Koch, [Former Ravens special teams coordinator/associate head coach] Jerry Rosburg, [Ravens assistant special teams coach] Randy Brown, and [Ravens long snapper] Morgan [Cox]. Every day, day in and day out I studied them. They gave me advice, and I got to learn from the veterans and see the attention to detail that they have, which helps me to have a more linear focus to what I have to get better at and how to improve myself. That year has probably been the year that I’ve seen the most progress as a specialist, definitely.
Q: How do you approach coming into this situation where you could compete at both positions?
A: I haven’t even had time. I’ve been here for less than 24 hours, so I haven’t even gotten to think about it. I’m here, I’m just ready to go to work and do what I love.
Q: When did you first sense that there may be some trade interest in you this preseason?
A: I don’t like to pay attention to it. I like to go in to this sport with a focus on the task I have at hand. My job is to perform at the best of my ability, so week in and week out, it’s always to just pay attention to the small details and go out there and perform as well as I can. Whatever happens, happens at that point. I’m enjoying it and I’m having fun, so this is hopefully the result of all that work paying off.
Q: From your experience in college, what are some of the challenges when you are both the punter and the kicker?
A: In college I kind of naturally ended up at it. Kicking field goals in high school, and going into college they needed someone to learn how to punt, so I spent three years learning how to punt. My senior year, the starting field goal kicker with the team got injured, so the coach asked me if I could kick field goals. Throughout the years I’ve always been doing both in practice. In practice we always had fun doing everything and just working at it. So I said, “Yeah, sure.” It worked out pretty well.
Q: What sports did you play growing up? Is it correct that you didn’t see American football unitl you were in high school?
A: You got a smaller American football community in Europe, and in Norway especially. One year, they started airing the Super Bowl on TV, and I just remembered I watched and was like, “Wow, that looks amazing.” Growing up I was super passionate about sports and being active, and I just love to compete, have a passion for it. I played soccer growing up, mainly, and I did some track. I played hockey at some point, and I was like that’s a sport I would love to try. Naturally, in your second year of high school in Norway, the country offers to pay for a whole exchange year, your second of your three years in high school. So that was an awesome opportunity for me to go and experience the U.S. and the culture, and I said that I was going to do that for a year. It was between Australia and the U.S. first, and then American football was what brought me actually to the U.S. and made me pick to come to the States.
Q: Where did you go to high school for your exchange?
A: McPherson, Kansas. I lived with a host family. My hosts Scott and Joy, that’s the family I lived with. They have been a great help. They’ve been there basically like my American family. They’re always there, they were supporting me through the whole journey. Throughout my high school years they were the ones who encouraged me a lot to pursue this sport, football, and continue going about it.
Q: Did you play in high school?
A: Yeah, I went to the states, McPherson, Kansas, and I tried out for the football team. Naturally they saw that I played soccer and I had ability to kick a football, so they asked me, “Hey, can you kick for us?” And I said, “Yeah, of course.” Throughout the games in Kansas, they said that they think that I had the chance to actually play at a higher level. At that point after a couple conversations with Scott [host parent], I made the choice to actually pursue it and see that I could back for college and actually play the sport and get an education out of it. That’s where I would attend several different kicking camps, try to compete and beat whoever the best guys where. Throughout those efforts, that’s where Marshall University came in and where interested and brought me in for an official visit. And yeah, that’s my journey of how I came to the States.
Q: You made a couple of long ones on the side field and the crowd had some cheers, how long were those?
A: 60ish, I don’t know. I just back up and see if it looks far or not, my aim is to make it through the uprights. That’s kind of how I do it out there. I don’t really look at the distance, I just try to kick it and make it through.
Q: Do you know what your longest field goal has been?
A: Never tried. The furthest I’ve made is 70, but I don’t see a point in trying anything further than that. It’s fun if you can do it one day, but you just still want to keep working on the fundamentals and basics that will make you better.
Q: Most people would specialize to make it to the NFL as a kicker or punter. Why did you feel it was okay to keep doing both?
A: Naturally in college, I came into that position with me having two kickers in front of me. Then, my senior punter was graduating so the coaching staff asked me, “Hey, can you learn how to punt, because we’re going to need a punter here the next couple of years?” So, I took on that challenge. At the time, I wasn’t a very good punter. I love challenges, this is something that I can get better at, so I spent the next years there training on becoming a punter. Then my senior year when my starting kicker got hurt that’s when I naturally came back into doing the whole role. I was the guy with the team who had the most experience with everything at the time. Then coming into the Ravens they also gave me the opportunity to do all three in the preseason and it has continued to now.
Q: Is there a load management problem in practice with doing both kicking and punting so that you don’t get injured?
A: It’s just about being smart. You know, don’t overdo anything, keep it efficient, keep it effective, be smart about the reps you do and, so when you execute reps you execute them well. Then you get to manage that workload that way. It feels pretty much just like doing any of them.
Q: How good of a holder do you think you are?
A: I’ve been at the Ravens, I worked with Sam Koch, so it’s been something that I’ve been working on with him.
Q: What happened with the assault last year, and how long did it take you to heal?
A: Right away the Ravens were in it. Coach Harbaugh, Ozzie [Newsome], Sam [Koch], Justin [Tucker], Morgan [Cox], they were all there at the hospital the first night and took care of me right away from the get-go. The whole organization has been around me and helped me get back on my feet and helped me with everything. My host, Scott, he flew up right away, he was there when I woke up and helped me acclimate to the whole year that was ahead of me. That’s when I went into focusing on myself and focusing on what my goals are and keeping that structure. That’s what is important about that whole year. When you go from being in a very structured position as a college athlete and student-athlete and going into the Ravens, to doing basically not a lot. You feel like you’re not a part of the team anymore. Then managing your goals and keeping your focus becomes super important. So the Ravens were really involved, my host dad Scott and my family was really involved that whole year, and helped me focus on those important things.
Q: How long did it take you before you were back at it?
A: A couple of weeks, then I was back at it.
Q: How have you been able to become confident in your abilities?
A: I think that goes with anyone in the sports world and athletics. First of all, you have to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, then I don’t think anyone else will. I believe in myself and I believe in what I’m capable of doing and that’s what I feed off of. For me, it’s about having fun. I go out there with a smile on my face and I love what I do. Through that I have fun, and I think through having fun you get confidence. It’s a blast, I’m happy to be here, it’s a beautiful area, I’m excited, and it’s a beautiful facility. And it’s Minnesota Vikings, a lot of Norwegian history here so, it’s going to be fun.
Q: Were you born in Norway?
A: Yes. Born and raised, came here and took my foreign exchange here when I was 18.