*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
Okay, good morning. I think we had a good start today. We got a lot of work accomplished. The team is working hard, paying attention. We are out here a little longer today than OTAs, but we got a lot of situations taken care of and I like this team.
Q: Has it been different having competition at kicker and punter and liking what that creates?
A: Yeah. They all have been evolving pretty good so that is a good thing and it is going to end up being a tough decision as we go forward, but there is still a lot of time left to play out.
Q: Are preseason games part of that evaluation?
A: Yeah, I mean yeah. When you are getting into game situations, it is always probably more important, but we are trying to put them in as many situations as we can that way.
Q: What have you seen from Pat Elflein that has impressed you from OTAs as you are now going into minicamp?
A: He has done some things that are really natural. There have been a couple of times where he might have his block taken care of and then he sees another guy and he is able to move to get to the next thing. I think he has moved in space well to get to some of the perimeter players on the screens. I think he has done a nice job in the protection part of controlling things. He has done good. There is obviously still a lot of things to work on, but he has been very impressive.
Q: Is it tough as a rookie to come in and compete for that starting spot in that position?
A: Yeah, I think he has a bright, bright future.
Q: What are your impressions about Rodney Adams so far?
A: You know, he makes a lot of plays, catches the ball good, runs good. He has got good quickness in and out of the breaks. He does not seem to be making very many mistakes. I think Darrell Hazell is doing a nice job of teaching him the different things on the routes and getting in and out of the breaks, and so those are some of the things he needs to continue to work on, but I think he has done a nice job in all of those.
Q: Do you see rookies contributing and succeeding a lot when it comes to kick returning and punt returning?
A: Yeah, I mean again, everybody is different. I know Cordarrelle Patterson did when he was a rookie, right? A lot of times, that is a rookie's job, you know unless you have a great, great one there.
Q: What do you like about David Morgan?
A: Well, I think the biggest compliment you can give him is, defensive players say that he is one of the best blockers we have had around here in a long time. So that, the tenacity, he is a guy that does a lot of dirty work, does not say a lot, has good hands and catches the ball well in the pass game. He is just a tough guy who will compete. He likes to compete.
Q: How tough is it now, compared to when you first started your coaching career, to evaluate guys? Do you have to wait until you get some live action to start making decisions?
A: Yes. Final decisions, yes. You know I think it is important that the players know that they are being evaluated every day. Maybe not to the point where this guy is going to jump ahead of that guy or vice versa, but that is why we come out here every day. We watch some and evaluate, and not only just schemes and what we are doing as coaches, but what they are doing as players and how we try to get them to be better. You do not want to be an instant evaluator and oh say, "This is our guy," and get the pads on and it's a totally different deal. But, my opinion every single day, well I come out here, I am being evaluated, they are being evaluated, and everybody out here should be evaluated.
Q: At this point, are you where you want to be with the team responding and what they're picking up on?
A: I think they're very aware of a lot of the things we're trying to teach. I think they're in a good place right now. Sometimes you just get here and run plays, but you're not learning how to play the game. We've progressed to the part now where we're trying to learn how to play games, trying to learn how to play at the end of games, how to play with the clock, without the clock, with the ball or without the ball because I think that's going to be important when we come down to starting getting into the real stuff.
Q: Do you even address expectations at this point?
A: No. I just talk about getting better every day.
Q: It was assumed that you wanted Danielle Hunter to bulk up or slim down, were you surprised with how fast he transformed his body this summer?
A: Well, he's been gifted pretty good with his genes. It's not so much about slimming up or getting bulkier. I think Danielle is pretty much where he's at and where he needs to go. I think he just needs to keep improving each and every day. I'm happy with where he's at and the things that he's doing. There really wouldn't be a place to tell him to gain more weight or to lose more weight unless we see that on tape.
Q: How has he progressed in the past year?
A: Well, he is actually playing a different spot right now than he was a year ago. I think sometimes the first or second year, you still try to feel your way a little bit, and third year, you are a lot more comfortable. It is a big year for him, and I think, so far, he is progressing well.
Q: How has Brian Robison handled being asked to have a different role through the emergence of Danielle Hunter?
A: Probably as good as I have been around. He said he would do anything he could to help this football team. I think he understands that Danielle is a very talented guy, He did something in the defensive meeting room that was pretty stand up-ish. I mean, I don't know. He did things the correct way, like a true professional.
Q: How do you think T.J. Clemmings has dealt with transitioning to different positions throughout the last couple of seasons?
A: It's a little bit of a work in progress. I felt the best place for him is where it's a little bit more condensed. So, T.J. is a great kid. He's going to give you his best every day and he's going to come out here and work. He doesn't really care where he plays. Obviously, he'd like to be comfortable somewhere. But, I think this might be a good spot for him. Obviously, if you're not starting, you have to play more than one position anyway. But, this is something that we wanted to look at this spring and kind of see how it pans out.
Q: Is it pretty established that Datone Jones will play inside or is there a chance he could move outside?
A: Yeah, well, there's a chance. When a guy is coming to a new system and a new thing, you want to kind of leave him alone. We've got lots of time in training camp to figure that all out. But we're trying to teach him the techniques and the things that we do at the three-technique. I don't think it would be good to, now he's playing a different technique because he's a defensive end or something like that. We're just trying to get him comfortable with the things that we teach.
Q: Is there an update on Sharrif Floyd?
A: Not really.