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Transcript: Zimmer, Teddy Address The Media

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

Today we were able to get out and practice, actually it was pretty good. We moved around well, I thought we improved from yesterday. Yesterday we went out and it was a monsoon out here, but it was good for us to get out, good character builder. I like the way we're progressing. It's two days, so we've still got a long, long way to go. There's still a lot of work to get done before we get to where we want to be.

Q: What is the thought process of moving Brandon Fusco to the left side of the offensive line?

A: We felt like with T.J. Clemmings it would be a little bit easier for him to stay on the same side.

Q: How has T.J. Clemmings been looking at guard?

A: It's two days and yesterday, like I said, was a monsoon and today, I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. I honestly didn't see him very much.

Q: Do you think Mike Wallace will be the addition you want at wide receiver?

A: I know he's a dynamic receiver and he's been doing a great job of working, he's a guy that works very, very hard. He's been catching the ball well. He's been learning the playbook. All of these things are all different, but he's looked good.

Q: How much of it was a need a left guard and how much is seeing the Matt Kalil, Brandon Fusco combination?

A: That was part of it, but that wasn't the main reason. It was really about putting him over there, putting (T.J.) Clemmings at the right side and making it easier for him, as opposed to moving to the other side. We know that Fusco can always move back if we plug somebody else in the left guard.

Q: Are you looking at T.J. Clemmings at tackle at all or just guard?

A: Right now, at this particular time, we want to leave guys alone. We don't want to move them all around all over the place, so we're going to leave him right there for right now and then evaluate and then maybe make some changes after a while. At this particular point in time, we're going to leave it alone. Q: What have you seen from Trae Waynes, how's the learning curve been?

A: He's obviously very talented. He's doing a good job. We're trying to teach him the nickel and corner. He's got work to do, like all young guys do, like all of the guys do. He shows flashes of really good stuff.

Q: Teddy Bridgewater said other guys are encouraging him to me more of a leader, is that a natural progression?

A: I think so, and I noticed it quite a bit even in Phase 2, that he was becoming more of a leader and you can tell that this is more of his team as we continue to go, he's a lot more vocal with the guys, as far as telling them where to go and what routes they should be running. He obviously has a better command of the offense, as well.

Q: What have you seen from Teddy Bridgewater this offseason and are you pleased with his progression?

A: It's hard to never not be pleased with Teddy because he's such a hard worker. We wanted him to get bigger and stronger, he looks a little bit bigger to me. He's always worked real hard. The leadership things are starting to come better. I think he's been doing a good job the two days we've been out here against the defense.

Q: Are you concerned with Adrian Peterson not being here for OTAs?

A: No. I'm not concerned.

Q: You said publicly you have an idea of when he's going to be here?

A: I've also read that Adrian told me that he wasn't coming to OTAs, which is completely false. I know there's a lot of things that are out there. I don't know when he's coming. We'll just leave it at that.

Q: Have you talked to him since you visited him?

A: Yeah, I've talked to him since I visited, but I have not talked to him recently.

Q: Do you think people make too much of him missing OTAs?

A: I don't know. You all have jobs to do and I understand that. He's missed a lot of OTAs over the course of his career. I'm not worried about it. I have 89 guys out here that I'm coaching and trying to get better. It is what it is.  

Q: Is it discouraging that there is a negative vibe that he hasn't said anything positive about the Vikings lately?

A: It's really not my place to figure out what he's not saying publicly, or saying publicly or what anybody else is saying, it's more about these guys that are out here. Adrian, he's really got two choices, he can play for us, or he can not play. He's not going to play for anybody else and that's just the way it's going to be

Q: Is it a contract issue with Adrian Peterson or are there other issues involved?

A: I don't know. I don't know.

Q: Do you see the wheels spinning really quickly for a guy like Trae Waynes?

A: He's still thinking, the alignments and a lot of detail stuff that he's got to continue to improve at and there's a lot of things he has to work at, but he is very sincere about trying to get better every day. He's kind of a quiet kid. Kind of like Teddy was last year, the more comfortable he gets, the more assertive he will be in a lot of different ways.

Q: Is Anthony Barr still coming back from the knee issue?

A: It's not the knee that he got hurt, no.

Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

Finally getting some nice weather around here, glad to be back out. Guys flying around, nice up-tempo practice today, nothing to do but get better.

*Q: What's it like being in your second year with the team? *

A: It's a great feeling, for one, knowing that I have a year under my belt, but also, I have another year in this system. The guys, we all know what the expectation level is, so each day we come in to work, we have our hard hats on and we come in ready to work hard.

Q: What is Mike Wallace like to work with?

A: He's a great addition to the team. I'll tell you, what's even a better addition is have Kyle Rudolph back healthy. He's like a whole new player on the team. We're glad to have Mike, he's going to add some speed to that room and all of those guys are going to continue to elevate their games.

Q: Can you take us through your offseason in terms of preparation?

A: I just spent most of my time either relaxing or working out. Studying some film, studying our plays so that I could come back sharp, it's been great to be back so far.

Q: Did you work with a passing coach down in Florida?

A: Some times, yes. Some days, but for the most part, I try not to get with those guys who are doing the passing coaching, try not to get with the passing coaches, because I know what our coaches want me to do. They just continue to communicate with me; we discuss my progress and go from there.

Q: Is working with a passing coach a delicate balance?

A: It is. I'm trying to continue to do what's going to make me better in this offense. I talk with Coach Turner constantly, on a daily basis, and he's telling me to be quicker and things like that. I know that sometimes you get with those passing coaches and they try and change your techniques, but they don't know our system, so I just continue to do the things that are within our system and it's been helping thus far.  

Q: Have you talked to Adrian Peterson at all?

A: That's a situation that I'm sure Coach Zimmer will be more comfortable talking about. We have to continue to focus on the guys that are here. We love Adrian dearly, but like I said, we have to continue to focus on the guys that are here right now.

Q: Is it easier to be a leader on this team now that you're not a rookie anymore?

A: I believe so, because the guys kind of push you into that leadership role. I'm a young guy still on the team, but guys are pushing me forward to say something in the huddle, or break the team down, or break the offense down. That just gives you that confidence in yourself, confidence in your leadership and I've been extremely comfortable doing that so far.  

Q: Is the comfort level a lot higher now?

A: Yes, it's way higher. Not only because I have a year under my belt, but I know the guys on this team, even though we don't have all of the same guys on the team from last year, but for the most part, those guys are back. You talk about John Sullivan, Big Phil (Loadholt), Matt Kalil, Joe Berger, those guys up front, Brandon Fusco, those guys continue to give me confidence in myself to lead. 

Q: Is it no different for the offense without Adrian Peterson being here since he wasn't here for most of last year?

A: I don't know what it's like to play, or be on the field at the same time as Adrian, because I wasn't the starter, I wasn't in the starting role then. I can't even speak on what it's like to play with him. I know that the guys around here, they have nothing but great things to say about him.

Q: What will it be like when Adrian Peterson comes back?

A: We're going to accept Adrian with welcoming arms. We know what he means to this team. He's done some great things in the community here. He's done great things for this franchise and this organization. We can't wait to have him.  

Q: What's the process like for getting on the same page as Mike Wallace?

A: You just have to continue to put the time in. There are days where we stay behind and we complete passes, we work on routes that we may have ran in practice that day. Talk about Mike Wallace, he's over there on the Jugs Machine catching passes now. It's just putting in that little extra work that's going to help you do it that next day and it's just going to continue to help me.

Q: Is it nice to have some of the young, big additions to the offensive line?

A: Yes, you talk about size, Babs (Babatunde Aiyegbusi), he's a big guy, T.J. (Clemmings) also. I'm happy for those guys. I was in those guy's shoes last year. I know that their heads are spinning right now, but eventually everything is going to slow down and they're going to come right along.

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