Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Presser Points: Zimmer Breaks Down Decisions to Keep, Waive Various Players

EAGAN, Minn. – Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer feels good about his 2019 roster.

Zimmer spoke to Twin Cities media members on Monday afternoon, two days after the Vikings roster was trimmed from 90 players down to 53.

"I think we have a good team. I think these guys have a chance to, if we go out and we play hard, we play smart, we play together as a team – it's going to be important that we do that – but I like this group of guys," Zimmer said. "I think they've got a chance to be really good. But, you know, we have to go out on the field and do it."

Now that the roster has been set, he can turn his focus from player evaluation to Minnesota's Week 1 contest against Atlanta on Sunday.

The head coach said he and his staff have switched from an offseason of installations to fine-tune for the Falcons, who will visit U.S. Bank Stadium for the season opener.

"You start becoming a little more tunnel-visioned as far as what you have to do in that game," Zimmer said. "[There are] a lot less installations, [and it's] more about game preparation, studying the opponent, trying to get ideas on how to stop them and how to gain yards."

View images of games between the Vikings and Falcons through the years.

Here are four other topics Zimmer covered during his podium session:

1. Running with 4 receivers

The Vikings have four wide receivers on the active roster – Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Chad Beebe and rookie Bisi Johnson – which is the fewest so far since Zimmer took the helm in 2014.

Zimmer did not rule out the possibility of adding an additional player to the position group, but he also explained the reasoning behind the current number.

"We possibly might add one, but the reason was we felt those were four guys who were worthy of the spot, and there were other spots where we felt like we needed other players [at different positions]," Zimmer said. "It always works that way. You try to keep the best 53 however it is, and you might be short at one spot and heavy in one."

He responded to a question specifically about waiving 2016 first-round pick Laquon Treadwell.

"He just didn't develop into what we thought he was going to be," Zimmer said. "Laquon's a great kid. I have a lot of respect for him. He's worked hard. He's had a lot of people doubting him, but he's a good kid, and I hope that he does well."

2. Decisions in the QB room

Minnesota has two quarterbacks on its active roster, starter Kirk Cousins and Sean Mannion, and signed rookie Jake Browning to its practice squad.

The Vikings parted ways with Kyle Sloter, who took most of the third-team reps throughout training camp.

"It was basically, we felt like Sean Mannion did a nice job in preseason," Zimmer said. "Part of it's about the quarterback room, about being able to do the things that the backup quarterback needs to do, so that was it."

3. Boyd earning a spot

Among 12 rookies who made the Vikings active roster was seventh-round selection Kris Boyd.

Zimmer pointed out that he didn't play much throughout training camp because he was fighting an injury and that "his first game was not very good," but Boyd made strides.

"After that, he played pretty well. Actually, in that game, after he got some game experience, he did better," Zimmer said. "I feel like he's got the ability to be a good corner sometime down the road maybe, but he's a guy that's asking a lot of questions.

"He needs to develop a little bit more confidence, I think. But that comes in time," he continued. "Most of these guys, they come in here, and they're playing really good receivers all the time, so it takes a little bit of time for them to get that experience. But he gets in and out of the cuts, he can run, he's big and strong. I think he did well in Buffalo."

4. Emphasis on offensive holding by officials

A media member brought up what seems to be a focus on offensive holding by NFL officials through the preseason, and Zimmer confirmed that the refs are "enforcing the rules" particularly in that area.

"Lately, guys [on the offensive line] are going around the back shoulders of guys, especially on the backside of runs … and they just come out there and they bear-hug the backside. It's against the rules," Zimmer explained. "So, I really think that they're emphasizing that a lot more.

"I think Rashod [Hill] got called for it on pass protection a couple times because he got his hands outside the framework," Zimmer added. "I think they're trying to clean that part up. Because honestly, if you watch the tape that we watched as coaches, it was really ugly."


NFL Kickoff | We Ready

The kickoff for #NFL100 is here and we only have two words - WE READY! Don't miss the season opener Green Bay Packers taking on the Chicago Bears on Thursday, September 9th at 7:20 PM CT