Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
We had a good week of practice. I think the guys are focused on the New Orleans Saints and what we have to do to win the ball game. I like this team. It didn't show up last week, but I like this team. This team has not changed as far as their work ethic, the mentality, the things we are trying to do on all three phases of the game. It's going to be a great opportunity for us, a great test to go down there into the Superdome and play a heck of a football team. I expect our guys to go out and fight this week. As far as the Jerome Simpson thing, we're always going to make decisions based on the information that we have, number one, and number two we are always going to do what's best for the organization. Each situation will be handled on an individual basis.
Q: Was there something different about Jerome Simpson's situation?
A: We're always just going to do what we think is the best for the best interest of the organization. That's what we felt like we needed to do this time.
Q: What did you learn from this week with your players and coaching staff?
A: I don't know that you're ever prepared for all of things that happen, at least I wasn't. You deal with each one of them, you go on and you get back to work and keep going.
Q: Do you feel like depth at the wide receiver position becomes an issue now?
A: We're always going to keep looking, number one, for guys. Number two, each week somebody from the practice squad comes up and plays good. Every team, every week it happens. They're here because they are professional football players. We expect them to come out and play.
Q: Did the team borrow your iPod for practice this week?
A: No. I don't pick the music.
Q: Did you play music to help keep the guys loose?
A: We will keep that between us.
Q: Could you give us your take on the Commissioner's classes he's implementing and his press conference this afternoon?
A: Honestly, I just heard about the press conference as I was walking over here, so I don't really know anything about it.
Q: Is it good that you guys have to go through some extra classes?
A: I'm not going to say anything.
Q: Are you concerned that Matt Cassel might try to do too much without Adrian Peterson behind him?
A: I think after last week he realizes that we have to take care of the football. We can't be throwing the ball to the other team. We have to do a better job getting guys open. We've got to do a better job of getting open. I don't think that part of it is going to change. Guys go out and try to do what they can do. Every player gets into trouble when they try to do more than what's asked of them. There will be plays where he'll have opportunities and then plays where he has to check it down.
Q: With Chad Greenway out there today practicing, do you expect him to play on Sunday?
A: I don't know. We will see more on Sunday.
Q: What's the scariest part of playing Drew Brees?
A: Drew is a great competitor. He gets the ball out very quickly. They've got a lot of different formations, personnel groups, different things that they do. He throws the ball down the seams great. He throws the ball everywhere great. He's a heck of a quarterback, just like the one we played last week and the ones we are going to continue to play for a while. We're going have to be tight in coverage and we are going to have to make sure that we understand what he's trying to do.
Q: Professionally is this as difficult of a week as you've been through? How do you handle that?
A: Well my wife died in October five years ago. I know but I was still coaching football at the time. I've been through a lot of, being in the NFL for 21 years, you see a lot of different things. I try not to judge what is the most difficult. It's just the situation it is this week. Yeah, there was a lot of things that happened this week but it's a part of life.
*Q: Brian Billick and Jon Gruden said you are the right guy for this because you are tough minded and able to overcome adversity. How do you feel when you hear from those guys that you are the right guy to steer the Vikings? *
A: Well, honestly I haven't heard that but you know I just try and do the best job I can each and every day, each and every week. We try to think about this going forward for the long term of the organization, try and coach them as hard as we can and this isn't about me, it's about us and the team and how we continue to do things. Like I've said before, we're in the infancy stages of our program of trying to teach these guys what we're trying to teach them, the mindsets we're trying to give them and so you know it wouldn't look very good if I wasn't a tough guy too.
Q: How much time have you had to spend with the team talking about all of the different situations this week?
A: Not much. You know I've talked to him obviously, try to talk to him all the time about all situations but we move on and go to the game. I don't think we spent an inordinate amount of time this week than any other week. Obviously we spent more.
Q: How do you combat the noise that you'll hear in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome?
A: Well we've got to do a better job than we did last week at home. We had some false starts, missed snaps and things like that. We're just trying to get them to focus in and obviously it'll be a loud crowd, it's a loud place to play anyway and it's their first home game – all of those.
*Q: Did you consider having players wear ear plugs to combat the noise? *
A: No, we didn't consider it. I know that some teams have done that and I know that some of my coaching friends I've talked to them about those things. We need to focus on us really is what we have to do and what we need to accomplish.
Q: Do you expect Phil Loadholt and Sharrif Floyd to play?
*Q: What happened to Cordarrelle Patterson's chest? *
A: It's just something that we found. I think he was dealing with it a little bit but we just happened to find it. It's not a big deal.
*Q: Do you still have an open roster spot? *
A: We do.
*Q: Do you still plan to fill that by Sunday? *
A: I don't know by Sunday but we plan on making a move. We've got a list of everything that we're trying to accomplish and where we need to go and go from there.
Q: Do you plan on going into the game with an open roster spot?
A: We could. There's a possibility that we won't but we could.