Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
After watching the tape this morning, I really don't feel too much different than I did last night. I think that we did not play well in all three phases and sometimes when things get out of hand like that, it looks a lot worse. We have to keep grinding and try to get this football team better. I've said all along that we are still in the infancy stages of the program and we still have 11 games left.
Q: What did the tape show about Christian Ponder's performance?
A: It's pretty much the same as what you saw. He had some good plays and he had some bad plays. The one interception he had, the ball was tipped. The other interception was a bad throw. He wasn't alone. There was a bunch of people in that pot last night.
Q: What did you try and get across to the team when you talked to them today?
A: That that performance is not acceptable.
Q: It seems like players don't trust what they are being told to do in the run defense, have you seen that it takes a while to teach a new system and get rid of old habits?
A: I guess it takes them a while, I don't know. I watched the tape with them this morning, as well. There's nothing more disheartening as a coach than for you to get manhandled up-front. To be in the wrong gaps, to have people running the ball at you, it's just disheartening. I think when I was in Dallas, my first year as a coordinator, we were like 30th or something in the Leauge in rush defense and I said, "Never again." I guess that's where that all stems from.
Q: Is the rush defense a result of players playing for themselves?
A: There was a lot of freelancing, a lot of guys in the wrong place.
Q: Is that what frustrates you most when you look at your defense through five games?
A: Yeah. That's what frustrates me the most. It's disappointing.
Q: Would you considered making personnel changes?
A: I consider everything right now.
Q: Brian Robison was outspoken about some of the player's efforts after you got behind in the game, did you see that?
A: I respect Brian's opinion, but when I watched the tape I didn't see that, no. I looked for it hard. I looked at the offensive tape. I looked if the receivers were running hard. I looked at the special teams, if we were going hard. Defensively, I think what he's talking about was more of a, lost the fire, maybe a little bit. I don't think that there was any non-trying.
Q: When you look at the run defense what stands out as the biggest issue?
A: Guys not doing their job, basically. It's pretty simple.
Q: How is Harrison Smith doing this morning?
A: I don't know. He's got a little ankle. I'm not going to worry about next week yet.
Q: Do you think Harrison Smith will play next Sunday?
Q: Did he have X-rays done?
A: I think he had an MRI.
Q: Did it show anything significant?
A: (Shakes head no.)
Q: How is Cordarrelle Patterson today?
A: He should be fine.
Q: Is Cordarrelle Patteron's lack of production on the coaching staff or on him to get open, or a combination of both things?
A: It's a little of both. We need to get him more involved than what we are. Actually, I thought he did some good things last night. He didn't, obviously, catch as many balls as we would have liked or anything like that. I thought he improved in being a receiver last night.
Q: Are defenses accounting for Cordarrelle Patterson more than they did last year?
A: Some. A little bit.
Q: What do you differently with 10 days of preparation for your next game vs. 4 days?
A: We're going to start looking at some of the things we do offensively, defensively and special teams and kind of evaluate where we are at. What's good and what's bad. Try to get a little quick self-scout.
Q: Did you plan to do that coming into the season or is that a product of where you are at now record-wise?
A: Yeah, I planned on it. We are only 2-3, it's not like we are 0-5. It feels like it today, but it will come up. Trust me; the sun will come up again.
Q: Do you attribute the Packers' strong rushing performance to what Green Bay was able to do with its offensive line?
A: I feel like we did not get off of blocks very well. I feel like we weren't in the proper position a lot of times. Whether you credit that to Green Bay or you credit it to us, it's the same.
Q: Do you expect Teddy Bridgewater to be okay for the next game?
A: I do.
Q: How do you think Robert Blanton has performed this year?
A: He can be better.
Q: Can you give us a synopsis of what your halftime speech was like, what were you trying to get across to the team after the first half?
A: Quit messing around, basically.
Q: Was messing around your sense of what happened in the first half?
A: No, I can't say what I said. Yeah, we need to suck it up and let's go.
Q: Do you feel as a head coach you had more freedom to do some of that stuff or did you do it as a defensive coordinator too?
A: Well, I say it to both sides now.
Q: Would you have said the same thing in Cincinnati?
A: Yeah, I wouldn't have said it to the offense in Cincinnati, but I would have said it to the defense, yes.