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Zimmer Addresses The Media On Friday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

I think our team is excited to go have an opportunity to get back out on the field on Sunday and play. As everybody has always picked us to be underdogs, so we'll continue to fight and see if we can pull out on a win here on Sunday.

Q: Would you prefer to be favored?

A: Doesn't matter to me. I prefer to win however we have to do it.

Q: How did the cold indoor practice go?

A: It was good. The field was just about ready to go and it was good in a lot of spots, I just felt like we needed to just be careful until we get the other thing here, but it was good to get the temperature down in here and go from there.

Q: Do you feel like this team this week is about where they were when they broke for the bye week?

A: Well, this team hasn't changed from everything that we've done as far as practice-wise. I think we've had good preparation this week. The guys seem energetic and enthused. I've been in long enough to know that those are never indications of how you're going to play, but I think they have a good mindset going in.

Q: What happened with Jerick McKinnon being listed on the injury report yesterday?

A: Oh, he twinged his back just a little bit. He's fine. He practiced today, he's good.

*Q: Are you concerned at all about Sunday with him? *

A: No.

Q: How did Kyle Rudolph look today?

A: Okay, did alright, about the same as he has all week. 

Q: Do you have any concerns with Rudolph for Sunday?

A: I would expect he'll play.

Q: Will it maybe be a cool experience for you to go back to play at Chicago in your home state?

A: Well, I've been there a few times previously. No, I don't think so. I don't have anybody coming to the game or anything like that. I was a Bears fan growing up, spent a lot of time with Buddy Ryan and his defenses and growing up watching them, but the Vikings are my team now.

Q: Do you take anything from Buddy Ryan's defenses and incorporate into yours?

A: Yeah, anytime you're around great coaches and guys that in a lot of ways reinvented the game back then, in 1985, I think you always try to take some of it, whether it's the mentality that he had. I was fortunate enough to sit in some of their defenseive meetings. I had him come out when I was coaching at Webber State, I had him come out and do a clinic for us, sat down and had a couple of beers with him. I think you always try to learn from the guys that are really, really good.

Q: Do you bring up the fact that the Vikings haven't won in Chicago since 2007 in any of your team meetings?

A: No, they hadn't won a road game last year either, I don't think. It's a different team, but no, I have not brought it up. We talk about a lot of other things, but not that.

Q: What makes Soldier Field such a difficult place to play?

A: They've always been a good football team, that's the biggest thing. I don't know, we played them there the first game of the year last year (with Cincinnati) and they beat us, because we didn't do enough things right to win the ball game, but the weather was perfect. It's obvious that you can get some bad weather days there, I was in Dallas we played up there on a Monday night, but it was nice. 

Q: Is there any added importance in this game to keep your momentum out of the bye?

A: There's added importance in this game because it's this game, this week. It's a Division, it's an NFC game, all of those things are important that our team has to realize. The most important thing is that we do the correct things to win the football game. Tackling (Matt) Forte would be important, making sure that the guys up front, all of those things are probably more important.

Q:How do you walk the line with developing young players and dealing with some mistakes they may make?

A: Sometimes it's getting them to realize that it's about helping the team and not hurting the team. We always want to try and play young players if we can, but not at the risk of hurting our chances to win. I think that with these young guys, we will keep giving them opportunities to go and hopefully they can keep proving that they can be counted on when it's Sunday afternoon.

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