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Zimmer Addresses The Media on Friday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

We're ready to get back to the University of Minnesota and get in front of our home fans and try to get a win. I think our team has had a good week of preparation and I think it should be a good test. They've got a very good defense and a bunch of playmakers offensively.

Q: Did you get a chance to get outside and practice at all yesterday?

A: We did not.

Q: What did you do yesterday?

A: Practiced.

Q: A full practice?

A: (Nods in agreement)

Q: What's the status of Jerick McKinnon?

A: We'll list him afterwards, you all will get it.

Q: Is it a concern with his lower back?

A: I don't know. I don't know that it's a concern.

Q: How comfortable are you with Ben Tate III?

A: If he's up and he's active, then we're comfortable with him.

Q: If you're without Jerick McKinnon, would Joe Banyard get a larger role than last week?

A: Possibly. We've got three backs, we're going to dress three backs, four backs, so we will see.

Q: What did you see from Joe Banyard that you liked last week?

A: Well, he made plays. He extended drives, he caught the ball and extended drives and made plays. I thought he showed some juice getting to the perimeter a couple of plays and was explosive hitting holes.

Q: Did Joe Banyard show you anything you weren't expecting with his performance?

A: That's kind of how he was in the preseason, he just hasn't really had the opportunities. He will continue to get opportunities and hopefully he will continue to showcase his abilities?

Q: Do you feel pretty good with some of the other injured players that were able to practice some?

A: (Nods in agreement) I'm sorry, I know you got to ask, but I just get tired of talking about the injuries, because I just think it doesn't do us any good to talk about them, doesn't do me any good to talk about the injuries, so I'm on a pet-peeve right now.

Q: Have you guys thought about going back to no-huddle with Teddy Bridgewater and what are the benefits and negatives?

A: Well we do. There are a lot of times when we go on the ball three or four plays in a row. We just try to change the tempo all of the time with the defenses. We'll continue to do that as well. It's not all no-huddle. There are times when we want to make sure we get the calls in the right way and there's some no-huddle deal too. We've been doing it in every game really.* *

Q: How do you dictate when to do that?

A: We tell him in the headset, we tell him. 

Q: What is your process in determining when to do it?

A: Well a lot of it is how fast the defense is getting their signals in, how they're communicating. Sometimes it's after a couple of plays where you've caught them off guard a little bit, sometimes it's just trying to change the tempo. There are several reasons that we do it but it's real simple how we do it. It's not complicated.  

*Q: What have you seen from Carolina's offensive line with their injuries? *

A: They have but they do a good job, in my opinion they do a good job, of changing the protections probably more so than anybody this year, the different type of protections you get – the two-back protections, Mike protections, slide protections – they've got quite a few. I think they're doing good things with their offensive line and I know they've had some injuries in there but they seem to battle pretty good. I think [Cam] Newton helps in some of his mobility too, some of the things he can do. 

Q: How much does it help to have had Mike Remmers in here and see what he can do now that he's starting for them this week?

A: I don't know that it gives us an advantage. I know our guys have gone up against him a few times. He knows our guys too. It's always a two-way street. 

Q: Are you including Jerome Felton when you said you'd dress four backs?

A: Yes.

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