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Zimmer Addresses The Media on Friday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

We're excited to finish up our preparations and get going on the Jets. This weekend, get in front of our home fans again, should be good weather for the ball game so we ought to have quite a few people out there cheering us on. They really do present a lot of problems with all the different things they do offensively, the physicality they have on defense. This will be a great challenge for us and I'm excited to see us go out and play well.

Q: Why did you choose to practice inside this week, even today?

A: The last two days, the field wasn't ready and today, there are only two people that we'll go inside with the doors closed for and that's Teddy (Bridgewater) and me. And I'm a little under the weather today, so that's the real reason.

Q: Were you encouraged with how they handled the cold weather last week after practicing inside?

A: Actually, we do a temperature reading on the sidelines and last weekend it was 20 degrees warmer on our sideline than it was on the Carolina sideline and the past three games, one was a 17 degree difference, one was a 15 degree difference and this last week was 20. The players thanked me for being on that side a couple of times.

Q: When you decided to switch to that sideline did you think the difference would be that drastic?

A: We knew it would be big, because we did the temperature study, the sun, the wind, the whole bit. I'd be lying if I said I knew it was going to be 20 degrees, but we did know it was going to be better on that sideline.

Q: Can this be something to make other teams weary when they come to Minnesota?

A: Hope so.

Q: Is that a mental advantage?

A: It's pretty cold, too. I mean 20 degrees is 20 degrees.

Q: How are you feeling about Anthony Barr and Jerick McKinnon's status this weekend?

A: We'll list the report here afterwards, good try though.

Q: Do you see any chance of Anthony Barr playing?

A: We'll list the report afterwards. You'll see it here in a minute.

Q: Does the fact that Jerick McKinnon has been out a couple of weeks make it more difficult for him to play this weekend?

A: You'll see it in a minute.

Q: If Anthony Barr couldn't play or was limited do you see Audie Cole as a possible replacement?

A: I don't think that, no.

Q: Who would be the replacement?

A: Probably Gerald Hodges.

Q: What have you seen out of Gerald Hodges?

A: I think he's been doing a good job. He came in last week some when Anthony (Barr) went out. He continues to study hard and practice hard. He's had a good attitude. He's a good fast-twitch athlete that has some strength to him.

Q: Is there much difference between filling in for Anthony Barr's position and Chad Greenway's position?

A: The one thing with linebackers in this league, if you're a backup linebacker, you have to play all of the different positions because of what happens on game day. You might five linebackers, you might have six and if something happens you have to be prepared to go in at any position. They're all similar, but they're a little different, too.

Q: Beyond just the statistical improvement for Teddy Bridgewater, what part of his game has he made the most progress in the last month?

A: I believe it's probably movement in the pocket. I think he's avoided the rush really good in a lot of different ways the last four or five weeks. He's using his legs more. He really looks like he's getting stronger throwing the ball, to me. Even in practice, like today. He's really accurate. In practice he maybe misses two balls a day. I go back and think about the quarterbacks throughout my career that I've been around, you watch them practice and they miss two balls a day, that's pretty good. That's about what he does, every day. I think today he missed three, but that's about what he is. He's about a two-misser a day. We're going to get him to zero pretty soon.

Q: Is getting stronger throughout the season typical for a quarterback?

A: I think he's continuing to throw, his timing is better. I've said this before, I think our whole team is getting stronger now, because of what we're doing in the weight room and things that the coaches are doing. All of our strength numbers have increased throughout the season. I think that's a little bit of a part of it, too.

Q: Would you anticipate the same running back rotation you had last week?

A: Yes.

Q: Could you elaborate?

A: I would assume that we use all three running backs, yes.

Q: You mentioned Cordarrelle Patterson has had a good week of practice, what has stood out?

A: Depth of his routes, the speed of his routes, his alignments. He's had a good week.

Q: Just more precise?

A: Everything, yeah.

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