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Zimmer Addresses The Media on Monday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

*After reviewing the tape, I was disappointed in the way we started, especially defensively. It's hard to overcome a start like that, especially against a good team on the road. We did settle down in there, and I thought at times played well. We're still not doing enough smart things to win football games. That's disappointing because I believe in this football team. We do too many good things, right, to be doing some of the things we do, but we're not good enough to get away with it. It's a good learning experience in that way. We're going to keep grinding and go from there. *

Q: Injury updates on Kyle Rudolph, Brandon Fusco, Chad Greenway and Matt Cassel?

A: Rudolph is going to see Dr. Meyers tomorrow in Philadelphia, he's got a core injury. Fusco has got a pectoral injury, he's getting a second opinion. Obviously, Cassel has got a foot fracture and then Greenway has got a broken rib.

Q: Is Chad Greenway going to be able to play through that?

A: Not like he did this week.

Q: Do you have a time frame for Kyle Rudolph and Matt Cassel?

A: I don't know yet. Cassel is going on Thursday to see a foot specialist, so we will know more that time and Rudolph we'll know more probably tomorrow afternoon.

Q: Does Kyle Rudolph have a surgery already scheduled?

A: We don't know that he has to have surgery, yet. He's going to get looked at.

Q: Any update on Josh Robinson's hamstring injury?

A: He's got a hamstring. I don't know where he's at.

Q: Do you feel like you have enough depth on the roster to handle all of these injuries?

A: I think that you never plan on having as many injuries as we have. We're not going to make excuses about it. I still believe that the best team, the guys that play together, play the hardest, and make the fewest mistakes will win. Part of our expectation level is the guy that comes in, has to come in and perform like he's supposed to. Our expectation level doesn't change because of injuries.

Q: What was behind Tom Johnson starting over Sharrif Floyd?

A: It was a personnel group thing. Because he's (Floyd) been dealing with his shoulder a little bit we had him in certain personnel groups. And really you guys should never take who starts the game – a lot of times it's based on who the offensive personnel is and same thing offensively. We're always going to try to do what's best. Guys may not start because of those reasons. 

Q: How much has the shoulder injury limited Sharrif Floyd?

A: He was better last week.  I mean, this week, as opposed to the week before, I think he will continue to get better.

Q: You mentioned Chad Greenway not being able to play like he did yesterday, was he not able to do what he needed to do because of the injuries?

A: He had a hard game yesterday. It's my fault. He didn't practice all week and then we weren't sure and thought he could go, so that was my mistake. He probably shouldn't have went last week.

Q: What were your impressions of Gerald Hodges and the reps he got?

A: I thought he did some good things. He got most of the reps in practice this week, so he did some good things. We have got to continue to get him going. He's got a lot of athletic ability. I need to make sure he stays on his P's and Q's as far as being disciplined and doing the right thing every play.

Q: If Kyle Rudolph is out for an extended amount of time, do you have enough depth on the roster to compensate with your different personnel packages?

A: We're still evaluating that. We're talking about all of those scenarios that goes on. We will see. We're hopeful with Kyle, so we will see, but we do have Plan B's going on, as we do every week. 

Q: After watching the tape is there anything new you saw on film from Teddy Bridgewater?

A: Not really. I think he extended plays with his feet. I was very impressed with his composure. He made some great throws. He threw a nice throw to Cordarrelle (Patterson) on the sideline. He made a great throw to (Greg) Jennings to get us into field position, there. He checked the ball to (Matt) Asiata one time. He did some real good things and extended some plays. He had a couple of good scrambles. I think his mobility will maybe keep some defenses honest a little bit. We have just got to keep going forward with him.

Q: Were you surprised how he handled being thrown into the situation that he was?

A: I think he's a pretty composed individual, anyway. He always has been around here. Nothing really flusters him. He's always been great in the blitz period, the two-minute period, all of the pressure situations that we have him in. And obviously, that's a tough situation to go into, when you're down 13, on the road, against a good football team in the Superdome. He handled that very well. We're looking forward to getting him here at home, in front of our fans. I think that situation will help him some more. The kid has all of the talent in the world. He's smart, he's tough, he's a quick thinker and makes quick decisions, quick with his feet, quick with his drops. I'm excited about watching him, especially at home with our fans.

Q: Were you impressed with the way Teddy Bridgewater handled the situation? Or did you expect that when you scouted him and this isn't a great surprise?

A: No, I wasn't real surprised. This is who he is for the most part. This is kind of what I anticipated.

Q: Could you guys sign another quarterback?

A: Possible. Yeah, possible. We'll see. We'll see what the extent of Matt's (Cassel) injury is and how long he'll be out and we'll figure it out then.

Q: How important is it to have a good running game with a rookie quarterback?

A: Offensively, number one we've got to score more points. We've scored seven and nine the last two weeks, so that's not good enough. It's hard enough to win in the NFL scoring that few of points. Number two, we've got to run the ball better than what we did. Number three, we've got to get open better than what we did and then when they are open we've got to hit the guys. It's kind of a quadruple situation there.

Q: Have you looked at maybe using different personnel at running back, maybe giving Jerick McKinnon or Joe Banyard a chance?

A: We're looking at everything. We have to figure out ways to be a little bit more explosive in the running game. That may be by setting it up with the pass. It's things that Norv (Turner) and I have already talked about quite a bit this morning and we'll continue to go. Part of our job as coaches is to evaluate our personnel, evaluate their personnel and then kind of figure out how can we do things to help the guys that we have. Sometimes it's personnel, sometimes it's plays, sometimes it's just trying to get the other team in certain situations.

Q: Do you think you guys struggled to get running backs out on the edge yesterday?

A: No, I don't think that we're limited that way. There were some holes in there that we had five and six yards that we probably could have had eight to 10 yards. I don't know that we're going to get the 50-yard runs that you're used to seeing. We've got to make sure that we get all the yardage that we leave out on the field and that's in a number of different areas.

Q: Do you have any concerns about the offensive line with run blocking or pass protection issues?

A: We don't want to get the quarterback hit. We got him a few times, so we've got to do a better job there. I don't think it's any secret, I'm not saying anything to you that I haven't said to our football team in areas that we have to get better at, and that's part of it too. I think Teddy extended some plays with his feet. There was a couple of times that we were too aggressive in the offensive line and it cost us a little bit. The Saints changed some things up, too. That happens every week.

Q: What has been the biggest problem for Matt Kalil through three games?

A: He allows one play to affect the second play, sometimes. He needs to be like a cornerback sometimes – have a little short memory, forget it, let's go.

Q: If Chad Greenway isn't able to go, who handles making the calls on the field?

A: We've already worked on that last week, so we'll hold that between us for right now.

Q: What did you think of the performance by the linebackers yesterday?

A: I think we're average, average. Defensively we were pretty much average all day. We can play a lot better than that. That group, no different than any other group.

Q: Is it all mental with Matt Kalil?

A: He's got all of the physical tools to do it. I'm not saying it's mental, but I just think that sometimes when he has a bad play and it's like the golfer when he misses the putt and then he goes up on the tee box and hits a bad drive. We're all going to have bad plays. He has enough athletic ability and physical skills and mental toughness, he has all of those things. Now he can't compound it. It's like the quarterback; you can't compound it by making another mistake.

*Q: Are there things that Matt Cassel could do that Teddy Bridgewater can't? And how does that change your approach? *

A: I don't think Teddy cannot do anything that Matt did. I think Teddy can do a few more things than Matt could do at some point in time. Obviously, we're going to change some because of who is taking the snaps because we're trying to do what he's doing better and things that he can do better.

*Q: What needs to happen for you guys to improve in the redzone? *

A: We had a couple of guys open and we didn't get them the football. When we've got them open we need to hit them. I think that is the biggest thing. We had a couple of situations where there were three times where we had shots at touchdowns and something happened to get us out of there. We had guys open and threw the ball the other place or the quarterback got pushed off of it too soon because of pressure. It's staying with the play a little bit longer, continuing to work to get open. I don't see it being a problem, yet. I know we didn't score many points last week but that was a little bit different, I think. This week we had the three field goals. We've got to start scoring some touchdowns.

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