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Zimmer Addresses The Media on Monday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

After looking at the tape, I don't feel a whole lot differently than I did yesterday. We did not play good enough defensively, we didn't get off of the field on 3rd downs, we didn't convert on 3rd downs. We kind of reverted back to some of the things we had done in the past, defensively, the things that we had to correct before, so we will have to start trying to re-correct, correct them again. I think the team was ready to play. We started out fast, we wanted to start out fast. We got up 10-0 and we didn't finish as good as we needed to. I don't think we ran the ball well enough, they were running some zone-blitzes to stop the running game some, the one long run that Jerick (McKinnon) had was a zone blitz that we blocked very well and then a couple others we missed a block here or there. We didn't play good enough to win.

Q: You cautioned coming out of the bye to stay focused, did you see any of that?

A: No. We practiced very well. None of that showed up in practice, they were enthusiastic, energetic, before the game they were like that. We started out the game, sometimes when we're not having the success that we expect to have, I think guys try to do a little bit too much sometimes and I think that's what happened yesterday. The two, first 3rd downs of the ball game, we missed tackles, which would have had them out. You start getting frustrated, you change some of the things because of what's going on as a signal caller, you start doing other things, like everybody else I was frustrated as well.

Q: What was the cause of the missed tackles?

A: They're good backs, too. But one we overran it, one the guy spun back on us, I mean those kind of things, but if we make the tackle there, which we have been pretty good in those situations, we make the tackle there, they're punting and everybody is feeling good about things, so it just kind of steam rolled after that for a little bit.

Q: Was there any mental mistakes that you're seeing from Teddy Bridgewater the last couple of games?

A: Mentally, he's actually pretty good. He's helping the receivers out, where they're supposed to be and where they're supposed to go. The things I thought he did good yesterday, I thought especially in the 2nd half, he moved in the pocket to allow things to develop down the field a little bit more, I thought that helped. Early in the game, we were talking to him about getting the ball out fairly quick and early in the game, there was a lot of times protection was good and he probably could have waited a little bit longer until something else developed before getting rid of the ball. It's kind of the feel as you go kind of thing. We went down there in the first drive, I believe it was, and kicked a field goal.

Q: Would you talk about Cordarrelle Patterson's progression as a receiver and are you disappointed?

A: I think Cordarrelle is a young, developing player that has been in his 3rd offense in three years, hasn't been a receiver for a long time, so we're going to continue to be patient with him and keep teaching him and keep working with him and try to get him to where he needs to be in all of those areas. He does some very, very good things and then some things you don't like as much. I don't think disappointed is the right word, I think youth might be the right word.* *

Q: What do you think the biggest thing holding Cordarrelle Patterson back is right now?

A: Just youth, just continually developing as a receiver, continually understanding all of the complexities, he's just a young guy, and with the 3rd offense, 2nd offense here and he was at Tennessee for a short amount of time as a receiver. Sometimes it takes time with young guys. I believe that's the case with him, I believe that he's going to be a really good player, but everybody is impatient, including me, I'm sure he is too. It will come, it will come. Norv (Turner) and I talk about these things a lot. It takes some guys longer than others just because. We talk about some of the guys that he's had as young players, he talks about other guys like that. It just may take a while.

Q: With a young team, how do you keep their focus at this point of the season?

A: Keep my thumb on them.

Q: Can you talk about the challenges of facing the Packers with their play as of late?

A: Well, they're good. They've got a lot of weapons. Defensively, they're playing well, too. They're doing a lot of good things, they've got a lot of good players. (Aaron) Rodgers is like one of those 3-point shooters, you get in a roll and you hit them from anywhere, that's kind of how he is right now, the way he's throwing the ball, he runs, he's got a great grasp of the offense of telling guys where to go. The receivers are doing a great job of being in the right place, they go up and catch the ball. (Eddie) Lacy is a big, physical, strong back and their offensive line is big and physical. And defensively, they're playing with a lot of confidence, they're using (Julius) Peppers in a lot of good ways, (Clay) Matthews, obviously and I think they're playing good in the secondary.

Q: Where do you think Aaron Rodgers ranks among NFL quarterbacks?

A: I don't know. I'm not going to rank them. He's good, he's really good.

Q: How did Kyle Rudolph come out of the game and was your plan to ease him back into it?

A: Yeah, he's feeling his way a little bit, still. He's got to let it loose a little bit more. We wanted to be careful with him, but on the same token, he needs to continue to feel good about where he's at and try to let it loose too.

*Q: Were Anthony Barr's missed tackles caused by alignment or poor form?  *

A: Just missed tackles. He had a couple of alignment errors yesterday but the missed tackles were more about over-running it or being in the wrong position but it wasn't alignments. 

*Q: Was Kyle Rudolph holding himself back a little yesterday? *

A: No, I don't think he was holding himself back. He was confident but I don't know if he was really confident, you know what I mean as far as, "Okay, I can go run this route as hard as I can run." Kyle is a great competitive kid that wants to please and do everything he can. If there's a chance that he's going to try to play, he's going to play regardless of if he's 99 percent or he's 88 percent. I think he needed to get back into it. He was a little bit rusty in my opinion. I think he just needs to get back into it more.

*Q: How did that affect having Chase Ford on the field for the last possession? *

A: Well a little bit. It wasn't so much about with Kyle but we've been practicing that two-minute drill with Chase in there quite a bit. 

*Q: Did the lack of a running game have anything to do with Jerick McKinnon's back? *

A: No. It wasn't so much that. They were making a conscious effort of run-blitzing in the gaps and if you hit them right, you are going to stop some things. When you do that, it opens up some other areas and we tried to hit some other areas.

*Q: Do you think telling Teddy to get the ball out quickly caused him to not look downfield as much?  *

A: No, I don't think it caused him to do that. We are always stressing to get the ball out quick so it wasn't that but he probably could have been more patient at times. What I thought he did as good as anything was there were a of couple of plays where he stepped up in the pocket and let the rush gets past and step up and found some guys downfield. I thought that was good.

Q: What adjustments have you made to maybe make Josh Robinson less vulnerable?

A: Well I'm not going to talk about what things I could have done but I could have done some things. I'm not going to tell you is what I'm saying because I don't want to tell the world. 

*Q: Are there any injury concerns with Greg Jennings or Jarius Wright? *

A: No, they seemed to be okay. We'll have to find out how they are during the week. 

Q: Were you one of the teams that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) checked out yesterday?  There were reports that they were checking teams for prescription drugs.

A: I did not see that report, I did hear about it. I'm not going to talk about if we were or we weren't but we are in good shape here. 

Q: Did you get any further explanation on the clock issues?

A: I did talk to the league today about it.

Q: What did they say?

A: They said there are a lot of things they need to look into and have protocol for in case a situation like that arises and things they'll discuss.

Q: Did the clock issues play a role in the lack of a running game in the fourth quarter?

A: No. The only time the clock was an issue really was in the last two minutes. The Bears beat us, okay, it wasn't the clocks. The Bears beat us. They performed better than we did. At the end of the day, at the two-minute drill, the clock became an issue because of not knowing how much time was left on the clock and Teddy thought at that point when he threw the interception, he thought the clock was down and he tried to make a play in the endzone. That's really the only time and it being a little disconcerting for the offense in the two-minute drill was the biggest issue. Now the Bears had the same thing. They could have had different changes. If they know it's a minute left in the game or 10 seconds left, they are going to make different calls as well. I'm not going to put it all on that but you've got a young quarterback running a two-minute drill and can't find anywhere in the place where there's how much time is left and so that is a little bit disconcerting but we didn't deserve to win the game regardless if we would have tied it up.

Q: Is there any satisfactory answer you could get from the league after something like that? Does it maybe make you feel a little better?

A: No, we talked about possible scenarios if this happens again. I guess the only thing they said was, and when there was a timeout they would come over and tell me how much time was left in the third quarter and stuff like that, which is fine, but they said it's virtually impossible to get the number of seconds on the clock in a two-minute drill. There are things that they are going to have to discuss in the offseason if that situation arises again. 

Q: How much time do you think Teddy thought was left when he threw the interception?

A: I didn't ask him what he thought he just thought it was down.

Q:Were you guys able to do anything to try and keep the time on your own?

A: No, honestly I didn't think of that.

Q: What more could Josh Robinson have done on some of those occasions where he was targeted?

A: Made the receiver restart a little bit, look back for the ball, play the route better. The guy made a great catch on the sideline, he went up and got it. That one doesn't bother me as much. The long ball that they threw for the touchdown, I believe it was the first touchdown, second touchdown, he shouldn't have been by himself. The third-and-6 when they are throwing that stop out there and the slant, those are ones we've got to make. That's part of the deal.

Q: Will that affect his confidence moving forward at all?

A: I don't know. You'd have to ask him.

Q: Last week the talk was if you win you get to .500 and then you have three straight home games. How do you reassess 4-6 and the playoffs being a long shot?

A: I think that was your talk last week when you talked about the three home games and getting to .500. All we were trying to do is play the Bears so all this week we're trying to do is play the Packers.

Q: Was it Jay Cutler just getting the ball out that limited the defensive lines sack production?

A: Some of it. He got the ball out quicker early in the game trying to keep us off rhythm. Some of it we didn't rush the correct way, which had been an issue in the past so we'll get back working on that.

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