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Zimmer Addresses The Media on Monday

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

It was a good win yesterday. I never ever want to take for granted a win; I know how hard it is to get wins in this league, but I am trying to develop a mentality here of a championship football team. I want our performances to be good and strong each and every week and so that was really my frustration after the ball game but I do appreciate how hard our guys fought. There were a lot of times in the ball game where things weren't going good and we could have allowed them to scored, allowed them to win the football game and we hung in there and kept fighting and that's one thing this team has is a lot of heart and a lot of fight. We just have to clean up some mistakes and just keep trying to pound the mentality that I want these guys to have each and every week so that we can eventually grow to where I want us to get to.

*Q: Did you appreciate the win a little bit more after watching film? *

A: I appreciate the win. I appreciate the effort that our guys gave. Like I said, the fourth quarter, we played a lot better in the fourth quarter than we did in the second and third I thought. There were times on the sideline that guys were frustrated and could have fallen back into a woe-is-me kind of a deal but we didn't do that, we kept fighting and I think that's why we were able to win the football game.

Q: What would it mean to you to get a win this week and move back to .500?

A: It would mean I'd be an average coach. It doesn't really mean anything to me right now. I just want to get focused on the Lions and really what we have to improve more so than them even right at this point where we can get to that. I think this team, through all of the things that we've had to overcome throughout the course of the season, it shows some resiliency, it shows some intestinal fortitude that we've been able to establish and trying to continue to get this thing going in the right direction.

Q: What went through the process of determining to put Jerick McKinnon on injured reserve?

A: We'll he's going to be out for two months so he probably wasn't going to be ready to go.   

*Q: Did you guys just wait a few weeks to see if anything would be better? *

A: Well it had been bothering him for a little while and he did come back and play a couple of games and then the two weeks and we just decided that it was time, it needed to be fixed, and we just couldn't prolong it any further.  

Q: What is going to be done that will keep him out for two months?

A: Well he has already had it done. It was a procedure on his back.

*Q: Do you think that Anthony Barr could possibly go on injured reserve? *

A: I don't think that's a possibility.

Q: Are you interested in seeing more of Joe Banyard and has he done something to put himself in a position to not get more playing time?

A:  No and he's not. He'll probably get some more carries. I think Matt (Asiata) probably had a few too many carries. We'd like to get Ben (Tate III) a few more carries this week as well so we'll see. Sometimes you just get in the flow of games and things happen. Unless you pre-script it and say, "This series and this series," sometimes that's just the way it goes. Matt probably got a few too many and those other guys probably got a few too less.

Q: What did you see on film of the pass coverage?

A: We were not good with our eyes a lot of the times, looking in the backfield, not being in the right position, techniques and then we made some mistakes too. I probably could have done a better job this week of emphasizing those things.

*Q: Is it time to possibly rest Sharrif Floyd or do you think he'll be good to go? *

A: I don't know, we'll see how he goes. He feels better. Last week he felt better than he did the week before so we'll just see how it goes this week.

Q: How can you improve Shamar Stephen as a pass rusher?

A: Players that have a specialty in one area for them to take the next step takes a little bit of time and understanding those things and I don't know that in these next three weeks he's going to develop into a really good pass rusher but I do have hopes for him in the future. A lot of times these defensive lines, honestly, I had one coach tell me it takes three years before the guys really show what they can do because there are so many things that go on in professional football as a defensive lineman. It's not just run up the field and don't play the run or don't do this or do that. Sometimes it takes a little while.

Q: Is Robert Blanton going to be hard pressed to play on Sunday?

A: I don't know. He had an MRI today. From what I can remember I don't think it was real serious.   

*Q: What can a game like yesterday do for Jarius Wright? He said he was cuddling the game ball at home. *

A: I heard he was going to take it home last night as well. He might have showered with it. It's just great him for him because he works real hard. I think he continues to get better each week. He's got a lot of speed and I think someone in here asked me at the beginning of the year we had one receiver that's caught balls in NFL games or something, that's why these guys come in and play and they get these opportunities to show what they can do. Those are the kind of success stories you like to have – guys when they get the opportunity and he made a great run on it and we did a good job blocking it. Teddy did a nice audible with it too but he made a guy miss and from there it was pretty much to the house. He had a nice run on that reverse as well. It's great for him.

Q: Can you describe how you have success running reverses and also how you have success in stopping opponent's reverses?

A: As far as us running the reverses, I think when you find these teams that are flowing real hard and really, two of the reverses Teddy (Bridgewater) has made really good blocks on that have allowed the guys to get there. And then also, we've done a good job of sealing the side and then (John) Sullivan's gotten downfield pretty good on both of them. As far as stopping the reverse, it's really just being in the right place and guys understanding what they're supposed to do.

Q: What do you think limited the offense's ability to score points in the second half?

A: I think we missed two field goals, so there's six points. I don't know off the top of my head, I've already moved on to Detroit, I'm sorry. I could probably say we didn't convert on third downs or something, but it's hard for me to remember right now.

Q: Did you get any clarity on Charlie Johnson's injury?

A: He's got an ankle sprain.

Q: Do you think he will be able to practice this week?

A: I don't know.

Q: When it comes to getting this team to where you want it to be, how important is getting that first divisional win?

A: Well, it's important that we win. In order to get to where we want to get to, we've got to win games in the division. That's important because these are the people we have to play twice a year and the people that we're trying to beat and trying to get to their level, and so it's important. It's going to be a tough test. They're a very good football team. They've got a lot skill and they're playing very well and very confident right now.

Q: What have you tried to preach to Josh Robinson through his ups and downs this season?

A: A lot of it is technique, he lets his technique slide and then some of it is, when things aren't going good for you, you have to burr up and fight the demons a little bit. You've got to get in there and compete. So, some of it's a little lack of confidence I think, when things struggle for him. He has all of the ability to do it, just whether or not he can muster up when it's time to go.

Q: How do you asses his play on the Percy Harvin touchdown?

A: He was bad off the line of scrimmage, he put himself in bad position early and then he wasn't able to locate the ball in the air.

Q: Aside from the pick-six what was your evaluation of Gerald Hodges?

A: I thought he played good. I've said this before, he's got some physicality to him, he gets off of blocks good, tackles good. Like every position, there's always going to be plays you want to be better, but I thought Gerald, throughout the course of the year, when he's in there, he's been doing good.

Q: In what way are you trying to mold him and trying to get him consistent?

A: Just being disciplined. A lot of what we do defensively is having trust in everybody around. Trust that I'm going to be here, and this guy's going to be there, and this guy is going to do his job. Most of the time, he does do that. It's just developing the trust that he's going to do it more consistently than what he's doing. I think he understands that. 

Q: You're the first ever team that was displaced to have a better record in their temporary home than they did the previous year, what are some of the keys in that?

A: I honestly don't know. I think teams that do things right, usually win football games and it doesn't matter really where you play. I think our fans have been really good. I think that the people here, the management and the university have done a good job of making us feel at home. I know I feel like that's our stadium now. I feel that the way that the staff here has tried to make the locker room exactly how we want it to be for the Vikings that day. These guys have all worked tirelessly since they knew this was going to happen, a long, long time and they've done a great job in that and it's a great stadium, to be honest with you. I guess a combination of both. We've won some games at the end.


Q: What did you focus on in adjusting Teddy Bridgewater's throwing mechanics?

A: He was dropping the ball just a little bit. It wasn't anything major. He was dropping the ball a little bit.

Q: What significance does that have?

A: If you're dropping it down, the trajectory is coming out a little bit higher. I think that's why he was overthrowing some of the balls.

Q: What's your philosophy on Victory Monday?

A: Each week is different. Honestly, for me, a little bit of how they play. A little bit of what we want to get accomplished on Monday. And I wanted to talk to them again after I'd had my 10-minute calm-down period. I wanted to talk them again about my expectations and where we want to go and how we want to get there. I made a promise to them that if they won last week, that we'd change the schedule this week, so I did that. But I didn't promise them that they'd have Monday off. I'm always going to stick to my promises with them. I just felt it was important we get in and watch the tape, I get a chance to talk to them and if we win next week, maybe I'll give them off, I don't know. I kind of decide that, sometimes, in the fourth quarter. Against Carolina I decided it in the fourth quarter, because I knew we had that one done. In this one, I kind of decided it in my 10-minute cool-off period.

Q: Did you need more than 10 minutes?

A: I don't know, you'd have to ask the players that.

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