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Zulgad: Zimmer is Breath of Fresh Air Around the NFL



Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer held court for almost an hour Wednesday morning at the Annual League Meeting in Florida, covering topics such as recent free agent signings, his defense and expectations for next season. 

As normal, Zimmer didn't pull any punches and gave truthful answers, something the media has come to respect about him. 

Judd Zulgad of said he's realized that in a league full of bland answers, Zimmer is a breath of fresh air.

If Zimmer doesn't want to tell a reporter something, he won't, but he reveals far more information than most and his willingness to be candid is off the charts for someone who draws an NFL paycheck.

The fact Zimmer is different became clear in December, when he apologized to the media for lying about the fact cornerback Terence Newman was going to start at safety against Arizona. Most coaches would have taken pride in having gotten this type of misleading information past the media.

Zimmer said he was sorry.

Zimmer led the Vikings to an 11-5 record in 2015 as the franchise captured their first NFC North title since 2009.

Zulgad said expectations could be even higher going forward, something Zimmer is just fine with.

Zimmer is here to win games, not popularity contests with his bosses. Ultimately, Zimmer knows that success on the field will give him the ability to say what he wants when he wants.

What Zimmer wanted to say Wednesday was this: Vikings fans might have high expectations for 2016, but no one has higher expectations for this team than he does. And he was more than willing to tell anyone that who would listen.



Floyd has put emphasis on nutrition, health

A former first-round pick, Sharrif Floyd has found plenty of success on the football field since the Vikings selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 2013.

A key to Floyd's strong play has been an emphasis on healthy eating, a topic Mark Eckel recently dove into on

Eckel said Floyd now maintains a gluten-free diet and has cut out fast food such as Wendy's.

Floyd, entering his fourth NFL season with the Vikings, has taken to cooking more of his own meals, instead of dining out on a regular basis. He says he not only enjoys it, but he has seen the change it has made in his weight and performance.

Floyd said he keeps his weight around 280 pounds in the offseason.

There's no secret, Floyd said. It's just a matter of staying disciplined.

"There's no reason to get scientific about it. It's just food,'' the defensive tackle said. "Eat the right things. You know what's right. Eat a lot of greens more than anything else, I go for a lot of protein and stay away from the bad stuff.''

During the season Floyd, as most athletes, burns calories like crazy from the rigors of training camp and then the daily practices and the games. He still keeps his diet nutritional, but it's easier to maintain his weight from camp until the end of the season.

"Keep the proper diet and understand what your body likes and needs,'' he said. "It's not easy, because there is a lot of stuff out there that you know you want, but you know you can't have it. But it's not hard, you just have to be disciplined.''

Like driving around the Wendy's and not pulling through the drive through window.

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