Hey gang. As you all know, one of the things I like to do is have some fun with the Vikings press conferences, using a technique I like to call Rickspeak. What is Rickspeak? It's taking what general manager Rick Spielman says at a press conference, and accurately interpreting it so it's easily understood.
Rickspeak really isn't a way of speaking so much as it is an ethos, a way of life, or a way to look at life through a different lens, if you will. Rickspeak, if done correctly, will make you grow three inches (to your height, you gutter minded idiots)*, lose your bald spot**, and be the life of the tailgate party.***
*It really doesn't do that.
**Nope, not that, either.
***You might be able to pull this one off, but that means you're drunk, not an expert in Rickspeak.
But Mike Zimmer, the Vikings head coach, isn't as schooled in the ways of Rickspeak as is the Rickmaster himself. Zimmer is a more direct, blunt, and straightforward man, a football philospher warrior poet...Zim Tzu, if you will. His words are measured, direct, and impactful. In other words, when Mike Zimmer speaks, you best listen, and take heed.
So with that in mind, welcome to our new, weekly feature, Your Moment Of Zim. What we'll do is take a look at the head coach's weekly press conference, and make sure that what he says is accurately interpreted into meaningful philosophical nuggets you can use in your everyday life. And, just like Rickspeak, what Zim Tzu says will be in block quotes, and what his underlying philosophy really is will be interpreted by me.*
*This is just like Rickspeak, in that I have no idea what the hell I'm doing, or what Zimmer might or might not actually mean. I just hope you laugh once or twice.
Zim Tzu Speaks: Well, after watching the tape I thought we did some very good things.
Zim Tzu Means: Watch the tape? Really, did you just say that? AND YOU SAW SOME GOOD THINGS?
//curls into fetal position, sucks thumb
//rocks back and forth
//says over and over it'll be okay, it'll be okay
//looks up score again
Oh wait, the Vikings won 34-6 and kicked the crap out of the Rams, and they actually did A LOT of good things. Please don't ever say this when the Vikings are on the wrong end of a 34-6 score, okay Zim Tzu? Cool.
Zim Tzu Speaks: It was a good win for our program, the development of where we are. I think it was important for our team to try and build some confidence in what we're trying to accomplish. Clearly there were many, many things that we have to clean up in order to be a good football team or to where my expectation level is and hopefully the team's expectation level.
Zim Tzu means: Minnesota roads are not constructed in a day, and there are many traffic jams on the road of life. But off on the side of the road, you may see something that looks like roadkill. That is the St. Louis Rams.
Zim Tzu Speaks: But it was a good start and we look forward to trying to build upon what we've done and, like I told the team this morning, we have to keep grinding, we've got so many things that we have to work on, so many areas but we were, I think, we were a tough-minded, aggressive, tough, physical football team.
Zim Tzu means: As we crush our past into dust, we look forward to new things, like food offerings at the Minnesota State Fair. I enjoyed the deep fried batter on a stick almost as much as I enjoy watching this team develop into a group of well paid ass kickers.
Question for Zim Tzu: How happy were you with the tackling yesterday? It seemed like there weren't many missed tackles. What did the film show?
Zim Tzu Speaks: It was pretty good. We had a couple here and there, a couple in space, but for the most part, when we were in space we tackled efficiently. Usually when you're in proper position, you know where your help is and you tend to tackle better. That's one of the most important things about being a good defensive football team. All of the great defensive teams in the NFL always tackle very, very well. We missed some but we made our share, too.
Zim Tzu Means: Tackling is like the Minnesota winter; it envelops you like a cold embrace. To hell with that, when our guys tackle you I want you to feel like you've been punched in the uvula. With a tire iron. Twice. We're not there yet, but we're getting there. I estimate our ETA to 'there' at about 12:10 Sunday. Where is 'there'? If I have anyhing to say about it, it will be in Tom Brady's uvula.
Question for Zim Tzu: With an undefeated preseason and a resounding win yesterday, do you think this team can turn some people's heads?
Zim Tzu Speaks: I don't really worry too much about what other people think. I just watch how these guys practice, how they play, how they prepare. Our whole focus is about us getting better, not really about what people think about us, other than what I've said about our fans. I hope they like how we play, like how we prepare, but our focus is really on us all the time and how we can get better each and every day.
Zim Tzu Means: Much like the beauty in a flower turns your head and can take your breath away, so did our game on Sunday. And although we still haven't really been noticed, I think we will be when we rip off someone's head, kind of like you could those old G.I. Joe dolls you played with when you were a kid. But that wasn't even the coolest thing about it, it was the Kung Fu grip feature. Out your little seven year old finger in that and it HURT, MAN.
But whether it's popping off the head of the GI Joe doll or squeezing the life out of someone with the Kung Fu grip feature, when we do it we'll be noticed then, won't we, hotshot?
Question For Zim Tzu: You seem to be preaching caution right now. Do you sense that the players already had not gotten too high and were focused in?
Zim Tzu Speaks: I'm not trying to preach caution whatsoever, I'm just trying to be realistic. This is one game out of 16, 15 now, and I know what we have to do to be a good football team. I think I'm trying to teach our players what we have to do to be a good football team. It's not about caution, I understand that we haven't lost in the preseason and like I've said before, it's so much, to me, about the process about how we accomplish things, not so much what the record is at this particular point in time. There will be plenty of time as we keep playing these games that people will talk about the records and this is just one week and preseason was the preseason so we're just on to a different venue really. The schedule, as everybody has pointed out, it's a little different deal going this week.
Zim Tzu Means: The longest journey begins with the first step. If this team gets too cocky or out of line, they'll have a pretty tough time walking with my foot up their ass. Also, the Rams kinda suck, and the Patriots are coming to town. We'll be ready.
Question for Zim Tzu: Was there anything in particular that led to some of the mistakes such as the penalties and miscommunication on the snaps? Was it nerves? Was it the noise?
Zim Tzu Speaks: I don't think it was so much the noise because we've been practicing pretty efficiently in the noise. We haven't had many penalties in practice. It's hard to put my finger on it from what happened yesterday but we had way, way too many. We probably need to continue to do a better job coaching and what is the penalties and they had their fair share too. It's like everything else, we just have to keep coaching it better and players have to understand what their role is in this part too. The communication problem really was just truly a miscommunication.
Zim Tzu Means: All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. That said, deception doesn't mean shooting ourselves in the foot, fergodsakes. This week it will be impossible for them to do that anyway, as I will have both feet so far up this team's ass that they'll think my shoelaces are a spaghetti dinner. How's that for effectively communicating my point?
Question for Zim Tzu: What would be the number one thing that you want to work on and improve after yesterday's game?
Zim Tzu Speaks: Mistakes, just general mistakes. We've got to cover better, we've got to be in the right place. I've said before, unfortunately I see mistakes and fortunately for me and probably unfortunate for the players too. I know exactly what I want it to look like and then I see things that aren't going the way I want it to see and so without trying to pinpoint so many different things whether it's stepping with this foot or staying on the double team when we're on the offense or misaligning a little bit here or there and it's more so about things that we've gone over, things we've corrected. I talked to one of the players, I said, "Last week we corrected this and then it happened again in the ballgame. We need to fix these things in order for us to move on as a football team. We need to fix these things.
Zim Tzu Means: If you know your enemy and know yourself, you can play a hundred football games without disaster. Especially the Rams, because LOLOL they're terrible. Still, we made way too many mistakes for my liking, because I am the all seeing, all knowing, Master of Time, Space, and Dimension. I see our players screwing up IN MY SLEEP, and when my Inception machine is finished, I'll be visiting them in their dreams, telling them to GET IN YOUR GAP AND @#$%$&& STAY THERE. YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS TEAM IN A DREAM, SON!!!
Question for Zim Tzu: Were you planning on being so aggressive with your pass rush or did the fact that they were playing a third-string quarterback add to that?
Zim Tzu Speaks: No, actually, we backed it down when the score got out of hand. I know they got some yards there at the end, I think we could have hit him a few more times if we tried. It was more about the clock was our friend at that point in time. I like our blitz package and what we do out of it. It'll vary week-to-week from what we do just based on who we are playing. Honestly, yesterday the quarterback would not have mattered.
Zim Tzu Means: True compassion means not only feeling another's pain but also being moved to help relieve it. That said, we BROKE THEM, YO. I actually got a call from Austin Davis' mom midway through the fourth quarter. She was crying, hysterical, fearing for her son's life. I almost hung up the phone, but man, it was the dude's mom. Kind of hit me in the heartstrings a little bit, so I called off the dogs. We let Davis get some yards, and I heard he got a participation ribbon at the end of the game from the St. Louis Pee Wee Football league.
Oh, they're an NFL team? My bad. Gotta go, folks. New England awaits.