This is your one and only NSFW warning.--Ted
Here at The Daily Norseman, we've become adept at interpreting the words and thoughts of GM Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer,* via an interpretive science** we call Rickspeak and Zim Tzu.
*We've done no such thing. Not even close, actually. I don't even know what the word adept means.
**It's not a science. Science is a studious and serious research to solve problems to make mankind better. This is just out and out buffoonery, much like the commissonership of Roger Goodell and Tom Brady's balls. See, two sentences in and I'm already making ball jokes. Buffoonery, baby.
Rickspeak is a thrust and parry, a back and forth, a verbal judo, if you will. An enigma, wrapped around scant clues, and something that needs to be parsed, word for word, to find hidden meanings.*
*Really, it's none of that. It's just NFL GM doublespeak, and our guy's pretty damn good at it.
Zim Tzu is part motivational speaking, part philosophy, and after a loss like this (or a really bad practice), part blunt force trauma. But it's blunt force trauma that's not full out murder, because an NFL head coach can't commit murder during a press conference.* Because he would be fired. So he has to hold back, and we must determine the true extent of his thoughts and feelings.**
*No one should commit murder. Ever. Murder is like really bad, you guys. Unless you have teenagers. It's still really bad to do, but understandable, that's all I'm saying.
**Again, we do no such thing. I'm just throwing shit on the wall to see what sticks. Much like the Vikings did Monday night during the Santa Clara Shit Show, starring the Minnesota Vikings.
So that's what we've done. As always, What Zim Tzu said during his weekly post game press conference will be quoted, and what he really meant* will be in quotes.
*No idea if it's what he really meant. The lawyers said I can't stress that enough.
What Zim Tzu said: Good afternoon. After watching the tape, it really wasn't much different than what it looked like on the field. It was a poor performance, disappointing, we did not play together as a team in most all phases and we've got a lot of soul-searching to get done. Offensively we didn't convert on third downs, sustain drives, things we talked about going in to the ballgame. I'm not sure that we handled the situation as a team very good and the way we started the ballgame. I feel like our team got frustrated and flustered a little bit and did not regain our composure for quite a while. Defensively, too many missed tackles, no perimeter run force, guys in the wrong places, guys getting reached in their blocking schemes. It was just a really, really uncharacteristic performance from our football team and it's disappointing. Questions?
What Zim Tzu meant: Hey. Last night was a shitshow, and we need to figure out what the hell happened. Our inability to run and throw the ball was at least offset by a glaring inability to tackle Carlos Hyde, who near as I can tell just ran for another 15 yards off tackle. We sucked so bad. Actually, that would be insulting to the definition of the word suck. Fucker.
Q: What did you see from Teddy Bridgewater last night? Did he seem rattled to you at all?
What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, that's the first time I've really seen him like that. Usually he's got so much composure, but he did seem that way. I think he was - a couple times didn't pull the trigger when he had opportunities to. As an example, when it's third down and he goes and slides and almost doesn't get the first down instead of going head first and getting the first down. So things like that that's not typical of what he's done and what we've done in practice as well.
What Zim Tzu meant: Yes. He was a combination of Christian Ponder, Tarvaris Jackson, and Brooks Bollinger. The only thing missing last night was Bill Musgrave, a play card the size of a postage stamp, and Ponder rolling right and throwing it to Kyle Rudolph for three yards. Other than that, he was cash money.
Q: Did you ever feel like your team wasn't ready leading up to the game?
What Zim Tzu said: No, I don't believe that they weren't ready to play. I think maybe they were ready to play like last Wednesday because our practices were high-tempo, the meetings were good, the walk-thrus were focused, everything leading to this was very good. You've got to give San Francisco a lot of credit. They out-executed us, they outplayed us, so no, there was no indication whatsoever. Actually, I was confident going into the ballgame. I went to the walk-thru Monday morning and I said, "Man, these guys are ready to go." So much for that.
What Zim Tzu meant: If they called it Wednesday Night Football In Shells And Shorts, by God we would've steamrolled the 49ers and made them our bitch. BECAUSE ON WEDNESDAYS WE OWN THE NFL BABY. But give San Francisco credit, they knew it was Monday Night Football and the game was played then, not five days before. We should probably work on calendar reading. And maybe not peaking too early. And not getting our ass kicked on national television. We'll start with calendar reading.
Q: What are you going to be looking for in terms of Teddy Bridgewater's preparation and demeanor heading into Detroit?
What Zim Tzu said: I do not think that Teddy is going to throw another clunker. I have never seen that side of him. I think it's probably just an enigma that this happened. But we're going to have to find out and see. I base it on what I see in practice and things that I do. He had good practices last week, threw the ball. Heck, when we came back on Thursday, he was humming the ball, it was going everywhere. He was pumped up, you could tell. I even walked over to Shaun Hill and said, "He's humming it today, isn't he?" He said, "Yeah, he's pretty fired up." When I made that comment last night, I try to downplay everything going into the ballgame - Monday Night Football, first game of the year, because I knew that these guys would be excited to play. And I also knew that going into San Francisco might be a little bit of a buzz saw initially because of all the bad things that were being said about them throughout the course of the offseason and this and that. I purposely didn't talk a lot, try to get them excited about it because I knew going into the game that we were excited to play. That's why I say maybe we just didn't handle the situation the correct way. And then defensively we got tired, we did some extremely uncharacteristic things. I told the team at halftime, I said, "I don't even know who is out there today. I don't even know who this team is, I've never seen this side of us before, never." I guess the closest one that I can remember is when we went up to Green Bay last year on Thursday night, but other than that I've never seen this team and not this team this year for sure.
What Zim Tzu meant: Teddy was bad...soooo bad. I think this is an anomaly and not a trend, though. Well, what I mean to say is that Rick, myself, and the rest of the staff pray to the five pound eight ounce baby Jesus that it is an anomaly. Because if it is a trend we're going to need a resume building seminar in this building. But just like everyone else, he was FIRED UP TO PLAY...last Wednesday and Thursday. Which was cool and all if they, you know, played the damn game on Wednesday or Thursday. But we played on Monday, and it was a three ring circus full of elephant shit, from Teddy on down. Seriously, it was so bad that when I got into the locker room at halftime, Teddy was actually Christian Ponder, and not Teddy. How that happened I don't know, but he came up to me and said 'I think I'll be better in the second half. Lambeau's a cool place to play, isn't it?' It was then I carved out my eyes with a rusty spoon and said 'fuck it, I'm just gonna Leslie Frazier this shit and remind the fans of where this team was a couple of years ago.'
Q: Do you think Adrian Peterson looked tentative?
What Zim Tzu said: No, I don't think he looked tentative. I think he was aggressive trying to get to the hole and maybe trying to get there a little too fast at times.
What Zim Tzu meant: Yes. Yes he did.
Q: What went into the decision to start Andrew Sendejo over Robert Blanton at strong safety?
What Zim Tzu said: I don't know. It's kind of a fluid situation right there. I'm just trying to [have] somebody give me confidence in that position. Somebody I feel like is going to make the safe play and not the spectacular play. I don't really care about making the spectacular play, I want guys to make the safe plays. When he [Andrew Sendejo] missed those tackles, he got cut on the one force, then I said, "Hey, let's put him [Robert Blanton] in and see if he can do anything.
What Zim Tzu meant: Well, I did a serious player evaluation at that position. I reviewed game tape from last year, watched them during the off season, through training camp, and all five pre-season games. And you know what? They both kinda suck. So me and George Stewart just played 'Page/Tarkenton/Tingelhoff', which is kind of like 'Rock/Paper/Scissors'. Only in this case Page sacks Tarkenton, Tarkenton covers Tingelhoff, and Tingelhoff blocks Page. I picked Page, George picked Tark. So we started Sendejo. He did nothing spectacular. Like everyone else.
Q: Is Antone Exum Jr. a possibility to be in that mix at strong safety?
What Zim Tzu said: He's a possibility if he could ever figure out what to do. Once he figures out what to do he can be a part of that discussion, but if you don't know what to do and you can't do it when things are moving fast, that's kind of why I started with [Andrew] Sendejo, because I felt like he's a smart guy that knows what to do that will kind of be in the right place all of the time and we can have confidence in him making the correct plays.
What Zim Tzu meant: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. Dude's dumber than a bag of hammers on the football field man. Smart guy, can debate the Meaning of Life, Origins of the Universe, and recite, word for word, Animal House in its' entirety...but yeah. Bag of hammers between the lines. Bag. Of. Hammers.
Q: What's the emphasis this week with the run defense?
What Zim Tzu said: We did a lot of uncharacteristic things there. We jumped inside blocks a lot, we ran underneath blocks, we didn't fit in the right place a lot of times, we didn't tackle good, we didn't get off blocks, we had one guy making the tackle a lot of times, which is ridiculous. Perimeter run force was poor by whoever it was, the corner, the safety, sometimes the linebacker where he was, so we've got a lot of work to do there.
What Zim Tzu meant: We're going to work on this thing we call tackling. See, when the offense has the ball, the guy that has possession of said ball needs to be brought down. I'm certain I covered that shit in training camp, but maybe I didn't. I dunno. Didn't look like I did, did it? BUT WE WERE READY LAST WEDNESDAY. Fuckers.
Q: Blair Walsh acknowledged that on his miss he was really tentative, do you sense things are seeping in mentally with him right now?
What Zim Tzu said: He didn't kick very good in pregame. I don't know, he hit 28 out of 28 in practice last week. He's got to carry it to the game. Yeah, and it's worrisome.
What Zim Tzu meant: Seriously if we can just play on Wednesday, we'd win like every Super Bowl ever. This Sunday and Monday gameday is bullshit. So is our kicker. But he's now become the Crazy Wife You Can't Divorce Because You Just Gave Her A Lot Of Money, Forgot To Sign A Fucking Prenup, And She'll Clear Out Your Bank Account If You Dump Her. I've been outsmarted by a kicker's agent, because of course.