Hey...you...yes you with the Excel spreadsheet on the volume and average of offensive linemen bowel movements while at the NFL Combine...this is so not scientific, and takes no measurements of anything. Except, possibly, bullshit. Because It's satire, and it has bad words. You've been warned--Ted
Being a warrior poet is a grind, man. A 24 hour a day, seven days a week, 365 (hey, it's leap year, so 366) days a year grind. But you wouldn't want it any other way., would you? No, because only a warrior-poet can embrace the grind, use the grind to your advantage, and even, in a twisted macabre way, LOVE the grind.
Because you don't work a latte machine at a Caribou Coffee in some shitty strip mall, wondering how youi let your life get away from you. No, any slack-jawed-I-need-a-safe-space-so-my-feelings-don't-get-butthurt can do that, can't they?
But not you.
Because you are Zim Tzu, First Of His Name, Lord Of The Iron Range And Twin Cities, Usurper Of The Green, Disemboweler of Giants, He Who Makes Bears Extinct, Grounder Of The Falcon, Vanquisher of the Raider Tribe, Hunter of the Ram, Eradicator Of Lions, Conqueror Of Chiefs, Controller Of Electricity, Warden Of The North, and King Of The US Bank Throne.
Besides, you take your coffee black...like your heart when an opponent begs for mercy.
So you embrace the grind, wherever it may be. This week, it's in Indianapolis, at the NFL Combine, where women want you, and men want to be you. But you're also in an environment where the hunter can quickly become the hunted, and words spoken here, if not chosen carefully, can be used against you, in future fields of battle.
And this is where the magic that is Zim Tzu* does it's work. You take words, seemingly empty words**, yet if you know what you're looking for, they are profound words, words with meaning and weight.***
*It's not magic. It's satire. Ridiculous, sophomoric, dick joke level satire. Not. Magic.
**Can you actually weigh words? Like, for example, how much would the word telephone weigh? 5 ounces? Two pounds? I don't know. Think about it.
***No, don't think about it. That's just stupid, like this article. Last chance to quit reading.
You're still here? You dumb bastard, you had your chance. read on, and don't say you weren't warned.
And to make sure those who would plot against you cannot use those words against you*, you speak in a language that few can decipher.** Fortunately, we here at DN can do just that, and we'll take the seemingly meaningless and turn it into the profound.***
*Fuck 'em, you're Zim Tzu. The fifth amendment is for cowards anyway, AMIRITE???
**Anyone can decipher this. Unless you can't speak or read English. And if you come across this as a non-English speaker/reader, your life is better for it.
***There is nothing profound. I'm not even sure I understand the meaning of the word profound. Which is, in the grand scheme of things, you know...profound.
What Zim Tzu said will be in block quotes, and our literal interpretation* immediately follows.
*By 'literal interpretation', I mean 'completely made up bullshit'.
What Zim Tzu said: It's good to be back at the combine and meet some of these players. Unfortunately, I had to follow Ted (Thompson) second so this will be a tough act, but we're excited about our football team. We've got a lot of good guys out. Rick Spielman and the scouts have done a great job of putting it together. We're excited to get into U.S. Bank Stadium and see if we can do a little bit of damage in there. Questions?
What Zim Tzu meant: HEY TED...TED...TEEEEEDDDDDDYYYYYYYY....KNOCK KNOCK BABY
Ted Thompson: Who's There, Mike?
Zim Tzu: SUCK MY FUCKING BALLS
TT: Suck my fucking balls who, Mike?
Zim Tzu: NO REALLY JUST SUCK MY BALLS FROM SECOND PLACE BITCH BECAUSE MY GM CAN SQUEEZE YOUR HEAD LIKE A PIMPLE BETWEEN HIS PYTHONS AND MY NEW PALACE IS GOING TO BE A HOUSE OF HORRORS FOR YOU AND THE GODDAMN MIGRATING BIRDS AND WE DON'T HAVE ALUMINUM BLEACHERS WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
/shotguns a beer
What kind of impact did Chad Greenway have?
What Zim Tzu said: Chad's a terrific, terrific guy. I love him. He's been terrific for us. He probably played more than he anticipated this year and more than I probably did just because his role expanded because of some of the injuries and things. I really wish I would have had a chance to coach him when he came out in the draft because I see the great intangibles that he has now and what maybe I could have helped him try to be if I had him when he was younger.
What Zim Tzu meant: If I had drafted Chad Greenway coming out of Iowa he'd be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Do not doubt me on this. I will kill you if you disagree, so let's make a deal--I let you live, and he at least goes into the Vikings Ring Of Honor, preferably as the first inductee in the new stadium. Cool? Cool.
What do you think of Myles Jack?
What Zim Tzu said: I've been working on the offensive guys right now. I do have a fondness of UCLA linebackers because I have two, but I don't really know enough about him yet. I hear good things, but that's it.
What Zim Tzu meant: I know all I need to know about Miles Jack. If I want him, I'll get him.
How important is it to protect Teddy in his third season?
What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, well, it's extremely important. He got sacked 45 times last year and I think 44 times (the year before) and hit way too many times. We've got to do a better job in protecting him, and it's not just the offensive line. It's the running backs and the receivers making the right adjustments. It is extremely important. This guy has got a chance to be an extremely good player but we have to do a good job with that."
What Zim Tzu meant: I hitched my fortune to him, so here's the deal--we're going to institute new drills for everyone that might be responsible for pass blocking. I call it the 'bloody stump' drill, and here's how it works: If you miss a block in practice, I start hacking off limbs. I start with small fingers and toes, and then I go big, until you're a bloody stump. And then, when you're sitting in the middle of the practice field, unable to move your arms and legs...BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN TAKEN FROM YOU...then I'll ask this question again. Is it important to protect Teddy Bridgewater?
What do you think the goddamn answer is, cupcake?
What do you think about Xavier Rhodes' 2015 season?
What Zim Tzu said: I don't worry too much about the analytic services. I worry about how I look at him and how I grade him. I say early in the year he probably struggled a little bit with some of the penalties and that caused him to be conservative in the way he was playing. Like I told him during the season, he needs to be a power forward, not a point guard. You have to be who you are and his game is about power and strength and physicality. And if you don't play up to your game, you may struggle a little bit. I like Xavier. He actually texted me two days ago, I guess, to say, ‘Hey coach, what's up?' He's a good kid and he's got an awful lot of ability. He's got a good chance to be a good corner in this league.
What Zim Tzu meant: PFF can lick my piss. I put my foot in his ass, and he responded. Hell, he even texted me the other day. Remember when he picked off Aaron Rodgers in the end zone, and then knocked down the Hail Mary at the end of the Green Bay game to win the division? Yeah, Xavier will be fine.
Is Stefon Diggs ready to be a No. 1 WR?
What Zim Tzu said: I think Stefon has done a lot of good things. He's still got a long way to go. He's got to continue to prove himself. I think he continues to get better. There's still a lot of things he's got to work on. I think this next year, that will really determine how good he ends up being.
What Zim Tzu meant: Yuuuuuuuup.
The NFC North is tough, huh? Team ascending?
What Zim Tzu said: I think we have a great division. I thought that all along. I think the year I got to Minnesota, Chicago was in the playoffs or right close to being in the playoffs. And then Detroit was in the playoffs a year ago. And obviously Green Bay won the division the last four years. It's a heck of a division. There's a lot of great coaches in there. Mike McCarthy I think does an unbelievable job, and Ted Thompson, who was just up here. They've been at the pinnacle of this division for a long time. John Fox is a friend of mine and he's done a great job and I do see their football team getting a lot better. I think all of us, and Detroit has a ton of athletic ability and so hopefully we'll continue to keep fighting.
What Zim Tzu meant: Yeah, the NFC North is a tough division...for Chicago, Detroit, and Green Bay. Wait until we move into our new palace. It will be a nightmare for everyone else.
Jerick McKinnon, can he carve out a bigger role?
What Zim Tzu said: You're right, Jerick is a good kid. He's been around the facility, just working out. That's the kind of kid he is. He loves to ball and he's a great kid, always has a smile on his face. I do think we can find a lot more things for him to do and can continue to use his athletic ability and get him in some open spaces that allow him to continue to showcase his ability.
What Zim Tzu meant: Yeah, kid is gonna be awesome. Can't wait to hand the reins over to him in a year or two. CoughHeyAdrianYouCanRetireSoonerRatherThanLaterCough
Inaudible ... (Ed note: seriously, the question was transcribed as 'inaudible'. Sooooo, yeah...)
What Zim Tzu said: I think when you're messing around in free agency, I think the more you know a player the better chance you have of being correct. So for me, a lot of it has been familiarity. Not only me knowing them, but them knowing me and how I am. I think that's an important part of the process as well. We'll just have to see. I really like my football team right now. I like the way they work, their mentality, the way they do their things. If we can continue to add players that have our vision and where we can see them fitting in, then I think it's great.
What Zim Tzu meant: Remember when this team chased high dollar free agents? And those free agents more often than not flamed out and didn't get a good return on investment? And remember how fuckin' great our drafts have been the last few years? And remember what a great fuckin' coach I am? Yeah, we'll dip our toe into free agency, but we ain't kissin' anyone we ain't dated before, you know what I mean?
(Comment on compiling a strong group of young defenders?)
What Zim Tzu said: First of all, Rick, and not just Rick. We have a great group of scouts. And I've been so fortunate to have moved into a situation with so many guys that have had helped me along the way. The Studwell, Jamaal Stephenson, I mean, George Paton, and Rick and obviously Rick runs that whole deal. Finding these guys and being able to give us talent to work with has been really good. I think we have a good nucleus of guys. We're not anywhere where I want to be yet, but you see the development of these football players. The Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes, Anthony Barr coming in and not playing that position before. I think our coaches have done a great job along with it. It takes a collective effort with the scouts and the coaches in order to, OK, these are the kind of guys that fit with what you do. Maybe they don't fit, but how can you use them to help this football team get better? I think that's what we've done a little bit defensively. I think we have a good collective group of communication between the scouts.
What Zim Tzu meant: Remember when the Triangle of Authority was three angles of fucked? We have our shit unfucked now, and we are cooking with peanut oil, baby. And we're only going to get better.
(Where's the other young corner in his development, Trae Waynes?)
What Zim Tzu said: I think he has a chance to be a really good player. Quite honestly, it was a good situation for him to play special teams. To play a little bit this year and be a part-time player. Because of the fact he had a chance to learn, and he had a chance to learn from a great veteran guy in Newman. Newman has helped with Xavier and a lot of these guys. I see him being a very good football player. It's not about athletic ability with him. It's just learning the game of professional football.
What Zim Tzu meant: Let's go back just a few years, when the starting cornerbacks probably wouldn't have started on any other NFL team. Now fast forward to last year. We had such an improvement in depth and talent that we could be patient with a first round CB in a position that was a wasteland of talent a short while ago. And we won the fucking division. Now we're gonna let the big dogs of the porch, and they're gonna get after it. And they're not gonna stop until you piss your pants and cry for your mama.
(Why are long arms important to you when looking at defensive linemen?)
What Zim Tzu said: A good example would be, if I could reach you right now and tackle you, that would be a pretty good advantage, right? As opposed to trying to reach this far. Number one is reach, as far as getting off a block and getting to a guy. Number two is guys that are 10 feet high in the air with their hands, being able to get in the quarterback's throwing lane, tipped balls and things like that. I think length gives you an advantage that can be important for your defensive football team.
What Zim Tzu meant: Hey, remember that Monday Night Josh Freeman debacle a couple years back? There were two highlights in that game. One of them was Marcus Sherels' punt return TD, which has nothing to do with your question. The other highlight was this:
Which has everything to do with your question. So yeah, give me a guy with gorilla length meathooks, and I'll take care of the rest. Love ya, Jared. Best of luck to you in retirement. Don't be a stranger around here, the door is always open.
(Do you see Teddy throwing the ball more as he develops? Do you want to throw more?)
What Zim Tzu said: First of all, each game is going to determine how we play. We want to win games. And I don't have a problem winning a game 13-10 and running the ball a bunch of times, and especially finishing the game running the ball. I want to win 24-10. So, I don't know if he'll be throwing the ball more. At the end of the day, if I come back next year, if I"m still here, what I want to say is 'Man, Teddy really took over this offense. He was really in charge of everything he did here. He took charge of the league.' Whatever that means. If it's getting us in the right place, if it's throwing the ball more, if it's throwing the ball less. Just taking charge of this thing. It's going to be his baby eventually.
What Zim Tzu meant: Yeah, if the offensive line doesn't get him fucking killed. I mean, and this isn't rocket science or anything, but an offense that can run AND pass effectively is going to be pretty good. At least that's what football 101 tells me.
(Harrison Smith has had a lot of different starters next to him at safety. Does that position need to be addressed this offseason?)
What Zim Tzu said: Well, I think this: If Harrison Smith was paired with a guy that had some other qualities, we could allow Harrison to be more of an impactful player. I don't know if that answers your question or not, but I think Harrison can be more impactful if he had the right kind of guy next to him.
What Zim Tzu meant: Harrison Smith is awesome. The other safeties...are not.
(Is that guy on the roster?)
What Zim Tzu said: I don't know. I don't know.
What Zim Tzu meant: No. LOL fuck no.
(Question about Tony Sparano influence on the offensive line, helping shape needs at that position?)
"I think it totally helps the scouts, and I think it totally helps everybody in the organization get on the same page. I want Tony's personality to rub off on those guys. It's going to be a different personality, but that's part of it as well."
What Zim Tzu meant: Look, our offensive line is something between meh and a tire fire. I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it would help make these guys better, but have you ever pissed on a spark plug? I did once on a dare, and it's no fun. So I hired Tony Sparano instead. That should be enough.