ED NOTE: This has bad words, because Mike Zimmer is a bad man, and leads bad men in a violent sport. So if you are offended by harsh language or need a safe space because this might trigger some kind of negative reaction, I suggest two things: Take a 55 gallon drum of manhood and pour it on yourself. Then get on your knees and pray for your testes to drop, because fuck your feelings. Also, big thanks to J-Dog, who basically did everything for this post except the 'what Zim Tzu meant' part. He watched the entire presser and transcribed it. --Ted
Being a warrior poet in the off season is tough. You have no enemy before you, except complacency. But complacency, in some ways, is the most insidious enemy of them all. Complacency tells you 'I can skip today's workout and binge watch House of Cards'. Complacency whispers in your ear 'Three mile run? No man, you want to take a nap instead. Besides, it might rain in four or five hours.'
But when you are Zim Tzu, complacency bows before you and washes your feet.* Complacency can kiss your ass, that's what complacency can do.** And if you play for Zim Tzu, you better not answer the door when complacency knocks, because you'll pay. You'll pay dearly.***
*Complacency really can't do that, because it's not a sentient being.
**It can't actually do that, either. Again, not a sentient being. Except as my imaginary friend, which is super real, you guys.
***That could actually be true.
Because you are Zim Tzu: First Of His Name, Lord Of The Iron Range And Twin Cities, Usurper Of The Green, Disembowler 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, and Warden Of The North.
As is our modus operandi,* we take the actual Mike Zimmer press conference, take what he actually said, and convert those words into their true meaning.** Zimmer's actual answer is in the block quote, and the literal interpretation immediately follows.***
*For those of you in Crookston, that means 'our way of doing things'
***Seriously, these interpretations are about as real as Manti Teo's dead girlfriend
Q: Was there any part of the stadium that you spoke up about being important in terms of the design?
What Zim Tzu said: The only thing I mentioned was that I wanted it to be loud in there. One day my first year they came in and asked me what color wood I wanted the locker room to be; it was during the season so I was in a hurry. Who knows? I haven't been there since last year in May or June.
What Zim Tzu meant: I could give two fucks about aesthetics, but I want that place like Mad Max's Thunderdome come Sunday. We'll line up in a sandlot, in a parking lot, or on the dark side of the moon if we have to, and we'll kick your ass on every play. And don't tell that idiot Roger Goodell about that last part, or he'll schedule a damn game there, mark my words. But yeah, I want it fuckin' 'make your eardrums bleed' loud.
Q: Some unintelligible question appearing to focus around Adrian Peterson reaching the age of 30 and the number of carries he's had over the years.
What Zim Tzu said: I think a lot of it has to do with the individual person moreso than anything else. There's a few backs that have been over 30 and rushed for over a thousand yards. I think he's a unique guy; he's more of a punishing runner. He stays in unbelievable shape with his workouts. He's still built like this table, rock-hard. I don't anticipate seeing any kind of letdown from him. He thinks he can go for a real long time, but I wouldn't bet against two, three years.
What Zim Tzu meant: We owe Adrian Peterson a lot of goddamn money in 2016. We're going to squeeze every drop of blood of of that turnip. Every. Goddamn. Drop.
Q: What's your take on Andre Smith signing on a one-year deal?
What Zim Tzu said: Andre's a really good athlete; I think he's got room to develop. He doesn't have weight issues, he doesn't have off-the-field issues, he's a good guy. He's started 74 games, I believe, so he's got some experience. I like having first-round draft picks that leave other places because they have pedigrees. I think that [his reputation] was why he didn't get a whole bunch of play. I see a bunch of them competing.
What Zim Tzu meant: It's a shot across the bow to the rest of the offensive line, that's my fuckin' take on it. Fuckers. It's time for this unit to shit or get off the pot. They've given me enough fuckin' labor pains; I want to see the baby. Ya got me?
Q: Could Andre Smith possibly figure in at guard or do you see him as a tackle?
What Zim Tzu said: Going in we see him as a tackle, but we're not opposed to looking at all these guys at different places. I just want to get as many bodies in there as I could and then let them fight it out. I just felt like we needed to improve at that area. It's possible he could compete at left tackle. I don't think that group played very good; sporadically some of the guys played good. As an overall group, Teddy was running for his life half the time, had a whole bunch of one-yard runs, I just feel like we need to make some changes. [...] Every other position group in our football team has a tough-minded personality, but I don't think our offensive line did.
What Zim Tzu meant: Andre Smith will play wherever he needs to play to make sure Teddy Bridgewater doesn't get murdered. It might be guard, it might be tackle, it might be on the bench, it might be tight end, it might be as our deep threat receiver. I mean, look at those sugar tits when he's in flight, they're fucking mesmerizing:
Q: How's John Sullivan doing? Health-wise, will he be ready to go when you guys get back at it? Is there any real test before you put pads on?
What Zim Tzu said: Well we're hoping. I've seen him in the weight room in the last week or so. He's moving a lot better, looks a lot better, his body mass is changing, he's getting stronger. I think the things we'll be doing before the end of Phase One and Phase Two in the weight room will give us a fairly good idea, but until you start pushing on 350-pound men you really have no idea because it's different than being in the weight room. I also saw Phil Loadholt in the weight room last week. I think both of them will be ready but I just don't know.
What Zim Tzu meant: John's got back spasms. Might be out a week, might be out 52 weeks, might be out 104 weeks.
Q: What are your thoughts on Cordarrelle Patterson?
What Zim Tzu said: Well it's really time for him to prove it now. If he wants to be something other than just a returner, this is the year he has to do it. If he wants to be an NFL wide receiver, this is his time. Guys can blossom in their third or fourth year. I don't know if it's going to happen; I hope it does for our sake. I don't think he was quite ready when he came into the NFL as far as all the things you need to have to be a professional football player. He has the talent to do it, and you're hoping he does, but there are guys that do it and guys that don't, and he's right on the fence.
What Zim Tzu meant: I'm done trying to put a boot in his ass to motivate him. It's now or never. He has the potential to be fuckin' great, but he's pissing it down his leg, and he needs to be more than a glorified kick returner.
Q: Where's Charles Johnson at and how do you feel about him?
What Zim Tzu said: I think he'll be fine. I know last year was a disappointing year for him, but you could probably say that for every receiver we had, except for Diggs. I think he'll be fine; him and Jarius and hopefully Cordarrelle and Diggs will just keep plugging away.
What Zim Tzu meant: He better have his nose in the fuckin' playbook, and all of our wide receivers sucked except for Stefon Diggs.
Q: Do you think you need more for that group [wide receiver] in terms of personnel?
What Zim Tzu said: I'd like to have more personnel everywhere. I don't necessarily think it's something we have to do to win. I don't want to get into that Bridgewater/Wallace deal, but we had a receiver here that was making a lot of money that didn't really do what we needed to do so I don't think it's a necessity to go out and sign another wide receiver; we've got to get better with the guys we've got and we've got to fix other areas that can allow these receivers to be more effective in games. It's more about this group doing their job so that other groups can have success doing theirs; it was just disappointing we weren't able to do the things I thought we could do offensively.
What Zim Tzu meant: I don't want to get into that Bridgwater/Wallace thing, but we need guys that don't do the equivalent of fuckin' stealing paychecks when you compare their bank account to their stat line. We need some other guys to unfuck their shit, and we might need to draft someone. We're not going to sign any free agent wide receivers, though, because they're a collective bag of ass.
Q: How will having two former offensive coordinators change the dynamic on offense?
What Zim Tzu said: I felt like they were two knowledgeable guys that can help us and I will continue to bring in guys that I think can help us. I've been impressed with both Tony and Pat, they've come in and ground out all the positions. I've asked them to do some research and there's a lot of good flow with the guys who were here and the guys who have come in. Everyone has good ideas; we just need to put it all together. That's the second part of it; fixing the offensive line was the number one thing for me this offseason.
What Zim Tzu meant: Well, if it means I can get Norv to quit calling that stupid ass trick play that blows up a beautiful drive at the most inopportune time, it will be so fucking worth it, man.
Q: How is Teddy at getting to his third, even fourth progressions?
What Zim Tzu said: He's not bad at that, he knows where all the checkdowns are. A lot of times, he ends up getting to his checkdowns too quick because of issues with our guys up front. I think that if we fix this one area it'll help a lot more than getting a receiver in here. If we can protect for him, be better in our play action game, and get a couple more runs going farther than one yard, then we can be more effective offensively and it'll allow him to grow a lot more than having a great receiver.
What Zim Tzu meant: He's pretty good at it. The offensive line protection was so bad that last year, Teddy went right to his third and fourth reads because he didn't have time for the primary and secondary routes to develop. So yeah, he's golden on those checkdowns. This year, we're going to work on getting to the primary receiver, though. That would be pretty fuckin' sweet, not gonna lie.
Q: With the recent influx of women coming into football, how do the Vikings approach those women with non-traditional football backgrounds?
What Zim Tzu said: We try to be fair to everyone, number one, but we want to make sure that we can integrate some females into the building. We might have been a little slow at it but we're getting more on track. We had some female intern trainers this year that were with us throughout most of training camp and part of the season and so we just keep putting opportunities out there so people have the opportunity to learn. Whoever we end up hiring, we don't want it to be silver-spoon people; I want to help them learn and understand and people are smart enough to figure football out.
What Zim Tzu meant: If a woman can do the job and meets all the qualifications, she should be able to do the job in a harassment free environment. The fact that we still even have to have this conversation in the 21st century is more than a bit irritating. Fuckers.
Q: What goes into your defensive philosophy from week to week?
What Zim Tzu said: For us, we try to make sure to have the fundamentals down first, that we can play sound, fundamental defense to make sure we don't have to trick people. I think that if you start thinking you can just trick people and get interceptions and turnovers, then you don't have a foundation to start from. Each year, we are like everybody else, we study every team in the league and try to figure out which teams are doing good things and how we can incorporate it. A lot of it is when we find something we do well is figuring out how to expand on it and improve on it every year and each week changes that.
What Zim Tzu meant: Confusion, misery, and pain for our opponents. Every week, every drive, every play.