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Zim Tzu: We Are the Leader Edition

What’s better than being the division leader after beating Green Bay at home? A little Zim Tzu, Warrior Poet action, that’s what!

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
The duo is close to reuniting. It’s just a matter of time now.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

There’s something exciting that comes when teams take on their rivals in a sporting event. You get that little extra burst of adrenaline, you’re that much more likely to spout your mouth off in the week leading up to the game, and you simply enjoy winning that much more.

Well, the Vikings have 112 games against the Packers under their belts now, and there’s nothing like a good victory over those SOB’s from across the border to improve your afternoon, evening and basically your entire week.

Packers week is something special inside of Minnesota. There’s a special level of vitriol and passive aggressiveness that Minnesota Vikings fans seem to reserve for the green and gold and there’s truly nothing like the tense moments leading up to and during a game between these two teams.

Especially since they have a winning record against us. God I hate that fact. Let’s just sweep the Packers for five straight years, all right? It’s about damn time the right team had a lead in this matchup. Yesterday’s matchup was one for the record books, in that Troy Aikman and Thom Brennaman likely broke a few records (and created a few drinking games) about how much announcers can discuss a single player during a broadcast.

But this is not about those excuses for commentators. No, this is about the man leading the Purple and Yellow’s charge against the hated Packers, and the words he shouts forth and the hidden meaning of those words. Now, let’s plumb the depths and see what we can glean from our Fearless Leader’s (no, not you Chris, the other one) words.

We* take what Mike Zimmer actually said in his day after the game press conference,** and translate those words into common everyday language we all understand.*** Buckle up boys and girls, this is a doozy, length-wise!

*Usually Ted, but what the hell, if Chris can do the SMR, I can pinch-hit on Zim Tzu, right?

**We really do this part!

***No translating. All made up, 100% of it. Go watch it if you don’t believe me. Or, you know, us. Whichever.

Here is Coach Zimmer’s opening statement:

What Zim Tzu said: Okay, yesterday, I thought it was a good team win. We did really good things, special teams wise, as far as pinning them back inside the 20 yard line several times. I thought offensively we moved the ball well and defensively I thought for the most part we played well. There’s still a lot of areas that we need to clean up. Offensively, we had the two turnovers and we got into scoring position a couple of times and ended up not taking advantage of that. We got to get better in the return game on special teams and then defensively there’s still a couple of things we need to get cleaned up so we’re still trying to get better each and every week. It’ll be a good challenge again this week with the Ravens coming into town. The crowd was fantastic the other day when we played, well, I guess it was yesterday so we’re looking forward for another good outing with them as well.

What Zim Tzu meant: We all drank ourselves silly around here after HANDLING OUR BUSINESS yesterday against those Charlie Foxtrots so I don’t even remember which day this weekend we played! Our defense outplayed every other facet of this game so much that I have to come up with non-bullshit ways for the rest of them to improve to keep attention off of how much my defense kicked that rookie’s ass. Wait, he’s not a rookie? Pffft, I’ve seen rookies play better than his sorry ass anyway. DIVISION LEADERS BITCHES. Oh, and Jerick? Hold onto the goddamn ball already, will you?

Q: Are you taking Teddy off the PUP List?

What Zim Tzu said: No, he won’t come off the PUP list. He’s gonna practice and he has 21 days, but he’ll stay on the PUP list until he’s ready to play.

What Zim Tzu meant: Well the kid’s goddamn leg nearly fell off fourteen months ago so yeah, he might need a little time to get going before we make him the unquestioned starter again as he leads us to glory, riches and the world’s end. TEDDY TIME IS MY TIME.

Q: What are your thoughts on Teddy being cleared to practice with everything he’s gone through over the last 14 months?

What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, it’s great. He’s worked extremely hard. Not only him, the training staff, the doctors, Mark Uyeyama, all those guys have done a great job with him trying to rehab him and get him ready to practice. It’s a great deal for Teddy and we’ll take it one day at a time just like we did for the last 14 months.

What Zim Tzu meant: His. F***ing. Leg. Nearly. Fell. Off. That he’s even nearing the point where he and I can be coach and quarterback gives me happy time feelings. Oh, and pay that goddamn wizard we have as head athletic trainer whatever the sam hell he wants. I don’t care, give him my salary if you have to. Just NEVER LET HIM LEAVE EVER.

Q: What’s your plan in terms of his first practice? You gonna ease him there in considering how long it’s been?

What Zim Tzu said: He hasn’t practiced in fourteen months so we’re not going to dose him out tomorrow or Wednesday.

What Zim Tzu meant: HIS LEG, YOU KNOW, THAT THING THAT YOU MORTALS WALK ON, NEARLY FELL OFF FOURTEEN GODDAMN MONTHS AGO. So yeah, it’s not like we’re trying to force anything. We’ve got some time. I mean, obviously if we lose to either of these two cakewalks coming up we’re gonna be in trouble, but let’s just hope Case doesn’t f*** things up too badly before Teddy can get back.

Q: Has [Teddy] been in all the meetings so he knows this offense now or where would he be at?

What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, he’s good. He’s been taking the script every week and running it by himself over there on the other fields so he’ll be ready. Teddy’s smart.

What Zim Tzu meant: This kid’s dedicated enough that he probably dreams in dropbacks and bakes pass rushers for breakfast. Plus he uses, what do you call them, vidja gayms, yeah, he likes them and plays them a lot. He knows the offensive playbook better than Norv ever did. Or Chilly, for that matter.

Q: At what point did you think he’d be ready to practice after the six week period? When you put him on it, did you think he was gonna be ready after six weeks or was there a certain timeframe?

What Zim Tzu said: We didn’t know. Had no idea. Just had to see how he progressed as we went forward.

What Zim Tzu meant: Yeah, we knew. We. Knew.

Q: Regarding your defense, why do you think they’ve been so effective in third down situations this year?

What Zim Tzu said: I don’t know, honestly. Sometimes it’s just the way it goes. You get in good stretches. We’ve been pretty good in coverage and our rush is usually pretty good and our linebackers have done a good job. We have had to change up some things because people try to scheme us in some different areas. It’s six weeks now or whatever so things can still change fast.

What Zim Tzu meant: What are the words to that poem, the Charge of the Light Brigade....”Into the mouth of hell rode the 600?” Yeah, we’re that mouth of hell. Pass rushers on the right, pass rushers on the left. And Linval f***ing Joseph up the middle. Mouth of hell, indeed. About damn time these candy asses started doing what I tell them to do, see how well it works out for them?

Q: Have you talked to Anthony [Barr] about that hit? It’s gonna be hard to be the one that knocked Aaron Rodgers out and then to come under scrutiny, right or wrong, about it?

What Zim Tzu said: No, I haven’t talked to him. I don’t know what scrutiny is. I mean, we’re playing football and it’s unfortunate that he got hurt but I think everything was aboveboard. You know, we’re not a dirty football team, we’ll never be a dirty football team as long as I’m here, we’re gonna play within the rules and sometimes things happen.

What Zim Tzu meant: Just because Troy Aikman and Thom Brennaman whine and moan up in the press box about it being a dirty hit doesn’t make it so. Good on you Barr, dinner’s on me for playing within the rules and hitting Rodgers like a goddamn truck. Within. The. Rules. We aren’t gonna have none of that Vontaze Burfict or Clay Matthews bulls*** up in here. I mean, who the hell do you think gave Barr his concussion? It was me slapping him repeatedly upside the head after I saw him headbutt that dude. Cut that s*** out already, we’ve got a game to play you moron.

Q: Do you feel like Brian Robison had one of his more active games?

What Zim Tzu said: Yeah I thought Brian played well. He did a good job in the running game, did a good job in pass rush, you know, he got a chance to move around a little bit on some different guys and I think that helped. Yeah, I thought Brian played well.

What Zim Tzu meant: About damn time that old timer had a good game this season. And hoooo boy, five QB hits and who knows how many hurries? I think that Huntley kid has a bruise with Robi’s shoulder stamped into his clavicle this morning.

Q: Is it good to see that [the depth of your team] is why you guys are 4-2 now, with everything that’s happened to you, that you are showing the depth that you’ve worked on up to this point?

What Zim Tzu said: I think first of all Rick has done a nice job of creating the roster. Like everybody, we don’t wanna have injuries, but that’s part of understanding the NFL. Even the guys that we end up not keeping I think we had good depth to pick from in that group. Saying that, having a good locker room and a resilient group and understanding things happen throughout the course of the season and maybe some of the trials and tribulations we went through last year helped get guys to understand it’s just part of life in the NFL and we go about our business and each guy tries to get better each and every day and that’s all we’re trying to do, try to get better this week and when guys’ numbers get called they go out and perform like the other guys would.

What Zim Tzu meant: Man, it’s nice to have options, isn’t it? I mean, last year we were just trying to find some idiots off the street and our offensive line was about as fluid as the cornerback situation in 2011. And I wasn’t even here for that! And god, I truly had no idea that offensive linemen were actually capable of playing every game anymore. AND PLAYING WELL, TOO. WHAT IS THIS MAGIC I DON’T EVEN.

Q: What’s been the key to getting the screen game to the point where you have been able to get some big gains out of it?

What Zim Tzu said: It was one of the big points of emphasis we had in the offseason, I wanted to get better on screens. I know how difficult it is to defend. It can slow down your pass rush, it can get guys on their back more and not necessarily rushing the quarterback. I think Pat has done a great job with it but I think more importantly we have offensive linemen that are very athletic that can get out in space. It’s easy to set up a screen and then you get out there and a big guy can’t block a little guy so these guys are athletic and they’ve been able to get into space and been able to block them. Timing of it is essential, making sure you get the right timing of the screens so that was one of the big emphasis the offense had this offseason.

What Zim Tzu meant: I can’t even count how many times this defense, athletic though it is, has been torn apart by running backs on screen passes. So I went to Pat Shurmur and said, “DO MORE OF THAT AND DO IT BETTER DAMN IT.” So now we are the ones causing hell on Earth for anyone trying to stop our screen game.

Q: Back to McKinnon, are you considering moving McKinnon into a starting position or do you like the way things are?

What Zim Tzu said: I like it the way it is.

What Zim Tzu meant: Fumbles, man. NOOOOOPE.

Q: You brought up the run defense after the game. After watching it again, is there anything that stood out about why it worked so well?

What Zim Tzu said: For the most part we played in our gaps well, we got off of blocks, we tackled good, we had one that came out where we missed a tackle and bounced out the back door but overall it was a solid fundamental defensive front.

What Zim Tzu meant: Let’s put it this way, the guys I had playing for me in my first season were jokes. I mean, 25th against the run, allowing 4.3 yards a carry? Man, am I glad most of those jokers are good now! Finally I can sleep without worrying about some third string chucklehead running back breaking fifteen tackles and carrying five guys ten yards for first downs! 3.2 yards per carry is the song of my people.

Q: How do you think Lamur did after Barr went out?

What Zim Tzu said: I think he did pretty well. I know he had a couple tackles. There was one play in the flat, one time where he had the tight end in man to man and covered him good so I think he was solid. You know, all these guys, there’s things we can do better and things we do good. We’re just trying to get better, all of us.

What Zim Tzu meant: Did he single-handedly crush a rival team’s spirits on one play? No? Then he played like dogs***.

Q: It seemed like you were able to get pressure a lot with a four-man rush. Was that the plan going in to have more guys in coverage?

What Zim Tzu said: I think it’s how the game played out. They free-released the first couple of third downs then later on they max protected a couple of times and we ended up sacking him on one of those. As the game got on, it was more us trying to use more coverage. You know, going in we had a plan. I heard this from one of the coaches this summer, that in the first quarter you go with your gameplan, your second and third quarter you make your adjustments to what they’re doing and in the fourth quarter you go with your best plays, so that’s what we try to do.

What Zim Tzu meant: They had a QB out there so green that environmentalists are trying to declare him a national park and an offensive line so hurt that it looked like ours from last year in a few games. So yeah, we were pretty content to just sit back and let that backup do whatever the hell he wanted to cause he sure wasn’t getting past Rhodes or Harry without a fight!

Q: How much does the depth on the defensive line and the way you guys rotate those through help you out?

What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, it’s good. We’re starting to get some play out of Jaleel Johnson now, Stephen Weatherly is getting in there a little bit. We’ve gotta continue to do that a little bit but Shamar is a good player and he goes in there and spells Tom Johnson and Linval and B-Rob and Danielle and Griff, so I would like to continue to get more rotation, but I am happy with the way things are going there.

What Zim Tzu meant: Listing all the studs we have on the defensive line is basically softcore porn to me. I mean, gotDAMN do we have depth.

Q: Is Keenum the starter again this week or are you gonna see how it goes?

What Zim Tzu said: We’ll just have to see how it goes.

What Zim Tzu meant: TEDDY TAKE THE WHEEL!

Q: Everybody talks about the sacks with Everson, but do you still see him doing all the little things, play to play, that don’t show up on the stat sheet?

What Zim Tzu said: Yeah, well, that’s how we do things here. All of our guys are pretty much like that. He ends up getting some opportunities to win some one-on-ones but there’s other times where he has to play a certain block a certain way to try and free something up for B-Rob or someone else, that’s just how we do it. I think most of our guys are very unselfish defensively and we just kinda do what we do.

What Zim Tzu meant: Got. Damn. Stud. Need I say more?

Q: How’s Bradford feeling after getting the week off? Is he gonna practice on Wednesday?

What Zim Tzu said: I think pretty good. I don’t know.

What Zim Tzu meant: I was THIS CLOSE to getting out of here without you guys asking me about Bradford. F***ers.

Q: You mentioned the kickoff return game, what can you do to make that better?

What Zim Tzu said: Well we can block better, for one thing. We can catch the ball on the move, which we didn’t do very good yesterday. It’s a lot about timing, it’s about getting guys blocked, so we gotta do a better job there in the kickoff return game. Basically the punt return is the same thing.

What Zim Tzu meant: So I guess we do actually miss having one of the greatest kickoff return men on the team. Huh, who’da thunk it?

Q: Would you give Rodney Adams a look [as kick returner]? Would you activate him for that?

What Zim Tzu said: Well he hasn’t been active so it’s gonna be hard for him to play if he’s not active. Anything’s possible.

What Zim Tzu meant: LOL Nope. Bye now!