On Thursday at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer had his final media availability session prior to Saturday’s preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. Given the news that we received earlier yesterday about guard Nick Easton, yesterday’s press conference was pretty heavy on questions about the offensive line.
Here is the full transcript of what Zimmer had to say to reporters in Eagan yesterday for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
We will be putting Nick Easton on IR here shortly. Starting preparations for Denver and we’re excited to go out and play against somebody else.
Q: Can you get into what happened with Nick Easton and the prognosis there?
A: Nothing really happened, he’s just got a bulging disk but I’m not going to talk about it.
Q: Are Stefon Diggs and Xavier Rhodes on timeout now after sitting out practice yesterday?
A: There was no time out. I just decided to do what I did and everything’s good.
Q: Do you look at Stefon Diggs and Xavier Rhodes as siblings?
A: Juvenile is maybe better.
Q: Do you have plans for replacing Nick Easton?
A: We’re always trying different things, looking for different people so we’ll see what happens.
Q: What was it about Tom Compton that made you interested in bringing him in?
A: We’ve kind of had him on our radar for a few years. When he was at Washington he played quite a bit. He played some of their “big” package, played some on the offensive line, at multiple positions, so we felt like it would be good. I know they’ve talked about him for three years now.
Q: Does Tom Compton have a better fit on the right side or left side?
A: We’re moving guys around all the time so it’s probably too early for me to say if somebody is better on one side or another.
Q: What do you think about Aviante Collins’ development as a player?
A: AC is very athletic, big guy, has some power, good feet, has some nasty streak. Like I said we’re looking at a lot of different things.
Q: Has Aviante Collins’ nasty streak increased?
A: Well I have to talk about it to him once in a while. Don’t be doing this or don’t be doing that.
Q: What areas of Danny Isidora’s game are you working on?
A: Sometimes his feet get a little wide in pass protection and sometimes at the second level he does not sustain quite long enough. Those are the two things he needs to continue to get better at.
Q: What do you like about Cornelius Edison? What are the challenges he has in front of him?
A: He has done a really nice job. He has improved tremendously since he has come last year in the practice squad. He is a fighter, another one of those guys with that kind of attitude he has a little stoutness to him. He has done a nice job.
Q: Do you think you will have a better chance to look at guys like Josh Andrews and Colby Gossett and what they will be doing?
A: Josh has been guard and center and Colby has been playing guard, but yeah we will get a good look at them.
Q: What is the biggest thing that Cornelius Edison can improve on?
A: He goes against Linval Joseph every single day so that is a pretty good test usually. It will be nice seeing him go against someone else this weekend. I think Kirk and him have been working for quite a few days so I don’t think that will be a big issue. They have been working since Friday at least.
Q: Has what you wanted to come out of the first preseason game changed the past few years or is it the same sort of thing?
A: No, I always look at the preseason the same. We are trying to evaluate our players, see if they are using the techniques we are coaching, see if they are playing the game the right way, pre-snap penalties a lot of sloppy things that go on. So it has not really changed.
Q: Do you have a certain amount of series that you like to see the starters play?
A: I have a plan, yes.
Q: Do you think the game will be a good change of pace for the guys emotionally after everything?
A: I think the big thing is that you’re out here practicing and practicing and you don’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now you get a game and you know that the regular season is three of four weeks away from this, so I think it’ll start ramping up with everything as we get moving here. I think it’s a good indicator of now the season is really coming up fast and make sure they have a good sense of urgency continuing to move forward.
Q: Will this game give you a more accurate picture on where the offensive line stands?
A: Yes, I mean you’re always looking at who they’re going against but you’re also looking at their technique and how they do against that particular guy. We’ll get a couple days against Jacksonville next week, another good football team. By the end of these next two weeks or the week after that we should be able to have a pretty good evaluation of where we are on some of the guys. But we also know how good Everson [Griffen] is so some of those things we’re able to see every day. I know everybody is nervous about the offensive line, but I like the mentality of those guys. I like how they work. I’ve been around them quite a bit. They’re going to figure out a way to get it done. Calm is the mood. Tweet that. That’s my new saying.