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Zim Tzu comes out of winter quarters

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The Vikings warrior poet coach dispenses his words of wisdom

ED NOTE: This has bad words. None of the other things we write on here do, but this one does. It seems to be a popular bit, so until the law catches up with me, I’m going to keep doing it. Thanks for understanding, and thanks for not reading and not letting your kids read it if bad language isn’t your thing. Hope you enjoy the rest of our articles—Ted

Warrior poets are built to conquer, and more often than not they do just that. Sometimes, though, even the greatest of warrior poets has a campaign that falters, and becomes a stalemate. There is nothing substantial won, and you may even suffer some losses that require self-reflection and a re-dedication to your craft. You go into winter quarters, maybe at Valley Forge Fair, fire some of your generals, hire your new Von Steuben, and come out ready to ride the 2019 roller coaster of an NFL season and kick the living shit out of everything in your path.

Because you are Zim Tzu, The Once And Future King In The North, High Septon Of Eagan, Lord Commander Of The Iron Range And Twin Cities, Master Of Fortress TCO, Honorary Elder Of Mankato and Protector Of The Realm.

And as you emerge from the dark and dreary winter, you must inspire your troops, let them know that today begins anew, and it’s time to wash away the bitterness of the previous campaign. And how do you do that? You conduct a verbal combined arms assault,* and you saturate the battlespace with a type of literary Krav Maga** that can only be interpreted by a select few. ***

* Or, you know, you just hold a run of the mill press conference after a training camp practice.

**And you just talk during the press conference. In this case, from Sunday, July 28.

***Hi. I’m just taking some of Mike Zimmer’s real press conference answers and making things up, much like Roger Goodell handles suspensions in the NFL.

As is the case, Mike Zimmer had an opening statement.

What Zim Tzu said: OK, we moved up practice about an hour to give the fans an opportunity to still be able to watch practice. It’s supposed to rain quite a bit today, so we will just see how it unfolds, but we had to come in this morning because of the lightning. Otherwise, they would have got wet today at the walk thru.

What Zim Tzu meant: Look, I’m not Brian Kelly. I’m not going to get someone killed over a stupid rain storm practicing a game. I’m not an idiot.

Q: You talked about on offense how you want to see more play-action, but on defensive perspective, if teams are going to use more play-action because it’s statistically better, how do you think defenses will adjust this year?

What Zim Tzu said: Well you got to really work on it. We try to spend a lot of time defensively working on all the play-action stuff. And obviously, some teams are better than others with run fakes and the way the line comes off. It’s just another thing that you have to work on.

What Zim Tzu meant: I don’t give two miserable fucks what anyone tries to do to us. We are going to cry havoc and loose the dogs of war on the NFL this year.

Q: What have been your early impressions of Jordan Taylor in the first few days of camp?

What Zim Tzu said: I think he’s done good. All of these guys are kind of sorting themselves out at the receiver position a little bit. It’s still early to say, ‘this guy is ahead of that guy’, or something.

What Zim Tzu meant: Right now he’s a back end of the roster dude trying to make the team. If Travis Taylor were here right now he would be ahead of him on the roster. Gonna call him Rapunzel until he does something.

Q: Is his size his biggest asset, especially in a receiver group that doesn’t have a ton of size?

What Zim Tzu said: I think it’s good that he has the size. For receivers, it’s still catching the ball, and running the routes to the right depth, and being in the right place and lining up right. Some of our younger guys are struggling with that right now. So, that’s part of it, knowing what to do and how to do it, and being able to catch the ball and then being able to use your physical attributes.

What Zim Tzu meant: It’s his hair. It’s fucking mesmerizing.

Q: How does Josh Kline look settling in at that right guard?

What Zim Tzu said: I think he’s done well. He’s a battler, he’s been in some of the system before and hasn’t had any mental errors to my knowledge. So, I think he’s doing well.

What Zim Tzu meant: Well, he gets his ass kicked like Glass Joe from Mike Tyson’s Super Punch Out game on every play, but he gets back up and leads with his chin at the next snap. Mad props, amigo.

Q: You have guys with so many different skills sets at that receiver position. How do you go about creating competition?

What Zim Tzu said: You have to look at each player individually. Like, this guy is a speed guy so he can take the top off the defense, this guy is a more of a slot guy so he can work the middle of the field, this guy is more of a guy that can go inside or outside and then we just have to figure out which one of the skill sets we like the best. If they don’t know what to do, if they don’t know where to lineup, if they’re running the wrong route or moving their feet when the ball is snapped, we’ll keep looking for somebody else. They have not been precise enough in these first couple days, these young receivers. They need to get their rear-end in gear.

What Zim Tzu meant: I really think this will be Laquon Treadwell’s breakout year. LOL just kidding. I have no fucking idea what’s back there. Right now it’s like lifting up the cushions of my couch. Might have about 42 cents in change, some popcorn, and maybe an old remote control I haven’t used in three years that I was supposed to turn in when I cut the cord. Damn it man that was like a 10 dollar service charge for lost equipment, too. Might have a Pro Bowler. No idea.

Q: What is Chad Beebe’s best attribute as a possession receiver?

What Zim Tzu said: I wouldn’t call him a possession receiver. I would call him a receiver that, when he runs his routes, he never slows down. Most players, when they’re running a route they get to the top of the route, they slow down to make a break and he doesn’t have to do that; he never changes his stride length. His issue has been his health, quite honestly. He needs to stay healthy and prove that he can stay healthy.

What Zim Tzu meant: His last name is Beebe. He is as fragile as a Faberge egg.

Q: With the number of injuries at defensive tackle, what are you looking for from some of those young guys to stand out now that they have a bigger opportunity?

What Zim Tzu said: The biggest thing is getting the pads on today. That part will start showing itself a little bit. They’re not just playing plays in shorts. I’m interested to see what Hercules [Mata’afa] can do in this practice today. [Armon] Watts, I’m curious to see what he can do. I have a pretty good idea on Jaleel Johnson. CC [Curtis Cothran], I think I have a decent idea on him, I think he has improved, so we will just see how it gets going.

What Zim Tzu meant: I have no idea what to expect from any of these guys, especially Jaleel Johnson.

Q: With Watts specifically, because he only played one year full of college ball, does he need more technical refinement than most or is he kind of a blank slate?

What Zim Tzu said: They all need technical refinement. He’s done a pretty good job with his technique. We play our three-technique and our nose tackle different techniques. So, when they’re moving from one spot to the other, they have to be able to adjust to whatever position that they’re playing. I like him, so we will just have to see how he does today.

What Zim Tzu meant: Andre Patterson shall mold them all into monsters that terrify quarterbacks, and Mitch Trubisky.

Q: What are you looking for from the offensive line now that pads are finally going to be?

What Zim Tzu said: I think the biggest thing is the pad level that they are coming out in, now that they have pads on. That on both sides of the ball we are not raising up out of our stance. Being able to accelerate into the block and being able to stay together on the double teams, things like that you work on, but it is a different deal when you get the pads on and you’re going against somebody with pads on. Those things more so than anything. We have one on one pass rush today, but it is probably not going to look very good because we haven’t done it since last season and that is going to take a little while. The more we can work our way into that, getting the pass rush stuff that will help us as well.

What Zim Tzu meant: I would like for them to not stink of failure. For once.

Q: What are your thoughts on possibly signing a free agent cornerback?

What Zim Tzu said: That is really up to Rick [Spielman] and what he decides. We are always looking for players, it doesn’t matter what position it is. We’ll just keep pounding the pavement.

What Zim Tzu meant: I will pound Rick Spielman’s ass through the pavement if he doesn’t sign at least one guy. Fuckin’ Holton Hill, man.

Q: What did you see out of Craig James last year around this time that made you want to bring him back last year and then keep him around now?

What Zim Tzu said: Well he is typically a pretty smart kid, number one, he has good suddenness in his breaks, and he did a good job while he was here.

What Zim Tzu meant: He was cheap, and brother were we tight up against the cap at the time. And he is not the Craig James that killed five hookers at SMU, which is always a good thing.