MINNESOTA VIKINGS VS. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2014 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME
VIKINGS HEAD COACH MIKE ZIMMER
"A lot of credit goes to the Saints today. They came out, especially early in the ballgame, and changed a lot of things differently in what they did and caught us a little bit off balance. I was proud of the team that we continued to fight back and try to overcome really a tough situation …We are not good enough at things to win the football game. We let them convert on third (down) and 15. We are not getting enough turnovers. We have penalties defensively. We've got to play a lot better than that."
(on the penalty against Captain Munnerlyn) "I think that it was a pivotal point in the ball game. We just sacked him there and they were going to punt the ball backed up, but it was a penalty."
(on Matt Cassel's injury) "He's got several fractured bones in his foot."
(on how long will Cassel be out) "(We have to) talk to the doctor. We will have to see what it is and if he needs to have surgery."
(on if Teddy Bridgewater is the quarterback going forward until Cassel returns) "Yes. He will be ready. It will help to go back at home. It will help to get all of the reps next week."
(on if the coaching staff needs to limit the game plan for a new quarterback) "If a situation like this arises, we have plays that we feel better with him about. We did taper it down some, yes, because he has not gotten all of the reps during the week."
(on Cassel's play before the injury) "I thought that he did some good things. Obviously, it is a tough situation going in there. He made some very good throws. Obviously, he missed a couple. He was able to extend plays with his legs. I thought (he did that) quite well. He overcame some tough situations."
(on the defense playing better as the game went on) "We played a lot better (as the game progressed). They (the Saints) changed a lot of things in what they did with some of their reads, so it is probably my fault. I was going to trick them a little bit in the beginning of the game, but they ended up changing (things). It caught us a little off balance."
"We didn't play well (early). We didn't tackle. We didn't get off blocks. We didn't do much those two (scoring) drives (by the Saints). We left a guy wide open right down the middle of the field. Even on the last touchdown, we should've had that one covered. The guys hung in there. I asked them last week because I felt like a week ago that we didn't withstand what New England gave us. Our whole thing was that if we get punched, we will punch back. I think that we did that (today).
"Now, we need to play better. I keep trying to talk to this football team about being a tough, physical, aggressive, and smart team. Some of the things we did today, I think that we saw improvement. Obviously, (we did) not enough (improvement) in the smart categories. That is really what we are trying to build is when we can withstand a punch here and there and then get a chance to throw some."