Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Wednesday, October 24, 2018
What has made Adam Thielen so successful?
"Adam's a good competitor, he runs really good routes (and if) the ball's close to him, he catches it. I think he's going to have a good relationship with Kirk (Cousins). I think he's been fortunate throughout the whole season. He makes plays when he gets opportunities."
What's been the biggest different with going with Kirk?
"He's extremely accurate, he works hard, studies real hard. He is developing a pretty good handle with the offense. He's just a really solid guy, competitive."
What stood out to you about Teddy Bridgewater during the time that you had him on your team from 2014-17?
"His mom is a great person, but Teddy is an unbelievable person. He's a great competitor. He's got an unbelievable will to win to succeed, always has a smile on his face and players gravitate towards him. I always thought that he would be the quarterback for the rest of my (coaching) career."
What do you think of Danielle Hunter, having developed from having five sacks in his college career at LSU to where he is now?
"He meant everything that we were looking for as far as length, speed, athleticism, what kind of person he was, the intelligence and how hard he worked. We felt like if we cleaned some things up with his technique that he had a chance to be an effective pass rusher."
When it comes to the play last year in the playoffs called the Minnesota Miracle, does that play become a distraction for you, even though you are on the positive end of it as a team?
"We do not talk about it too much honestly. The media and people do, but we really do not. An hour later we were on to the next game. Our team doesn't make a big deal about it."
What do you think about the season Drew Brees is having so far?
"He's unbelievable. The guy is just such a competitor. He knows where to go into football. He is an unbelievably accurate thrower. He has an amazing command of the offense. Sean (Payton) and him get along really well as far as the concept that they're trying to work. He's definitely a Hall of Fame guy.
There are two headlining running backs on these teams in Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara from the draft class of 2017. What do you remember about Alvin from that pre-draft process?
"That was a good draft at running back and we liked all of them. We liked Kamara and we're glad we got Cook. We looked hard at running backs and I think the guy in Kansas City (Kareem Hunt was also) one of them. I'm trying to think. There's five or six who we thought were really good players and it's kind of turned out that way."
When you look at the leading receivers in the league you look at Adam Thielen and you also look at Michael Thomas. What is it that stands out about them?
"He's a big physical guy who runs really great routes. I was Ohio State for his workout and was very impressed with him that day as well. I think he's just continued to improve and get better each day he's been in the NFL. He runs great routes, he's a great competitor, he catches the ball well He continues to continue to impress. He's going to be one of the best receivers in the league for a long, long time."
What's made you guys so good defensively on third down?
"We work hard at it. But the players have executed. Honestly I do not think it is anything special. We just kind of do the things we do and try to be really good at it. We're trying to give a quarterback a few different looks at times. But I would say it's more about the players executing than anything else."
Is it a little easier preparing for an opponent when this will be the third time you will have played them in the last 13 months?
"I don't like preparing for Brees for sure. They're a really good football team. They've added some good players. So is it easier? There's a bunch of other teams I'd rather prepare for than them."
How nice was it to have Everson Griffen back?
"It's good. It's nice to see him back here with smile on his face."
How important is it for what you do defensively, having two pretty good ends regardless of the situation?
"When he gets back you know playing and those things, obviously it's going to help. Everson's a really good player. I think he'll add a little bit of spark to us because of his personality and the intensity he carries on the field and you can never have enough pass rushers. So I think that's a good thing."
Is Alvin Kamara an underrated physical runner?
"Yes, very much so. He's a very physical runner. I was saying he reminded me of Eric Dickerson the way he runs. He runs kind of a little bit upright but he's got a lot more physicality than you think. That's kind of the guy he reminded me of. He's kind of a glider, good feet. I have been extremely impressed with him."