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Head Coach Mike Zimmer


Sunday, Sept 27, 2020

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Q: I know you don't believe in moral victories, but do you still see encouraging signs with Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook?

A: "I think Justin [Jefferson] played well today. I wish Dalvin [Cook] wouldn't have fumbled the ball on that one play. I thought we competed today, but we made too many mistakes to win the game." 

Q: It's early, but how do you keep this team from having the wheels fall off with this 0-3 start?

A: "The thing I have to figure out right now is to keep this team understanding what's causing them to lose. We come out at the start of the second half, we throw an interception and they kick a field goal. We give up a big play on defense. The last possession, when we have a chance to go down and win the game with a field goal, it was a complete disaster. Those are the things that are causing us to lose. Until I can figure out a way … we have a 1-yard run and we get a block in the back and it's first-and-20. Things like that, that the good teams don't do." 

Q: What happened on the wayward snap at the end?

A: "I'm not sure." 

Q: Defensively, you're hampered by injuries, but are you seeing execution things that you can do better?

A: "Well, we're playing with a little bit of a short deck. We had one guy come in, he started at linebacker this week and basically, he's up off the practice squad. And then, you know, I thought there were times we played really today on defense. But you know, the big plays, we can't do that. You just can't do that. Sometimes guys try to make plays that they shouldn't be trying to make. I mean, actually, Harrison Smith made an unbelievable interception – he was the backside safety, but the frontside safety should have been there. And then on the bomb on [Jeff] Gladney, we had two safeties bite. These guys have to do what they're supposed to do, too."  

*Q: How does the rotation with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison work? Dalvin wasn't in on the three-and-out at the end of the third quarter. *A: "Yeah, we have a substitution rotation with those guys. We've been doing it like that all year."  

Q: What did you like about Justin Jefferson's game, and what was surprising about the wheels falling off when they needed it there at the end?

A: "He had a good week of practice. He practiced well, caught a lot of balls this week in practice, so I think that carried over. I want our offense, you know, those guys are all veteran guys. I want them to take charge in those moments when we have the opportunity to go down and win the football game. Instead, it was chaos. So we're going to have to get that squared away."  

Q: Some of them have been late Hail Marys, but Kirk Cousins now leads the NFL in interceptions. What has been a factor in being turnover prone?
A: "I think he got pressured on the one, and then the Hail Mary, that's the way it is."

Q: The defense allowed the long field goal attempts but did hold on third downs. Are you pleased with those efforts?
A: "Yeah, well, you know, it's a little bit of a double-edged sword. You try to help these corners out a little bit, and then they've got that big back (Derrick Henry) in there, so they ran a couple and had a couple of play-actions, and we had to change coverages up and try to pressure them a little bit in different situations. Obviously you don't want them to score anything, so that was—I don't know, it was a 55-yard field goal at the end."

Q: Is it more frustrating — the first two games this team was beaten, but it seems today you beat yourself. Is that how you are assessing this game?

A: "Yeah, well I think maybe we beat ourselves — in the first two games, we didn't give ourselves an opportunity to compete in the game. This game, throughout most of the game, we gave ourselves an opportunity to compete, to fight, do all of those things and with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, we're up by five and that's one of the points of emphasis that we always talk about - winning the last 10 minutes of the game."

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