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What The Vikings Said Following Their 25-19 Preseason Win vs The Seahawks

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Head Coach Mike Zimmer

(Opening...) Overall I thought it was a pretty good performance. We had one penalty in the first half, so that was one of the big things we were trying to improve on this week. I thought offensively we moved the ball well. Unfortunately we got the penalty down there inside the 10 yard line. But I thought we moved the ball well. Had a fumble early, then the interception for the touchdown. I thought time of possession, we were plus 17 minutes, which is always a good thing. Goes to show you converting third downs, sticking with the run at times when it looks like there's nothing there, eventually you pop 'em. Defensively I think we can be better on third downs. We need to get back to work on that a little bit. We had a couple busted coverages tonight that we don't normally do. We'll get back with the drawing board and go from there.

(On Mike Boone's performance...) Yeah, I did. He's an explosive kid, runs hard. He’s got juice to get to the perimeter. Yeah, he did well last week, as well. That's a good thing for him.

(On Kaare Vedvik's performance...) I thought he did well. He kicked the ball deep. Had the one extra point or field goal, I don't remember what it was. Then he punted okay. We'll just keep looking at him, see where we're at from there. We won't make a decision today.

(On the young corners...) We had a couple busted coverages we need to fix that we don't typically do. We'll get back with it, start grinding them more and more. They may have to play so they need to get going.

(On the offensive line...) Yeah, I think like I've said many times, we're helping with the things we're doing. The ball is coming out quick. We're play-action, getting on the perimeter. The quarterback is not stationary in the pocket all the time. I think all those things help the offensive line. Play-action pass, you got some extra guys staying in, got some extra hands on the rushers. Then changing it up, which has been good.

 (On Kyle Sloter and Laquon Treadwell...) We're trying to get Treadwell the ball a little bit more in the second half. Try to showcase him a little bit, I guess. He made some nice plays. [Kyle] Sloter, when he goes in the game, he just continues to do well.

(On Sean Mannion bounce back after the pick-six...) Yeah, he's had a good camp, a couple good games. It was one bad play. Really it was a miscommunication between (Chad) Beebe and himself. We'll try to clear that up and make sure it doesn't ever happen again. But it was nice to see him continue to go back out there and play well.

(On the pass interferences...) I don't know, honestly. It's hard to know when they're going to call it, when they're not going to call it. I didn't think the one on Adam [Thielen] tonight was offensive pass interference. There was another one on the sideline that I thought about challenging, and I didn't do it because I didn't think it was flagrant enough or clear and obvious enough... I think all the people that I've talked to and communicated with, they have that concern, yes. There was a couple that happened yesterday that one got reversed or whatever. I think it's going to be a work in progress, yes.

(On Holton Hill's hit...) Number one, we don't want to see anybody get hurt. I told Pete (Carroll) that after the game. I was sorry about his quarterback. Number two, he can't drop his head. But saying that, when a quarterback is running an option, he ought to be fair game other than lowering your head and hitting him in the head. If they're going to let these quarterbacks be runners, we should be able to hit him. He didn't hit him legally. We need to (be able to) hit these guys.

(On receiver Brandon Zylstra...) I think the explosiveness is starting to come back a little bit for him now. I thought he did well tonight.

(On Jeff Badet's performance...) I thought he did okay returning. He got a couple balls maybe early. But he was also gunner on punt team. We'll just have to look at the tape and see. Jeff, he's got great speed, he can run extremely fast. His issue is learning all the positions and seeing what he can do on special teams.

(On evaluating a special teams gunner...) No, you just watch when he's going against one guy or two guys and how he does. I know on the one, was it the kickoff that they squirted it out a little ways? No, it was a punt. He didn't contain the ball, so we’ll have to look at that one.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins

(Opening...) I honestly thought it was a really positive night. It's a small sample size. It's preseason. You don't try to read too much into it. But I came away feeling good about the first two drives, also really the rest of the offense the rest of the way. Good mix of run and pass. We avoided sacks. Even the interception was a really tough look that I found myself saying to Sean Mannion, “I may have done the same thing just because how difficult of a look that was.” It's been really good to have that happen in the preseason when it doesn't hurt you as much. Talk to the coaches about what we should do with the receiver and the communication. Just got a lot of people involved. Thought (Mike) Boone ran the ball really well. Everybody did that. A lot of people caught the football and made plays for us. It was great to get Adam going in the deep ball. The pass interference was helpful, but would have loved to connect on the play. The penalty gives you a similar gain. The clipping penalty kind of took points off the board for us there. Ended up with a long third down that was hard to convert. The screen that we didn't hit was a really disappointing play. I thought that one should have been hit. That's a big play with the pressure they brought there. The fumbled snap followed that play immediately. Those two plays were not good. Got to avoid that at all costs. Other than that, it was really clean. So we feel pretty good about a lot of the plays throughout the game.

(On the offensive line...) No doubt. Very clean. Like I said, our second game where we really didn't take a sack. I think we might have statistically taken a sack on a bootleg we took out of bounds, technically on the line of scrimmage. When you think about sacks in the pocket, don't know if we've had one now for two weeks. Again, preseason, can't read too much into it. But that's a good thing.

(On the deep ball to Adam Thielen...) We say throw the ball to the hash. That's where we want that ball. I think it landed pretty close to there. Adam said he couldn't find it. He looked up, trying to find it and couldn't. Good to get the interference call.

(On the fumbled snap...) We go on our quick count there. The line was still trying to make a call, trying to identify the front. So I'm wanting the ball snapped, they're still trying to make the call; they're not quite ready for the ball to be snapped. I'm ready to grab it; he's not ready to snap it. The timing is off. When we want to go fast and catch a defense off guard, do we want to slow down and allow the line to get set or go and deal with the consequences of not communicating before the snap? You gain something and lose something on whichever side you fall there.

(On the screen game...) I don't know if you've been at practice, but we spend about 10 minutes every pre-practice, all we do is screens. There's been an emphasis now for about four weeks just pre-practice every day, going over every single screen we have. It's an important piece. You hit it on the head; we want to be better at that this year. You get what you emphasize. We got to emphasize it. It starts with practice. But would have been really nice to hit that one. We didn't hit it. That was frustrating... He wanted the ball placed on him. I wanted to touch it over the blitzer. We didn't have tons of room because they blitzed. Would have been a huge gain. We just got to connect.

(On his growing confidence with his teammates...) We just want to get these game reps with newer players. Feel like when we get to week one, it's not the first time they've been out there in live action making plays for us. We want to build up an inventory of reps with as many young players as we can. When their number gets called week one, two, three, we're ready to roll, they're ready to roll. We cannot miss a beat.

 (On the pass interference on Thielen...) Yeah, I was surprised he didn't come down with it. I gave him a hard time on the sideline. “You should power down with that, come down with it. You're too good.” He said, “I couldn't find the ball. If I found it earlier, that's what I would have done.” Yeah, he's a special player.

(On the pass interference challenge...) I was surprised, yeah. Like every fan watching the game, I'm interested to see how often that flag gets pulled, how often people want to take a look at every play. It happened so fast, but I was surprised. I thought maybe they were challenging whether his foot was inbounds. Adam went over there, talked to him. Coach said,” I want to challenge.” Adam said,” If I didn't do what I did, I can't play. You got to be able to do that.”

(On staying engaged during preseason play...) Game reps are so valuable, even if you're not the one playing, to be able to hopefully from the sideline, even though it's a reduced vantage point, be able to process within the speed of the game. To do that you got to hear the call. Wearing the helmet helps. Like even the interception, I found myself saying, “Throw it to the shallow.” That's where my mind was going in real-time. Then the ball was intercepted. You find yourself saying, “Wow, I'm trying to take a rep from the sideline. I pretty much did the same thing in my mental rep.” Those are the things that help you learn.

(On the team's bounce back after having interception returned...) That's what Gary came in here just at the end and was talking with us. He said, “Hey, a big part of playing the quarterback position, because the interceptions are going to happen, sacks, fumbles, all kinds of negative plays, it's how you respond.” Sean did, the offense did. Once again, I think similar to last week, it was just a very well-rounded performance when you look at the offense as a whole-rushing, passing efficiency, converting third downs. Aside from that one interception, we didn't have a lot of scary throws that were foolish throws that put the team in danger.

(On the Vikings quarterback situation...) I don't know if it's really my place to comment on. I'll let the coaches, the personnel department evaluate. I think they're all great players, great guys, great teammates. We have a really good quarterback room. They're all deserving of being NFL quarterbacks, that's for sure. Things have to sort themselves out. I think you see now in the first two games, there is a good amount of depth on this team. There's a good amount of guys that can go out there and be proficient when they play. That's a really good thing for us as a team.

(On Kyler Murray...) Yeah, it is. Super talented. Strong arm. Electric. One to watch. I think he's going to be a great quarterback in this game for a long time. It will be great to get a front row seat watching him as part of the game next week. That's a good defense. They gave us fits last year. Chandler Jones is a beast, pass-rusher. Be good to go through the normal paces this week, prepare, hopefully have a really strong outing come this next Saturday.

Wide Receiver Laquon Treadwell

(On the possibility of starting fresh with a new team...) I stay in the moment. I am here now, and I embrace everything about being a Viking. I am continuously learning and doing a lot of things differently that I did not do in the past. Regardless of what happens, I know I have given my full effort. I have tried my best and whatever happens is not up to me. I will continue to work hard and we will see what happens.

(On Sunday's performance being indicative of his abilities...) Yes, (making those big catches) is what I am used to doing. Things are clicking for me now mentally more than physically. I try to keep that perspective and let the rest take care of itself. I have no control over who gets the ball, when I play, and I always tell myself to stay open. That is what got me here. By keeping my mindset and staying open. It does not matter who has the ball or how many reps I have gotten. In previous years, that used to bother me, get under my skin a little bit. Now whenever I get out on the field, I have to make the most of my time. When you are not the person who people expect to shine or make big plays, you have got to make the most of your opportunities.

(On his mindset...) Every year is different. I thought last year was slow for me. It did pick up to where I got to play and start, but it was still slow for me. Now, my mindset is changing, and I focus making the most of every opportunity, not caring how many reps I get and simply doing everything I can to help the team win and stay consistent.

(On his situation with the Vikings...) Of course, that comes across when you are struggling, and you are wanting to help your team so bad. I try not to make that my reality because it is not. I try not to speak that into existence, speak that around my teammates, and into my mindset because it is not reality. You have got to embrace your reality at all times of life. I try to stay here in my present moment and go as hard as I can.

Punter/Kicker Kaare Vedvik

(On his first performance with the Vikings...)Overall I’m happy. We got out there and I felt the operations were good.

(On his kicking opportunities...)  No, it was expected. We split the reps accordingly. I got the PATs and the field goals from the third quarter on out. So I went in there (Chad); Beebe was money with the hold and all I had to do was kick it straight.

(On the mindset in his new situation...) It’s what you do every day. I don’t put much thought into the surrounding noise. I just focus on what I do and to the best of my abilities.

(On being up to the task of all kicking duties...) Yeah, the more I get to play, the more fun I will have. It’s a great stadium to kick in and the fans are great as well.

Quarterback Kyle Sloter

(On his thoughts of their young playmakers...)  Very impressed. As a quarterback, a lot of the time you have a favorite guy out there, but it is really nice to have guys out there. I do not look for a particular matchup because I know they are all going to win. I do not really have to go out there and pick and choose different routes and concepts for different guys. I am really just going out there and playing my game because I know that everybody is going to win. It is really nice to have some playmakers out there.

(On the two second half scoring drives...) I think for the most part it was a smooth operation. There are definitely things that I can fix and get better at. I know I have to watch the play clock a little bit better. That is something that I can work on. Overall, I was just really proud of the guys. My offensive line was great today. They kept me clean all day. I really do not think I was hit at all. So, I am really proud of those guys and proud of the skill position guys. Mike Boone, in particular, ran the ball really hard. Again, could not be happier for my guys.

(On Sunday's play calling...) I would not say that bootleg is where I am most comfortable. I think it is just a big part of our offense. It is something that we want to incorporate as much as we can. Moving the pocket kind of keeps the defense honest. It makes the defensive ends think about different stuff in the run game. They cannot flow down the line of scrimmage and make a play; they have to be conscious of the quarterback booting out. I know it is going to be a big part of our offense. The running game is obviously going to be a big part of our offense. I am just really excited to be a part of a special unit.

Wide Receiver Jeff Badet

(On his abilities within their offensive scheme...) It just brings another weapon to the offense. We have guys like Diggs, Adam, Beebe that have special abilities and I come in as a speed guy and I keep the defense honest.

(On his biggest challenge to learn...) That is something going back to Diggs and Adam, that is something that they are always coaching me on each and every day and something that I really worked on in the offseason. Everybody knows me just as a speed guy, but now I can definitely run routes and definitely create space and run and get open in routes. So, this is something that Diggs and Adam are always coaching me up on that.

(On his return...) I guarantee one of them I am going to bust open. I can guarantee that one of these returns I am going to bust open; I just have to stay with it.

(On improving his stock...) Ha-ha, I hope so. Like I said, once I get an opportunity I just try to capitalize and whether it is 5, 10, 30 snaps I am just trying to do to the best of my ability.

Tight End Irv Smith Jr.

(On the offense's performance...) I feel like with this offense we have so many different weapons. Coach (Kevin) Stefanski and Coach (Gary) Kubiak, they want to get us all involved, so I feel like they did a great job of that tonight, getting everyone involved and making plays out there.

(On his first touchdown reception...) When I heard the call it was tight end zone, I had a feeling I had a chance to get the ball in the end zone and Sean Mannion did a great job of finding me, threw me the ball, and I made a great play out there.

(On his touchdown celebration...) I am from New Orleans so it’s just like a fun dance that we do out there. I just try to bring a little style and fun to the field.

(On his comfort level within the offense...) Definitely. Each day I feel like I am trying to focus on something and just try to get better each day. That is my main focus, so I can go out there and play fast. The first game I was getting there, and I am definitely taking steps forward. I am just trying to do that each day at practice and each game.

Vikings Kicker Dan Bailey

(On Kaare Vedvik...) Definitely a talented guy. Strong leg and good attitude too. I mean he’s a pro and that’s obviously what anyone would want on their team. It’s been a positive experience for me and like I said before, whether somebody is here or not, you are always competing. It’s been good and I think he fits in just fine. 

(On who takes longer field goal opportunities...) As far as I know, no. I mean I don’t know. That’s kind of up to them to handle that. There was nothing discussed as far as that goes.

(On working with Chad Beebe as an older kicker...) Chad (Beebe) is great. I mean he’s just a good dude in general and he wants to do whatever he can to help. That’s his attitude, which is great and he’s confident back there catching the ball so it’s been good. We are just trying to figure out the operation and get that cleaned up, so who knows moving forward, but it’s been good so far.

(On getting a chance to kick at US Bank Stadium prior to Sunday's game...) We didn’t, no. We talked about it, but I guess X-Games was here, so it just didn’t work out. We planned on coming out here, but we just didn’t get to.

Wide Receiver Brandon Zylstra

(On his confidence...) More than I was at the beginning of camp, I can tell you that. I am just trying to stay available and stay ready for wherever they do want to use me.

(On his progress within the offense...) As far as the playbook, I feel like I got that down. One thing I kind of struggle with right now is reading defenses and reacting to that fast enough. That is something I need to get down these next couple weeks.

(On receiving more opportunities for receptions...) It kind of shows that you are doing the right thing. So, it is definitely nice to have the football finally coming your way.

Running Back Mike Boone 

(On tonight's performance...) That is a big credit to the offensive line, those guys they work hard, and they open the holes and it’s on me to do what I am supposed to do, I give a big credit to the offensive line for that.

(On his offseason growth...) I have worked hard this offseason working on speed and power, so I am glad to see that showing on the field.

(On teammate Irv Smith Jr....) That feels good, just for a teammate to congratulate you and give you a little credit, but we are all a team and he made the play that he was called on to make, so shout out to him.

(On being lined up in the slot...) Just show some versatility, show you can line up wide and catch the ball, or even block for the receivers out wide, and adding another dynamic to what I try to do.

(On the offense's utilization of their running backs...) Yes definitely, every back we have has great hands, can line up wide also.

(On his view ahead of Sunday's game...) I just tried to come in like I approach every week and showcase what I can showcase, put my best foot forward, and try to make plays when my number is called.

(On what he needs to continue to show coaches...) Consistency, I am trying to do the same thing next weekend and that is my goal, control what I can control.

Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' second preseason game of 2019 against the Minnesota Vikings.

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