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26 October 2014

MINNESOTA VIKINGS POSTGAME QUOTES SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2014

HEAD COACH MIKE ZIMMER
 
(Opening statement)
“That was a great finish today. Sometimes, when your team plays as good as we did last week and didn’t come away with it, it’s important for us to be able to finish. Today it was important that that when they did score that touchdown, that, offensively, Teddy [Bridgewater] took them down there and Blair [Walsh] hit the field goal. I told the offense that’s kind of what defines you now, that when we get in situations like this: what are you going to do with it. I know it was obviously a great part by Anthony [Barr], he’s a great kid and a good football player.”
 
(On his defense)
“I felt like we were in pretty good control of the ball most of the time. During the week, at practice, we were humming pretty good defensively and I said if we can continue to do these things then we have a chance to be a good defensive football team. We’re definitely not there yet, we’ve got a long way to go, but I think we’ve made pretty good strides since the beginning of the season.”
 
(On Anthony Barr’s fumble recovery and touchdown run)
“Initially I was a little upset with him because he wasn’t being widened with the tight end enough and he let him catch the ball, but now that it’s over I’m glad he did.”
 
(On Teddy Bridgewater’s technique)
“He was up and down. He took good care of the football, which we asked him to do. He was only sacked one time; you know those things are important, too. We definitely have a hard time scoring points we’ve got to do a better job there. I think his composure was very good today. He took some shots down the field, which we have to do. We’ve got to be able to take some and we missed them. But we keep telling him well hit some. I told Cordarralle [Patterson] this was his best week of practice that he had. I told him before the ball game now let’s take it out to the game and lets play like you can, and I thought he stepped up and played much better today. Charles Johnson made a couple good catches. The throw to Jennings was a great catch and an unbelievable throw; he had a guy in his face. Those are the kind of throws that you can make you’ve just got to keep the pocket clean and he just has to make those throws.”
 
(On Tampa Bay’s fourth-quarter scoring drive)
“I’ve watched these guys [Minnesota] all year long the way they fight, the way they compete and the way we play defense day to day. There was no worry. Last year was last year; I was probably getting beat by Baltimore at that time so I don’t really care what happened last year.”
 
(On Bridgewater only being sacked once)
“I thought we protected much better today. They’ve got a good defensive front, two of the guys used to play for me and one of the guys is one of the best three techniques in the league and the other guy from Michigan state is a good player too. We just did a better job, the offensive line did a better job today and that’s what we have to continue to do.”
 
(On going for fourth-down conversions)
“I was going to go for it and then they didn’t have the right people in there so they called timeout on one and the other one we were going to go for it again and we decided not to. I’m going to keep being aggressive.”
 
(On Barr adapting to new position)
“I knew he was a great athlete. I knew he was a great person. You always have a little bit of doubt when a guy is learning a new position. Sometimes the outside linebacker defensive end pass rushers that move to a 4-3 linebacker like we play have a real difficult transition. He has not had that. Rick [Spielman] and I sat in there and talked about different ways we can use this guy to try and affect offenses and he’s been doing that really good.
 
(On Jerick McKinnon’s progress)
“Jerick looks like a pretty good back, doesn’t he? I love the way he runs, he’s got some great cut ability. But the thing I like most about him right now is his physicality when he runs. He’s a smaller stature guy and is very strong but doesn’t run like a small guy in my opinion and he’s got the juice to get in and out of cuts and make some things happen.”
 
QUARTERBACK TEDDY BRIDGEWATER
 
(Opening statement)
“It’s great to come back to Florida to play a football game. I had a ton of family and friends here, but it was even better to be a part of the first win in Minnesota Viking’s history down in Tampa.”
 
(On his thoughts about the last drive in the fourth quarter)
“It was just one of those deals where we knew we had to go down and get some points, some way, some how. The guys in the huddle believed in each other. The coaches have reminded us that it’s going to take four quarters. That’s something that Coach Zimmer preached last night. That this game is going to take four quarters. Even though it went to overtime today, the guys continued to just focus in and play for one another. That last drive, the guys just made big plays for this team.”
 
(On his reaction when nearly intercepted on the final offensive drive)
“That’s why they play defensive back. He made a great play on the ball. Coach Zimmer had a funny message about our bad luck running out, so we should have some good luck coming. I think that was some of our good luck right there. Our guys did a great job of competing all day. We had one-on-one matchups that we had to win today and the guys did a great job.”
 
(On successful comeback drives helping his growth as a quarterback)
“It helps a lot. It shows what kind of team you have. The type of guys you are going to war with each and every Sunday. We know that games are going to be won in this league and it’s very tough to win. Some games are going to come down to the last two minutes where you have to put together a drive to go win or kick a field goal to go to overtime like today. It feels good, it’s a momentum booster for me, but all we can do is continue to build off of it.”
 
(On how today’s touchdown pass compares to the others in his career)
“Well, I only have two. It was just a great job of Greg [Jennings], winning the one-on-one matchup today. Coach Norv Turner just tells me, ‘give our guys a chance.’ We have these guys that are going to make plays for us. The offensive line did a great job of allowing me to have time to make that throw and Greg did a great job coming down with that catch. ”
 
(On the balanced offense with running and passing plays on the touchdown drive)
“It helped a lot. Those big guys up front. Like I said, we’ve been making improvements each and every week. It was a tough game last week to lose the way we did. We knew that today we wanted to win. The guys, we fought hard, we made our improvements, and we were able to finish today. Those guys did a great job to allow [running back] Jerick Mckinnon to just get in and out of the holes and make plays.”
 
(On wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson’s spectacular catches)
“Oh yes, that’s why we call him Flash. He’s one of those guys he’s going to make plays for this team. We’ve been trying to find different ways to get him involved with the game plan. We know that he’s going to be targeted each and every week with the opponents we’re facing. It was just a great job to see him make those great catches for this team.”
 
(On his thoughts about tight end Chase Ford’s increased role with Minnesota’s offense)
“Chase is a guy who’s been working hard each and every week in practice. Also [wide receiver] Charles Johnson, two guys who’ve been able to make plays for this team. They’ve been working hard each and every day in practice. They’re great in their route running, great in their protections, and great in understanding this offense.”
 
(On his overthrown pass to wide receiver Charles Johnson)
“It hurts a little. That’s why you play this game. You have to forget one play and move on to the next. Each and every game, after looking at the tape, once we get back tomorrow, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have that mindset, or that thought is going to come up where I wish I could have that throw back. You have those thoughts each and every week. Those guys, like I said, we’ll put those plays that we missed behind us and make plays for this team.”
 
(On the improving protection he was receiving from the offensive line)
“It was very good. Those guys did a great job winning those one-on-one matchups this week. Like you said, the sacks went down from eight to five to one today. It just shows the improvements we’re making. Coach Zimmer has been on our guys up front. It’s also me. I play a role in those sacks also. Today those guys did a great job of allowing me to sit back there and play football.”
 
(On his thoughts about trying to score a touchdown on the last drive of the game rather than kick a field goal)
“We thought about it. There was so much going on around the football. We just figured hey, Coach Zimmer knows what’s best for this team. We want to let the clock run down and kick a field goal.”
 
(On his poorly underthrown ball in the first half)
“It was just a poor decision by me and a horrible throw. I have to continue to cut down on those bad decisions and those bad throws and not hurt our defense, not hurt our team. That was one of those deals where I could have just run the ball. I tried to force it, tried to make a play, and luckily we had that good luck on our side, our receiver was able to fight back to the ball and break it up.”
 
(On his decision to throw the football behind Ford for the 19-yard completion to set up the first field goal of the game)
“Yeah, I pretty much felt the defender come into the passing lane. I just put the ball where only our guy can catch it. Chase is a big body who can make those crazy catches for us. It was just one of those deals where he made a catch for us.”
 
(On his estimation of supporters at the game today)
“I can’t even tell you. I’ve been so focused on just winning this game. We knew how important it was to come down here and win. Coach Zimmer he sent a message out after the Friday practice out that we’re not going to see family, we’re going to play a football game, we’re going to win a football game. That was mindset coming into this game. I didn’t even allow my family to come to the hotel to see me last night. I just got the message from Coach Zimmer and wanted to come out here and get this win.”
 
(On if he was hit or felt the pressure on the touchdown pass to Jennings)
“I think I got hit right after I let the ball go. That’s where you have to feel the pressure and still trust that your guys going to be in the right place. Greg has been huge on me, just telling me to trust it and feel it, don’t see it. Cause I’ve been struggling lately with wanting to see guys open, wanting to see the passing lanes. Greg Jennings, he and I we talk about it every day. He’s one of those groups of receivers and he’s on me also. It’s just one of those deals where I just had to trust it and not try and see it.”
 
LINEBACKER ANTHONY BARR
 
(On his game-winning fumble recovery for a touchdown in overtime)
“I was a little late to get there, but I was able to get my hands on the ball and strip it. Fortunate enough to pick it up and score.”
 
(On picking up the ball and running it in for the score)
“It was just out. I saw the ball out – it was an opportunity. I had to seize it.”
 
(On how fitting it was for the defense to help win a game dominated by the defenses)
“I gave one up on the other end minutes before that [game-winning touchdown]. So, I was happy I was able to make it up to those guys because I felt like I let them down a little bit.”
 
(On finishing the game strong)
“I think we still want to finish better than what we did. That last drive they had, the one they scored, that’s not typical the way the game went. So, we have to do better there. But standing up and making big plays when they needed to be made, we were able to do that. That’s kind of what we preached all week.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER GREG JENNINGS
 
(On what today’s win means for Minnesota)
“There’s no quit. As a player, you never really credit the coach for a win, but I feel like this was a [Mike] Zimmer win. This was a Zimmer win today. He jumped on us to finish [games] the last couple weeks. Last week, we came close but we didn’t get it done. I look at him as a hard-nosed coach. He’s going to get out of his players what he set out to get out of his players. He got it out of us today. We were able to finish.”
 
RUNNING BACK JERICK MCKINNON
 
(On the win)
"First off, I'd like to start off by saying, shout out to the running backs. I really look up to all those guys. They really have helped me come along and progress as an all down running back and help develop my game, so I'd like to give them a thank you.  It's a great win for us and it definitely says a lot about our team, fighting hard for four quarters and then going to overtime like that, and still fighting, and then winning the game."
 
(On the difficulty of getting in the offense in rhythm)
"I'd definitely say so. At the beginning of the game, Tampa Bay, they got so many good people on defense and they're filling gaps pretty good, playing the outside really good, but it's one of those things you just got to trust within the plays and play-calling. Eventually things will start to open up and that's what happened today."
 
(On quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's composure on offense)
"Anybody who knows Teddy knows he's soft-spoken, real calm, keeps his composure, so he doesn't really have to say anything to me, or anybody, for us to settle down and calm down. All you have to do is read his body language and you can feel the vibe and it calms you down."
 
(On the offensive touchdown drive)
"It felt good. We really needed a statement drive and needed a touchdown and to help our defense out. They're [defense] playing real good. We were up 3-0 at a pretty good time in the game and eventually it came. Like I said before, it's one of those things where you have to trust within the plays and play-calling and eventually it will happen."
 
CORNERBACK CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN
 
(On the defense coming through)
“Oh yeah, we finished.  Last week we didn’t finish the game and we fell off and let the team down.  At the end, the only thing that counts is the fourth quarter.  Today we came out and we didn’t play well in the fourth quarter, but the offense got us into overtime and we got the win.  [Anthony] Barr came up with the big strip for a touchdown and we got the win.”
 
(On linebacker Anthony Barr coming up with the big play)
“I just see him growing up, growing up in front of my eyes.  He’s going to be a very special player in this league for a long time.  He’s a bigger guy and he’s learning a brand new position which he is excelling well in.  I’m excited for him and I’m glad he’s my teammate.”
 
(On frustration during the early part of the game)
“We’re a team, and we knew the offense was going to come up big at some point to get us in the game.  When we gave up the touchdown, I knew the offense was going to win the game for us.  We weren’t playing well all game, but at the end of the day when it counts, we have to step our game up even more and that’s in the fourth quarter.”
 
(On pulling off the last-second win)
“Yeah, it was a little redemption for us, but at the same time we have to still keep building off this.  I feel like we have the monkey off our back now and it’s time to move on to Washington and after that it’s a bye week so we’ll win this next game and put ourselves in the position we need to be.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER CORDARRELLE PATTERSON
 
(On the win)
"I don't care if we won by one point, two points - it just felt good getting a win. It's been a long time coming for us and hats off to the defense. They played a tremendous game, stepped up on second down, or whatever it was. Barr got a strip-fumble and recovered for a touchdown, so hats off to the defense. They did an incredible job tonight and we thank them for the win we got today."
 
(On finding holes in the secondary)
"You know, Coach was telling me 'You need to get open.’ That's all that's been on my mind for two weeks, three weeks ago, just trying to get open and just trying to find the hole so that Teddy [Bridgewater] can see me. Teddy did a heck of a job placing the ball right there and I was there just to catch it."
 
(On receivers meeting during the week)
"During the week, we just got to get together and just try to build the chemistry with Teddy. Just show him, and prove to him, that we can get open. We tried to do that tonight."
 
(On being targeted)
"I tell Teddy, don't tease me this week giving me six catches and next week, don't give me the ball. It feels good to get the ball, not just to me, but all the other receivers. Greg Jennings had a touchdown for us. Charles [Johnson] had a big third-and-5 catch, so it felt good to go out there and showcase ourselves. Coach Zimmer has been telling us we need to find a way to get open and we did that tonight."
 
(On whether he wishes he had scored the touchdown that went to Greg Jennings)
"I didn't want it. My number wasn't called that time; Greg's number was that time. I'm not a selfish guy, like I say all the time, and Greg caught it. When he scored, it felt like I scored. That's what us receivers do. One score, we feel like we've all scored. One makes a play, we all make a play. There's no selfishness in here. We just do what we do best."
 
KICKER BLAIR WALSH
 
(On having timeouts called right before kicks)
“Never settle down.  It’s definitely tough to go out there, hit the kick and then have it called back for a timeout and then do it again.  But our line, our snap, and our holder did a great job of being consistent all day and helping me out in those situations because it’s rare that you have those.  They stepped up.”
 
(On frustration during the early part of the game)
“Yeah, it was very frustrating.  We couldn’t get the offense going the first half, and then all of a sudden they got their’s going in the second.  We stepped up to the plate, we showed resolve as a team and came back and won.”
 
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