New Vikings coach talks Peterson, QBs and more

The Vikings coach took on a variety of subjects at the NFL scouting combine.

Zimmer at the NFL combine.

– Mike Zimmer’s whirlwind first month as the new Vikings coach hit the big stage this week when he and hundreds of other NFL personnel gathered at this week’s combine.

Evaluating the more than 300 prospects makes it a busy time for the Vikings staff, but Zimmer addressed a variety of topics about players already on the team.

Among them:

• Zimmer expects running back Adrian Peterson to return in time for the Vikings’ late April minicamp. Zimmer said he received a positive report from head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman on Peterson, who had groin surgery last month. He was expected to fully recover in six weeks, but Zimmer said Peterson has been healing better than expected.

While there have been concerns about Peterson’s durability following his third consecutive offseason surgery, Zimmer said, “This guy isn’t an average 28- or 29-year-old [Peterson turns 29 next month] back.

“This guy is special and some of the things, when we were fixin’ to play him, I was like, ‘Wow, if we’re not really good in the way we line up and contain and be in the right positions, we’re going to have a hard, hard day.’ ”

• The Vikings hope to add a rookie quarterback to their roster in the draft, but Christian Ponder is the only quarterback under contract for next season. When asked if he would be comfortable with Ponder as his starter, Zimmer said, “Yeah, if he was the best player.”

General Manager Rick Spielman said Thursday that he would like to add a veteran quarterback to compete for the starting position.

“[Ponder’s] got a great arm, he runs good, he’s a very bright guy,” Zimmer said. “I think everybody wants him to live up to his expectations, not only that we all have of him, but he has of himself. It’s hard for me to judge him when I haven’t been out on the field with him, asked him to do things, seen how he does different things. Once we get on the field, we’ll figure all those things out.”

• NFL personnel trust game tape more than any other evaluation element in most cases, but Zimmer won’t make his final verdict on a player until after an in-person encounter. The most important thing he’s looking for out of the conversation is whether the player is a “smart” guy.

“You can usually tell by talking to them, visiting with them,” Zimmer said. “Most guys are pretty respectful in how they talk, the way they interact with people. I think you can tell it, but you can also get them by the board and talk to them about.”

Zimmer said he and his defensive coaches watched film of the Bengals defense he coached last year and realized how many smart guys they had by his definition. He said he might copy a sign Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells displayed during his tenure with the Cowboys. It read: “Dumb players do dumb things. Smart players very seldom do dumb things.”

“Things happen so fast on the field that I think the players that are more intelligent can overcome some things that happen quickly like that,” Zimmer said.

• Zimmer still is adapting to life as an NFL head coach and realizing there’s more to it than just coaching football. That includes creating the team’s offseason schedule, which Zimmer doesn’t seem to enjoy.

“It’s just a pain in the rear end that you’re trying to do schedules for training camp, when to do red zone, when to do two-minute and all the other different scenarios and situations that come about,” he said. “Maybe it’s just because it’s on my mind at this point in time, but that is a part that has been difficult for me.”

  • related content

  • Vikings coach Mike Zimmer still is adapting to life as an NFL coach. Creating the man training camps schedules is new territory.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta - WP: D. Hale 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: M. Parra 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6 FINAL
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 3
Detroit - LP: R. Ray 6 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 20
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 5
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 1 FINAL
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 5
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 5
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 6
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 72 FINAL
Phoenix 75
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close