Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn’t spend much time thinking about how well he’s doing at rebuilding this franchise, but instead is focused on how well his football team is learning how to win.
Zimmer seemed pleased with the progress on Monday, a day after a 23-20 victory in Chicago improved the Vikings to 5-2 on the season.
“I talked to the football team a long time ago and I continue to talk to them about there’s four learns in football,” Zimmer said in Monday’s press conference at Winter Park, “First you learn how to compete, then you learn how to win, then you learn how to handle winning, and then you learn how to be a champion.
‘We’re somewhere in that stage of learning how to win and learning how to handle winning. But we’re still young. These are things that we have to understand.”
The Vikings have won three straight games and are 3-0 in the NFC North Division. They face 4-3 St. Louis at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Zimmer wasn’t completely pleased with the defense on Sunday, but took some of the blame. He wouldn’t comment on what his mistakes were.
“We didn’t play tight enough coverage in a lot of areas,” Zimmer said. “So we’ve got to do a much better job there. If you can stop the run, you’ve have a chance to do something and we’ve been playing well in the red zone, but we didn’t play real well [Sunday]. I think they had two touchdowns in the red zone ’cause we had a couple busts. But we have to eliminate those things.
“And I probably did somethings [Sunday] that were out of character as well that could have helped the team a little bit better. … I’m not going to discuss them.”
The Vikings coach liked the way his team was able to finish, once again. Their last four games have been close in the final quarter and the Vikings have found a way to win the last three.
“We are developing some intensity at the end of football games being able to come back and finish. we’ve been in a lot of these close ball games. I think some of the team is starting to really believe that we can win in these situations.”