“Actually, I had a heck of a dream last night,” Zimmer said as the Minnesota Vikings wrapped up their week of practice. “I dreamt that we won the Super Bowl. It was amazing. It was real, too. I was getting ready to get up on that podium, and then I woke up.”
Zimmer will wake up Sunday morning with the St. Louis Rams and their formidable defense to deal with in St. Louis.
He said he will be nervous entering the game, but not apprehensive.
“It hasn’t hit yet, but it will. I’ll be nervous. It will be fun. I’m excited,” he said. “I’m excited to watch this team play. If we play like we practice and do the things like we did, I really shouldn’t be nervous because we’re doing the right things. But it’s just my nature that I’m kind of a high-strung, tight butthole.
“… As a defensive coordinator it was always my fear we wouldn’t tackle anybody the whole day. That kind of tells you my nervousness.”
Zimmer said he received a text from Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells on Tuesday and texted him back, but he hasn’t talked with Parcells or any of the other former head coaches he has relied upon for counsel in the previous months as he goes through his first full year as a head coach in the NFL.
Former Vikings head coach Jerry Burns and longtime NFL coach and personnel executive Paul Wiggin attended Friday’s practice but didn’t address the team.
“I just asked them if they were ever nervous. They said they could never sleep the night before the games,” Zimmer said. “They were just very positive with what they’ve seen in preseason and what Coach Wiggin has seen out here on the field.”
Zimmer said some of the game situations he reviewed with general manager Rick Spielman during training camp were helpful for his preseason preparation.
”It got me thinking more about the situations. During the course of a ballgame I’m a lot more aware of the different situations in the game than I was as a defensive coordinator,” Zimmer said.
Three Vikings were ruled out for Sunday’s game: LBs Brandon Watts (knee) and Michael Mauti (foot) and FB Zach Line (ankle). None of them practiced during full-team work all week.
DE Everson Griffen was listed as questionable after missing Thursday and Friday’s practices with illness. Griffen was at Winter Park on Friday and said he will play and start.
“It will not affect my role,” Griffen said. “I’ll be ready to play Sunday as my full-time role.”
OT Mike Harris (shoulder) was also listed as questionable and was limited in Friday’s practice.
CB Jabari Price (shoulder) and WR Rodney Smith (neck) are probable, meaning they are a “virtual certainty” to play, and were full participants all week.
For the Rams, CB Trumaine Johnson (knee) and C Barrett Jones (back) didn’t participate in practice all week and are out. DE Eugene Sims (knee) is questionable. OT Jake Long (knee), DE Williams Hayes (chest), and LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (shoulder) were full participants Friday and are probable.
“There’s times when I have to go back and talk to the guys and (offensive coordinator Norv Turner) handles things when I’m busy,” Zimmer said.
“We miss Prief, first of all. But Joe has carried over the intensity that Priefer always has,” Zimmer said. “It’s been good. We’ve been doing the same things that we’ve practiced. Mike had the game plan done long before he left. It’s been pretty seamless as far as the transition.”
“We didn’t bring him in for that reason,” Fisher said. “We brought him in because we felt like he’s got some ability. He’s bounced around, been at a few teams. Watched him play in some preseason games looked like he’s got something to work with.”
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.