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Updated: August 3rd, 2014 12:50pm
GM Rick Spielman puts first-time head coach Mike Zimmer to the test

GM Rick Spielman puts first-time head coach Mike Zimmer to the test

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com
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Audio Clip
7/31/2014
Purple Podcast, episode 3: Goessling on why Adrian Peterson loves Zimmer
The coaches took Tuesday’s off day to adjust the practice reps for players. What have we seen with the adjusted practice reps? Are there any surprises in the snap reallocations? On that note, should we read into Chad Greenway losing middle linebacker snaps Wednesday and Thursday? Who do you expect to be the starting middle linebacker week 1? How do you see the quarterback position shaping up? There are some stories saying Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgwater are splitting reps with the first-team offense, but is that accurate? Who’s likely to be the starter in week 1? Goessling talked at length with Adrian Peterson on Thursday and wrote a piece about how Peterson wasn’t happy in Minnesota when Leslie Frazier was fired. He’s come around now, and Goessling outlines that part of the conversation and touches on a few other topics from their conversation.
[Click to listen]
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MANKATO, Minn. - Mike Zimmer didn't start to game plan for the Oakland Raiders until Sunday, five days before the team's first preseason game.

Zimmer's assistants have done the game-day legwork so far while the first-time head coach began a crash course in game management from general manager Rick Spielman.

"Actually [Saturday], what I started doing was game management situations," Zimmer said. "Rick put together a table. We sit down and we talk about game-like situations, challenges, when to use timeouts, go for field goals and things like that."

Zimmer has coached in the NFL as an assistant or coordinator since 1994, but he's never had to call all the shots on game day. Spielman watched as his team started 1-7 last season, including a few late-game collapses partially affected by coaching decisions.

While on 1500ESPN on Sunday morning, Spielman pulled back the curtain a little bit about the scenarios he's put Zimmer in before he coaches his first game on Aug. 8.

"We take an hour here or there and I'll go through those," Spielman said on 1500ESPN. "I have it set up for coach's copy, TV copy and show three or four plays and put [Zimmer] in a scenario - what would you do? You can't anticipate everything. I think I have 40 or 50 different scenarios right now to get you thinking."

Zimmer hasn't decided whether or not he'll be calling defensive plays as he plans to work that out with his staff during the preseason. In the meantime, he and the general manager are working to be on the same page regarding in-game decisions during hour-long meetings each day.

"We've got like four more days to go," Zimmer said. "Rick's never wrong."

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for 1500ESPN.com. He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer
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