The Minnesota Vikings visit the struggling Chicago Bears on Sunday, and it’s going to be cold. Like really cold. According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Vikings’ wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson doesn’t want to practice outside, and says his teammates don’t want to either. What does head coach Mike Zimmer have to say about that.
The first-year head coach doesn’t really care what the players think, he makes the calls…he’s Mike Zimmer! OK, maybe that’s not the whole story. For the past 31 years, the Vikings only had to worry about eight outdoor games a year. This year, as they spend two years playing outside at University of Minnesota Golden Gophers’ home field, TCF Bank Stadium, the Vikings are faced with outdoor games in all but one of their remaining games (at Detroit).
As reported in the Pioneer Press story, Zimmer’s response to Patterson’s displeasure is simple:
I’m sure they all would (prefer to be indoors), I would prefer also. But that’s the way it goes.
To Patterson’s defense, the state of Minnesota was hit with a pretty nasty snow/ice storm earlier in the week and the outdoor practice field is cold and icy. No one wants to get injured, but the Vikings have ordered some high-tech heaters to warm the field for the rest of the season.
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner, when talking about the many years he has spent coaching in warmer climates, seemingly agrees with Patterson.
No one talked about worrying about the cold; you just went in and you played. The cold isn’t the issue. When it starts getting windy, when it starts getting real wet, when the footing gets bad, I think those are the things that are tough. If it’s just cold like it is outside, I think you can go throw the ball, and throw it at a high level.
The more interesting issue to those paying attention, will be how rookie quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, will perform in cold weather games. It’s no secret “Teddy Two Gloves” prefers to wear gloves, but does prefer to take them off when the weather conditions turn from dry to wet. According to many scouts entering the NFL Draft, Bridgewater’s small hands were a cause for concern. Will he be able to make NFL throws in cold weather games? Something he didn’t have to do much of while playing at Louisville.
If the Vikings are winning, I think the players will pretty much do what ever coach Zimmer wants. Perhaps that means more indoor practices if they are performing at a high level on Sundays, in the cold.
Photo: Star Tribune Media