EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Mike Zimmer has his mind made up and says he knows who the Minnesota Vikings will start at quarterback Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.
For now, he’s choosing to keep his decision close to the vest. Zimmer won’t meet with his players until Wednesday, which is when he plans to inform the team of the starter before the Vikings begin preparations for their Week 11 opponent in a game with playoff implications.
Following Minnesota’s 38-30 win over Washington on Sunday, Zimmer said he has a plan in place for how he’ll manage the position going forward. It’s a plan he said he would evaluate this week and he didn’t offer up more than that, other than the notion that, “sometimes plans change.”
Whether Case Keenum did enough against the Redskins to hold off Teddy Bridgewater another week is in question. Keenum was 21-of-29 for 304 yards and threw a career-high four touchdown passes. He also threw interceptions on consecutive drives.
The bad plays didn’t unravel all the progress he made during arguably his top performance of the season, but in balancing the good with the bad while assessing Keenum’s performance, Zimmer wants his quarterback to slow things down and respond differently when the action gets heated.
“Well, the two turnovers were bad,” Zimmer said. “Back to back and we had the game pretty much in hand. The rest of the game he played pretty darn good. He moved in the pocket well, threw the ball good. I think he started slow the last couple ballgames and then he started really fast in this game and then the first half came back and the second half a little bit. He’s a very excitable guy and sometimes he gets off the reservation a little bit. I talked to him a little bit this morning about understanding the situation of the game and where we’re at. Sometimes a throwaway is a good thing.”
What Zimmer wants to avoid is having that excitability cause Keenum’s mechanics and footwork to break down, like they did on his first interception. With the Vikings in field goal range late in the third quarter, Keenum lofted a pass off his back foot into triple coverage.
The unfortunate throw resulted in a learning experience for the quarterback.
“One of the first things Coach [Kevin] Stefanski said actually, that my feet were in a bad place,” Keenum relayed after the game. “It was a poor decision. When things don’t fit my eye, I don’t see it well. I need to not make a bad play worse.”