An Emotionless, Hopefully Objective Look at Mike Zimmer and Whether He Should Return to the Vikings


Where were you when the world stopped turning?
Jan 26, 2011
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Please pardon the TL;DR title.

Mike Zimmer is my favorite coach in the NFL. I was ecstatic when the Vikings hired him 5 years ago. I'm thrilled that he has lasted so long with the franchise.

But after a disaster of a fifth season under the direction of Zimmer, I'm forced to ponder whether or not he is still the best guy for the job in Minnesota.

My loyalty says Yes. He's phenomenal as a defensive coach. The Zfense (just give me this one--I can't believe it's never been called the Zfense) employs many of my favorite defensive concepts: A-gap blitzes, disguising the coverages by showing blitz, press coverage, to name a few. He is phenomenal with defensive backs. He's openly disciplinary. He is passionate and fiery and set in his ways.

That last part is exactly why he may not be the best man for the job anymore. The hot-headed disciplinarian who doesn't shy away from publicly chastising those around him is pretty much a long-gone coaching technique. It's hard to keep an entire staff and 50some players in your corner when you conduct yourself like Zimmer does. Personally I think people need to expect to be held to such a high standard in this particular profession, but the softies will always melt under a coach like Zimmer and then shrink in big moments.

What I'm basically saying is I feel as though a certain number of guys quit on Mike Zimmer this year. They began to quit in Philadelphia last January. It reared its ugly head throughout this season. From today to New England to Seattle to Buffalo all the way back in week 3. Things weren't going perfectly and guys shut down.

All of that being said, when one looks at the sheer number of disastrous things Mike Zimmer has had to deal with since becoming coach in Minnesota, one can only marvel at the fact that the Vikings even had two successful seasons.

Zimmer inherited a mess. Leslie Frazier fucked this defense up terribly, and Spielman missed badly on Christian Ponder.

Then when Minnesota seemed to have found a promising young QB (albeit he was extremely overrated by the media) in Teddy Bridgewater, Teddy's knee randomly explodes before his third season. Cue Sam Bradford playing marginally well for a season, then a brilliant week 1 performance the following year and then his knee gives out. Cue Case Keenum staying hydrated with Holy Water and playing with Russell Wilson-esque good luck. But stud rookie RB Dalvin Cook tears his ACL one quarter into the season.

Then Cousins. We finally have a QB. Things are looking up. Then our offensive line coach, one of the best in the league, dies unexpectedly (RIP Tony Sparano). Then our best interior lineman suffers a freak neck injury and is out for the season. Joe Berger, our other guard, had also retired. Two new guards, no stud center to start the season. Both tackles get hurt. Stud center comes back, but the guard play around him is so atrocious that he looks bad all year. The only good thing about our OL this year was rookie RT Bryan O'Neill.

Everson Griffin has his mental health issues, misses 5 games. Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Andrew Sendejo all miss multiple games with injuries. Stud first round CB Mike Hughes tears his ACL about a quarter of the way into the season. For the second year in a row, we lose our first round pick to an ACL tear only a few games into the season.

How many offensive coordinators has Zimmer had?

Bad kicking throughout his tenure, including from historically good Dan Bailey.

And that's not everything. Jesus Christ. I'm not sure any Head Coach has had to steer the ship through more utter disaster than Mike Zimmer has over the past 5 years.

So my loyalties want Mike Zimmer back--it's a miracle we've even had 2 playoff seasons with all this going on, and all this bad fortune was completely out of his control. It's not like he had a hand in any of it. Until his players started quitting. My gut says that at this point it's too much to overcome, and both Minnesota and Mike Zimmer need to turn over a new leaf.

I won't be upset if Mike returns. I'll support him as long as he's here. That being said, I feel as though an objective look at this situation may warrant change.

What do the rest of you think?


We're Onto Cincinnati
Aug 16, 2010
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Yes he should still be the coach

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