The Minnesota Vikings have found their man in Mike Zimmer, hiring him just about an hour ago per NFL.com sources. Mike Zimmer was with the Vikings all day yesterday going through the interview process, stayed overnight, and got the news this morning from Rick Spielman, General Manager, and the Wilf family, who own the Vikings, that he will be the next Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings. He will be now considered the ninth coach in Minnesota’s Franchise history, in hopes of bringing back a stingy defense the Vikings haven’t had since the Purple People Eater days.
Rick Spielman made sure to do his due diligence on all candidates, interviewing seven candidates for the position. The Vikings made clear they did not want to move forward with other interviews after their second one with Zimmer; instead they are bringing him aboard to help fix the issues on this franchise. Many fans and analysts thought Minnesota may look for an offensive minded coach to fix the quarterback situation on offense, and provide a spark, even though the defense was just as horrid ranking 31st in total defense.
After looking through the playoff teams and look for some key elements to why they have made it to the playoffs, the first noticeable element is all four teams have a franchise quarterback. Denver Broncos and New England Patriots having two of the top signal callers in the league, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Secondly, one finds the young and still growing franchise quarterbacks for the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, and they have two of the top ranked defenses in the league. Mike Zimmer will be assigned the task to bring both to Minnesota.
Many have publicly wondered why it has taken this long for Zimmer to get an opportunity as a Head Coach. He’s been a longtime assistant in the National Football League and has led many defenses to the top in his tenure, most recently the Cincinnati Bengals. Sources have reported that he’s already got an eye for a few offensive coordinators; Scott Linehan, Norv Turner, and Mike Mularkey, being the few names being linked to the coordinator position. On the defensive side of the ball, Zimmer is trying to bring his old Linebackers coach Paul Geunther and promote him to the defensive coordinator position for the Vikings.
One thing is for sure that Mike Zimmer has his work cut out for him in Minnesota to make them contenders. Minnesota’s roster does have quite a few pieces on both sides of the ball that he can work with to make a solid team. Adrian Peterson is bound to still be the focal point of the offense, but with a new offensive system in place and possibly a new quarterback; their soon to be named coordinator could potentially turn this one-dimensional offense into a potent one come next year.
After 20 years in the league, Zimmer can finally call a team his own. After all the interviews he went through last year to not receive a position, to this year interviewing five more times for a head coach position, it shouldn’t be a surprise tosee Zimmer walking around with a smile on his face in the Vikings training facility. He’s ready to prove to the NFL world and all the owners and general managers that interviewed him before that he is ready for his shot. Rick Spielman will be soon to introduce Mike Zimmer as the man for the Minnesota Vikings, and the head coach for the future.
by Justin Huffman