Coach Mike Zimmer explained today why the Vikings opted to stand by defensive coordinator George Edwards when he was arrested for a DWI in May when they did not with practice-squader Isame Faciane.
“Every situation is different,” he said. “And I really don’t care about being consistent. I care about being right. When this happened with George, George was given a lot of things to do, including a huge monetary commitment that he had to make. And he fulfilled all of his obligations.”
Edwards was charged with three misdemeanors, including fourth-degree DWI, after registering a blood-alcohol level over the 0.08 legal limit. As part of a plea deal, he pleaded guilty Aug. 30 to misdemeanor careless driving and was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $1,000.
This summer, Edwards attended a court-ordered chemical dependency class and a panel with victims through Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
In a statement, the Vikings said Edwards was “significantly disciplined” by the team after immediately notifying them of his May arrest. The NFL felt their punishment was sufficient and will not further discipline him.
Zimmer voiced support for Edwards, his defensive coordinator the past three years, but said “if he messes up again, his future will be [in doubt].”
As for Faciane, who was arrested last Wednesday hours after players were dismissed for their bye week, Zimmer said the practice-squad guard was released because he did not immediately handle his arrest acceptably.
“[With Faciane’s] situation, I told the players in the meeting the day they left to make sure they stay out of trouble and do the right things. I told them again on the field [as] they left. I had the coaches text them and remind them to stay out of trouble,” he said. “And then when this did happen, on the very same day he was told to call me twice and didn’t.”