Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is again considering handing off defensive play calling to coordinator George Edwards, however only after this season ends.
Zimmer considered the switch last offseason, saying he was evaluating ways he could be a better head coach on game days.
“[Edwards] really does everything for me, other than I call the plays on Sunday,” Zimmer said during a conference call with Chicago reporters on Wednesday. “But I may change that next year.”
The NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel recently distributed its list of annual head-coaching candidates, which reportedly included both Vikings coordinators Edwards and Pat Shurmur.
“George does everything,” Zimmer said. “He helps with the game plan. He runs a lot of the meetings, the defensive meetings. Him and I really sit down and talk about all the different things that are going on. He studies the game just like he’s calling the game. So he’ll come in and talk to me about second down-and-whatever. ‘They’re doing this,’ or, ‘they’re doing that.’ Really, he does everything other than call the game on Sunday.”
Edwards last called defensive plays full-time in 2011 for the Bills. He stepped in for Zimmer and called defensive plays during the Vikings’ 17-15 loss to the Cowboys last season, when the defense played well.
This is Zimmer’s 18th NFL season calling plays, which he’s alluded to as one of his strengths. The numbers prove it.
The Vikings are the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense entering the final regular season game. Minnesota has ranked no worse than 11th since hiring Zimmer.
“You know, I don’t know,” Zimmer said when asked why he’d delegate play calling. “It’s a lot of work when you sit down and do it. I’ve done it for a long time. And because I have confidence in George, as well. I think maybe just the fact that, um, you know, I don’t know – I guess I’m just getting older.”