In the grand scheme of things, "winning the press conference" should be pretty easy for a new coaching hire on a sports team. Trot out a few well-worn cliches, present yourself in at least an adequate manner and -- boom -- people are at least going to give you the benefit of the doubt.
(Note: It can also be dangerous to base too much off of initial press conferences. See Brewster, Tim).
That said, there is a difference between merely answering questions in a satisfactory manner and projecting the type of character and honesty that actually translate over to the function of your profession.
Watching Mike Zimmer's initial introduction with the Vikings on Friday, we were struck by the notion that he was able to accomplish just that.
He loaded up his answers with a lot of bluster, but he still managed to sound enthusiastic. When he trotted out well-worn phrases, he said them in a way that made you pay attention. Case in point: "I want to grab these players' hearts and get them to follow me."
Who wants to run through a brick wall? (Raises hand).
Friday won't mean a lot in the big picture. The days, weeks and months ahead are the real work for Zimmer as he attempts to establish the Vikings as a consistent winner.
But it was a good first impression. That's not hard to do, but he managed to do it in a meaningful way.