Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: New Vikings coach, straight-shooting Zimmer, finally gets his shot

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 16, 2014 - 12:30 AM

Xs and Os, not PR

An NFL assistant for 20 years, Zimmer has spent the past 14 as a defensive coordinator for three teams. When he was in Dallas, the Cowboys had top-10 defenses whether Zimmer used his preferred 4-3 scheme or the 3-4 scheme that Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells wanted.

Before Zimmer arrived in Cincinnati, the Bengals had one top-10 defensive ranking in 18 seasons. Under Zimmer, the Bengals have had four in the past five seasons and reached the playoffs three straight years for the first time in franchise history.

Yet Zimmer was consistently passed over for head coaching jobs. One person close to him said it’s probably because Zimmer is too frank, too unpolished and that, “he’s made his mark as a football coach, not a smooth, slick CEO who walks in with his own PR firm.”

Zimmer told reporters in Cincinnati two weeks ago that he’s gotten better at interviewing since admittedly blowing one with the Rams years ago. He also said there were times when he knew immediately that the fit wasn’t right.

“Once, I had to fill out like a 200 [question] questionnaire on like, ‘If it’s sunny out, do you feel …’ ” Zimmer said. “I didn’t think that one was a real good fit.”

Straight shooting

Zimmer has pulled few, if any, verbal punches on the job. The most famous one was directed at Bobby Petrino, who hired Zimmer away from the Cowboys to the Falcons in 2007, only to quit 13 games into the season to accept the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.

“When a coach quits in the middle of the year and ruins a bunch of people’s families and doesn’t have enough guts to finish out the year, I’m not a part of it,” Zimmer said then. “And you can put that in the Arkansas News Gazette. I don’t really give a [expletive]. … He’s a coward, he ruined a bunch of people’s lives, a bunch of families, kids, because he didn’t have enough [guts] to stay there and finish the job. And that’s the truth.”

Vikings players were fiercely loyal to Frazier, who also was regarded as an honest dealer with his players. With Zimmer, they’ll get the honesty with different packaging.

“He’s going to yell at you and try to get the best out of you,’’ said defensive end Brian Robison. “But if you deserve praise, he’s going to praise you up. I guess it’s just a different change of pace from coach Frazier.”



 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - J. Beckett 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
San Francisco - Y. Petit 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - R. Hernandez
Texas - N. Martinez 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Whitley
Boston - J. Peavy 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Miami - J. Turner 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
San Diego - E. Stults 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Cincinnati - H. Bailey 7:10 PM
Milwaukee - J. Nelson
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Minnesota - Y. Pino
Kansas City - B. Chen 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
Washington - J. Zimmermann 7:40 PM
Colorado - Y. Flande
Detroit - R. Porcello 8:40 PM
Arizona - C. Anderson
Houston - B. Oberholtzer 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
NY Mets - J. deGrom 9:10 PM
Seattle - E. Ramirez
Calgary 7/24/14 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Tulsa 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Indiana 7:00 PM
Chicago
Phoenix 9:00 PM
Seattle
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close