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Continued: Attitude Adjuster: Mike Zimmer brings new approach to Vikings

The Bengals, who finished fifth in overall defense in 2013, preferred a more aggressive style.

And Zimmer, in Cincinnati, helped keep “character issue” players, such as linebacker Vontaze Burfict and cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones, in check.

In the final season of Frazier’s tenure, the Vikings had three player arrests in a three-week span and had one player, linebacker Erin Henderson, arrested twice in six weeks.

“He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy, so I’m assuming it’s going to be an interesting training camp,” Felton said.

Lauded by players

Zimmer had coached in the NFL for 20 seasons without getting a head coaching job, and given the amount of praise he received on social media, many seemed to think the big promotion was overdue.

Ranging from Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders, who tweeted Zimmer was one of the best coaches he ever had during their time with the Cowboys, to Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga, there was an outpouring of joy for Zimmer about the Vikings’ hiring.

“He can coach any position on the defense and demands the attention of the room,” said Zimmer’s son Adam, an assistant defensive backs coach for the Bengals. “The players love him and respect him.

“You only see little snippets of when he’s getting angry on ‘Hard Knocks’ and stuff like that. Most of the time he’s really even-keeled; tremendously hard worker. He gets in the office earlier than anybody. He’s passionate about what he does and wants to do the best at what he does. Sometimes the emotions come out but that’s not all the time by far.”

Change of pace

Vikings defensive end Brian Robison contacted one of Zimmer’s former players, Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, who gave a scouting report on Zimmer.

“He’s going to yell at you and try to get the best out of you,” Robison said. “But at the same time if you deserve praise, he’s going to praise you up. It’s just a different change of pace I guess from Coach Frazier that we’ve had.”

Zimmer will bring a different attitude from the old regime. Time will tell if this change in style will work.

But keep the “dump” button handy in the meantime.



 

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