New Vikings coach Zimmer sets championship as his goal

Introduced as the Vikings coach, Mike Zimmer sets his sights high.

Mike Zimmer, Zygi Wilf and Rick Spielman coordinated their attire for Zimmer’s introductory news conference as Vikings coach Friday.

Well, for the most part.

They stood together with dark-colored suits, white dress shirts and purple ties. Zimmer, however, wore an accessory neither the owner nor general manager own: a Super Bowl ring.

Zimmer’s Super Bowl XXX ring he received as Cowboys defensive backs coach in 1995 reflected the confidence he carried at the podium. The ninth head coach for the winningest franchise without a Super Bowl victory wasn’t shy in saying his goal is to guide the Vikings to uncharted territory as NFL champions.

“I can’t wait to stand on the podium with [owners] Zygi, and Mark and Jonathan [Wilf], and we’re standing on the podium and we look up and the confetti is falling on top of us, and Commissioner [Roger] Goodell comes over and he hands the Super Bowl trophy to Mr. Wilf and tells him we’re world champions,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer was a finalist for a number of NFL head coaching positions over the past few years, including the Tennessee Titans this week, before getting his first opportunity in Minnesota.

“I’ve got a chip on my shoulder,” the former Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator said. “I want to make sure that 31 other teams know that I’m here and I’m ready to coach this football team.

“I just know that I’m pretty good at my job. I’m pretty good at what I do. And it’s kind of showing up by the players that have talked about me.”

Zimmer plans to establish relationships with his players the way he did in Cincinnati. He said he wasn’t “buddy-buddy” with the players, didn’t take them out to dinner or have their cellphone numbers, but simply earned their respect as a leader.

“I want to grab these players’ hearts and get them to follow me,” he said.

Involved on defense

The 57-year-old downplayed the idea that he is blunt and a screamer, as suggested on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” and in previous interviews. Zimmer instead used “fixer” to describe his coaching style. The Bengals were 27th in total defense in 2007 before Zimmer arrived. They finished the past three years with a top-10 defense in the NFL. The Vikings finished last season 31st in defense.

“I’ve told my players many, many times before when we’ve had a bad game,” Zimmer said. “I said, ‘Here’s what I do. I fix stuff. I’m going to go out, and I’m going to fix this.’ They all trust that I’m going to get it fixed. That’s kind of what my personality is.”

Zimmer intends to be very involved with the defense, possibly even as a playcaller, but he not concerned at the moment whether it will be a 4-3 or 3-4 base defense. He just wants the scheme to fit his personnel while bringing the same aggressive approach as the Bengals defense last season.

“I want to stop the run, and I want to hit the quarterback,” Zimmer said. “So, however that is, if we’ve got to blitz I think we have a great blitz package. But I want to be fundamentally sound in what we do.”

Whirlwind so far

Although he has an extended background in defense, Zimmer will have a final say on offense as well. Inconsistency at quarterback between Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman and Christian Ponder led to the end of the Leslie Frazier era. Zimmer aims to have more than just a season-long starter at the position.

“We’re going to try to do our very best to have the best quarterback in the division,” Zimmer said. “I understand there are some very good quarterbacks in this division. But my job is to win football games.”

Zimmer said the last two days have been a “whirlwind” as he adjusted into his new position, but he spoke like someone determined to prove he is worthy to be a head coach.

If he can find a way to get a diamond-encrusted Norseman ring on the fingers of the Wilfs, it will be a while before Zimmer’s next introductory news conference.







 

  • related content

  • Video: Meet Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer

    Friday January 17, 2014

    The Vikings introduced Mike Zimmer as the team's ninth head coach on Friday morning.

  • Reusse: Coaching staff will speak volumes about Zimmer's path with Vikings

    Saturday January 18, 2014

    Vikings fans can be hopeful that Mike Zimmer can succeed as quickly as did Dennis Green back in 1992.

  • Zimmer hire all came down to Vikings' gut feeling

    Saturday January 18, 2014

    Both Rick Spielman and the Wilfs determined they had seen enough in Mike Zimmer.

  • Zimmer comes from long line of football influences

    Saturday January 18, 2014

    Mike Zimmer comes to the Vikings with a wealth of experience and a rather long list of influences, such as Bill Parcells, Barry Switzer and Marvin Lewis.

  • Photo gallery: Vikings introduce Zimmer

    Friday January 17, 2014

    The Minnesota Vikings introduced their new head coach Mike Zimmer on Friday.

  • RandBall: Zimmer and 'winning the press conference'

    Friday January 17, 2014

    It's an overused expression, but it holds true.

  • Live Blog replay: Zimmer news conference, your reaction

    Friday January 17, 2014

    See what Mike Zimmer and others were saying during and after Friday's news conference introducing the new Vikings head coach.

  • Craig: Offense should be in expert hands with Turner

    Friday January 17, 2014

    Norv Turner, expected to be named Vikings offensive coordinator under new head coach Mike Zimmer, is an innovative thinker.

  • Video: Rand: Spielman's legacy now tied to Zimmer

    Friday January 17, 2014

    General manager Rick Spielman's legacy is now tied to coaching hire Mike Zimmer

  • Video: Access Vikings: Zimmer may be everything Frazier was not

    Friday January 17, 2014

    Access Vikings takes a look at new head coach Mike Zimmer and finds differences between his coaching style and...

  • Minnesota Vikings today introduced new head coach Mike Zimmer at a new...

  • Minnesota Vikings today introduced new head coach Mike Zimmer at a news conference at Winter Park. Friday, January 17, 2014. ] GLEN STUBBE * gstubbe@startribune.com

  • Ziummer sportd a Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl ring. Minnesota Vikings today introduced new head coach Mike Zimmer at a news conference at Winter Park. Friday, January 17, 2014. ] GLEN STUBBE * gstubbe@startribune.com

  • Vikings GM Rick Rick Spielman, ownder Zygi Wilf, Zimmer, Mark Wilf and Jonathan Wilf. Minnesota Vikings today introduced new head coach Mike Zimmer at a news conference at Winter Park. Friday, January 17, 2014. ] GLEN STUBBE * gstubbe@startribune.com EDS, Jonathan Wilf is in his eighth season as a member of the Vikings ownership group and his first as the team’s Vice President of Strategic Planning. He is Zygi’s son

  • Minnesota Vikings today introduced new head coach Mike Zimmer at a news conference at Winter Park. Friday, January 17, 2014. ] GLEN STUBBE * gstubbe@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
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 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close