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

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
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 Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close