So what was Mike Zimmer’s advice to son, Adam, when he got the itch to become a football coach?
Beat it, kid.
Well, it wasn’t quite like that. But Mike, the Vikings head coach and former longtime NFL assistant, didn’t think it would be good for Adam if he simply hopped on dad’s coattails.
“I felt like, No. 1, he should go earn his own stripes, so to say,” Zimmer said. “And No. 2, he was fortunate enough to be with Gary Gibbs, Romeo Crennel and Gregg Williams as defensive coordinators. And with me.
“Not saying I’m great. But he can figure out eventually when he gets to that point, `All right, I like what Gregg Williams did better than what I did.’ He can figure those things out.”
Adam, 30, began his career at Trinity University in Texas in 2002. He was there through 2005 before joining the Saints as defensive assistant in 2006. He was promoted to assistant defensive backs coach in 2009.
Adam moved on to Kansas City as defensive assistant and assistant linebackers coach from 2010 to 2012 before joining dad with the Bengals in 2013 and the Vikings as linebackers coach this season.
“I think if you’re going to have nepotism, it’s, in my opinion, better to go out and earn your way and learn and learn from other people and kind of come up with how you are as opposed to he comes with me the entire time,” Mike said.
“I know the perception, too. But I also think it’s more beneficial for him. He’s seen four different ways to do things now. He’s 30 years old, so that’s a good start. And won a Super Bowl.”
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner adheres to the same philosophy. His son, Scott, the Vikings quarterbacks coach, spent his first five NFL seasons coaching in Pittsburgh and Carolina before joining his dad in Cleveland last year.