Mike Zimmer appeared on KFAN this morning and in an interview with my friend Paul Allen shared a few noteworthy nuggets on the Vikings.
Zimmer, of course, was complimentary about the players the Vikings have added in free agency. He says new offensive tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers are “smart,” “tough” and “physical.” And he mentioned that running back Latavius Murray is capable of playing all three downs, which is something his predecessor, Adrian Peterson, was not trusted to do.
After officially losing Chad Greenway to retirement, Zimmer said again that he plans to keep Eric Kendricks in the middle, though he thought Kentrell Brothers, whom he called a “two-down” middle linebacker, had a good rookie year. Interestingly, Zimmer said he has given thought to using a hybrid linebacker/safety in Greenway’s old spot in the base defense.
As for replacing cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, the veteran slot specialist who signed with the Panthers, Zimmer said 2016 second-round pick Mackensie Alexander will get the first shot.
“What he does with it is up to him,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer also acknowledged that the Vikings must add a wide receiver or two this offseason after Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson were allowed to leave in free agency. He mentioned that they wanted wideouts who can “stretch the field a little bit.”
Zimmer said that defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who has been sidelined since September, is still recovering from “this thing with his leg.”
“He’s trying to get healthy. He’s got this thing with his leg. I don’t know if I should get too specific with it,” he said. “We’re just waiting for it to get healthy and if that’s the case then I think he can have a good year.”
But the Vikings signed Datone Jones to cover themselves if he doesn’t.
Finally, Allen asked Zimmer a good question about Riki Ellison’s latest social media rant, the one that said the Vikings have “toxic leadership.” Zimmer said he tried to talk about that with the ex-NFL linebacker and outspoken father of former Vikings tight end Rhett Ellison. But…
“Unfortunately, he didn’t return my call,” he said. “So I tried to [find out why] his comments were made but he didn’t seem fit to call me back.”