Former Vikings coach Jerry Burns was on hand for the team's practicer -- er, Organized Team Activity -- on Thursday, and we had a chance to catch up with him afterwards for his thoughts on this year's team. Burns, now 87, was the Vikings' head coach from 1986-91. He seemed particularly impressed with head coach Mike Zimmer.
"I think he’s a very good coach," Burns said. "He creates a lot of enthusiasm with the squad. You can see that with the practices. He has an excellent background as a defensive coach. He knows the league very well. I think the Vikings will be a very improved team next year.”
Burns addressed the players after their work was done Thursday.
"I was just congratulating them on a nice practice," he said. "Their enthusiasm was great. I just wanted to wish them the best of luck next year."
At one point, the group of players erupted in laughter. Based on Burns' history of, ahem, colorful language (warning on that link) we imagine it was quite magnificent. We asked him about it, and here's what he said (with a chuckle):
"There are some things I don’t want to put in the paper. But we had some fun.”
Classic. They rarely make them like Burnsie anymore, though we have a suspicion Zimmer might get plenty fired up in a post-game presser after a particularly tough beat.