Mike Zimmer reiterated today that the Vikings, out of playoff contention at 7-8, plan to play Sunday’s game against the Bears to win as opposed to using the season finale to get a look at younger, unproven players.
The coach said he will start the evaluation process a few days after the season ends. Zimmer plans to “take a fresh, new look at everything” after going back through every play of every game in this lost 2016 season.
“What I’m going to do is sit down, take a few days and kind of refresh everything in my mind then I’ll make all kinds of decisions, evaluate a lot of different things,” he said. “I don’t want to make any rash decisions.”
This January, two days after the 2015 season ended with the playoff loss to the Seahawks, Zimmer had already decided he would not be bringing back offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. He plans to take a little more time this year to decide what to do with interim play-caller Pat Shurmur.
He did say today that “the statistics since he has taken over got better,” compared to the first seven games of the season under Norv Turner.
For what it’s worth, quarterback Sam Bradford, whom Zimmer said today is “maybe having the best year he’s ever had,” told reporters earlier that he hopes the Vikings keep Shurmur around as the offensive coordinator.
While taking stock of the season, Zimmer noted that the Vikings are 2-4 in one-score games after going 4-2 in 2015, when they went 11-5 overall.
“Really, that’s the difference in all these [NFL] teams,” Zimmer said.
In addition to taking a long look at what went wrong after the 5-0 start, Zimmer plans to analyze teams such as the Patriots and the Seahawks, who have been regulars in the postseason in recent years, “to find out why they’re sustaining good things as opposed to what we did this year.”