By HCR Staff | Aug. 10, 2018
Between now and the start of the 2018 season, Head Coach Ranking will provide a scouting report on all 32 NFL head coaches. Today, we’ll take a look at Seattle Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.
Mike Zimmer is one of the more popular head coaches among his peers. He spent a long time playing the “loyal assistant,” so his success with the Vikings is cheered by many in the coaching community.
As a head coach, Zimmer brings many talents to the organization.
Before anything else, Zimmer is decisive. The Vikings will have a firm course. Maybe not all will agree with the course, but it will be firm.
He’s also a leader whose leadership is borne out of a lot of experience, and that gives him the ability to stay calm under tremendously adverse conditions.
Zimmer has had to deal with not only personal tragedy and disability, but major injuries to Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, Dalvin Cook and others. Likewise, he had to break in Bridgewater and also immediately acclimate Bradford. He also dealt with the departure of longtime Vikings star Adrian Peterson.
Zimmer also is a brilliant defensive coach. He would consider it a personal failure if the Vikings were to play poor defense. We sense that he would much rather lose a game 14-10 than win 45-42. The back end is particularly important to Zimmer, and it follows that the Vikings defensive backfield is a solid unit with rising star Xavier Rhodes.
Zimmer hired the well-regarded John DeFilippo from the Eagles as his new OC. We feel DeFilippo is a future head coach (perhaps as early as 2019), and it is a testament to Zimmer that DeFilippo would essentially entrust his career path to the Vikings’ head coach.
As a strategist, Zimmer is a by-the-book decision-maker. We see a coach who wants his team to simply play good fundamental football and win games by being physical and simply executing better than the opponent. Zimmer isn’t a gimmicky person and his decision-making will follow along those lines, in our view.
Zimmer is developing an impressive culture and program in Minnesota. What he is buliding is built to last. While GM Rick Spielman has done some nice things, it is Zimmer who has built this foundation. Organizationally, the Packers have ruled the NFC North for a long time. The culture and system built by Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren has overwhelmed the division. But Zimmer has brought the Vikings to that level.
Vikings fans have a bright future as long as Mike Zimmer is head coach.
Previous HC Previews:
Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
Steve Wilks, Arizona Cardinals
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions