Lack of big plays.

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Pondering Her Percy
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:31 am

Mothman wrote: Yes, after winning a Super Bowl and going to back-to-back Super Bowls. They had cap issues, made tough choices and it's not working out for them up front but this season isn't in a bubble.

By all means, take a closer look at Seattle but look deeper than the present. They're a team that hired a new head coach and GM in 2010. They built an elite defense, built a strong, effective o-line that could move people and create holes for their power running back, found and developed a franchise QB and won a Super Bowl within 4 years. They nearly won 2 in a row.

It's not impossible. Nobody thinks it's easy. Nobody thinks there are a bunch of magical extra draft picks out there that make it easy. It's about decision-making: get the right coach, draft the right QB, make the right choices and yes, have a bit of luck. Above all, hire the right GM.

Spielman's been in MN for a decade and the Vikes have only tasted post-season success once yet people defend him as if he's been a builder of champions. :confused:

Just like you said to me, nobody said he's been a "builder of champions". Clearly you missed the part where I said, by all means he has made his mistakes. It's just I'm not going to sit here and complain and beat a dead horse when he's built an elite defense and got killed by injuries on the offensive side and say he's some bum for a GM and we need a new one. Nobody knows what the offense would've looked like if we had Teddy who looked solid in the offseason, the leagues leading rusher and the two most important positions back in the OL no matter how bad people think Kalil and Smith are. Everyone wants to refer to the past two years and how the offense hasn't been good. It's easy to sit here and say it's terrible now. Look what's happened.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:05 am

Pondering Her Percy wrote:Just like you said to me, nobody said he's been a "builder of champions".
Of course not.There's no reason to say that. :) My point was that people defend him as if he's achieved more than he actually has in the past.
Clearly you missed the part where I said, by all means he has made his mistakes.
I didn't miss it but whatever mistakes you feel he's made doesn't appear to have undermined your overall confidence in his judgment. Most of what I see from you on the subject is comments like those below.
It's just I'm not going to sit here and complain and beat a dead horse when he's built an elite defense and got killed by injuries on the offensive side and say he's some bum for a GM and we need a new one. Nobody knows what the offense would've looked like if we had Teddy who looked solid in the offseason, the leagues leading rusher and the two most important positions back in the OL no matter how bad people think Kalil and Smith are. Everyone wants to refer to the past two years and how the offense hasn't been good. It's easy to sit here and say it's terrible now. Look what's happened.
It's easy to sit here and say the offense is terrible because it's actually terrible. However, I've been critical of the offense for 3 years so it's not like I waited to jump on a bandwagon. People continue referring to the poor quality of the offense over the previous 2 years because it's relevant.

As for Bridgewater. I thought he was on a trajectory that suggested he was going to be a disappointment and a career backup, not a player who was about to guide the Vikings to glory. You're right, nobody knows what might have been but to me, he's another swing-and-a-miss for Spielman at QB.

I don't think Spielman's a "bum GM", just the wrong man for the job and as I've said repeatedly, my estimation of him is not based on this season, it's based on 10 seasons, 5 as VP of Personnel and 5 as GM. In all that time, the Vikes have really only had a good passing game once, in 2009, and it's pretty easy to identify why that season was the exception.

A decade is enough. If he was a fresh hire as a GM and hadn't played such a key role in the 5 seasons prior to his promotion, I'd be inclined to be more patient but Spielman was a key player in the mismanagement of the team that ultimately led to them bottoming out in 2011 and left them facing a monumental rebuild. I'm not impressed with the job he's done rebuilding, although I do give him credit for putting together a very good defense. I just think we've seen enough if his management style and the mediocrity it tends to yield.

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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:13 am

Mothman wrote: Did he? I'd say the jury is still out on that point. Zimmer was "crowned" awfully fast but it still looks to me like the Vikes just hired a terrific defensive coordinator and made him head coach/defensive coordinator.
Listen in all my years following this team and the NFL, I've never seen a team turn their attitude around and believe in their coach like this team does. So yes. Everyone said this guy deserved a head coaching job for years now. What he's done in 3 years with this team. Now he gets killed by injuries and guys are going to question him now? Little premature if you ask me. And weren't you a Leslie Frazier supporter? Not saying you don't support Zimmer but by the looks of the post you don't. And the fact that you backed Frazier makes me scratch my head even more.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Nunin » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:35 am

@PHP
Ya know it's comments like your last one that really makes me doubt your comprehension in conversation. I know it's different on the internet than in real life. but hmmmmm
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It is to soon to pass judgement on Zimmer...but there are definitely some reasons to be concerned. He was passed over for a HC position for the better part of two decades. Mostly, from what I've read, because of concerns that he wasn't an offensive mind...or offensive-minded enough.
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The players play hard for him. There have been several coaches who fit that category for the vikings. Fraizer even. Tice. Green. Burns. Grant.
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all have come and gone....no championships.

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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:39 am

Pondering Her Percy wrote:Listen in all my years following this team and the NFL, I've never seen a team turn their attitude around and believe in their coach like this team does.
I have so maybe we just have a different perspective due to experience and a different idea of what makes a coach great.
So yes. Everyone said this guy deserved a head coaching job for years now. What he's done in 3 years with this team. Now he gets killed by injuries and guys are going to question him now? Little premature if you ask me.
I've questioned him from the start, rather than eagerly declaring him the team's best coach since Grant as I've seen many others do. I think he's a good coach but I don't toss around the word great in regards to coaches and players casually. You're right, many people believed Zimmer deserved a head coaching job and many were puzzled that he didn't get one for so long. I think perhaps we've seen both why he deserved a shot and why some teams were reluctant to give him that shot. He's done an excellent job with the defense. His players clearly respect him and play hard for him. However, as I feared when they hired him, he's basically a glorified defensive coordinator. He hasn't had any real vision for the offense and it shows. As an in-game manager of the team, he's been average. His team's offenses have been far too conservative and I think that's been detrimental. He's been a real mix of positives and negatives.
And weren't you a Leslie Frazier supporter? Not saying you don't support Zimmer but by the looks of the post you don't.
I support him to the same extent I supported Frazier but I think the two are in very, very different situations. I genuinely like Zimmer and I'd love to see him succeed. but I don't think he's a great head coach and I didn't think his predecessor was either.

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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:42 am

Nunin wrote:@PHP
Ya know it's comments like your last one that really makes me doubt your comprehension in conversation. I know it's different on the internet than in real life. but hmmmmm
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It is to soon to pass judgement on Zimmer...but there are definitely some reasons to be concerned. He was passed over for a HC position for the better part of two decades. Mostly, from what I've read, because of concerns that he wasn't an offensive mind...or offensive-minded enough.
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The players play hard for him. There have been several coaches who fit that category for the vikings. Fraizer even. Tice. Green. Burns. Grant.
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all have come and gone....no championships.
Exactly and I see signs that Zimmer is more likely to fall into that rather frustrating Vikings tradition than become the coach who breaks it. :( He might become a great head coach but I think it's too soon to put that label on him and as you said, there are reasons to be concerned.

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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:05 am

Nunin wrote:@PHP
Ya know it's comments like your last one that really makes me doubt your comprehension in conversation. I know it's different on the internet than in real life. but hmmmmm
-
It is to soon to pass judgement on Zimmer...but there are definitely some reasons to be concerned. He was passed over for a HC position for the better part of two decades. Mostly, from what I've read, because of concerns that he wasn't an offensive mind...or offensive-minded enough.
-
The players play hard for him. There have been several coaches who fit that category for the vikings. Fraizer even. Tice. Green. Burns. Grant.
-
all have come and gone....no championships.
Doubt my comprehension? How so? I can say now that both you and mothman took me saying "great" way out of context. I'm not saying he's the next Vince Lombardi. So sorrry that I worded that wrong. However I will say he's a good coach. I haven't heard anything regarding him not being offensive minded. That goes for any defensive coach. I've heard that he was too straight forward and says it how it is. That supposedly pushed people away
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:15 am

Nunin wrote: The players play hard for him. There have been several coaches who fit that category for the vikings. Fraizer even. Tice. Green. Burns. Grant.
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all have come and gone....no championships.
So that's the only measuring stick? By that logic, Bud Grant, a Hall-of-Famer, wasn't a great head coach. Really?

Look, nobody wants a championship more than I do. In 3 years, I'll hit 50 years as a Vikings fan. This sucks. The free-fall after the 5-0 start? Sucks. The loss in '98? Sucks. '09? Sucks. The 4 Super Bowl losses? I watched them all, and they all sucked. But if the only standard for coaching excellence is a championship, then every coach the Vikings have ever had is a failure. The truth is that every Vikings coach since Bud Grant has led his team to the playoffs at least once except for Les Steckel. We've had some good coaches here, and some good teams.

I just don't think it's fair to place every Vikings coach on the same level. Brad Childress isn't on the same level as Grant. Neither are Tice or Frazier. They're just not. But none of those is on the same level as Les Steckel. That would be just as unfair.

Where will Zimmer end up? There's no way of knowing, but for now, he has a winning record and a division championship in 2+ seasons. Childress had two division titles in four years, but the players all wanted to dump him in Lake Minnetonka wearing a concrete ankle bracelet. The players will run through a wall for Zimmer, so it's a good bet he's not going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe we all ought to settle back and let this play out before we either crown him OR declare him a bust.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by losperros » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:21 am

Mothman wrote: Exactly and I see signs that Zimmer is more likely to fall into that rather frustrating Vikings tradition than become the coach who breaks it. :( He might become a great head coach but I think it's too soon to put that label on him and as you said, there are reasons to be concerned.
I agree with both of you. Maybe I see things differently than most on the board about Zimmer, who is a heck of a defensive coach, but seems to me the offense was oftentimes playing small ball or at least conservatively even when guys were healthy. One of the reasons why is the offense had no signature, which also comes down to Turner trying to pound square pegs into round holes because of his precious system. But seriously, shouldn't a head coach take a closer look at the team personnel and hire an offensive coordinator according to the talent?

As a defensive-minded coach, perhaps Zimmer has fallen for the myth that defense wins championships. It doesn't. Good teams win championships. Quality from every unit is needed. That doesn't mean every unit (offense, defense, special teams) has to be perfect but none of them can suck. The Vikings presently have a mostly dink and dunk offense which cannot do its job and score enough points, even if the defense plays hard.

It's "half a team" time for the Vikings yet again. And the head coach must be held accountable for changing that dynamic.
Last edited by losperros on Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:21 am

Mothman wrote: I have so maybe we just have a different perspective due to experience and a different idea of what makes a coach great.
I've questioned him from the start, rather than eagerly declaring him the team's best coach since Grant as I've seen many others do. I think he's a good coach but I don't toss around the word great in regards to coaches and players casually. You're right, many people believed Zimmer deserved a head coaching job and many were puzzled that he didn't get one for so long. I think perhaps we've seen both why he deserved a shot and why some teams were reluctant to give him that shot. He's done an excellent job with the defense. His players clearly respect him and play hard for him. However, as I feared when they hired him, he's basically a glorified defensive coordinator. He hasn't had any real vision for the offense and it shows. As an in-game manager of the team, he's been average. His team's offenses have been far too conservative and I think that's been detrimental. He's been a real mix of positives and negatives.
I support him to the same extent I supported Frazier but I think the two are in very, very different situations. I genuinely like Zimmer and I'd love to see him succeed. but I don't think he's a great head coach and I didn't think his predecessor was either.
Like i said, you guys pinpointed the word great and went above and beyond with it. I'm not comparing him to great coaches so clearly I worded it wrong. However I am a coach. Of two sports. Grew up watching my father coach and having my father as a coach. 21 years worth to be exact for him. I know what it takes and what it looks like to be a great coach. I've seen it all. I will say that Zimmer is a good coach and has some traits of a great coach. Something Frazier didn't have IMO. I love his old school approach, his demeanor, the toughness he instills in these players, his discipline, etc. etc.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:41 am

Pondering Her Percy wrote:Like i said, you guys pinpointed the word great and went above and beyond with it. I'm not comparing him to great coaches so clearly I worded it wrong. However I am a coach. Of two sports. Grew up watching my father coach and having my father as a coach. 21 years worth to be exact for him. I know what it takes and what it looks like to be a great coach. I've seen it all. I will say that Zimmer is a good coach and has some traits of a great coach. Something Frazier didn't have IMO. I love his old school approach, his demeanor, the toughness he instills in these players, his discipline, etc. etc.
For what it's worth, I agree with you to the degree that Zimmer shows SIGNS of being a great coach. I'm solidly in his corner. But I admit he's not there.

Here are three areas I can think of where he needs to improve.

a) He's GOT to get this offense figured out. It's a very tall order, given the state of this O-line, and it's not gonna happen this season, but it's been three years of low output. Got to find a way to get some points on the board. Teams with great defenses win championships, but it's very rare for a team that relies exclusively on its defense to win a championship.

b) He still makes some mistakes of inexperience. His record on challenges is abysmal, with the notable exception being the 2-for-2 he had against the Cardinals (although 66,000 people in the stands made both of those calls easily). He's made some mistakes in clock management, particularly the first game against Detroit -- it cost us the game. Gotta clean those things up.

c) He has yet to establish himself (or the Vikings) as a coach (or a team) that can win late. We've held some leads for great wins, but I can't think of many instances where we've erased a fourth-quarter deficit to win, especially late in the fourth. The Bears game in Chicago last season comes to mind, but I can't think of others. Part of this, of course, is tied to having an offense that can put up points.

Just my 2 cents. I think he's done well for his first head coaching position. But he's not on the level of Belichick, Carroll, etc. Not yet.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:42 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote:Where will Zimmer end up? There's no way of knowing, but for now, he has a winning record and a division championship in 2+ seasons. Childress had two division titles in four years, but the players all wanted to dump him in Lake Minnetonka wearing a concrete ankle bracelet. The players will run through a wall for Zimmer, so it's a good bet he's not going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe we all ought to settle back and let this play out before we either crown him OR declare him a bust.
We should let it play out but as far as I know, he hasn't actually been declared a bust. However, it's certainly fair to criticize him almost 3 full seasons into his tenure with the team. his strengths and weaknesses seem apparent.
Pondering Her Percy wrote:Like i said, you guys pinpointed the word great and went above and beyond with it. I'm not comparing him to great coaches so clearly I worded it wrong. However I am a coach. Of two sports. Grew up watching my father coach and having my father as a coach. 21 years worth to be exact for him. I know what it takes and what it looks like to be a great coach. I've seen it all. I will say that Zimmer is a good coach and has some traits of a great coach. Something Frazier didn't have IMO. I love his old school approach, his demeanor, the toughness he instills in these players, his discipline, etc. etc.
I agree that Zim's a good coach and I also agree he has some traits of a great coach. He's a great assistant coach/defensive coordinator so in that sense, he's already a great coach. If partnered with the right offensive mind, maybe he could even be a great head coach. He clearly understands defense and has a handle on what kind of personnel best fits his defensive approach. He has a vision for that unit and it shows. I'm thinking he'll need to be paired with offensive minds that have similar vision and understanding of offensive personnel for him to achieve greatness as a head coach. That's one reason I'm not crazy about Spielman staying in charge going forward, although I realize Zimmer's fate is probably tied to Spielman's.

As Kapp said, we'll have to see how it plays out.

If you don't mind me asking, what sports do you coach and what does your father coach?

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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:47 am

Mothman wrote: We should let it play out but as far as I know, he hasn't actually been declared a bust. However, it's certainly fair to criticize him almost 3 full seasons into his tenure with the team. his strengths and weaknesses seem apparent.
I agree with you totally, Jim.

Over in the Lions thread from Thanksgiving, I outline three major areas I think he needs to improve. There are likely others -- I just like odd numbers. 8)

I think he has the potential to be a great coach for the precise reasons PHP outlined. But he's not there yet, and the real tale of the tape, as we all know, is winning. If he can win a championship with a great defense and high-school offense, more power to him. But it's highly unlikely because it takes a historically great defense to do that (see the 2000 Ravens). I do think, however, that he's the kind of guy who will bust his butt to fix what's broken, including his own coaching. He's really good at in-game adjustments -- now let's see if he can make a major adjustment in the team's offense.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:49 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote:For what it's worth, I agree with you to the degree that Zimmer shows SIGNS of being a great coach. I'm solidly in his corner. But I admit he's not there.

Here are three areas I can think of where he needs to improve.

a) He's GOT to get this offense figured out. It's a very tall order, given the state of this O-line, and it's not gonna happen this season, but it's been three years of low output. Got to find a way to get some points on the board. Teams with great defenses win championships, but it's very rare for a team that relies exclusively on its defense to win a championship.

b) He still makes some mistakes of inexperience. His record on challenges is abysmal, with the notable exception being the 2-for-2 he had against the Cardinals (although 66,000 people in the stands made both of those calls easily). He's made some mistakes in clock management, particularly the first game against Detroit -- it cost us the game. Gotta clean those things up.

c) He has yet to establish himself (or the Vikings) as a coach (or a team) that can win late. We've held some leads for great wins, but I can't think of many instances where we've erased a fourth-quarter deficit to win, especially late in the fourth. The Bears game in Chicago last season comes to mind, but I can't think of others. Part of this, of course, is tied to having an offense that can put up points.

Just my 2 cents. I think he's done well for his first head coaching position. But he's not on the level of Belichick, Carroll, etc. Not yet.
All very good points, Kapp. As a subset of your first point, I think part of getting the offense figured out needs to involve a shift in philosophy. As Craig mentioned above, the offense has shown a tendency to play conservatively even when healthy. There's a real tendency to settle for FGs and to quickly go into a shell with a second half lead. It seems Zimmer prefers to get a lead and then hang onto the ball and count on his defense to close out the game. It's a strategy that gets him into trouble.

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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:55 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote:I agree with you totally, Jim.

Over in the Lions thread from Thanksgiving, I outline three major areas I think he needs to improve. There are likely others -- I just like odd numbers. 8)

I think he has the potential to be a great coach for the precise reasons PHP outlined. But he's not there yet, and the real tale of the tape, as we all know, is winning. If he can win a championship with a great defense and high-school offense, more power to him. But it's highly unlikely because it takes a historically great defense to do that (see the 2000 Ravens). I do think, however, that he's the kind of guy who will bust his butt to fix what's broken, including his own coaching. He's really good at in-game adjustments -- now let's see if he can make a major adjustment in the team's offense.
I hope he can. As I said above, it may be a question of pairing him with the right offensive minds. I'm not convinced Shurmur would be the best choice as the next OC so I hope his "field promotion" doesn't automatically translate to getting the OC job next season. Maybe he'll be the best candidate for it but I'd like to see them consider their options.

You're absolutely right that winning a championship with a "high-school offense" (I laughed at that one) is a very tall order. That's taking the extra hard road and winning in the NFL seems hard enough already.

The upcoming offseason will present a lot of opportunity for change. Let's see where this goes.

Meanwhile, this season isn't over just yet so let's see where that goes too!

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