Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

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Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:37 am

From Brian Murphy, writing for the Pioneer Press:
Mike Zimmer would rather lay face down on a bed of nails than put himself on the therapist’s couch for a primal session of self-reflection, but there he was Tuesday poised to tell Barbara Walters what kind of tree he is.

Chasing an undefeated season down the rabbit hole of dysfunction should humble the heartiest of NFL men right down to their Nikes.Zimmer was the good soldier accounting for the Vikings’ alarming collapse instead of preparing his team for a postseason run that was pre-ordained two months ago. He blamed himself and promised a full autopsy.Brian Murphy sig

“Soul searching,” he said.

High anxiety feels more like it, raising questions about how deeply the crusty old ball coach will look in the mirror and re-examine the no-nonsense management style that earned total buy-in from his players and let Zimmer walk on water among championship-starved fans.

Until it didn’t.

“Ultimately I’m responsible for getting these players where they need to go. That’s what leadership is, taking a group of people to where they haven’t been before. I haven’t done that yet,” he acknowledged.
Edit: This quote from Zimmer was tweeted yesterday and I've seen it in some articles too:
Brian Murphy ‏@murphPPress
Zimmer: "I put this on myself. I wasn’t able to pull this team out of that slump. Injuries, all that other stuff. They’re just excuses."
Zimmer does seem to be taking a fair degree of accountability for this season's collapse, as he should.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:44 am

Murphy's critical of Zimmer in the column above and a few days ago, the Strib's Jim Souhan was too:

Souhan: Zimmer's offseason job? Re-establish himself as a leader
The strangest part of the Vikings’ collapse hasn’t been injuries, which occur with frightening regularity around the league, or Peterson’s inevitable decline.

The strangest part of the collapse has been Zimmer’s awkward attempts at leadership.

During the first five weeks of the season, Zimmer acted with an arrogance that would surprise those who knew him in Dallas and Cincinnati.

He tried to create an us-against-the-world environment with his players, which often works in the short term but is too shallow and clichéd to have staying power.

With the team 5-0 and enjoying a bye week, he resorted to leaving stuffed animals around the complex to remind players that, in his words, “Fat cats get slaughtered.”

The team is 2-8 since the Slaughtered Cat Curse.

As the team flailed, Zimmer tried a variety of approaches publicly, sometimes criticizing players, which is his right but does not always play well in the locker room. Too often, Zimmer sounded like he was absolving himself of blame, even though his clock management led to one of the season’s most important losses, at home against Detroit.
Zimmer survived this season and the team's somewhat historic collapse because the Vikings have fully committed to him and because he had success last season but he has to do a better job. In his press conference, he spoke about self-assessment, soul-searching and examining every aspect of the team. I believe he's sincere about all of the above but I hope he'll be able to recognize where he made mistakes this season and do a better job in the future because if the Vikes are going to win a Super Bowl on his watch, he needs to do a better job.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:04 am

Mothman wrote: I hope he'll be able to recognize where he made mistakes this season and do a better job in the future because if the Vikes are going to win a Super Bowl on his watch, he needs to do a better job.
I think it's pretty clear he does. He hints towards it in his presser. Offensive line was one that he mentioned. He said, "I thought our line was in pretty good shape last offseason" and he concluded with "I guess I was wrong" or something along those lines. So I think it's pretty clear that he knows what he has to do
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Texas Vike » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:06 am

Mothman wrote:Murphy's critical of Zimmer in the column above and a few days ago, the Strib's Jim Souhan was too:

Souhan: Zimmer's offseason job? Re-establish himself as a leader
Zimmer survived this season and the team's somewhat historic collapse because the Vikings have fully committed to him and because he had success last season but he has to do a better job. In his press conference, he spoke about self-assessment, soul-searching and examining every aspect of the team. I believe he's sincere about all of the above but I hope he'll be able to recognize where he made mistakes this season and do a better job in the future because if the Vikes are going to win a Super Bowl on his watch, he needs to do a better job.
Good stuff.

The best part of the situation, for me, is that I see in Zimmer the potential to lead us to the SB. That's something I haven't seen in our coaches since Denny Green. Does he have a few things to figure out? Definitely, but I believe he will.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:50 am

Pondering Her Percy wrote: I think it's pretty clear he does. He hints towards it in his presser. Offensive line was one that he mentioned. He said, "I thought our line was in pretty good shape last offseason" and he concluded with "I guess I was wrong" or something along those lines. So I think it's pretty clear that he knows what he has to do
The OL is the tip of the iceberg as far as I'm concerned and I think it's a huge problem that he actually thought it was in pretty good shape in the first place. Anyway, OL issues aside, I feel there are deeper coaching and management issues, from a complete vision for the team to strategy, game-planning and the leadership problems suggested by Turner's departure, the freelancing of DBs in the Packers game and the team collapse itself. I think he recognizes that he made some big mistakes this season but his acknowledgement that some soul-searching is in order and that he needs to self-assess, reach out to other coaches for help (something he; said he'll do and has done in the past), etc. suggest to me that he's not yet fully aware of where he went wrong or certain how to avoid the same mistakes in the future and do a better job.

That said, his obvious desire to improve is an encouraging sign.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by halfgiz » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:12 am

For me one of the most puzzling thing this season was the play of the D.
Last season it would seem Zimmer could make adjustments at halftime. And the D would come out and shut other teams down the second half.
This season the D just got owned by lesser teams.
Zimmer has to improve and figure things out, because with another 8 game collapse next season he will be gone.

Jim I agree with what your saying in your post above.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by mansquatch » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:07 am

Mothman wrote: The OL is the tip of the iceberg as far as I'm concerned and I think it's a huge problem that he actually thought it was in pretty good shape in the first place. Anyway, OL issues aside, I feel there are deeper coaching and management issues, from a complete vision for the team to strategy, game-planning and the leadership problems suggested by Turner's departure, the freelancing of DBs in the Packers game and the team collapse itself. I think he recognizes that he made some big mistakes this season but his acknowledgement that some soul-searching is in order and that he needs to self-assess, reach out to other coaches for help (something he; said he'll do and has done in the past), etc. suggest to me that he's not yet fully aware of where he went wrong or certain how to avoid the same mistakes in the future and do a better job.

That said, his obvious desire to improve is an encouraging sign.
Are you aware of where he went wrong? The guy admitted he made mistakes and is taking the blame. That is the first step towards solution. Seems a bit unfair to go after him for not knowing what the answers are. If he'd known that we'd wouldn't be 2-8 down the stretch. Zimmer has 7 months to find the answer, I think we can spot him a couple of days.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:22 am

mansquatch wrote:Are you aware of where he went wrong?


Only in the most obvious sense. It's not like any of us have inside access.
The guy admitted he made mistakes and is taking the blame. That is the first step towards solution. Seems a bit unfair to go after him for not knowing what the answers are. If he'd known that we'd wouldn't be 2-8 down the stretch. Zimmer has 7 months to find the answer, I think we can spot him a couple of days.
:confused: He can have all 7 months as far as I'm concerned. I wasn't "going after him" for not knowing the answers, just disagreeing with Mike's assertion that he did. How is that unfair when it sounds like Zimmer himself is acknowledging that he doesn't have the answers?
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by mansquatch » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:36 am

I think I misread your response then, I apologize.

One thing worth noting in all of this: This is a rare instance where an NFL Coach has openly admitted something as an issue that we on here have been calling out and it wasn't something pathetically obvious like "We weren't good enough to win." That doesn't happen very often. We should enjoy it.

I think this team is poised to bounce back next season. They are going to have a 3rd place schedule which won't hurt either. Interesting to see what happens in the NFC next season, this year it is a dumpster fire.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:36 am

Mothman wrote:
:confused: He can have all 7 months as far as I'm concerned. I wasn't "going after him" for not knowing the answers, just disagreeing with Mike's assertion that he did. How is that unfair when it sounds like Zimmer himself is acknowledging that he doesn't have the answers?
I'm saying that I think he has a pretty good idea of what needs to be fixed and what doesnt. I'm not saying he has "all the answers" right now. The season just ended 3 days ago. Either way, we all know you arent much of a Zimmer fan. At least not as much as you were Frazier. And like I've always said, that just baffles me. But thats not here nor there. All in all, I think Zimmer has a pretty good feel of what he has to do. There was no need for him to spill it all to the media
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:44 am

mansquatch wrote:I think I misread your response then, I apologize.
No problem. I hope my response didn't seem terse. re-reading it just now, I feel like it might have unintentionally come across that way.
One thing worth noting in all of this: This is a rare instance where an NFL Coach has openly admitted something as an issue that we on here have been calling out and it wasn't something pathetically obvious like "We weren't good enough to win." That doesn't happen very often. We should enjoy it.

I think this team is poised to bounce back next season. They are going to have a 3rd place schedule which won't hurt either. Interesting to see what happens in the NFC next season, this year it is a dumpster fire.
It certainly looks like a dominant or sufficiently opportunistic team could seize control of it for a while.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:53 am

Pondering Her Percy wrote:I'm saying that I think he has a pretty good idea of what needs to be fixed and what doesnt. I'm not saying he has "all the answers" right now. The season just ended 3 days ago. Either way, we all know you arent much of a Zimmer fan. At least not as much as you were Frazier.
Please, get over the fact that I actually liked Leslie Frazier. You bring it up on a weekly basis, if not more often. I like Zimmer too. I've said so many times here on the board. I'm just not a "believer" (and that was the case with Frazier as well). Like it or not, many of the doubts I've expressed about Zimmer as a head coach have clearly been justified. I continue to have doubts and I don't think any head coach should be immune to criticism.

I don't know how much of a handle Zimmer has on addressing the team's problems and his own shortcomings as a head coach. I do know he's saying he needs to figure that out and I hope he can.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Texas Vike » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:37 pm

Mothman wrote: Please, get over the fact that I actually liked Leslie Frazier. You bring it up on a weekly basis, if not more often. I like Zimmer too. I've said so many times here on the board. I'm just not a "believer" (and that was the case with Frazier as well). Like it or not, many of the doubts I've expressed about Zimmer as a head coach have clearly been justified. I continue to have doubts and I don't think any head coach should be immune to criticism.

I don't know how much of a handle Zimmer has on addressing the team's problems and his own shortcomings as a head coach. I do know he's saying he needs to figure that out and I hope he can.

To be fair, Jim, I am baffled by the same thing as PHP. Your position on Zimmer and Frazier is unconventional. I think most of us see more promise in Zimmer than we ever saw in Frazier. (For me, quite a bit more). What's more, many of us think that the way he refashioned a terrible D into a solid unit gives us hope that he can make a SB contender. What always troubled me about Frazier is that he played in the secondary, but as a coach our secondary was unbelievably bad. IMO, he had no vision whatsoever when it came to coaching defense. Juxtaposed to Frazier, Zimmer looks like a defensive mastermind.

Now, in support of your unconventional position on Zimmer (which I'd characterize as disillusioned/critical/reserving judgment); he definitely showed several Achilles heals this season. You have pointed them out well, so I won't rehash them now. But for those of us who perhaps think too highly of Zimmer, it's good to read your points to mitigate our optimism.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:45 pm

Mothman wrote:
Please, get over the fact that I actually liked Leslie Frazier. You bring it up on a weekly basis, if not more often.
....And thats an overreaction.

I'm just not a "believer" (and that was the case with Frazier as well). Like it or not, many of the doubts I've expressed about Zimmer as a head coach have clearly been justified. I continue to have doubts and I don't think any head coach should be immune to criticism.
Nobody on here has ever said Zimmer cant be criticized. However, you feel the need to continue to believe that. You also said that you thought Frazier "was a good coach that was dealt a bad hand". Somehow you were a "believer" that Frazier was a good coach yet he never did anything to really prove he was a good coach in the NFL. At any level. However, Mike Zimmer has been as good as they come defensively. Has much more of a track record than Frazier ever did. Neither of the two were offensive minded guys. So my question is, how do you think Frazier was a "good coach" but you arent a "believer" in Mike Zimmer?

The two arent even comparable. Zimmer is a GREAT defensive coach and has been for years. Frazier was average AT BEST. They were about the same level offensively. But Frazier was a "good coach"?? :confused: Makes no sense to me. If Frazier was "dealt a bad hand", whatever that meant, then Mike Zimmer must have been dealt an even worse hand since he was given the worst defense in the NFL when he got here and no franchise QB. Cant imagine Frazier's "hand" was much worse.

I don't know how much of a handle Zimmer has on addressing the team's problems and his own shortcomings as a head coach. I do know he's saying he needs to figure that out and I hope he can.
And thats what I was saying. I said I felt like he knew what he had to do and you quickly disagreed. Just like most everything I say regarding Mike Zimmer.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:53 pm

Texas Vike wrote:What always troubled me about Frazier is that he played in the secondary, but as a coach our secondary was unbelievably bad. IMO, he had no vision whatsoever when it came to coaching defense. Juxtaposed to Frazier, Zimmer looks like a defensive mastermind.
Spot on. Frazier's defense was embarrassingly bad and he was a "defensive coach". Jim, I would love to know why you believe Frazier was a "good coach". Because those were your exact words. And if you look at the guys track record, it's quite laughable. He cant hold onto a DC job for more than a year. Doesnt coach offense. And flopped as a HC. Where does anyone see "good coach" in that?????
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