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 Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching" 
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Post Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
From Brian Murphy, writing for the Pioneer Press:

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:37 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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

Quote:
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.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:44 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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

Quote:
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.


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.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:06 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
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


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.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:50 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:12 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Mothman wrote:
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
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


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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Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:07 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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.

Quote:
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?


Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:22 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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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Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:36 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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.

Quote:
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.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:44 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:53 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Mothman wrote:
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.



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.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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.


Quote:
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.


Quote:
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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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
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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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
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?????



Zim doesn't coach offense and his HC abilities are questionable so far. I agree with you... a HC should have knowledge of all 3 phases of the game and as you pointed that out about Frazier, than I am going to point that out for Zim. As for the defense under Zim who is a defensive coach, it has been good and bad. So far neither of these coaches have been able to get things going consistently on both sides of the ball.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:41 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Might some of Zimmer's issues be experience related?

Just to point something out: Belicick, by any measure the modern day coaching gold standard, was the HC in CLE from 91-95 amassing a 36-44 record with only one winning season. His first season in NE was 2000 and that was also a losing effort. Then in 2001 he won it all and the rest is history.

It took Belicick 6 season with two different franchises to finally find the winning formula.

Just food for thought.

I see three major questions/ issues for Zimmer this off season:

1.) Can he get these psyche related issues to bed with this team so they do not come out flat in 2-4 games
2.) Can he put in place an offensive coaching staff that can do better than the bottom 1/3 of the league
3.) Can he, in conjunction with the #2, fix the OL to point where it can be competitive in the NFL

I would like to add that I wonder if he adjusted his style in reference to item #1 above. Zimmer used to preach a lot about character and fight in his guys. I wonder if he relaxed the message some? No evidence, just that we see less of it than we did in 2014 and I wonder if that is a contributing factor?

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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
mansquatch wrote:
Might some of Zimmer's issues be experience related?

Just to point something out: Belicick, by any measure the modern day coaching gold standard, was the HC in CLE from 91-95 amassing a 36-44 record with only one winning season. His first season in NE was 2000 and that was also a losing effort. Then in 2001 he won it all and the rest is history.

It took Belicick 6 season with two different franchises to finally find the winning formula.

Just food for thought.

I see three major questions/ issues for Zimmer this off season:

1.) Can he get these psyche related issues to bed with this team so they do not come out flat in 2-4 games
2.) Can he put in place an offensive coaching staff that can do better than the bottom 1/3 of the league
3.) Can he, in conjunction with the #2, fix the OL to point where it can be competitive in the NFL

I would like to add that I wonder if he adjusted his style in reference to item #1 above. Zimmer used to preach a lot about character and fight in his guys. I wonder if he relaxed the message some? No evidence, just that we see less of it than we did in 2014 and I wonder if that is a contributing factor?


Belichick learned that the only way you can win is to cheat :rock:


Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:38 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Quote:
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

Quote:
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.


God I can't stand the Tribune's writers. Where do I begin with Souhan:

Quote:
The strangest part of the Vikings’ collapse hasn’t been injuries, which occur with frightening regularity around the league, or Peterson’s inevitable decline.


Frightening regularity? Really? So other teams have had their QB lost for the season from a non-contact drill and 9 different combinations at offensive line. This is a "frighteningly" regular occurrence? I'd love Souhan to give a single example of this norm.

Quote:
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.


What? When has Zimmer ever absolved himself of blame? The Brian Murphy article is one of countless where Zimmer has taken the blame. I'd challenge Souhan to provide one citation for this claim.

As for clock management against Detroit, if Walsh could be useful for once and mortar the kickoff, this would be a total non-issue. What if Patterson actually caught the dropped TD? The Lions would have had a substantial amount of more time. What I'm saying is there were so many variables in that game, to throw it all on clock management is really misguided.

I realize I'm yelling at someone who will never read this but it annoys me to the nth degree these jokers can call themselves writers.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:37 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Texas Vike wrote:
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.



Thank you.

Regarding Frazier: I posted some detailed replies earlier this afternoon. Perhaps you saw them. I've since deleted them because I think this thread should remain focused on Mike Zimmer and the current Vikings, not on a head coach who's been gone for 3 seasons now.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:10 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Mothman wrote:
Texas Vike wrote:
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.



Thank you.

Regarding Frazier: I posted some detailed replies earlier this afternoon. Perhaps you saw them. I've since deleted them because I think this thread should remain focused on Mike Zimmer and the current Vikings, not on a head coach who's been gone for 3 seasons now.


I didn't catch them, but I understand your decision to keep the focus on Zimmer.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:23 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Texas Vike wrote:
I didn't catch them, but I understand your decision to keep the focus on Zimmer.


Thanks. :) It just seems a little more relevant in 2017.

Wow... it's 2017!


Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:34 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
mansquatch wrote:
Might some of Zimmer's issues be experience related?


That seems likely to me.

I see three major questions/ issues for Zimmer this off season:

1.) Can he get these psyche related issues to bed with this team so they do not come out flat in 2-4 games
2.) Can he put in place an offensive coaching staff that can do better than the bottom 1/3 of the league
3.) Can he, in conjunction with the #2, fix the OL to point where it can be competitive in the NFL

I would like to add that I wonder if he adjusted his style in reference to item #1 above. Zimmer used to preach a lot about character and fight in his guys. I wonder if he relaxed the message some? No evidence, just that we see less of it than we did in 2014 and I wonder if that is a contributing factor?[/quote]

Maybe but wasn't he just saying a few weeks ago that he's looking for players who will fight? It's also possible that his somewhat unrelenting approach could be wearing thin on some players.

Anyway, that's a good list. I think the answer to #2 has to begin with a decision from him about just what kind of offense will best compliment his defense. Answering that should guide his choices.

I think he also needs to figure out how to improve the running game and the run defense. Fixing the OL should help the former.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:44 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
I keep going back to the mistakes he's made. So many of them seem to originate when he's dealing with the media. Yeah, he mismanaged the clock against Detroit. But that was no more the reason for the clock than Blair Walsh's ineptitude (missed XP, failure to keep the last kickoff out of the end zone).

Look, Zimmer is not a "perfect coach." Neither is Belichick, and he certainly wasn't in his first 6 seasons, as others have pointed out. But there is no doubt ... the players will do just about anything for Mike Zimmer. People far more in the know than us continue to say he's one of the best leaders of men in the NFL.

And as much as some of you don't want to hear it, I'm gonna say it again -- the man was dealt a sh*t hand this season. You don't lose your starting quarterback, HOF running back, and both starting tackles and not suffer in SOME way. The losing streak sucked while it happened, but it was practically inevitable. The far more surprising thing was the 5-0 start.

In hindsight, almost any of us gladly would have taken the offensive line we were sporting in training camp, suspect as is was, over the hot mess we finished the season with. No, they weren't the Dallas Cowboys, but they also weren't the Who's Who of sub-replacement-level oafs that ended the season. And even with that horrendous line, the Vikings still managed to average 305 YPG passing over the last quarter of the season.

I will make this not-so-bold statement: If the original offensive line had played the entire season, the Vikings would be preparing for a home playoff game right now. Would they have been Super Bowl favorites? Probably not. But they wouldn't have lost either game to Detroit, and they likely wouldn't have lost to Dallas. That alone would have made them the #2 or #3 seed with 11 wins. Speculation? Sure. That's what we do here. But it's hard to argue, especially the two games against Detroit.

The point being ... we're assigning a lot of negatives to Mike Zimmer for poorly handing a season that 9 of 10 coaches wouldn't have handled any better.

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Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:41 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
J. Kapp 11 wrote:

The point being ... we're assigning a lot of negatives to Mike Zimmer for poorly handing a season that 9 of 10 coaches wouldn't have handled any better.


Like I've said before, most coaches would have been under a .500 record with this team and the injuries if you ask me

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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Holzberg wrote:
As for the defense under Zim who is a defensive coach, it has been good and bad. So far neither of these coaches have been able to get things going consistently on both sides of the ball.


Good and bad?? This defense has done nothing but gone up since he's gotten here and him and Spielman are the ones that brought in the talent. Not sure how you can say its been "bad". Within the last two years, this defense has been one of the best in the NFL. If you're going to pick apart 2 games this year and 1 maybe 2 last year, go ahead, but overall, this defense under Zimmer has been very good. Not just good. Frazier oversaw the last ranked defense in the NFL and Zim has oversaw one of the best in the league for 2 years now. After being left with Fraziers garbage defense. There is no comparison. Literally zero. Especially when it comes to defense.

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Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:16 pm
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
I haven't been posting here on the forum for long, but I have been reading topics for years..... and still read more than I post, but some of these topics are just to much for me to keep quiet.

I am a Zimmer fan. I believe Zimmer will lead this franchise to the promise land. He is a hard nosed, passionate, players coach. His football IQ is as high as nearly anyone's in the business, his peers praise him as one of he best in the league. You don't get the likes of Belichick and Big Tuna himself heaping praise on you for no reason. When he came to MN he was handed a turd and in three years (two really) he has turned them into legitimate contenders. Injuries happen. Its not an excuse, its reality, this season failures were almost entirely due to injuries........and a damaged kicker. Zim will never admit that though. Some would say Norv leaving hurt to, I am not one of those people. Good riddance! Being forced to keep AP and a damaged kicker have been the two biggest things to impact Zims tenure thus far outside of the injuries. Without AP's wasted money the past 3 years they could have brought in some talent at some position groups of need to provide more balance and quality depth to an already well built roster. The new stadium.......more like the Wilf's greed has cost this team some Wins. Zimmer is not the problem, he's the solution!


Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:30 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
I keep going back to the mistakes he's made. So many of them seem to originate when he's dealing with the media. Yeah, he mismanaged the clock against Detroit. But that was no more the reason for the clock than Blair Walsh's ineptitude (missed XP, failure to keep the last kickoff out of the end zone).

Look, Zimmer is not a "perfect coach." Neither is Belichick, and he certainly wasn't in his first 6 seasons, as others have pointed out. But there is no doubt ... the players will do just about anything for Mike Zimmer. People far more in the know than us continue to say he's one of the best leaders of men in the NFL.

And as much as some of you don't want to hear it, I'm gonna say it again -- the man was dealt a sh*t hand this season. You don't lose your starting quarterback, HOF running back, and both starting tackles and not suffer in SOME way. The losing streak sucked while it happened, but it was practically inevitable. The far more surprising thing was the 5-0 start.

In hindsight, almost any of us gladly would have taken the offensive line we were sporting in training camp, suspect as is was, over the hot mess we finished the season with. No, they weren't the Dallas Cowboys, but they also weren't the Who's Who of sub-replacement-level oafs that ended the season. And even with that horrendous line, the Vikings still managed to average 305 YPG passing over the last quarter of the season.

I will make this not-so-bold statement: If the original offensive line had played the entire season, the Vikings would be preparing for a home playoff game right now. Would they have been Super Bowl favorites? Probably not. But they wouldn't have lost either game to Detroit, and they likely wouldn't have lost to Dallas. That alone would have made them the #2 or #3 seed with 11 wins. Speculation? Sure. That's what we do here. But it's hard to argue, especially the two games against Detroit.

The point being ... we're assigning a lot of negatives to Mike Zimmer for poorly handing a season that 9 of 10 coaches wouldn't have handled any better.


Spot on! Couldn't have said it better myself


Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:33 am
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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Mothman wrote:
Maybe but wasn't he just saying a few weeks ago that he's looking for players who will fight? It's also possible that his somewhat unrelenting approach could be wearing thin on some players.

I think this approach works fine when you're winning, but when things start going south, that same message can be a bit tougher to swallow.


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Post Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Holzberg wrote:
As for the defense under Zim who is a defensive coach, it has been good and bad. So far neither of these coaches have been able to get things going consistently on both sides of the ball.


Good and bad?? This defense has done nothing but gone up since he's gotten here and him and Spielman are the ones that brought in the talent. Not sure how you can say its been "bad". Within the last two years, this defense has been one of the best in the NFL. If you're going to pick apart 2 games this year and 1 maybe 2 last year, go ahead, but overall, this defense under Zimmer has been very good. Not just good. Frazier oversaw the last ranked defense in the NFL and Zim has oversaw one of the best in the league for 2 years now. After being left with Fraziers garbage defense. There is no comparison. Literally zero. Especially when it comes to defense.


You can't say it has been all good and then say we forget about 2 games. Besides, it wasn't just 2 games. As other writers have posted, the defense was not able to close out games. The defense flat out broke in 2 minute drills. Maybe the play of the offense affected the defense, but either way, let's see how Zim and the players respond next year. I think Zim has finally realized that there will be no excuses next year and if it doesn't go better then he will be without a job. Speaking of which, he was interviewed before by a couple other teams and it didn't go well. So if he loses his HC job with the Vikings, he may never get another opportunity. But maybe DC is where he should stay at that point because that's his greatest strength.


Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:14 am
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