Alaskan wrote:This post is interesting. I have had these exact thoughts myself. However, I have concluded that there is more to the story. Zimmer is more than a defensive pass specialist. His defenses have rank in the top of the league everywhere he has been. He shuts down high powers offenses more times than not. I think he knows a thing or two about what makes an offense effective and difficult to shut down. I don't think he get enough credit for what he brings to the table from an Offensive perspective.
Zimmer's specialty is pass defense but I didn't mean to imply that he doesn't know how to coordinate a defense. He's obviously good at that but the run defense remains too vulnerable and that needs to be addressed.
On offense, I think the problem is the difference between what he knows and what he's been able to implement effectively. Whether he's out of his depth or deeply knowledgable just doesn't matter much if the results continue to be among the worst in the league. If he has significantly more to bring to the table regarding the offense, it's past time to bring it. That knowledge needs to manifest itself on the field because the Vikings offense has been pretty bad for 3 years now.
A new system, the search/development of a Rookie QB, an all time great RB not providing the ROI expected, injuries (timing of Injures), o line issues, a defense with plenty of holes of its own AND something that doesn't get enough attention from this board; the transition into a new stadium and the Organizations decisions to make that transition a success. Among a few other reasons, these are the main factors as to why the Offense has sputtered.
How much influence the Wilf's have had on personal decisions, is really an x factor IMO. With the new stadium and the need/greed to sell tickets/licenses has surely had an effect on personal. Everybody is going to have an opinion as to how. I have my opinions on that as well but my point is this; to pin all the Offensive issues on Zimmer and even Speilman is harsh and really not accurate when evaluating this objectively and looking at what got us to this point.
It doesn't seem particularly harsh to hold their feet to the fire when it is literally their responsibility to assemble the roster and, in Zimmer's case, coach the team. The coaching staff and players represent their choices so I feel any objective evaluation has to focus on the job they've done in the two most important non-ownership roles. I understand the Wilfs hold the ultimate executive power within the organization but they have a reputation for being pretty "hands off" when it comes to football decisions. They've entrusted Spielman and Zimmer with the responsibility to build a championship team. We can speculate about whether ownership gets involved to a greater degree than is apparent but I'm not aware of anything which suggests that's the case. If your point is that the Wilf's responsibility to field a winner supersedes that of Zimmer or Spielman then I don't disagree but to all appearances, they've empowered Spielman and Zimmer to make the relevant decisions involving football.
I have seen posts where you talk about not liking the way this organization is building a balanced team, I can't say I disagree with that completely. The Business side of the game has no question had an effect on how this team has been put together as well; Skill players/splash player are much better marketers of tickets/license than players in the trenches. Its not necessarily what's best from a purely football perspective, but it is reality, ESPECIALLY with the new stadium. The success of 15' season was huge for this organization and its ability to maximize its profits from Licensing/ticketing and I believe at this point that is what is most important to the Wilf's. The past season's failures were not near as important in that aspect. Now that we are past the "Grand Opening" of the new stadium and the business associated to it, I hope the Wilf's support getting down to business about what it's going to take to win a championship. They need to put there short term interest aside and listen to the people (Zimmer and Co.) on what is needed to do that and focus completely on that because that is going to be what keeps the seats in US Bank Stadium full in the future. It doesn't matter who the HC or GM is if the business model doesn't fit what they are trying to do on the football field. Firing them and starting over will just be another unnessacary set back for the organization.
... or it could prove to be a necessary step in the right direction. That said, neither man is going to be fired in the immediate future so whether they should be fired is a moot point.
If I understand what you wrote above correctly, it sounds as if you're saying the Wilf's business model has literally been to handcuff the coach and GM from building a better team in the trenches and to instruct them to focus on skill/splash players (I'm not sure how you're defining the latter) in the interests of marketing the new stadium. The sentence I highlighted in bold also seems to imply that they've been ignoring the wishes of Zimmer (and presumably Spielman) to improve at the line of scrimmage and instead, ownership has been calling the shots and insisting the coach and GM build the team the Wilfs felt would best enable them to sell tickets.
Is that correct and if so I have to ask: is there any significant evidence to suggest that's been happening?
It looks to me like Spielman and Zimmer made their own beds.