Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

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Texas Vike
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Texas Vike » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:40 pm

Mothman wrote:
Exactly right.

Zimmer did a great job of taking a defense in need of an overhaul and building it into one of the league's better units but too many people are willing to overlook the fact that an offense that had climbed to 13th in the league (with Ponder and Cassel at QB!) dropped into the bottom 15% or so in Zimmer's first season and has stayed there.

That drop and stagnation is indicative of what worries me most about Zimmer's Vikings. Under Zimmer, the team's been able to significantly improve in the area he knows best: pass defense. The improvement there has been dramatic. The run defense isn't better. In fact, the Vikings have allowed a higher yards per carry average in each of the past 3 seasons than they did in each of the previous 3. The offense has grown worse and this year, without Peterson and with the o-line woes, the running game was the worst in the NFL.

It's been evident for 3 years now that the offense and run defense needed to get better and that hasn't happened in any substantive way. Combine that with the dissension in the ranks and the collapse this season and I'm left wondering if Zimmer's a pass defense specialist who's simply in over his head as a head coach.

Great post, Jim. Your position seems completely reasonable to me. I think this is the clearest that I've ever seen it stated, btw.[/quote]

Thanks. I'm glad to hear that. I realized as I was typing it that if I'd actually been able to state my position that clearly in the first place, I might have saved myself some difficult discussions. :lol:

I'm not giving up on Zimmer but I very much feel he's entering a "prove it" year.[/quote]

Isn't it funny how sometimes we just need an antagonist to make us sharpen our game?

I hear you on Zimmer, but here's my question: what would "prove it" to you? In my view, I want to see us win a playoff game. Obviously, I want more, but that would be my minimum. I mean, there's the eye test too... but at the end of the day wins are what it's about.

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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:48 pm

I think we also should not overlook the three eye surgeries Mike Zimmer had, with a fourth coming up.

You go messing with a man's eyesight, and it'll do a number on you. I don't care how tough you are.

It's obviously not the complete tool for evaluation, nor would Zimmer want anyone to use it as an excuse. To me, though, it does need to be factored in.
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:17 pm

Texas Vike wrote:Isn't it funny how sometimes we just need an antagonist to make us sharpen our game?
:)
I hear you on Zimmer, but here's my question: what would "prove it" to you? In my view, I want to see us win a playoff game. Obviously, I want more, but that would be my minimum. I mean, there's the eye test too... but at the end of the day wins are what it's about.
Wins are obviously important and I definitely want to see them but what would "prove it" to me most would be strong progress in the areas that have needed work for a while now. I want to see improved run defense, significantly better offense and better game plans and preparation. I want to see better OL play and (after this year) a better running game. I know Zimmer can coach pass defense. My question for him is "what else have you got"?

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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:42 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote:I think we also should not overlook the three eye surgeries Mike Zimmer had, with a fourth coming up.

You go messing with a man's eyesight, and it'll do a number on you. I don't care how tough you are.

It's obviously not the complete tool for evaluation, nor would Zimmer want anyone to use it as an excuse. To me, though, it does need to be factored in.
I agree. It's definitely another factor to be considered.

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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by mmvikes » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:46 am

Mothman wrote: Correct!
Exactly right.

Zimmer did a great job of taking a defense in need of an overhaul and building it into one of the league's better units but too many people are willing to overlook the fact that an offense that had climbed to 13th in the league (with Ponder and Cassel at QB!) dropped into the bottom 15% or so in Zimmer's first season and has stayed there.

That drop and stagnation is indicative of what worries me most about Zimmer's Vikings. Under Zimmer, the team's been able to significantly improve in the area he knows best: pass defense. The improvement there has been dramatic. The run defense isn't better. In fact, the Vikings have allowed a higher yards per carry average in each of the past 3 seasons than they did in each of the previous 3. The offense has grown worse and this year, without Peterson and with the o-line woes, the running game was the worst in the NFL.

It's been evident for 3 years now that the offense and run defense needed to get better and that hasn't happened in any substantive way. Combine that with the dissension in the ranks and the collapse this season and I'm left wondering if Zimmer's a pass defense specialist who's simply in over his head as a head coach.

The dissention and late season collapse of the defense bothers me also. I think we may be surprised by one or two of the players cut or traded this offseason by Zimmer to let the team know that will not be tolerated.

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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:14 pm

So I was listening to FOX sports radio tonight and they just said they believe Zimmer was one of the best HC signings in the last 5 years. They think he's similar to Belichick.

I definitely wouldn't go that far but I do believe he was one of the better signings the last 5 years that's for sure
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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:31 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote:So I was listening to FOX sports radio tonight and they just said they believe Zimmer was one of the best HC signings in the last 5 years. They think he's similar to Belichick.

I definitely wouldn't go that far but I do believe he was one of the better signings the last 5 years that's for sure
Time will tell. He's been riding a wave of belief from the start but belief is one thing and results are another. I don't see much in common with Belichick when I look at Zimmer's approach.

We'll learn a lot about Zimmer next season. How will he and his team rebound after a season that began with promise and turned into a train wreck? That's a test for a coach.

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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Alaskan » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:55 pm

Mothman wrote: Correct!
Exactly right.

Zimmer did a great job of taking a defense in need of an overhaul and building it into one of the league's better units but too many people are willing to overlook the fact that an offense that had climbed to 13th in the league (with Ponder and Cassel at QB!) dropped into the bottom 15% or so in Zimmer's first season and has stayed there.

That drop and stagnation is indicative of what worries me most about Zimmer's Vikings. Under Zimmer, the team's been able to significantly improve in the area he knows best: pass defense. The improvement there has been dramatic. The run defense isn't better. In fact, the Vikings have allowed a higher yards per carry average in each of the past 3 seasons than they did in each of the previous 3. The offense has grown worse and this year, without Peterson and with the o-line woes, the running game was the worst in the NFL.

It's been evident for 3 years now that the offense and run defense needed to get better and that hasn't happened in any substantive way. Combine that with the dissension in the ranks and the collapse this season and I'm left wondering if Zimmer's a pass defense specialist who's simply in over his head as a head coach.

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.

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.

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.

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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by Mothman » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:44 pm

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.

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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by jackal » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:09 pm

honestly the offense needs to score two touchdowns a game.

IMO the OL is by far our biggest problem ... and I am not 100 percent
sure this staff gets it done. They have not been able to make any improvements
;in the last two seasons. IMO last year the OL got worse and I hate excuses but
having several sets of OT get hurt, retire, or just not work out is going to make
your OL look like garbage. IMO we need to move forward from Kalil. The guy had
on good season (his first and a few bright moments. Clemmings needs to go to
a wrestling guru, Judo, or some other leverage master to get better. Cirles
is one of the only guys I have much faith in currently to play tackle.

Beavers appears to be a bust, so far.
no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

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Re: Mike Zimmer begins offseason of ‘soul searching"

Post by germannorseman » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:20 pm

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
I think this is an important point. Why did he think the line was in good shape? This is the problem with no pads practice. If you can't have full speed full pads practice how do know just how good someone is?

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