Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scrutiny

A forum for the hard core Minnesota Vikings fan. Discuss upcoming games, opponents, trades, draft or what ever is on the minds of Viking fans!

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Mothman
Defensive Tackle
Posts: 37384
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 11:48 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scrutiny

Post by Mothman » Sun May 21, 2017 9:52 am

This should go over well.

http://www.startribune.com/mike-zimmer- ... 423258333/
This is the age when the sporting public can see most everything for itself and absorb information from endless sources. An opinion is formed rapidly, and then comes the mystery:

A) Some of those opinions are tightly held even when there’s evidence to the contrary; and B) some will change in a blink of the calendar.

Mike Zimmer remains the beneficiary of Opinion A. Forty months ago, the sporting public embraced the notion that Zimmer was going to be a well-seasoned wonder as Vikings coach, and it seems to have maintained the pro-Zim stance even after the disastrous turn taken by his team last season.
I think Reusse makes some good points without piling on too much. He concludes by saying:
A year ago as the Vikings put rookies through drills at Winter Park, Zimmer was the heroic coach who had raised the team to contending status in the NFC. Now, Zimmer’s leadership as a coach is one of the uncertainties for the 2017 Vikings.
That's fair, at least in my opinion.

User avatar
PacificNorseWest
Career Elite Player
Posts: 2370
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:10 am
Location: Seattle, Wa

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by PacificNorseWest » Sun May 21, 2017 10:16 pm

Nothing to argue. I'm as big a supporter/believer in Zimmer as any, but the time has come to prove true worth. Nothing more, nothing less.

User avatar
Mothman
Defensive Tackle
Posts: 37384
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 11:48 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by Mothman » Mon May 22, 2017 6:21 am

PacificNorseWest wrote:Nothing to argue. I'm as big a supporter/believer in Zimmer as any, but the time has come to prove true worth. Nothing more, nothing less.
That's how I see it too.

User avatar
CbusVikesFan
All Pro Elite Player
Posts: 1395
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:07 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by CbusVikesFan » Mon May 22, 2017 7:09 am

I think that Spielman is on the hot seat more than Zimmer. Imo.
Image
Don't hate on my Buckeyes. Some of the best Vikings went to Ohio State.
Including now, HOF WR #80 Cris Carter

User avatar
J. Kapp 11
Hall of Famer
Posts: 6918
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:57 pm

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Mon May 22, 2017 8:51 am

There's nothing groundbreaking here. Every head coach is deserving of scrutiny. If Bill Belichick suddenly goes 8-8, he'll be scrutinized.

And guess what? Even if Mike Zimmer goes 2-14 and gets fired, he'll still be highly respected around the league because he's a good coach and a good man. His ability to succeed as a HEAD coach is the question that remains to be answered. That's not surprising for a guy with 3 years of experience. Not many guys like Steve Kerr come along who win a championship their first year after never coaching at any level.

This article qualifies as "dog bites man." It's the obvious take. Columnists who show me "man bites dog," are the ones who impress me.
Image
Go ahead. I dare you.
Underestimate this man.

mansquatch
Hall of Fame Candidate
Posts: 3463
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:44 pm
Location: Coon Rapids, MN

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by mansquatch » Mon May 22, 2017 9:20 am

Not much new here other than the presentation. I'm not sure I'm on board Reusse's summary of events. He draws quick conclusions about key events from last season to support his thesis, but I'm not sure those premises entirely stand up to his conclusion, there is a lot we still do not know. (The Bye Week "Fat Cat" episode and the Norv Turner affair as examples.)

The motivation issues have been apparent since the start of 2015. They have had several games in the past two seasons where they played like garbage and either lost to poor opponent (2015: SF, PHI, CHI, IND in 2016) or got blown out in a game where they should have been more competitive (GB/SEA at Home 2015, GB on road 2016).

The offensive issues have also been apparent since 2014.

The causes of these problems have never been clearly laid at Zimmer's feet. This is not to say I'm absolving him of fault, far from it, just that we do not know if it is JUST HIM, or if there were other factors at play. My sense is that it was/is a mixture of issues, but as the the HC it is his job to fix it. (This is where I agree to some extent with Reusse.) Reusse's column abandon's the details with a "buck stops here" argument to lay it all on Zimmer.

I'm still where I was in January. One of the three main issues I see for the team to fix in 2017 if it wishes to contend is to eliminate losses due to flat / poor play / motivation. IMO, this article throws gasoline on that particular fire, but it doesn't add anything new to it.

FWIW, The other issues are RED ZONE effectiveness / Scoring, and the OL. IMO, they have made strides in FA towards the third issue. How the other two sort out will not be known until October.
Winning is not a sometime thing it is an all of the time thing - Vince Lombardi

User avatar
Mothman
Defensive Tackle
Posts: 37384
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 11:48 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by Mothman » Mon May 22, 2017 9:45 am

I didn't think Reusse was going for anything innovative or revelatory in the column, just making a point worth making and best summarized by the first paragraph I quoted in the OP. He states that point a little too broadly but I think it's valid.

mansquatch
Hall of Fame Candidate
Posts: 3463
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:44 pm
Location: Coon Rapids, MN

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by mansquatch » Mon May 22, 2017 10:02 am

I agree in that sense. I was trying to be more specific in my own right to spur the conversation a bit. It is high off-season right now and ripping on the vacuity of a local columnist only gets us so far.

FWIW, I think a fun speculative topic would be taking a realistic offense depth chart and then doing a guess on expected production. If I get some time I might throw this together for fun. To me the real value is the critical assumptions that you have to make and then assessing their probability. Gives an idea of where the risks are for the team.
Winning is not a sometime thing it is an all of the time thing - Vince Lombardi

User avatar
Mothman
Defensive Tackle
Posts: 37384
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 11:48 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by Mothman » Mon May 22, 2017 10:08 am

mansquatch wrote:I agree in that sense. I was trying to be more specific in my own right to spur the conversation a bit. It is high off-season right now and ripping on the vacuity of a local columnist only gets us so far.


:lol: True. that's one of the reasons I posted the column in the first place. I wanted to spark conversation too.
FWIW, I think a fun speculative topic would be taking a realistic offense depth chart and then doing a guess on expected production. If I get some time I might throw this together for fun. To me the real value is the critical assumptions that you have to make and then assessing their probability. Gives an idea of where the risks are for the team.
That's a good idea!

User avatar
J. Kapp 11
Hall of Famer
Posts: 6918
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:57 pm

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Mon May 22, 2017 11:42 am

Mothman wrote:I didn't think Reusse was going for anything innovative or revelatory in the column, just making a point worth making and best summarized by the first paragraph I quoted in the OP. He states that point a little too broadly but I think it's valid.
You're totally correct, Jim. It's valid.

I'm just a bit critical of columnists in general. In their defense, it's not easy coming up with pieces like this 3-4 times per week. But at the same time, I don't go for columnists who sort of state the obvious. And we're seeing a lot of that in this day and age of Now-News.

Many years ago when I was in journalism school, there was a columnist named Ken Burger. These days, he's a commentator for Fox Sports, but in those days he was a sports columnist for the Charleston (SC) Post Courier. He wrote a column about women's basketball once that absolutely floored me. Here's the first graf.

I love women. I love basketball. I hate women's basketball.

Now THAT gets your attention. You either want to throw Ken Burger out a 10th-floor window, or you want to throw him a party, but you're GOING to have an opinion on it. There is no in-between. And it provides water-cooler talk for DAYS. No matter what you believed, it was a GREAT column.

I'm not saying that Reusse's points aren't valid. They're just obvious. It's an easy column to write, and ultimately forgettable for the reader.

As for Zimmer ... yeah, he still has something to prove. He's gone 7-9, 11-5 and 8-8. He's 0-1 in the playoffs. Even the most ardent Zimmer lover (and I'm pretty fond of the guy) would admit that. If the Vikings don't improve, he's squarely on the hot seat, as he should be.
Image
Go ahead. I dare you.
Underestimate this man.

mansquatch
Hall of Fame Candidate
Posts: 3463
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:44 pm
Location: Coon Rapids, MN

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by mansquatch » Mon May 22, 2017 11:51 am

I know this is old hat, but I still struggle with how much of the 8-8 was on him and how much was due to 14 different starters on the OL resulting from Injury. Not looking to rehash that debate, just how I feel on the matter.

I do get a sense that Zimmer still needs to get a handle on certain deficiencies in himself as an HC. That is actually the crux of my previous point. I do feel that a lot of the flat performances fall on him. The more exciting question is what he'll do about it. That why I took that "more blue collar practices" comment as at least somewhat positive in the sense that he acknowledged that he had issues he needed to address. As always, how he does that the results of that action are what matters most. Sadly at this point in the NFL "season" we are not likely to get any nuggets for at least 6 weeks.
Winning is not a sometime thing it is an all of the time thing - Vince Lombardi

User avatar
Mothman
Defensive Tackle
Posts: 37384
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 11:48 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by Mothman » Mon May 22, 2017 12:29 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote: You're totally correct, Jim. It's valid.

I'm just a bit critical of columnists in general. In their defense, it's not easy coming up with pieces like this 3-4 times per week. But at the same time, I don't go for columnists who sort of state the obvious. And we're seeing a lot of that in this day and age of Now-News.

Many years ago when I was in journalism school, there was a columnist named Ken Burger. These days, he's a commentator for Fox Sports, but in those days he was a sports columnist for the Charleston (SC) Post Courier. He wrote a column about women's basketball once that absolutely floored me. Here's the first graf.

I love women. I love basketball. I hate women's basketball.

Now THAT gets your attention. You either want to throw Ken Burger out a 10th-floor window, or you want to throw him a party, but you're GOING to have an opinion on it. There is no in-between. And it provides water-cooler talk for DAYS. No matter what you believed, it was a GREAT column.

I'm not saying that Reusse's points aren't valid. They're just obvious. It's an easy column to write, and ultimately forgettable for the reader.

As for Zimmer ... yeah, he still has something to prove. He's gone 7-9, 11-5 and 8-8. He's 0-1 in the playoffs. Even the most ardent Zimmer lover (and I'm pretty fond of the guy) would admit that. If the Vikings don't improve, he's squarely on the hot seat, as he should be.
I see your point and knowing a bit about your background, I also understand why you'd have a strong opinion about columnists. :)

User avatar
Mothman
Defensive Tackle
Posts: 37384
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 11:48 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by Mothman » Mon May 22, 2017 12:42 pm

mansquatch wrote:I know this is old hat, but I still struggle with how much of the 8-8 was on him and how much was due to 14 different starters on the OL resulting from Injury. Not looking to rehash that debate, just how I feel on the matter.

I do get a sense that Zimmer still needs to get a handle on certain deficiencies in himself as an HC. That is actually the crux of my previous point. I do feel that a lot of the flat performances fall on him. The more exciting question is what he'll do about it. That why I took that "more blue collar practices" comment as at least somewhat positive in the sense that he acknowledged that he had issues he needed to address.
It IS positive in that sense. What concerns me about it (a little–I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill) is the way it might fit in with some of the motivational techniques he's used. The stuffed animal thing was just a bad idea and I doubt we'll see something like that repeated but Zimmer seems to love playing the "nobody respects us/it's us against the world" card and I think that's a heavy-handed motivational approach that gets old very fast in the pros. I saw Lovie Smith beat it to death in Chicago and it became increasingly clear his players weren't buying into it. More focused practices could yield better results, I just hope Zimmer is looking deeper than simple motivational techniques and the idea that his team needs to be a tougher, more "blue collar" squad. I believe there are strategic shortcomings that need to be addressed and hopefully, his self-assessment is going deep into that stuff too, not just stopping at the surface. It probably is... I certainly don't expect the guy to bare his soul to the press about that sort of thing.
As always, how he does that the results of that action are what matters most. Sadly at this point in the NFL "season" we are not likely to get any nuggets for at least 6 weeks.
it's the "dead zone".

User avatar
PsyDanny
All Pro Elite Player
Posts: 1567
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 9:24 am
Location: south minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by PsyDanny » Mon May 22, 2017 1:39 pm

Mothman wrote: It IS positive in that sense. What concerns me about it (a little–I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill) is the way it might fit in with some of the motivational techniques he's used. The stuffed animal thing was just a bad idea and I doubt we'll see something like that repeated but Zimmer seems to love playing the "nobody respects us/it's us against the world" card and I think that's a heavy-handed motivational approach that gets old very fast in the pros. I saw Lovie Smith beat it to death in Chicago and it became increasingly clear his players weren't buying into it. More focused practices could yield better results, I just hope Zimmer is looking deeper than simple motivational techniques and the idea that his team needs to be a tougher, more "blue collar" squad. I believe there are strategic shortcomings that need to be addressed and hopefully, his self-assessment is going deep into that stuff too, not just stopping at the surface. It probably is... I certainly don't expect the guy to bare his soul to the press about that sort of thing.
it's the "dead zone".
AKA Honey Do season
"My anterior orifice is forever causing me extreme difficulty;
therefore, I shall endeavor to acquire some self-control."

mansquatch
Hall of Fame Candidate
Posts: 3463
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:44 pm
Location: Coon Rapids, MN

Re: Reusse: Zimmer's leadership of Vikings deserving of scru

Post by mansquatch » Mon May 22, 2017 1:43 pm

The motivation thing is a tough nut to crack. Bill Cower was using that exact same schtick as his team prepared to play in and eventually win Cower's SB. So that line can work. To me it is more the fact that the tactic was unsuccessful in it's application by Zimmer than the tactic itself.

There is world of depth on this one though How well does Zimmer know/understand his players? How well does he deliver the message? Is he understanding the particular moment? So on and so fourth.

Another angle is would it have mattered? The defense played hard in that PHI game and put the team in a position to win, but the Offense couldn't deliver. That game was a tough loss, but not nearly as embarrassing as the one that followed against Chicago. That game is the one that really gives me fits from last season. What happened to cause a 5-1 team to complete come off the rails and get blown out against a truly pathetic Bears club? We'll never know. The next question is why couldn't it get back on track against a mediocre at best DET team?

I look back on it though and I think the two major lows were the loss against Chicago, and then the carry over hangover that caused them to choke it against DET. Zimmer needs to figure out what he could have done to right the ship in those moments. The season likely would have turned out different if he had found it in himself to coach the team out of that spot. They get two wins out of the 2x DET and DAL games. You have to wonder if the IND mess happens if they get those wins since their morale would have been MUCH better than it was. (That game to me was basically the spirit of the club being broken before the opening kickoff, but I could be wrong.)

All speculation on my part, but if one wants to get specific, then I think the place to look is weeks 7-9 and the way it was handled. That to me was the opportunity for the head coach to grab his team by the horns and show genuine leadership.
Winning is not a sometime thing it is an all of the time thing - Vince Lombardi

Post Reply