Mike Zimmer

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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by V Vette » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:09 pm

Should be fired immediately......
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:50 am

Interesting column from Chip Scoggins: Vikings coach Mike Zimmer needs to handle pressures of his job better

It opens with:
"The Vikings owners declined to make a coaching change after the team performed a belly flop. That wasn’t the wrong decision."
After that, as far as I'm concerned, he basically illustrates several reasons why it actually was the wrong decision. Oops. For example:
The Vikings played skittish in their biggest games. Too often they looked emotionally tight and not ready for the moment. That reflects poorly on Zimmer’s leadership.
Nobody expects Zimmer to be Mr. Sunshine, but there has to be better coaching methods than going for two-point conversions in a huff after a rookie kicker misses one field goal in a preseason game. Or offering repeated public rebukes of his offensive coordinator’s play calls. The whole vibe this season just felt … uptight.
Some fans think all the Vikings need are two new starting guards and then it’s Super Bowl homeboy. Sorry, it can’t be that simple. It wasn’t the offensive line that gave up a 16-play, nine-minute drive with the season on the line Sunday.

Zimmer’s tenure has been a roller-coaster ride, the dips occurring when expectations were raised. His team collapsed like a wobbly card table in the NFC Championship Game last season. And this season was a bust. A coaching change will be inevitable if the Vikings don’t show a significant spike next year.
... and so on.

I've been thinking about it quite a bit this week and even though I knew the Wilfs liked Spielman and Zimmer, I'm still somewhat surprised Zimmer hasn't been fired. 5 years is plenty of time to see what a head coach offers and Zimmer falls short in too many important ways. The way the last two seasons have ended seems like a big warning sign to me. It was one thing for the Vikes to flop and get blown out in an NFC Championship loss almost as ugly as the one they suffered to the Giants back in 2000. Sometimes, a playoff game gets away from a team. It was quite another for them to follow that up with a season of underachieving that ended with an uninspired, dysfunctional performance in the most important game of the year. What does it say about Zimmer's coaching that his team showed up flat, at home, with the playoffs and their shot at redemption on the line in the biggest game of their season? That's what sticks with me. They didn't respond to that loss to the Eagles by coming back stronger and more determined. Their performance this season, especially in the finale against the Bears, seems like a blaring siren to me. The Bears are good but if Zimmer couldn't have his team ready for that game, under those circumstances, how can we fans or the organization still feel confident he can lead them to a Super Bowl. As Scoggins wrote in his column: the dips have occurred when expectations were raised. Why aren't the Vikings getting the message that signals?

From this point forward, it's going to be hard for me to feel like the Vikings aren't just playing out the string, even if they're a relatively good team. It now seems inevitable that the Zimmer era will end in disappointment, with Zimmer being replaced and the Vikings still without a Lombardi trophy (or a Halas trophy).
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by PurpleMustReign » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:17 am

Mothman wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:50 am
Interesting column from Chip Scoggins: Vikings coach Mike Zimmer needs to handle pressures of his job better

It opens with:
"The Vikings owners declined to make a coaching change after the team performed a belly flop. That wasn’t the wrong decision."
After that, as far as I'm concerned, he basically illustrates several reasons why it actually was the wrong decision. Oops. For example:
The Vikings played skittish in their biggest games. Too often they looked emotionally tight and not ready for the moment. That reflects poorly on Zimmer’s leadership.
Nobody expects Zimmer to be Mr. Sunshine, but there has to be better coaching methods than going for two-point conversions in a huff after a rookie kicker misses one field goal in a preseason game. Or offering repeated public rebukes of his offensive coordinator’s play calls. The whole vibe this season just felt … uptight.
Some fans think all the Vikings need are two new starting guards and then it’s Super Bowl homeboy. Sorry, it can’t be that simple. It wasn’t the offensive line that gave up a 16-play, nine-minute drive with the season on the line Sunday.

Zimmer’s tenure has been a roller-coaster ride, the dips occurring when expectations were raised. His team collapsed like a wobbly card table in the NFC Championship Game last season. And this season was a bust. A coaching change will be inevitable if the Vikings don’t show a significant spike next year.
... and so on.

I've been thinking about it quite a bit this week and even though I knew the Wilfs liked Spielman and Zimmer, I'm still somewhat surprised Zimmer hasn't been fired. 5 years is plenty of time to see what a head coach offers and Zimmer falls short in too many important ways. The way the last two seasons have ended seems like a big warning sign to me. It was one thing for the Vikes to flop and get blown out in an NFC Championship loss almost as ugly as the one they suffered to the Giants back in 2000. Sometimes, a playoff game gets away from aa team. It was quite another for them to follow that up with a season of underachieving that ended with an uninspired, dysfunctional performance in the most important game of the year. What does it say about Zimmer's coaching that his team showed up flat, at home, with the playoffs and their shot at redemption on the line in the biggest game of their season? That's what sticks with me. They didn't respond to that loss to the Eagles by coming back stronger and more determined. Their performance this season, especially in the finale against the Bears, seems like a blaring siren to me. The Bears are good but if Zimmer couldn't have his team ready for that game, under those circumstances, how can we fans or the organization still feel confident he can lead them to a Super Bowl. As Scoggins wrote in his column: the dips have occurred when expectations were raised. Why aren't the Vikings getting the message that signals?

From this point forward, it's going to be hard for me to feel like the Vikings aren't just playing out the string, even if they're a relatively good team. To me, it now seems inevitable that the Zimmer era will end in disappointment, with Zimmer being replaced and the Vikings still without a Lombardi trophy (or a Halas trophy).
Brilliant post. I don't get why this is ok for some people. Let's just not even think of the offensive problems (which is what I said at the beginning of this thread anyway). Block them all.out. What I keep hearing from people is they essentially give Zimmer a pass because he's a defensive coach and he's built a great defense. Ok, let's give him they pass. How good is his defense? In the two most important games in his tenure, they simply have not shown up. They laid as giant of an egg against Philadelphia as a defense can possibly lay. They couldn't stop a Chicago offense that was down its top two receivers from converting 70% of 3rd down and could kot get a stop when the team desperately needed it, and really the one time the offense actually had momentum. The struggles are not exclusive to those games either, but they are the two biggest games in the last 20 years for the Vikings, I would argue ever for last year's game in Philly with what was on the line.
So, this supposedly great, stout defense (stats y'all) blew it in the two big games. How is that not on Zimmer?
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:43 am

PurpleMustReign wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:17 am
Brilliant post. I don't get why this is ok for some people. Let's just not even think of the offensive problems (which is what I said at the beginning of this thread anyway). Block them all.out. What I keep hearing from people is they essentially give Zimmer a pass because he's a defensive coach and he's built a great defense. Ok, let's give him they pass. How good is his defense? In the two most important games in his tenure, they simply have not shown up. They laid as giant of an egg against Philadelphia as a defense can possibly lay. They couldn't stop a Chicago offense that was down its top two receivers from converting 70% of 3rd down and could kot get a stop when the team desperately needed it, and really the one time the offense actually had momentum. The struggles are not exclusive to those games either, but they are the two biggest games in the last 20 years for the Vikings, I would argue ever for last year's game in Philly with what was on the line.
So, this supposedly great, stout defense (stats y'all) blew it in the two big games. How is that not on Zimmer?
I'm glad you liked my post.

However, my main question is why this situation okay with the Wilfs? I know they like Spielman and Zimmer. I know it's not easy to let go of an employee you like. I know the Vikes have 2 winning seasons under Zimmer and just one losing season but the writing on the wall seems pretty clear after 5 years.

The high defensive rankings mask a lot of the game-impacting struggles we've seen from Zimmer's defenses but as good as the defense has been at times, it hasn't shown a tendency to rise up and deliver in the biggest moments. That's what's being said about Cousins after this season but it applies to the defense as well.
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by TSonn » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:47 am

Mothman wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:50 am
I've been thinking about it quite a bit this week and even though I knew the Wilfs liked Spielman and Zimmer, I'm still somewhat surprised Zimmer hasn't been fired. 5 years is plenty of time to see what a head coach offers and Zimmer falls short in too many important ways. The way the last two seasons have ended seems like a big warning sign to me. It was one thing for the Vikes to flop and get blown out in an NFC Championship loss almost as ugly as the one they suffered to the Giants back in 2000. Sometimes, a playoff game gets away from a team. It was quite another for them to follow that up with a season of underachieving that ended with an uninspired, dysfunctional performance in the most important game of the year. What does it say about Zimmer's coaching that his team showed up flat, at home, with the playoffs and their shot at redemption on the line in the biggest game of their season? That's what sticks with me. They didn't respond to that loss to the Eagles by coming back stronger and more determined. Their performance this season, especially in the finale against the Bears, seems like a blaring siren to me. The Bears are good but if Zimmer couldn't have his team ready for that game, under those circumstances, how can we fans or the organization still feel confident he can lead them to a Super Bowl. As Scoggins wrote in his column: the dips have occurred when expectations were raised. Why aren't the Vikings getting the message that signals?
Not only does the team dip during the big games, the defense dips during big moments too. Even his 1 playoff win was super shaky and took a miracle to win because the defense gave up a huge lead (with the help of an inopportune INT from Case). This is the same defense that seems to be the thing that keeps Zimmer as the HC. Don't get me wrong, we've improved a ton on defense since the Frazier era, but we've also spent a TON of draft collateral on defense. Guys like Rhodes, Smith, Kendricks, and Hunter would probably still be studs with anyone coaching them. Barr might be better than what Zimmer has done with him (maybe we'll see if he goes to a 4-3 defense next).

There are a lot of stories out there about how guys love playing for Zimmer, and while I'm not questioning the ability of Zimmer to get guys to play for him, maybe it's better to get his guys to play for the moment or the pride of game?
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by TSonn » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:01 am

Mothman wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:43 am
The high defensive rankings mask a lot of the game-impacting struggles we've seen from Zimmer's defenses but as good as the defense has been at times, it hasn't shown a tendency to rise up and deliver in the biggest moments.
Whoops! You responded while I was writing my last post above and mentioned the same issue.

Maybe it's just me being an overly skeptical fan and ignoring the good moments, but it seems like whenever an opposing offense needed yards, a first down, or a score, they've been able to do it fairly consistently on Zimmer's defense. The 2017 defense seemed to get more stops in meaningful moments (which is probably why we ended up 13-3), but they still struggled in some of the big moments.
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:04 am

TSonn wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:47 am
Not only does the team dip during the big games, the defense dips during big moments too. Even his 1 playoff win was super shaky and took a miracle to win because the defense gave up a huge lead (with the help of an inopportune INT from Case). This is the same defense that seems to be the thing that keeps Zimmer as the HC. Don't get me wrong, we've improved a ton on defense since the Frazier era, but we've also spent a TON of draft collateral on defense. Guys like Rhodes, Smith, Kendricks, and Hunter would probably still be studs with anyone coaching them. Barr might be better than what Zimmer has done with him (maybe we'll see if he goes to a 4-3 defense next).
They've spent pretty big on some free agents for the defense too. Joseph and Richardson both come to mind.
There are a lot of stories out there about how guys love playing for Zimmer, and while I'm not questioning the ability of Zimmer to get guys to play for him, maybe it's better to get his guys to play for the moment or the pride of game?
Maybe. It's definitely a problem that a head coach who hangs his hat on defense and focuses so much of his time and energy on it has a defense that hasn't held up when it's been needed most.
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by TSonn » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:10 am

Mothman wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:04 am
Maybe. It's definitely a problem that a head coach who hangs his hat on defense and focuses so much of his time and energy on it has a defense that hasn't held up when it's been needed most.
Yep. In comparison, the "legion of boom" defenses and the Denver defenses that went to a few super bowls recently would control the entire game or make the big play when needed. Our defense has not done that under Zimmer.
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by VikingLord » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:01 pm

Mothman wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:43 am
However, my main question is why this situation okay with the Wilfs? I know they like Spielman and Zimmer. I know it's not easy to let go of an employee you like. I know the Vikes have 2 winning seasons under Zimmer and just one losing season but the writing on the wall seems pretty clear after 5 years.

The high defensive rankings mask a lot of the game-impacting struggles we've seen from Zimmer's defenses but as good as the defense has been at times, it hasn't shown a tendency to rise up and deliver in the biggest moments. That's what's being said about Cousins after this season but it applies to the defense as well.
Both sides of the ball played conservatively in my opinion. Neither played with much sense of urgency or was willing to take chances. It was a disciplined, risk-averse team on both sides of the ball. Problem is, the better teams and players are willing to take calculated risks based on tendencies they see on film. I think we saw the result of that starting last year, especially when the Vikes played in the NFCC against the Eagles, and again this year as teams like the Bears took clear advantage of tendencies they saw of the Vikings. Hard work in the film room, coupled with a longer leash from the coaches, resulted in a lot of big plays by the Bear defenders over the course of the season.

Contrast that with the Vikings defenders. A handful of INTs by that group, with most of them coming off bad throws. I can't recall the last time I saw a Viking DB show anticipation and jump a route. Most of the picks by that group are like Holton Hill's first one where they are just in space and the ball is throw more or less right at them. The defense is mostly organized around a philosophy of "do your job", which is fine, but is not going to produce a lot of big plays. Certainly not of the number and quality of the big defensive plays many of the Vikings opponents produced against Cousins and the offense over the course of the season. How many balls did Cousins have batted down throughout the year, for example, or how many times was he forced to fumble? He had several balls picked and returned for TDs as well. It was pretty clear he put a lot of tendencies on tape that his opponents were able to detect and take consistent advantage of. But we didn't see the Vikings defenders do anything remotely similar to the opposing offenses they faced. That could be coaching. Could be players not studying up. Could be a combination. Whatever it could be, it certainly is frustrating to watch a defense that might be structurally sound, but incapable of really altering games because they never put themselves in a position to make a truly big play.

Offense was the same this year. Last year, I think Diggs and Thielen led the league in contested catches because Keenum was willing to take risks and give them the chance to make a play. Cousins, OTOH, seemed very unwilling to do that. If the receiver wasn't clearly open, he went to his safety valve more often than not.

Childress was a risk averse coach who lucked out and got a QB in Favre who was not risk averse at all. I think without Favre at the helm in 2009, the Vikings don't sniff the Superbowl that season. Last year, it was a journeyman QB in Keenum who had little to lose and everything to gain by coming out firing. His ability to extend plays and give his receivers chances to make plays despite being covered made a huge difference. The defense was risk averse last year, but it took some time for good offenses to figure out how to beat the scheme, and once they figured it out, the defense couldn't stop those offenses. And that trailed into this year as well as the Vikings statistically continued to look good, but were unable to consistently stop the better offensive teams they faced.

I think the writing is on the wall for Zimmer as well. If he's going to survive, much less thrive, he's got to change how he views risk and give his players and coaches the latitude they need to take some calculated chances. For Cousins, that is going to be a bigger problem because Cousins' personality is averse to risk. To maximize what Cousins can do, Spielman is going to have to fix the offensive line, and by fix I don't mean just get a few new players. I mean, the offensive line has to be dominant. They have to be able to open up the run game in a way that forces defenses to respect it on every play, and they also have to be excellent, consistent pass blockers in a way that allows Cousins to relax as much as a pro QB can afford to relax. But even then, I don't see Cousins changing very much - he'll still throw it when he thinks a receiver is clearly open, and will go to his short safety valve fairly quickly if he doesn't. I don't see his style changing. It's baked in and the Vikings are going to have to deal with it now because he's here for 2 more years. But defensively, Zimmer can alter how he lets his guys approach opponents and make sure they know he won't punish them for taking risks as long as they're not randomly taking them.
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by TSonn » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:57 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:01 pm
Offense was the same this year. Last year, I think Diggs and Thielen led the league in contested catches because Keenum was willing to take risks and give them the chance to make a play. Cousins, OTOH, seemed very unwilling to do that. If the receiver wasn't clearly open, he went to his safety valve more often than not.
This is a great point. Cousins was brought here with the understanding that he wouldn't have to do much to win games because the defense was elite and the WRs were solid. Well, the first half of the season the defense wasn't great (Zimmer admitted that offenses had figured him out and he needed to adjust, in like, week 6... why it took so long who knows) so Cousins needed to produce wins right away as opposed to just manage them. He actually took quite a few risks early on - the entire 2nd half @ GB, most of the game @ LA... but then stopped taking risks after the bye week.

After watching Cousins in Washington, I don't think it's his typical type of play to not give his WRs a chance with 50/50 balls. He took plenty of risks throwing to guys like Jackson, Reed, and Garcon. I think he was brought to MN and was asked to play it safe by Zimmer. Heck, Zimmer was reluctant to call Case the starter all of last year mostly because he didn't trust his judgement with throwing up 50/50 balls. Makes sense to me that Zimmer would request Cousins play it safe especially after the defense started clicking near the bye week which is when we saw the offense really start to sputter.

Granted, that's all speculation and no one from the team will be honest about this type of stuff.
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:09 pm

TSonn wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:01 am
Whoops! You responded while I was writing my last post above and mentioned the same issue.
"Great minds"... :)
TSonn wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:10 am
Yep. In comparison, the "legion of boom" defenses and the Denver defenses that went to a few super bowls recently would control the entire game or make the big play when needed. Our defense has not done that under Zimmer.
At least not enough and not in those big games where it's been needed most.
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by Mothman » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:11 pm

TSonn wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:57 pm
This is a great point. Cousins was brought here with the understanding that he wouldn't have to do much to win games because the defense was elite and the WRs were solid. Well, the first half of the season the defense wasn't great (Zimmer admitted that offenses had figured him out and he needed to adjust, in like, week 6... why it took so long who knows) so Cousins needed to produce wins right away as opposed to just manage them. He actually took quite a few risks early on - the entire 2nd half @ GB, most of the game @ LA... but then stopped taking risks after the bye week.

After watching Cousins in Washington, I don't think it's his typical type of play to not give his WRs a chance with 50/50 balls. He took plenty of risks throwing to guys like Jackson, Reed, and Garcon. I think he was brought to MN and was asked to play it safe by Zimmer. Heck, Zimmer was reluctant to call Case the starter all of last year mostly because he didn't trust his judgement with throwing up 50/50 balls. Makes sense to me that Zimmer would request Cousins play it safe especially after the defense started clicking near the bye week which is when we saw the offense really start to sputter.

Granted, that's all speculation and no one from the team will be honest about this type of stuff.
It's speculative but Zimmer's been a pretty conservative coach from the start so there's some basis for the speculation.

... and thanks to Edward (VikingLord) for an excellent post!
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by 808vikingsfan » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:10 pm

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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by Mothman » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:20 am

808vikingsfan wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:10 pm
Zimmer press conference

https://twitter.com/Vikings/status/1080888456438378496
Thanks. I've been wondering when this was going to happen.
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Re: Mike Zimmer

Post by VikeFanInEagleLand » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:08 am

808vikingsfan wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:10 pm
Zimmer press conference

https://twitter.com/Vikings/status/1080888456438378496
I really think I'm going to stop watching press conferences. They are like listening to politicians. Either half truths or outright lies They don't ever give you any real valuable information.
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