Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by S197 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:19 pm

Mothman wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:24 pm
VikingLord wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:14 pm
It was a big gamble that paid off.

Lots of teams have made similar big gambles that didn't pay off (Herschel Walker trade anyone?)

Put another way, KC got lucky. Plain and simple. They made a bold move and hit paydirt, but it was far more likely to blow up in their face at the time they made it.
But they didn't get lucky. That's an assessment that utterly ignores the effort they put into the move. Luck is brought about by chance. They had an vision of what they wanted in a QB, scouted Mahomes, assessed his ability, identified him as a player with the attributes to be their guy, made pre-draft preparations to move up and get him and all of that scouting and preparation yielded a great result, which is exactly why they did it in the first place.

That's not luck. That's good work.
As the Roman philosopher Seneca said, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by Frozen Rope » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:15 pm

Fat Stupid Loser wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:06 pm
StumpHunter wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:32 pm


Washington was the worst case scenario for drafting a QB and they still have the same record as us.

You think smart owners are risk averse when it comes to drafting a QB instead of overpaying an average one?

Detroit and LV overpay average QBs instead of trying to find a great one via the draft. You don't see NE, KC, Baltimore, or Pitt doing that. You see the crap teams of the NFL doing it.
I don't know man. NE? Nobody NE drafted had any chance whatsoever of playing outside of injury until Brady didn't want to play there anymore. Who did they draft? I ask cause I don't know. Crapopalo? They drafted guys but nobody where any real capital was given up.
KC hit a home run. One time in the entire history of the franchise.
Pitt-- who have they drafted since Ben of any significance. Have they given up picks, players, capital of any kind to get a replacement for their aging, injury prone QB? That guy of Ok State?
Baltimore didn't have a QB and picked a guy nobody thought would be any good. Except Harbaugh I guess. Or he took a flier on a guy that had ability and it worked pretty well til the hits add up.

I'm not against upgrading, I just think you have to be really sure about these 3rd/4th round talent guys that get hyped by the draft machine into first round guys every year. If your QB sucks, and your team sucks, you take your shot. Problem is you get Sam Darnold and Dwayne Haskins 90% of the time. You've spent your capital and you still suck. And all the GMs know that. Teams with good QBs that aren't aging don't spend a lot of capital on serious competition for their QB. GMs that do will get fired far more than celebrated. Like 99% of them.
Great post FSL. I used to read your posts on the stadium forum in Washington. You always had a reasoned, well thought out perspective. You and Voice of Reason were my favorite reads. Viking Lord takes the place of Voice of Reason on this board, although there is a lot of football knowledge here from several people who are really good. Just wanted to say thanks for popping in here now and then.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by VikingLord » Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:04 pm

Mothman wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:24 pm
VikingLord wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:14 pm
It was a big gamble that paid off.

Lots of teams have made similar big gambles that didn't pay off (Herschel Walker trade anyone?)

Put another way, KC got lucky. Plain and simple. They made a bold move and hit paydirt, but it was far more likely to blow up in their face at the time they made it.
But they didn't get lucky. That's an assessment that utterly ignores the effort they put into the move. Luck is brought about by chance. They had an vision of what they wanted in a QB, scouted Mahomes, assessed his ability, identified him as a player with the attributes to be their guy, made pre-draft preparations to move up and get him and all of that scouting and preparation yielded a great result, which is exactly why they did it in the first place.

That's not luck. That's good work.
But there is a huge element of good fortune there too.

How many other teams have done that exact same thing and not had it go so well?

In the end, you can do all the research and make the bold move, but whether it actually turns out cannot be known. If it could be known, if all it took to get consistent "Mahomes-level" results was do what KC did, you don't think Spielman and every other GM in the NFL would be doing it?

There is no simple formula to hit on the next great QB, RB, WR, etc. To believe otherwise is magical thinking.

That isn't to say it's purely luck, either. As you and others note, there is skill and work that goes into it too, but in the end it's just an educated guess, and that boldness that KC's front office is being lauded for because it paid off for them, if you flip that coin to the other side with all the same pre-draft effort and knowledge, just as quickly becomes a cacophony of calls for the GM's head if it doesn't pay off.

It's only fair to acknowledge that is equally true. KC was fortunate their bold move paid off.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:45 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:38 pm
Fat Stupid Loser wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:06 pm
I don't know man. NE? Nobody NE drafted had any chance whatsoever of playing outside of injury until Brady didn't want to play there anymore. Who did they draft? I ask cause I don't know. Crapopalo? They drafted guys but nobody where any real capital was given up.
KC hit a home run. One time in the entire history of the franchise.
Pitt-- who have they drafted since Ben of any significance. Have they given up picks, players, capital of any kind to get a replacement for their aging, injury prone QB? That guy of Ok State?
Baltimore didn't have a QB and picked a guy nobody thought would be any good. Except Harbaugh I guess. Or he took a flier on a guy that had ability and it worked pretty well til the hits add up.

I'm not against upgrading, I just think you have to be really sure about these 3rd/4th round talent guys that get hyped by the draft machine into first round guys every year. If your QB sucks, and your team sucks, you take your shot. Problem is you get Sam Darnold and Dwayne Haskins 90% of the time. You've spent your capital and you still suck. And all the GMs know that. Teams with good QBs that aren't aging don't spend a lot of capital on serious competition for their QB. GMs that do will get fired far more than celebrated. Like 99% of them.
Your point is well-taken.

Look at the QBs who are leading a lot of the successful teams this year.

- Rodgers slipped past the Vikings twice in the draft he came out, along with the majority of the teams in the NFL.
- Wilson lasted to the 3rd round.
- Brady lasted to the 6th round.
- Even Mahomes didn't go #1.

It's pretty obvious that assessing college talent isn't trivial even for people who professionally do that, and the teams that ended up with those players were as lucky as they were good at doing that.

I still think when it comes to evaluating a GM or a head coach the best measure is going to be comparing them to their peers over a period of time and further, to recognize that someone can be a very good GM or head coach and still never win it all. Max Winter and Bud Grant are examples of that. If the only metric of success is "did these guys get to and win a Superbowl", and if they didn't they are failures and need to be replaced, then it is possible you could be shipping out quality and taking in crap.

I don't think the Wilfs will make a change at GM or head coach this offseason even if the Vikings lose to the Lions. I think they invested in both Spielman and Zimmer with their extensions and are going to let things play out next season because the two of them have had enough success for the Wilfs to stay the course.
In fairness, I can’t imagine a GM alive, if running the Vikings, who would’ve taken Aaron Rodgers in 2005. Daunte Culpepper had just come off a 4,700-yard, 39-TD season.

But Russell Wilson? It’s one thing to not take Rodgers in the 1st when you have an in-his-prime Culpepper. But to not take Wilson because you already have Christian Ponder? Yikes.

I think the Chiefs got lucky with Mahomes only in the sense that any team gets lucky when they hit with a first-round QB. But man, this is Andy Reid we’re talking about. That guy has a long track record of knowing what it takes to succeed at quarterback in the NFL. Reid drafted and developed Donovan McNabb, then revived the careers of a couple former first-rounders in Michael Vick and Alex Smith. The man knows his stuff, so when he takes a QB, I have a higher degree of confidence in his chances of success than I do with other guys when they pick a QB.

I’m ready to move on from the current regime. But I think you’re right. The Wilfs won’t make that move.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by Fat Stupid Loser » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:54 pm

Frozen Rope wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:15 pm
Great post FSL. I used to read your posts on the stadium forum in Washington. You always had a reasoned, well thought out perspective. You and Voice of Reason were my favorite reads. Viking Lord takes the place of Voice of Reason on this board, although there is a lot of football knowledge here from several people who are really good. Just wanted to say thanks for popping in here now and then.
Thank you sir. I agree, VOR is a great poster.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by Boon » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:44 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:46 pm
You and I don't agree often, StumpHunter, but we do here.

Look, I don't dislike Kirk Cousins. I think he's played admirably this season given the circumstances. Talent-wise, he's been an upgrade over anybody we've had since Favre. His numbers are great. He'll wind up with 4,000+ yards, close to 35 TDs. He's been productive.

However, I think his personality puts a pretty hard ceiling on what he can be.

Aikman said it pretty well yesterday when he said, "Cousins is wound pretty tight." I think that sums it up well. A good example of how this hurts Cousins is the 2-minute drill. There is no doubt that he has the physical ability and the intelligence to lead a team to a score late in a half or game. But SOMETHING always seems to go wrong, and I think at least part of that is due to his penchant for tightening the screws. Like the Saints game at the end of the first half. Yes, the coaching staff screwed the pooch. But a great QB would say, "Screw this" and call a play. I covered Kyle Orton in high school — he did that as an 18-year-old. I remember it well. I was standing on the sideline, and he used those exact words right to his coach. He took charge. Kyle Freaking Orton! But Cousins, a 9th-year pro, panics when the play isn't sent in before the radio cuts off?

Buck and Aikman actually quoted Zimmer as saying the Vikings often call for a quick count simply to keep Cousins from overthinking things at the line. That's not a good thing for a veteran quarterback making $30 million.

Again, Cousins is "not the problem." But at his price, he should be better than "not the problem."

It's probably too cost-prohibitive to release Cousins now, so the point may be moot. But if we look back to early 2018, when the Vikings were deciding who should be the Vikings QB between Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, and a free agent, I do not think we're better off for having chosen the free agent. And to be honest, I loved the signing and thought it would take us over the top (same with John DeFilippo ... not my finest hour). I suppose I should have known that a guy who maps out every day in 10-minute increments on an Excel spreadsheet might be wound a LITTLE too tight to be a great quarterback.

Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.
He seems like a good dude but I think there's another layer to this guy that only the locker room sees, because body language and emotions are in full view from his offensive counterparts. As big of a personality that Diggs has, its a miracle he didn't just flat out say what we all knew was his reason for wanting out. Thielen has shown it, so has rudolph, and now jefferson. And the issue is these aren't small emotional responses. I believe it goes a lot deeper, but these are real professionals and keep it under wraps. There is a serious issue with this qb and the rest of the offense.

Its like the flags issue. You can look at a box score and see a team was only flagged twice for 20 yards. But if one of those flags was a PI on 4th down that caused a loss , the timing is the dagger. Thats Cousins main issue, timing. He almost never does anything over the top when you need him to, minus a few obvious instances like last years bomb to thielen vs the saints.he is simply not clutch at all. If you need the guy to get 5 yards he will hesitate and get sacked 8 times out of 10 in clutch situations. You aren't going anywhere with that leading your team. He takes "responsibility" after the games and is pointing fingers during it. 0 consistency. He plays scared. Just cut his ####, take the hit and move on
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by IIsweet » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:28 am

So.... would Kirk be a better QB with an offensive minded HC ? I am sure that Zim has him managing games and has had many conversations like Bud Kilmer did with Johnny Moxon.
I just wonder that with Cousins throwing ability, which he does throw a great ball, and an offensive minded HC who says "just cut it loose Kirk", how would he respond?
Can Kirk be similar to a Kurt Warner ? JJ and Thielen similar to Holt and Bruce. Need a 3rd guy with stop and start ability. Cook similar to a Faulk. Irv and Conklin are showing really good TE skills.
Is this a possibility? Cook with 2000 scrimmage yards and JJ and AT both pushing 1200+ yards.
That would be a lot of fun to watch.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by VikingLord » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:24 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:45 pm
In fairness, I can’t imagine a GM alive, if running the Vikings, who would’ve taken Aaron Rodgers in 2005. Daunte Culpepper had just come off a 4,700-yard, 39-TD season.
But that's exactly the point - it's both impossible to see the future and also impossible to ignore the past. If either were possible, they would have taken Rodgers and either cut or traded Culpepper, which at the time would have drawn howls of protest from every Vikings fan and snickers of contempt from every other GM in the league.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by VikingLord » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:28 am

IIsweet wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:28 am
So.... would Kirk be a better QB with an offensive minded HC ? I am sure that Zim has him managing games and has had many conversations like Bud Kilmer did with Johnny Moxon.
I just wonder that with Cousins throwing ability, which he does throw a great ball, and an offensive minded HC who says "just cut it loose Kirk", how would he respond?
Can Kirk be similar to a Kurt Warner ? JJ and Thielen similar to Holt and Bruce. Need a 3rd guy with stop and start ability. Cook similar to a Faulk. Irv and Conklin are showing really good TE skills.
Is this a possibility? Cook with 2000 scrimmage yards and JJ and AT both pushing 1200+ yards.
That would be a lot of fun to watch.
What Cousins needs is more consistent OL play in front of him and a defense that can get off the field and get him field position. Give him those two things and the Vikings win 13-14 games next year.

The Vikings have some of the best skill position offensive players in the league bar none. This is an offense that is primed to soar if they can get the OL play to a solid, consistent level.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:16 pm

IIsweet wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:28 am
So.... would Kirk be a better QB with an offensive minded HC ? I am sure that Zim has him managing games and has had many conversations like Bud Kilmer did with Johnny Moxon.
I just wonder that with Cousins throwing ability, which he does throw a great ball, and an offensive minded HC who says "just cut it loose Kirk", how would he respond?
Can Kirk be similar to a Kurt Warner ? JJ and Thielen similar to Holt and Bruce. Need a 3rd guy with stop and start ability. Cook similar to a Faulk. Irv and Conklin are showing really good TE skills.
Is this a possibility? Cook with 2000 scrimmage yards and JJ and AT both pushing 1200+ yards.
That would be a lot of fun to watch.
Dang ... a Varsity Blues reference. Nice!

It's a great question about Cousins. Almost impossible to know the answer, but a great question. All we can do is speculate. So here's my speculation.

Going back to Cousins' time in Washington, I remember him as a gunslinger. A guy who took chances, perhaps too many chances. A guy who liked to push the ball down the field.

Now go to 2018 in Minnesota. Through his first eight games with John DeFilippo as OC, Cousins is on pace for, get this, nearly 700 attempts(!), 5,000+ yards, 32 TDs and only 8 INTs. But the Vikings are 4-3-1, and Mike Zimmer blames the offense. HATES all the throwing. So after Week 14, he fires DeFilippo and institutes his version of the 1963 Bears offense, turning his $28 million quarterback into a game manager. Sure, the Vikings win 2 of their last 3 (against the awful Dolphins and Lions) running the ball 3 out of every 4 plays, but when they need the offense to generate something in Week 17, they fall flat in the season finale against the Bears, costing themselves a playoff spot.

That, in a nutshell, is the Zimmer effect. Neuter the offense in favor of playing conservative, defensive football.

Since then, that's been Zimmer's offensive vision, and his OCs have run it exactly as he wants it. Run, run, pass, lather, rinse, repeat. Cousins goes from 606 attempts in 2018 to fewer than 450 the next year, and might finish with fewer than 500 attempts this year. Stefon Diggs' targets go from 149 in 2018 to 94 last year, eventually getting fed up with all the running and forcing his way out. Adam Thielen goes from 9.6 targets per game in 2018 to 4.8 in 2019. Meanwhile, Dalvin Cook has averaged 30 touches per game this year since the bye. This is Zimmer Ball, and the results have truly been mediocre.

Not absolving Cousins of anything here. Clearly he's a bit of a head case when it comes to how tightly he's wound and his lack of production in the clutch. But it's impossible to overlook the impact Mike Zimmer has had on the careers of Cousins, Thielen, and Diggs (negative), as well as Dalvin Cook (positive, if you think 30 touches a game is positive). Mike Zimmer doesn't need a $30 million quarterback. He needs a game manager, somebody who can hand the ball off, get the team in the correct protections, etc.

Organizations take on the personality of their leader. The Vikings have taken on the personality of Mike Zimmer, which is don't screw up, don't take chances, and play not to lose. Is it any wonder that Kirk Cousins, who is naturally wound tighter than a drum, has lost any gunslinger tendencies he had as a young quarterback?

That's my take. Again, great question.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by StumpHunter » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:39 pm

IIsweet wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:28 am
So.... would Kirk be a better QB with an offensive minded HC ? I am sure that Zim has him managing games and has had many conversations like Bud Kilmer did with Johnny Moxon.
I just wonder that with Cousins throwing ability, which he does throw a great ball, and an offensive minded HC who says "just cut it loose Kirk", how would he respond?
Can Kirk be similar to a Kurt Warner ? JJ and Thielen similar to Holt and Bruce. Need a 3rd guy with stop and start ability. Cook similar to a Faulk. Irv and Conklin are showing really good TE skills.
Is this a possibility? Cook with 2000 scrimmage yards and JJ and AT both pushing 1200+ yards.
That would be a lot of fun to watch.
He had an offensive minded coach in Washington and he has never put up better stats than he has here.

Zimmer isn't hisnproblem.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by StumpHunter » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:56 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:16 pm
IIsweet wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:28 am
So.... would Kirk be a better QB with an offensive minded HC ? I am sure that Zim has him managing games and has had many conversations like Bud Kilmer did with Johnny Moxon.
I just wonder that with Cousins throwing ability, which he does throw a great ball, and an offensive minded HC who says "just cut it loose Kirk", how would he respond?
Can Kirk be similar to a Kurt Warner ? JJ and Thielen similar to Holt and Bruce. Need a 3rd guy with stop and start ability. Cook similar to a Faulk. Irv and Conklin are showing really good TE skills.
Is this a possibility? Cook with 2000 scrimmage yards and JJ and AT both pushing 1200+ yards.
That would be a lot of fun to watch.
Dang ... a Varsity Blues reference. Nice!

It's a great question about Cousins. Almost impossible to know the answer, but a great question. All we can do is speculate. So here's my speculation.

Going back to Cousins' time in Washington, I remember him as a gunslinger. A guy who took chances, perhaps too many chances. A guy who liked to push the ball down the field.

Now go to 2018 in Minnesota. Through his first eight games with John DeFilippo as OC, Cousins is on pace for, get this, nearly 700 attempts(!), 5,000+ yards, 32 TDs and only 8 INTs. But the Vikings are 4-3-1, and Mike Zimmer blames the offense. HATES all the throwing. So after Week 14, he fires DeFilippo and institutes his version of the 1963 Bears offense, turning his $28 million quarterback into a game manager. Sure, the Vikings win 2 of their last 3 (against the awful Dolphins and Lions) running the ball 3 out of every 4 plays, but when they need the offense to generate something in Week 17, they fall flat in the season finale against the Bears, costing themselves a playoff spot.

That, in a nutshell, is the Zimmer effect. Neuter the offense in favor of playing conservative, defensive football.

Since then, that's been Zimmer's offensive vision, and his OCs have run it exactly as he wants it. Run, run, pass, lather, rinse, repeat. Cousins goes from 606 attempts in 2018 to fewer than 450 the next year, and might finish with fewer than 500 attempts this year. Stefon Diggs' targets go from 149 in 2018 to 94 last year, eventually getting fed up with all the running and forcing his way out. Adam Thielen goes from 9.6 targets per game in 2018 to 4.8 in 2019. Meanwhile, Dalvin Cook has averaged 30 touches per game this year since the bye. This is Zimmer Ball, and the results have truly been mediocre.

Not absolving Cousins of anything here. Clearly he's a bit of a head case when it comes to how tightly he's wound and his lack of production in the clutch. But it's impossible to overlook the impact Mike Zimmer has had on the careers of Cousins, Thielen, and Diggs (negative), as well as Dalvin Cook (positive, if you think 30 touches a game is positive). Mike Zimmer doesn't need a $30 million quarterback. He needs a game manager, somebody who can hand the ball off, get the team in the correct protections, etc.

Organizations take on the personality of their leader. The Vikings have taken on the personality of Mike Zimmer, which is don't screw up, don't take chances, and play not to lose. Is it any wonder that Kirk Cousins, who is naturally wound tighter than a drum, has lost any gunslinger tendencies he had as a young quarterback?

That's my take. Again, great question.
Do you have numbers to backup the gunslinger thing?

Statistically, Cousins has become a much, much better deep ball thrower since he came here and throws it deep more. His YPA is the highest it has ever been and he is throwing a lot of ints. All point to him still being a gunslinger.

Cousins has not regressed since joining the Vikings, he has got better. The problem is that better from where he was still isn't good enough.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by S197 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:02 pm

IIsweet wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:28 am
So.... would Kirk be a better QB with an offensive minded HC ? I am sure that Zim has him managing games and has had many conversations like Bud Kilmer did with Johnny Moxon.
I just wonder that with Cousins throwing ability, which he does throw a great ball, and an offensive minded HC who says "just cut it loose Kirk", how would he respond?
Can Kirk be similar to a Kurt Warner ? JJ and Thielen similar to Holt and Bruce. Need a 3rd guy with stop and start ability. Cook similar to a Faulk. Irv and Conklin are showing really good TE skills.
Is this a possibility? Cook with 2000 scrimmage yards and JJ and AT both pushing 1200+ yards.
That would be a lot of fun to watch.
I think if he had a line that excelled at pass protection he would improve. I really don't think it's conservancy on the coaching staff holding him back, I think he's a guy that can make all the throws but he holds the ball too long and doesn't have a great feel for the pocket. To me it's evident in the amount of times he gets stripped of the ball. He's never had less than 9 fumbles in the last SIX years. He had 10 last year and 13 his last season in Washington.

The problem is finding a GM who can identify and draft lineman who can pass protect. Spielman isn't that guy.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by VikingLord » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:03 pm

S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:02 pm
IIsweet wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:28 am
So.... would Kirk be a better QB with an offensive minded HC ? I am sure that Zim has him managing games and has had many conversations like Bud Kilmer did with Johnny Moxon.
I just wonder that with Cousins throwing ability, which he does throw a great ball, and an offensive minded HC who says "just cut it loose Kirk", how would he respond?
Can Kirk be similar to a Kurt Warner ? JJ and Thielen similar to Holt and Bruce. Need a 3rd guy with stop and start ability. Cook similar to a Faulk. Irv and Conklin are showing really good TE skills.
Is this a possibility? Cook with 2000 scrimmage yards and JJ and AT both pushing 1200+ yards.
That would be a lot of fun to watch.
I think if he had a line that excelled at pass protection he would improve. I really don't think it's conservancy on the coaching staff holding him back, I think he's a guy that can make all the throws but he holds the ball too long and doesn't have a great feel for the pocket. To me it's evident in the amount of times he gets stripped of the ball. He's never had less than 9 fumbles in the last SIX years. He had 10 last year and 13 his last season in Washington.

The problem is finding a GM who can identify and draft lineman who can pass protect. Spielman isn't that guy.
The main issue for the Vikings OL as I see it is cohesion. For the most part they move well individually. The recent ones were drafted mostly because they can move well and fit well into a zone blocking scheme. The only starting OL that doesn't move well is probably Dozier, but the rest of them do.

Get them playing with more cohesion (and keep them healthy, which I think was an overlooked factor in some of the pass protection issues later in the season even if the players were able to play), and I think with the threat of Dalvin Cook keeping defenses honest on the pass rush you will get the most you possibly can out of Kirk Cousins (which will be quite a lot).

This is a good draft for OL, and if Spielman wants to address OL he should have several solid choices in the 1st round all the way into the 3rd.
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Re: Tell me again how Zimmer is a great coach?

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:29 pm

StumpHunter wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:56 pm
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:16 pm

Dang ... a Varsity Blues reference. Nice!

It's a great question about Cousins. Almost impossible to know the answer, but a great question. All we can do is speculate. So here's my speculation.

Going back to Cousins' time in Washington, I remember him as a gunslinger. A guy who took chances, perhaps too many chances. A guy who liked to push the ball down the field.

Now go to 2018 in Minnesota. Through his first eight games with John DeFilippo as OC, Cousins is on pace for, get this, nearly 700 attempts(!), 5,000+ yards, 32 TDs and only 8 INTs. But the Vikings are 4-3-1, and Mike Zimmer blames the offense. HATES all the throwing. So after Week 14, he fires DeFilippo and institutes his version of the 1963 Bears offense, turning his $28 million quarterback into a game manager. Sure, the Vikings win 2 of their last 3 (against the awful Dolphins and Lions) running the ball 3 out of every 4 plays, but when they need the offense to generate something in Week 17, they fall flat in the season finale against the Bears, costing themselves a playoff spot.

That, in a nutshell, is the Zimmer effect. Neuter the offense in favor of playing conservative, defensive football.

Since then, that's been Zimmer's offensive vision, and his OCs have run it exactly as he wants it. Run, run, pass, lather, rinse, repeat. Cousins goes from 606 attempts in 2018 to fewer than 450 the next year, and might finish with fewer than 500 attempts this year. Stefon Diggs' targets go from 149 in 2018 to 94 last year, eventually getting fed up with all the running and forcing his way out. Adam Thielen goes from 9.6 targets per game in 2018 to 4.8 in 2019. Meanwhile, Dalvin Cook has averaged 30 touches per game this year since the bye. This is Zimmer Ball, and the results have truly been mediocre.

Not absolving Cousins of anything here. Clearly he's a bit of a head case when it comes to how tightly he's wound and his lack of production in the clutch. But it's impossible to overlook the impact Mike Zimmer has had on the careers of Cousins, Thielen, and Diggs (negative), as well as Dalvin Cook (positive, if you think 30 touches a game is positive). Mike Zimmer doesn't need a $30 million quarterback. He needs a game manager, somebody who can hand the ball off, get the team in the correct protections, etc.

Organizations take on the personality of their leader. The Vikings have taken on the personality of Mike Zimmer, which is don't screw up, don't take chances, and play not to lose. Is it any wonder that Kirk Cousins, who is naturally wound tighter than a drum, has lost any gunslinger tendencies he had as a young quarterback?

That's my take. Again, great question.
Do you have numbers to backup the gunslinger thing?

Statistically, Cousins has become a much, much better deep ball thrower since he came here and throws it deep more. His YPA is the highest it has ever been and he is throwing a lot of ints. All point to him still being a gunslinger.

Cousins has not regressed since joining the Vikings, he has got better. The problem is that better from where he was still isn't good enough.
Nope. No numbers. I just watch a lot of football. And highlights. Social media.

But since you bring it up, how about the simple number of attempts year-over-year? Down from 606 to 449 in one year, a 25% drop in attempts. Then there's the fact that his 7.7 YPA during his three years in Minnesota is actually less than his 7.8 YPA during his three years as a full-time starter in Washington. And by the way, his 8.1 YPA this year is exactly the same as it was last year, and exactly the same as it was in 2016 in Washington, only with 150 more attempts in Washington.

And for the record, I never said Cousins was better in Washington. I never said he was a better deep ball thrower or any of those other things. I said he was more of a gunslinger. Less inhibited. Not ZImmerized.
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Go ahead. I dare you.
Underestimate this man.