The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by StumpHunter » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:29 pm

soflavike wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 11:52 am
If Zimmer really thought Bridgewater was the best QB he had while in Minnesota, that just confirms that he needs to go. I really like Teddy, appreciate his leadership and he went through a nightmare and I get all that, but he was never a Tier 1 QB and never will be. Bradford and Cousins both have vastly superior passing skills with Tier 1 potential. Keenum, while never a top tier guy, was a scrappy guy who managed to get things done. All three were more effective than Teddy.
Except Teddy is significantly better statistically than Bradford and Case, and has a better win-loss record than all three.

Maybe Zimmer felt it was easier to win with Teddy's style of play and cost than those other three? Based on the results of all 4 of these QB's careers it is hard to argue he was wrong.
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:46 pm

soflavike wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 11:52 am
If Zimmer really thought Bridgewater was the best QB he had while in Minnesota, that just confirms that he needs to go. I really like Teddy, appreciate his leadership and he went through a nightmare and I get all that, but he was never a Tier 1 QB and never will be. Bradford and Cousins both have vastly superior passing skills with Tier 1 potential. Keenum, while never a top tier guy, was a scrappy guy who managed to get things done. All three were more effective than Teddy.
More from Zimmer on Teddy.
“I always told him, ‘You and I are going to be together forever. My career is going to go as long as your career goes.’ But it just didn’t work out that way,” Zimmer said that morning in 2018. “I always remembered Teddy as the quarterback who went 11-5 and beat Green Bay up there for the division.”
I don’t know that Zimmer ever thought Teddy was a top-tier quarterback. But Teddy was HIS guy, trained and programmed to play the game in the way Zimmer thought it should be played. Teddy is also a favorite of Zimmer as a person, which is a common theme for Teddy. Everybody loves the guy. All his teammates would run through fire for him.

You make great points, especially about Keenum. The guy had his shortcomings, but he had guts, and he just won for the Vikings. But he didn’t play the way Zimmer wanted him to play. The day Keenum helped the Vikings beat the glitzy team of 2017, the Rams, Zimmer said, “He’s got a horseshoe right now.” Zimmer hated Keenum’s habit of gunslinging.

It’s just a weird thing. I don’t think Mike Zimmer evaluates quarterbacks the way you and I do.
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by StumpHunter » Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:01 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:46 pm
soflavike wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 11:52 am
If Zimmer really thought Bridgewater was the best QB he had while in Minnesota, that just confirms that he needs to go. I really like Teddy, appreciate his leadership and he went through a nightmare and I get all that, but he was never a Tier 1 QB and never will be. Bradford and Cousins both have vastly superior passing skills with Tier 1 potential. Keenum, while never a top tier guy, was a scrappy guy who managed to get things done. All three were more effective than Teddy.
More from Zimmer on Teddy.
“I always told him, ‘You and I are going to be together forever. My career is going to go as long as your career goes.’ But it just didn’t work out that way,” Zimmer said that morning in 2018. “I always remembered Teddy as the quarterback who went 11-5 and beat Green Bay up there for the division.”
I don’t know that Zimmer ever thought Teddy was a top-tier quarterback. But Teddy was HIS guy, trained and programmed to play the game in the way Zimmer thought it should be played. Teddy is also a favorite of Zimmer as a person, which is a common theme for Teddy. Everybody loves the guy. All his teammates would run through fire for him.

You make great points, especially about Keenum. The guy had his shortcomings, but he had guts, and he just won for the Vikings. But he didn’t play the way Zimmer wanted him to play. The day Keenum helped the Vikings beat the glitzy team of 2017, the Rams, Zimmer said, “He’s got a horseshoe right now.” Zimmer hated Keenum’s habit of gunslinging.

It’s just a weird thing. I don’t think Mike Zimmer evaluates quarterbacks the way you and I do.
He was right about Case and he was right about Cousins.
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by CharVike » Wed Jan 05, 2022 2:20 pm

psjordan wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 7:18 pm
Interesting take on why Rick may stay:

https://apple.news/ANypbHKy5QWqleexAKXgkbA
Thanks that was a good read.
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by VikingLord » Wed Jan 05, 2022 2:48 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 5:55 pm
Case Keenum wasn't Teddy. He didn't play like Teddy, and he didn't act like Teddy. So Zimmer hated him and helped run him out of town. Yes, I'm speculating. But if you can't see that it's incredibly informed speculation, then I don't know what to say. I've researched this 20 ways from Sunday. Relationships in football matter. It's more than just about arm strength and mobility. If your coach can't stand you, then there's not much chance for success.
I always enjoy reading your takes and find them very informative. I was mainly just speculating if Zimmer's pathology with the offense goes deeper than how he felt about Bridgewater into how he feels about what makes a great QB in general and the overall role an offense needs to play for a team to win. I have no doubt you are correct about Zimmer's particular affinity towards Bridgewater.

I'm not sure how hard Zimmer pushed to run Keenum out, and who, if anyone, he would have wanted to replace him with assuming he was opposed to Cousins and given the Vikings would have needed at least a warm body at QB regardless of how good Zimmer's defense was.

Do any of the sources you read or listened to have anything that addresses that? If Zimmer didn't want Keenum and he didn't want Cousins, who did he want, and if he did want someone in particular, why didn't the Vikings make it happen? With the contract Cousins signed, they pretty much could have had anyone who was available that offseason.
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 5:55 pm
I wonder sometimes if Zimmer wishes he'd kept Keenum instead of the Vikings signing Cousins. I hope it haunts him. His sour relationship with every quarterback not named Teddy Bridgewater killed a good thing.
I'm not sure about that. I mean, maybe Bridgewater would have had a similar season to what Keenum produced in 2017. Or, maybe playing the way Zimmer wanted him to play, the team wouldn't have enjoyed the same success.

I personally think the deeper pathology for Zimmer is his failure to acknowledge the importance of offensive production for winning football teams. I think he believes great teams need great defense first and foremost and the offense can be an afterthought. I think a lot of players don't buy into that approach, and the more talented the offensive player is, the less likely he buys into it. Thus, Diggs forced his way out and if the Vikings aren't careful, JJ will follow him. There is also evidence that Zimmer has substantially alienated multiple offensive coordinators he's had. Heck, Norv Turner quit mid-season IIRC.

Zimmer's inability to respect the role offense plays on winning teams is what is going to do him in more than anything else. I suspect most GMs around the league who might otherwise consider hiring Zimmer will pass on him for that reason.

Thanks for both posting this topic and your insights. I personally liked Bridgewater, although I don't think Bridgewater is a difference-maker at QB. He's very smart, easy to get along with, has positive leadership traits, and I think he's a winner in the right situation. But I don't think he's going to lead a team to a Superbowl appearance over his career, much less a Superbowl win. Maybe Zimmer can work something out where he and Bridgewater wind up back together once the Vikings fire him.
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by halfgiz » Wed Jan 05, 2022 3:14 pm

Some great reading in this thread! Thanks Kapp and contributers :thumbsup:
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by 40for60 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:19 pm

I would have loved to see Zim with Favre. I wonder how that would have turned out. :shock:
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by 4mnvikes1982 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:47 pm

40for60 wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:19 pm
I would have loved to see Zim with Favre. I wonder how that would have turned out. :shock:
Zimmer would have had a stroke
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by Texas Vike » Thu Jan 06, 2022 7:48 am

Fun thread with solid contributions. That's what I like about this board :v):

As the Mike Zimmer chapter comes to a close (I hope), I was trying to think of the most 'Zimmer moment' of the past 8 years--the one moment that embodied / illustrated his essence best. I think it was his line about Keenum playing with a 'horseshoe' by his side. This was November of 2017. To give it some context, he praised Keenum for having 'big balls,' but then essentially called him lucky.

I find it utterly ironic (life is sometimes more poetic than literature) that it was a combination of Keenum's 'big balls' and his good fortune that got Zimmer to the NFCCG by slinging the MPLS miracle to Diggs. If it weren't for Keenum's balls and luck, Zimmer wouldn't have made it, though I doubt Zim sees it that way. There's no denying, however, that his D fell apart that 2nd half.

---Nostalgic ruminations ahead, reader beware----
I was in the stadium that afternoon, having flown up from TX, meeting my brother who came in from NJ. We grew up in MN and miss it dearly. It was a magical, snowy day. The collective joy was insane. I remember the deafening howl of the fans when it happened. We were all stunned for a good 20 minutes. Then, it was as if we were all long lost friends and family, back from the dead, ecstatic to celebrate life--lines of high fives as we poured out into the snowy streets. At Manny's Steakhouse after the game a "Skol!" chant broke out (led by a poster on this board, I would later learn). The whole city, my home city I'd been away from for so long as I lived abroad several times and out of state for 20 plus years, was the most festive I'd ever seen it. Sociologist Emile Durkheim argued that the immense power of religion was in the overwhelming sense of community and its close unity in common sentiments; that transcendence of self is at the root of all religions. This was certainly a quasi-religious experience of brotherhood that I remember fondly.
__________

Is there a more Zimmer moment than his 'Horse shoe' comment?
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Thu Jan 06, 2022 11:33 am

Texas Vike wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 7:48 am
Fun thread with solid contributions. That's what I like about this board :v):

As the Mike Zimmer chapter comes to a close (I hope), I was trying to think of the most 'Zimmer moment' of the past 8 years--the one moment that embodied / illustrated his essence best. I think it was his line about Keenum playing with a 'horseshoe' by his side. This was November of 2017. To give it some context, he praised Keenum for having 'big balls,' but then essentially called him lucky.

I find it utterly ironic (life is sometimes more poetic than literature) that it was a combination of Keenum's 'big balls' and his good fortune that got Zimmer to the NFCCG by slinging the MPLS miracle to Diggs. If it weren't for Keenum's balls and luck, Zimmer wouldn't have made it, though I doubt Zim sees it that way. There's no denying, however, that his D fell apart that 2nd half.

---Nostalgic ruminations ahead, reader beware----
I was in the stadium that afternoon, having flown up from TX, meeting my brother who came in from NJ. We grew up in MN and miss it dearly. It was a magical, snowy day. The collective joy was insane. I remember the deafening howl of the fans when it happened. We were all stunned for a good 20 minutes. Then, it was as if we were all long lost friends and family, back from the dead, ecstatic to celebrate life--lines of high fives as we poured out into the snowy streets. At Manny's Steakhouse after the game a "Skol!" chant broke out (led by a poster on this board, I would later learn). The whole city, my home city I'd been away from for so long as I lived abroad several times and out of state for 20 plus years, was the most festive I'd ever seen it. Sociologist Emile Durkheim argued that the immense power of religion was in the overwhelming sense of community and its close unity in common sentiments; that transcendence of self is at the root of all religions. This was certainly a quasi-religious experience of brotherhood that I remember fondly.
__________

Is there a more Zimmer moment than his 'Horse shoe' comment?
Your points about Zimmer and Keenum, as well as this entire conversation about Zimm and his quarterbacks, brings me to a point that really sums things up.

On Mackey and Judd, they brought up some truly eye-opening statistics. These stats have to do with records against teams with a winning record. The best coaches — Belichick, Reid, Tomlinson, etc., hover around the .500 mark against winning teams. So that’s kind of the barometer. This year, the Vikings will finish 2-7, a .222 winning percentage in a small sample.

In his 8-year Vikings career, Mike Zimmer is 19–46 against teams that finish the season with a winning record. That’s a .292 winning percentage. For context, that’s worse than Bill O’Brien, Jason Garrett, and Jay Gruden.

In his 10-year NFL career, Kirk Cousins is 9-41 against teams that finish the season with a winning record, an incredibly awful .180 winning percentage. Here are some quarterbacks who have better winning percentages in this situation: Sam Darnold, Mitchell Trubisky, Drew Lock and Marcus Mariota.

Crazy, right? But wait. There’s more!

If you remember, I started a thread a few weeks ago that centered around the idea that Zimmer and Cousins are oil and water. They simply don’t work as a coach and quarterback paired together. Here’s your quantifiable proof.

From 2014 through 2017, Mike Zimmer won 40% of his games against winning teams. That, of course, was before the Vikings signed Kirk Cousins. Such a winning percentage isn’t elite, but it isn’t terrible. And he started with the remnants of a pretty bad team.

Since signing Cousins, the Minnesota Vikings have won 20% of their games against winning teams.

At this point, it’s silly to blame one man or the other. Their respective list of faults would fill the Manhattan phone book. Here’s my quick comparison.

On one hand, Zimmer told the world in 2018 that if the Vikings overpaid for a quarterback, he’d end up getting fired. In other words, he warned them. On that point, it’s fair to say he was right.

On the other hand, you have to wonder if that wasn’t a self-fulfilling prophesy. Mike Zimmer’s defense, the entire foundation of his early success, has been one of the worst in the NFL for two seasons now. It’s almost like he talked himself into believing his defense would fall apart. And forgot both how to scheme up a good defense and develop defensive players. This is a man who turned the worst defense in the league in 2013 into one of the best by his second year. Now they can’t stop anybody. A man who turned young, talented guys like Xavier Rhodes, Danielle Hunter and Eric Kendricks into superstars, and who made average players into solid players, suddenly can’t develop anybody.

And on yet another hand (apparently there are three hands on this monster) you have Kirk Cousins. Here’s a guy with tons of talent, relentless preparation, and amazing durability. Yet Kirk Cousins’ winning percentage against winning teams was even worse in Washington than with the Vikings. For the most part, he’s not good in the clutch — he improved this year, but has fallen flat as of late. He’s not a strong leader — if he had been, then maybe he’d have taken a few more chances with the incredible receivers he’s been blessed to work with in Minnesota. Yes, Mike Zimmer is risk-averse, but that didn’t stop Case Keenum, a far less talented QB than Cousins. Kirk is simply not a guy who can take charge, and he doesn’t handle adversity particularly well. Other than being conservative, Cousins is kind of the anti-Zimmer quarterback. Zimmer thinks he needs a robot. What he really needs is a Favre, a guy who will say, “I’ll buy into this style of play, but only to a point. Then I’m taking over the offense.” Kirk isn’t that.

We can have the argument all day about who’s fault it is, and no one will really win. Both sides have valid points. But there’s one thing that’s hard to argue. Mike Zimmer and Kirk Cousins don’t work. As a result, one or both of them will not be Vikings next year.

I, for one, will be happy the soap opera is over.
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by StumpHunter » Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:47 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 11:33 am
At this point, it’s silly to blame one man or the other.
Great numbers you are posting above, but I disagree with this particular statement. One man has pretty much come out and said he is done in MN after Chicago, the other is set to cost 45 million in cap next year and has a GM who might think Cousins' consistency against bad teams outweighs his poor consistency against the good ones if it means keeping the team near the .500 mark versus losing 12 games next year with Mond or whoever.

Zimmer is done, but I believe management is still set on keeping Cousins around, and if Cousins is the problem (and his numbers before Zimmer where he was actually worse against winning teams certainly indicate he is), we will be locking ourselves into a QB who is at his worst against teams we will play in the playoffs when we need our QB to be his best.
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by VikingLord » Thu Jan 06, 2022 1:06 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 11:33 am
I, for one, will be happy the soap opera is over.
Me too.

I suggest the soap opera is over when the Wilfs start being pragmatic about things, which is something they have not been to this point.

First question to ask is what, if anything, is our GM's vision for a winning football team? What does it look like, and is there precedence for that vision being successful in the NFL?

Second question to ask if evaluating a current NFL GM (including Spielman) is, have the moves they've made in terms of hiring coaches, staff, and player moves, been consistent with that vision? Are they throwing darts at the proverbial board, or are they making moves in line with what they say they want to achieve?

Answer the first two questions to assess Spielman's future at GM. Try to be objective about what he's done in the draft and FA. Zimmer doesn't report to him, so its arguable if he should answer for Zimmer's failings, but even so, Zimmer is the coach he had to work with. Did Spielman's vision clash with Zimmer's? If so, Spielman might have had to walk a rope he couldn't stay on and has a valid excuse for his failures or inconsistencies with whatever his vision is. But the Wilfs need to do their best to separate Spielman's contributions from Zimmer's because its important to settle on the GM question before moving on.

If the GM is gone, they need to find a new GM. Questions 1 and 2 can help guide them in that for any prospective candidates. Might even take a shot at a guy who hasn't been a GM but who has a strong vision and plan for implementing that vision.

Third question to ask is should the GM have operational control over the team, including being the one to hire a head coach? As the Vikings stand today, Zimmer reports to Mark Wilf. Does that make sense? Has that worked for the Vikings, or any other team that has enjoyed consistent playoff success? Is it an outlier model that has held the team back in any way? If so, scrap it. Mark Wilf can hire the GM who can report to him, while letting that GM hire his coach who can report to the GM.

That's the starting point for the Wilfs IMHO. Get that top-level stuff figured out ASAP. The Vikings should be a very attractive job for prospective GMs and likewise for prospective head coaches, especially if the reporting structure is clear and the GM is competent and capable.

The wheels should already be turning on this whole process. I know the Wilfs like Rick Spielman. They can continue to like him personally all they want, but their franchise is a sinking wreck that is on fire right now. The players are all out of whack with half of the team seeming not to care at this point, on of the star players one offense is starting to make some unhappy noises and they already lost another star player for the same reason, and the fans are more than sick of being stuck in the football fandom version of the movie "Groundhog Day".
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:02 pm

StumpHunter wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:47 pm
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 11:33 am
At this point, it’s silly to blame one man or the other.
Great numbers you are posting above, but I disagree with this particular statement. One man has pretty much come out and said he is done in MN after Chicago, the other is set to cost 45 million in cap next year and has a GM who might think Cousins' consistency against bad teams outweighs his poor consistency against the good ones if it means keeping the team near the .500 mark versus losing 12 games next year with Mond or whoever.

Zimmer is done, but I believe management is still set on keeping Cousins around, and if Cousins is the problem (and his numbers before Zimmer where he was actually worse against winning teams certainly indicate he is), we will be locking ourselves into a QB who is at his worst against teams we will play in the playoffs when we need our QB to be his best.
Look, disagreement is what makes the world go round. The board would be boring if we all agreed.

What I meant by “it’s silly” is that it’s in the past. I realize it’s helpful to debrief in order to avoid duplicating mistakes, but I just don’t care. The two of them don’t work together. That’s not going to change. One or both of them are going to be gone.

I know you’re a supporter of Zimmer. Believe me, I get it. I was excited when they hired him, and as 2017 unfolded, I thought we were on the way to a ‘chip — if not that year, then surely in the near future. If you want to blame Cousins for the team’s demise, that’s fine. I see it as a combination. Zimmer never wanted Cousins, but a bigger man would have made it work. Cousins folds when the going gets tough, and with Zimmer, it was probably tough every day. It was a bad match.

That’s just my opinion, and again, it’s coming from a guy who really thought Zimmer was going to be the guy who would finally bring us a Lombardi trophy. I guess maybe the word to describe how I feel about Mike Zimmer is “disappointment.”
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by psjordan » Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:30 am

Nothing too concrete in terms of "this WILL happen", but a couple decent write-ups:

Zimmer in Two Week Mode:
https://apple.news/AEqCiR1maQuGn3VhoLTb_EA

Broncos will look to acquire Cousins this offseason:
https://apple.news/AnTDBvWkPTzqxyj-Qf5EtXQ
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Re: The Aftermath: What's next after the Vikings debacle at Green Bay?

Post by StumpHunter » Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:44 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:02 pm

I know you’re a supporter of Zimmer. Believe me, I get it.
I have made it very clear I am not a Zimmer supporter and believe his time in MN has run its course. What I am, is a fan who looks at his team realistically and uses logic and facts instead of emotion to form opinions on what the issues are on this team. So when someone says Zimmer is against the offense making big plays or scoring a lot of points, I disagree with that poster because that statement is ludicrous. When someone says Zimmer doesn't know how to develop talent on defense, I point out all of the successes he has had doing just that, and then ask which defensive players have gotten better, not worse after leaving MN. When someone says Zimmer holds back his QBs, I point out that EVERY QB who has ever played for him has had their best years by quite a large margin. When people blame him for making decisions every other HC in the NFL makes, I point out that Zimmer just did what the top 32 football coaches in the world do.

What I don't do is disagree with people who feel Zimmer has lost his edge, who claim his defense is not as good as it once was, and who claim that he is not doing a good enough job helping his GM find players in the draft to help his D. Those statements are all true and good enough reasons to move on.

If people would just stick with reasonable knocks on Zimmer, instead of illogical ones not backed up by anything other than a hope that they are true so that they don't have to believe there are other, more serious issues with their favorite team, I wouldn't come off as defending Zimmer. I would be right there agreeing with them.
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