Former Comrades Continue to Turn on Mike Zimmer

Photo: Brad Rempel – USA TODAY Sports

When Mike Zimmer was head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, he talked a lot. But his words came via press conferences and media scrums that, as part of the job, he was obligated to take part in. Since being fired, however, Zimmer has fallen completely silent.

Instead of feeding desperate fans and hungry media members digging for insight into his demise, Zim has let everyone else — who he was once surrounded by — do the talking. And talking they have certainly done. Unfortunately for Mike, their many words haven’t shined a positive light on his coaching tenure.

Just hours after he was let go, Vikings players subliminally went after their former head coach. Then Rick Spielman, the general manager who was let go the same morning as Zimmer, piled on shortly after.

Shots Fired at Mike Zimmer (Again)

Now, it’s (anonymous) former assistant coaches and executives who seem intent on sinking Mike Zimmer’s once-proud coaching reputation. Sources tell Chad Graff (The Athletic) that Zimmer had become known for putting Kirk Cousins down during coaches meetings last season.

INDIANAPOLIS — Mike Zimmer spent part of his last few weeks as Vikings head coach bemoaning the team’s situation at quarterback.

The veteran defensive guru had made more of an effort to get the best out of Kirk Cousins in 2021, conducting weekly meetings with the quarterback for the first time in their four years together. But toward the end, it became clear to those within the building that the head coach-quarterback relationship hadn’t blossomed the way many had hoped it would before the season, according to sources.

Zimmer complained openly in coaching meetings about Cousins, and some of Zimmer’s top lieutenants echoed the sentiment. Zimmer didn’t feel the quarterback made enough “winning plays,” that he didn’t take the necessary shots to help lead the Vikings to victory, and that he didn’t elevate his teammates.

But that view wasn’t shared by everyone. Some, especially in the front office, thought Zimmer didn’t handle the situation well. They acknowledged to Zimmer that Cousins isn’t a perfect quarterback but felt Zimmer’s job as head coach was to get the most out of the quarterback — and undercutting his play in coaching meetings didn’t help.

Chad Graff – The Athletic

Zimmer vs The World

In reality, the report above isn’t news. We knew Mike Zimmer had become frustrated with Kirk Cousins. And knowing Zim, wouldn’t you expect him to speak openly in coaches meetings. I mean, that’s what you’d want, right? We’re talking about a guy who struggles to tip-toe around questions from media, let alone hide his true feelings from other coaches? Of course not.

But what intrigues me about Graff’s reporting, is the willingness of Zimmer’s former co-workers to continually throw him under the bus. Mike Zimmer coached in this town for a long time and his regime was highly respected for most of that tenure. But outside of his girlfriend, there doesn’t appear to be anyone coming to his defense.

I can’t imagine Zimmer stays silent much longer, though. He wasn’t afraid of publicly criticizing players while coaching the Minnesota Vikings. So when he eventually gives that first interview, there’s a 100% chance it comes in a scorched earth variety.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan