Mike Zimmer Oddly Optimistic with State of Vikings After 0-2 Start

PHOTO: ANTHONY SOUFFLE – STAR TRIBUNE

There are only a few things that you can really count on in this life. (1) As far back as our existence has been been documented, the sun has risen from the east and it has set in the west. (2) The farther north you travel, the colder the climate will become. And (3) Minnesota Vikings’ place kickers will always miss field goals when they matter most. But there’s one thing that can never be guaranteed and that’s the mood of Vikings’ head coach, Mike Zimmer.

Just last month, he was publicly calling out players throughout training camp for both major and minor offenses. He was throwing temper tantrums at halftime of preseason games and went on an unsuccessful mission to vaccinate the entire Vikings locker room (and maybe the world).

So now that his team is 0-2 and on the precipice of consecutive failed seasons, you’d expect Mike Zimmer to be consumed by tyrannical episodes that include hyperventilation, flying saliva and veins that were never meant to be visible to others.

Mike Zen-mmer

Instead, we have Mike Zen-mmer now coaching the team. And this Mike believes the Minnesota Vikings should be 2-0 and expects them to win a lot of games, should they continue to perform like they did Sunday afternoon in a 34-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

“Well, I think today was encouraging, honestly. About the heart that we played with today, and the fight that we played with today. If we play like that, we’ll win a lot of games. They may all come down to [the wire] like this, like the last two have. As long as we do that, we keep fighting and keep trying to get better, and keep working together, sticking together as a football team, then I think we’ve got a chance.

The thing that’s encouraging to me, we talked about — we haven’t done it yet — but defensively we played pretty darn good except for two big plays last week. Offensively, we played outstanding today. We made some plays on defense. We gave up a couple big plays again today, which we’ve gotta correct.

But that proved to me that we have a chance to be a really good football team. Just going out there today and the way we fought, the way we came back and the way we handled adversity, the way that we sucked it up when we needed to — the sacks by Hunter were big at the time and we had been lining up in some different defenses so we’ll work through some of those adjustments, as well.”

Mike Zimmer after loss vs Arizona

Real or Phony?

Does Mike Zimmer really feel this way about his football team? The same team that he seemed so concerned about just a few weeks ago? It’s hard to know because a lot of what we heard from Mike last night was correct. The Vikings are just a couple plays away from being a 2-0 football team. Still, there’s a lot of context left out of that statement. And if you haven’t noticed, fans are panicking in the streets of Minnesota

In fact, the panic has lead to calls for Mike Zimmer’s head. If you search the head coach’s name on Twitter, you’ll see exactly how the fans feel about yesterday’s loss. They’re wondering why a defensive head coach is leading a team that can’t stop opponents from scoring a lot of points. Or how his teams have such a knack for losing close games…

Maybe that’s why we’re hearing so much from Mike Zen-mmer. It’s difficult to be upset with others when a lot of the blame falls in your own lap.

Supporting the kicker?

The media gave Mike plenty of opportunity to throw his kicker under the bus. And while he “thought it would be an easy one”, when Joseph lined it up, he didn’t place any blame on the kicker’s shoulders for the loss. Instead, he was somewhat supportive and expressed confidence before and after the miss. It didn’t sound like a change was coming.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan