Vikings Players Reiterate: They Lack Leadership No Longer

PHOTO: ELIZABETH FLORES - STAR TRIBUNE

After the Minnesota Vikings destroyed the Green Bay Packers, to open the 2022 season on Sunday, there is a lot of chatter surrounding the greatness of Justin Jefferson and the many problems facing Aaron Rodgers. But after the game, Vikings players wanted to make their win about something else. New leadership.

We’ve already seen the many quotes and stories that have come out against Mike Zimmer‘s dictatorial, hellish reign as head coach. Just last week, Zim’s old buddy, Terrance Newman, did an interview with GoLong.com and literally referred to Mike Zimmer as “Satan”. Newman didn’t even feel the need to hide behind “anonymous sources”. Zim’s tenure in Minnesota is turning into the football version of Tom Thibodeau’s, maybe worse…

After the game, players were telling anybody willing to listen. They played better on Sunday because of new leadership. Their newfound confidence comes from the good vibes rolling through TCO Performance Center. Any success in 2022 stems back to Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah replacing Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman.

Cousins, JJ, Thielen all point to new leadership

Take Kirk Cousins, who may have gotten the shortest end of the stick during Zimmer’s occupation, for example. He schemed up a plan, as the game clock was ticking down on Sunday, to show his appreciation for O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah.

So, he walked over to the Wilfs and asked if he could present his new head coach and general manager with game balls in the locker room. They were in. About 30 minutes later, we got this behind-the-scenes look at what an appreciative Kirk Cousins looks like.

Kirk wasn’t the only player who was thankful on Sunday though. After the game, Justin Jefferson warned the rest of the league, both on the field and back in the locker room, that this is a new team, under new leadership. And everyone should take notice.

On Monday morning, Adam Thielen got on KFAN radio and reiterated, yet again, that the change in leadership is the difference with the 2022 Minnesota Vikings. I thought the anti-Zimmer steam would slow as the season got started. But his former players are intent on reminding everybody. Mike Zimmer was the problem. And now that the problem is gone, watch out.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan