Eric Kendricks Takes Back All the Bad Stuff He Said About New/Old Coach Mike Zimmer

Eric Kendricks, Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
Chuck Cook -USA TODAY SportsCredit: Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports

In January 2022, the Minnesota Vikings fired head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman after the team failed to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season and the fifth time in eight years.

Shortly after the news of Zimmer and Spielman’s termination, players began speaking out about how they felt about the situation. Some players danced around their feelings for Mike, Rick and the Vikings culture as a whole, under that regime.

Eric Kendricks once described Minnesota Vikings as a “fear-based’ organization under Mike Zimmer

Others, however, spoke out more candidly following the firings. One of those players included linebacker Eric Kendricks, who called the Vikings a “fear-based organization” under the former head coach and GM.

“I feel like there were some things left out there, as far as our relationship was concerned. That’s something you have to ask [Mike Zimmer].”

“A culture where communication is put at the forefront and no matter what your role is on the staff, you having a voice and being able to communicate things that you think could help facilitate wins. I think just having that voice, no matter how big your role is, is important, to listen up and take each other’s feelings into account. I don’t think a fear-based organization is the way to go.”

Eric Kendricks describing the Vikings’ culture under Mike Zimmer

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Reading Kendricks’ quotes from back then, it’s quite clear that he believed there was a serious culture problem under Zimmer and Spielman in Minnesota.

After current Minnesota Vikings’ head coach Kevin O’Connell was hired, Kendricks immediately raved about what the different perspective and culture O’Connell brought to the team.

In the end, after the 2022-23 NFL season the Vikings decided to part ways with Kendricks, who played a season for the Los Angeles Chargers and now is with the Dallas Cowboys after signing with them this offseason.

Eric Kendricks changes his tune about Mike Zimmer with Dallas Cowboys

Zimmer, who went mostly jobless during the last two NFL seasons off, signed as the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, meaning he is linking back up with his former draftee, Eric Kendricks.

Kendricks was recently interviewed by the Dallas Morning News about whether or not he would like to take any of those previous quotes regarding Mike Zimmer’s leadership style back, now that Zim is his defensive coordinator in Dallas. Let’s just say, Eric has quite the different tune about Zimmer now, compared to his comments in 2022.

“Emotions were high [back then]. We’re very excited [now]. It’s good to be back with [Mike Zimmer]. I love his walkthroughs. I love the little ways he does things, the way he structures things, the level of detail, so I’m excited. I really am.”

“I always appreciated Zim. Just the amount of defense I learned when I was underneath him. The way I watch film, the way we break things down, the install, a lot of things I learned from Zim and we had some good years and I can’t wait to continue that.”

Eric Kendricks – Former Linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings (Dallas Morning News)

Kendricks seems to have a completely different tune regarding his initial comments on Zimmer. He now states that his comments made in 2022 were due to emotions being high. He also expressed numerous times how he was excited to be back with Zimmer and how he approaches the defensive side of the ball.

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Overall, it’s unclear if Kendricks truly feels different about Zimmer now or if he just has to say these types of things given he’s the current defensive coordinator for the Cowboys. One thing is for certain, the Vikings culture is certainly different under the current Vikings’ regime.

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