Let the Zimmer era begin, Purple fans. New Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was officially introduced at a press conference at Winter Park on Friday, and it didn’t take long for Zimmer to begin pumping inspirational sunshine up the behinds of Viking fans.
“There’s a great tradition here. As I walked down the hallways [at Winter Park] and see all the great players, Hall of Fame players and I can walk down the end of the hallway and talk to … a Hall of Fame coach in Bud Grant,” Zimmer spoke.
“I want to win a Super Bowl. I want to be standing at the podium with Mark and Zygi Wilf when that confetti is falling down and Commissioner Goodell is handing us that Super Bowl trophy.”
The majority of questions were the expected softball stuff, but there were one or two moments that got slightly tense and contentious. Zimmer seemed to chafe a little after a couple questions about his reportedly “blunt” manner. Much of his public reputation as a fiery, tough-talking person was formed by his appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks, but Zimmer says we should not entirely believe the image conveyed by that show.
“Let me tell you about Hard Knocks,” Zimmer said. “Hard Knocks can kind of portray you any way they want to. All I want to do is make each player better.”
Zimmer gave no specific information about his coaching staff hires, personnel desires or schematic plans. He indicated that he will be heavily involved in designing the defense and might even call plays. He said his approach is to fit the scheme to the talent, and try to get the most out of each player.
Comic relief was momentarily provided by Sid Hartman, who doddered his way through a remark about being friends with Zimmer’s mentor Bill Parcells.
Zimmer neatly batted aside a question about Mike Priefer and whether Chris Kluwe’s allegations would play into Zimmer’s decision making process on whether to keep Priefer as special teams coach.
He said he intends to try and be on the same page with general manager Rick Spielman but admits that sometimes people will disagree.
When asked about the QB situation, he said he intends to have the best QB in the NFC North.