Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer before the AFC wild card playoff game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Add another name to the Rick Spielman Coaching Search List 2014. Mike Zimmer, Bengals defensive coordinator will reportedly be interviewed by the Vikings. The Bengals have to play this weekend so the Vikes can’t interview Zimmer yet; they will have to wait until after Cincinnati is eliminated from contention or wins the Super Bowl.
File this one under “Top NFL Defensive Coordinators Whose Last Names Start With Z.” Is that one of the 13 categories? I don’t know.
Zimmer is one of the most-discussed of all the assistants currently in the running for a head coaching job in 2014. He has been a defensive coordinator for many many years, starting with the Cowboys way back in 2000. He stayed in Dallas through 2006 before signing on as DC in Atlanta. He stayed in Atlanta only one year before moving to Cincinnati where he’s been ever since.
In other words, this guy has paid his dues. He’s 57 and this likely will be his one shot at a head coaching job. He is highly respected around the league and obviously has all the experience in the world.
Of course you also have to consider the flip-side of that whole experience thing: If he’s such a good coach, why has he never landed a head job before this?
The list of coaches being looked at by the Vikings is already getting pretty long. Darrell Bevell, Dan Quinn, Jack Del Rio, Adam Gase and now Mike Zimmer have all come up in reports. Bill O’Brien was brought up as well but O’Brien is likely headed to Houston.
Lovie Smith and Ken Whisenhunt have been mentioned too.
Strap in, it’s gonna be a long one.