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
Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is emerging as a big favorite among Viking fans to take over as head coach in Minnesota. Fans seem to love Zimmer’s aggressive defensive approach as well as his take-no-prisoners honesty – both of which would be a refreshing change after the way Leslie Frazier did business.
The fans’ enthusiasm for Zimmer is based mostly on wishful thinking at this point, but there are folks who actually know a few things about Zimmer who happen to share the same high opinion of him. Chief among these Zimmer-boosters is Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells.
Chip Scoggins got the low down on Zimmer straight from Parcells. “He’s definitely ready. It’s just if he can get a break. That’s what happens. There’s some pretty good ones out there, but they never get a chance. I hope he gets a chance,” Parcells said.
The legendary Parcells painted a picture of Mike Zimmer as a coach. “He’s very competitive, he’s intense,” Parcells said. “I think he’s a smart guy. … Every place that I’ve ever heard that he’s been, the players really liked him. And yet he doesn’t coddle the players at all. He’s got a good balance with that tough love.
“I think now he’s got enough experience to handle the players and the big picture and the scouting and the constraints and the things that the league mandates now. He’s got enough experience to where he’d do a good job. I’m hopeful that things break his way.”
Zimmer certainly has the experience, having served for over a decade as a defensive coordinator first in Dallas under Parcells and then in Cincinnati under Marvin Lewis.
Parcells also praised Zimmer for his flexibility, noting that when Zimmer was hired by Dallas, he willingly adapted himself to Parcells’ desired 3-4 system despite himself being a 4-3 guy from way back. Parcells, a confidante of Zygi Wilf, said he would advise Zygi to consider Zimmer as head coach.
Zimmer will reportedly interview for the Vikings this week. Todd Bowles already has spoken to Rick Spielman and reportedly was very impressive. Jay Gruden, Zimmer’s fellow Bengals assistant, will also interview on Thursday.