Aug 23, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Nate Clements (22) and offensive coordinator Mike Zimmer shake hands before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
According to reports, the Vikings will hire long-time Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as their new head coach. Zimmer brings a reputation as a fiery, honest coach who is respected by his players. What are Viking players themselves saying about the hire?
A sampling of early reaction sees nothing but enthusiasm coming from the roster.
Defensive end Brian Robison tweeted with obvious happiness, “Welcome coach Zimmer to the Vikings!!!”
Linebacker Audie Cole told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer-Press, “I’m excited about it. Everything I’ve heard about [Zimmer] is positive.”
Offensive guard Brandon Fusco gave an account of Zimmer’s legendary “fiery” nature. “I had the Bengals staff at the Senior Bowl so I saw him in person. He’s a really hard-nosed guy, a..fired-up guy,” Fusco told Tomasson.
Vikings fullback Zach Line tweeted, “I know [Bengals player] @Margus_Hunt is going to miss him, but I’m excited to play for Coach Zimmer!”
Safety Jamarca Sanford told the Star-Trib’s Master Tesfatsion, “He’ll get in your face and he’s aggressive. I love that as a defensive player.”
Free agent defensive end Everson Griffen told Tesfatsion, “Seems like the Bengals went far this year in the playoffs, and he called good plays on defense. Haven’t heard too much about him, but I can tell you that the way the Bengals play defense, the way they attack the ball and some of the things I’ve heard from guys around the league on his mentality, his style and aggression, it seems like a good fit for the Minnesota Vikings.”