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
New Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer may be known for his fire and passion on the football field, but he should also be known for his compassion and respect. In an open letter to Bengals fans, Zimmer thanked essentially everyone that has helped him during his time in Cincinnati.
Here is the open letter that he wrote:
"To Bengals Fans, For the past six years I have made Cincinnati my home. I have come to love the area, the people and the city. It truly is a fantastic place with unbelievably caring people. Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals mascot Who Dey reacts after an interception during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY SportsI was very fortunate to work with so many outstanding people at Paul Brown Stadium. Coaches, especially Marvin, and the defensive staff — Jay, David, Paul and Mark — to ownership — Mike, Katie, Troy, and Paul — and everyone behind the scenes that does such an outstanding job to make the Bengals a winner. In the time I was there we have climbed to the top of the AFC North division. We have become one of the better defensive teams in the NFL and we hopefully have become a team that the fans are proud to watch. The fans have been unbelievable to me. They are passionate and respectful. You have made my time in Cincinnati very special. THANK YOU. I will never forget the respect that you gave myself and my family. To the players, past and present, it was truly an honor to coach you. I tried to give you my very best each day. You should be proud of what this franchise has become. You have my ultimate respect and my goal was to make each one of you better than when you walked in. I hope I did. You are family to me. We proved a lot of people wrong, didn’t we? I loved watching you play on Sundays, and we always fought through the tough times. I am so proud to have been your coach. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you will always be part of my life. All my best and thanks for everything.Zim"
It’s great to see such a classy exit from Zimmer. You can see his passion in each sentence of this letter. Hopefully, he can bring that same emotion and winning spirit to the Minnesota Vikings.