Minnesota Vikings HC Zimmer’s best players he has ever coached
By Adam Carlson
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is no stranger to the National Football League.
He is currently entering his 20th season as a coach in the league while only being a part of 4 organizations in his career. That feat is exceptionally impressive considering how often teams seem to get rid of coaches in an effort to bolster their chances at winning a Super Bowl championship.
Here are the teams that Mike Zimmer has coached for during his time in the league:
- Dallas Cowboys: 1994-2006
- Atlanta Falcons: 2007
- Cincinnati Bengals: 2008-2014
- Minnesota Vikings: 2014-present
During that time, there’s little doubt that Zimmer has seen a ton of talented players come and go. He’s been a part of a Super Bowl championship squad and has seen many of the players that he has coached or worked with become Pro Bowl caliber. Many of those players didn’t see their potential realized until he arrived on the scene, but some of them were naturally talented players that left Zimmer’s jaw on the ground.
In a recent article on the Fox Sports website, Mike Zimmer talked about the three best players that he’s ever had the opportunity to work with. Here were his answers:
"“Darren Woodson was an unbelievable safety, great person. Smart, taught himself so many things.”"
Mike Zimmer is no stranger to Darren Woodson. During his time with the Dallas Cowboys, Zimmer got to spend a lot of time with Woodson (1994-2003). The two found a great relationship, with Woodson getting his first interception under the guidance of his defensive backs coach and leading to him netting 5 Pro Bowl nods in a row from 1994 to 1998.
"“Deion Sanders obviously was a terrific athlete.”"
Oct 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; NFL Network commentator Deion Sanders before the game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
As a man of few words, Mike Zimmer really made less to be more in this statement. Deion Sanders was an amazing player who worked with his defensive backs coach Zimmer for five years in Dallas from 1995 to 1999. And you can’t argue the results. A Super Bowl XXX victory, 4 straight Pro Bowls, and 14 interceptions under Zimmer.
"“Charles Haley was really good—different in a lot of ways, but really good.”"
This was the one that surprised me out of the list. As a defensive backs coach, Mike Zimmer didn’t work directly with Charles Haley on a regular basis, but he did reap the benefits of what Haley could do for the Cowboys secondary. Haley was a sack machine and always seemed to find a way to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, making the job for cornerbacks and safeties much easier.
There is no doubt that these guys deserve their praise from Mike Zimmer. While Minnesota Vikings fans might be a little disappointed that there aren’t any players from their favorite squad in the list, they can be hopeful that one day some of the players on the Vikings roster can be spoken of in a way that legends such as Woodson, Sanders, and Haley.
Next: Minnesota Vikings 2015 Game By Game Previews
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