Minnesota Vikings want to be known as tough and smart


Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer isn’t soft.  He’s known for his aggressiveness, hard-nosed attitude and lack of verbal filter.  Those are three qualities that have endeared the former Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator to fans in Minnesota and have helped the players respect him on the football field.

Oct 12, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches as his team plays the Detroit Lions at TCF Bank Stadium. The Lions win 17-3. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Respect is earned.  Either through hard work, personal interactions or by building a reputation for those who haven’t had a face-to-face meeting.  Within a time frame of a little over one year, fans of the Minnesota Vikings are already impressed with what Zimmer has done for the team’s defense as well as some of the personnel decisions he has helped make for the team.

In a recent interview on the USA Today website, Mike Zimmer sat down with Tom Pelissero to discuss what he wants opposing teams to think of when they are going up against the Minnesota Vikings.  Here is what he said:

"“Well, I continually hope that that’s our identity — is that we’re a smart team, we’re disciplined, we’re tough, we do things right. But when opposing coaches see us, I want them to say, ‘Hey, these guys are a good football team. They do things correctly. They take care of the football on offense. They hustle. They swarm on defense. They don’t give up big plays. They don’t commit penalties.’ That’s what I want this football team (to be). And like I’ve said before, when the fans watch us, I want them to be proud of how we play on Sunday. Fans are very intelligent. They know what good football is and bad football. I want us to see us do things right: We make critical plays at the end of ballgames, we understand the different situations in games, and that’s really what I’m trying to teach them.”"

Personally, I love what Mike Zimmer had to say.  While some football teams gamble each week by taking a lot of chances with the football, the Minnesota Vikings are sticking with an old school approach: solid fundamentals.  These kind of teams will grind out an opposing team’s confidence and leave them intimidated when they don’t falter down the stretch.  They rely on executing the game plan in front of them and trusting the strategy that the coaching staff has outlined.

I know it’s an old school way of thinking, but I love it.

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