Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer: ‘We’re not dirty’


When the Minnesota Vikings played the Detroit Lions, there were several people, including myself, who were very critical of the penalties that were and were not called on the field.  One of the most vocal critics of the officials in that game was Lions wide receiver Golden Tate.

During post-game interviews, Golden Tate said the he saw multiple things that should have been called in the game “After watching the film there were several holds, late hits that I thought should have been called. A couple of them I wouldn’t be surprised if we turn them in (to the NFL).”

Those words were heard by Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who seemed to respond with indifference according to an article on the ESPN website.

"“That doesn’t bother me. I know what kind of team we are. We’re not dirty.”"

Aug 15, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer looks on during the third quarter in a preseason NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings won 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Getting away with penalties is life in the NFL.  There are so many holding calls in the trenches and bumps downfield that could be called, but while referees want to maintain order and keep the playing field level, they also don’t want to interrupt the flow of the game too much.  Some of the lighter infractions might end up being overlooked, resulting in players getting frustrated.  And I believe that is what happened with Golden Tate.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings are continuing to teach proper technique through their coaching and establish the fundamentals rather than playing ‘dirty football’.

"“We try to coach within the rules. We try to do things the right way. We want to be a football team that’s known we’re teaching proper technique. We’re not trying to cheat the rules. I don’t want our football team to be put at a disadvantage because other people are trying to cheat the rules. I want our guys to know the rules, play by the rules and play fair.”"

Golden Tate may have had a valid argument, but whenever a football player is begging for flags during the game and complains about officiating after a game it can make that player (and team) look weak or look like complainers.  The best response in the NFL for when someone is playing you extra physically is to either step up your game and play more physical yourself or alert an official to the illegal play that is happening so that it can be called in the future.

Either way, it’s good that the Minnesota Vikings and Mike Zimmer aren’t putting much stock into the words of Golden Tate.  Physical play and hard-nosed football is what helped them win the game against Detroit.  If the Vikings want to continue winning, they’ll need to match that kind of play going forward.

You can see the Minnesota Vikings take on the San Diego Chargers from TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday, September 27.  Check your local listings for time and availability.

Next: Minnesota Vikings 2015 Game By Game Previews

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