Keep Zimmer away from the offense
In 2014, the Vikings hired Mike Zimmer to come in and fix their embarrassing defense. During his tenure with Minnesota, Zimmer has done just that.
For the past four seasons, the Vikings’ defense is among the best in the NFL and that has a lot to do with their head coach.
One thing Zimmer is not known for is his expertise on the offensive side of the ball. This shouldn’t be a shock to anyone though since he has never been in charge of anything related to offense during his entire career as a coach in college and the NFL.
So when instances of Zimmer commenting on what Minnesota’s offense should and shouldn’t be doing become more frequent (like last season), it’s not a very good sign. During his time with the team, the Vikings have been the most successful on offense when their head coach is not given any reason to comment on it in public.
So how can this be achieved? Well, Minnesota’s offensive coaching staff can start by getting back to a scheme that is a better compliment to Zimmer’s defense.
Whether he likes to admit it or not, the defensive side of the ball is always going to be the top priority for the Vikings head coach. So he’s going to want his team to run an offense that allows his defenders to get as much rest as possible in between drives, one that emphasizes controlling the clock and being efficient at running the football.
It seems like Minnesota has already made an effort to keep Zimmer more focused on the defense in 2019 with the hiring of Gary Kubiak as the team’s assistant head coach/offensive advisor. The Vikings are hoping that Kubiak and offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski will improve the team’s offense enough next season that Zimmer doesn’t even really worry about it.