Top Vikings defender shares what makes Mike Zimmer a great coach

(Photo by David Berding-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer
(Photo by David Berding-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer /

Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith recently talked about why Mike Zimmer has been so successful during his NFL coaching career.

Heading into the 2021 season, there is certainly a possibility that Mike Zimmer could currently be in the middle of his final year as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

It still feels like the Vikings would have to experience a major collapse during the upcoming season in order for Zimmer to be let go. But in the NFL, nothing can be ruled out.

Zimmer is aware that there is a significant amount of pressure on him to help Minnesota get back into the playoffs next season. However, he’s the kind of head coach that welcomes the extra pressure, and he just views it as another opportunity to prove people wrong.

Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith loves playing for Mike Zimmer

Throughout his NFL coaching career, Zimmer has typically been someone that guys enjoy playing for. It’s usually the players from the defensive side of the ball that feel this way, but that’s not a surprise since that’s his area of expertise.

Vikings safety Harrison Smith is among the group of guys who have loved their time spent working with Zimmer. Smith was recently on the “All Things Covered” podcast and he shared some of the things that have allowed Minnesota’s current head coach to succeed during his time in the league.

"“He’s tough, he’s old school. Every now and then, he’ll be a little grouchy. But that’s kinda what’s made him so good as a [defensive backs] coach and a defensive coach. Zim doesn’t back down, even if he gets beat.”"

The Vikings All-Pro safety also shared that he’s had “a lot of fun,” in the role that he’s been given by Zimmer in the team’s defense.

Minnesota has been to the playoffs three times in their last six seasons with Zimmer as their head coach. Only Bud Grant and Dennis Green have led the Vikings to more wins in their tenures with the franchise and Zimmer’s .559 winning percentage is the third-best in team history.

While these numbers will be nice to look back on one day, Minnesota’s current head coach knows that none of it is really going to matter if he fails to lead the team back to the playoffs this year.

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After the embarrassing performance from his defense last season though, something tells us Zimmer is going to whatever is necessary to make sure the Vikings return to the postseason in 2021.