Mike Zimmer makes surprising comment about Vikings kicker Greg Joseph

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer /

Not known for being the world’s biggest fan of kickers, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer came out in defense of his team’s kicker on Monday.

Unfortunately, what happened on Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings is something that head coach Mike Zimmer has experienced far too many times in his tenure with the franchise.

Vikings kicker Greg Joseph lined up for what seemed like a simple field-goal attempt from 37 yards away with just seconds left in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals. But instead of Minnesota celebrating their first win of the 2021 season on Sunday, Joseph missed the kick, and the Vikings are now sitting with an 0-2 record.

Following the latest miss by a Minnesota kicker, most expected Zimmer to come out and give Joseph the business as the head coach typically has in the past when kickers haven’t come up big when the team needed them to. But, to the surprise of some, that’s not the approach Zimmer has decided to take this time.

Mike Zimmer defends Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph after his disappointing miss in Arizona

During his press conference on Monday, the Vikings head coach was immediately asked about Joseph’s miss. But instead of giving the kicker some tough love and stating in the public that he’s paid to make kicks like that, Zimmer stood up for Joseph.

"“Lots of kickers miss field goals. So let’s give the kid a break, okay?”"

Minnesota’s head coach also mentioned that Joseph knocked down two field-goal attempts from more than 50 yards away earlier in Sunday’s game and during the Vikings’ game last week to put the contest into overtime.

Zimmer has probably realized that his past habits of publicly shaming his kickers for their misses didn’t exactly result in positive outcomes. So with Joseph, the Minnesota head coach is trying to make sure his performance doesn’t fall off the rails like it did for Blair Walsh, Daniel Carlson, and Dan Bailey.

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Will this approach come with better results for the Vikings and their current kicker? That remains unknown, but it really can’t get much worse when it comes to Minnesota and their historically bad relationships with kickers.