Shocking meeting and more detailed in latest report about Mike Zimmer

A report was recently published that featured some interesting details about the tenure of Mike Zimmer as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Ever since the Minnesota Vikings decided to part ways with Mike Zimmer about a week ago, there have several bits and pieces about his tenure as the team’s head coach that have been shared with the public.

On Sunday, more of the things that took place behind the scenes during Zimmer’s time with the Vikings were revealed in a report published by the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling.

A bunch of parts of the report probably won’t surprise too many people. However, there were also plenty of details about Zimmer’s stint with the Vikings that should result in some eyebrows being raised.

Bizarre meeting and offensive interference stand out in report about former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer

There were a few aspects of Goessing’s report that stood out the most and the first has to do with Zimmer’s consistent interference in the team’s offense.

Despite his background being centered around the defensive side of the ball, Zimmer wanted Minnesota’s offense to run a certain way, and he grew unhappy if his requests for the offense weren’t implemented into the team’s game plans.

According to Goessling, the former Vikings head coach really began to stick his nose into the offense following the 2014 campaign.

“After the 2014 season, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, Zimmer went to Hue Jackson, asking his friend from the Bengals’ coaching staff to teach him more about offensive play-calling so he could better evaluate [Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner].

Zimmer grew more outspoken about pass plays he didn’t like, or a need to run the ball more, on the coaches’ headset during games in 2015, even as the Vikings ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing offense while Adrian Peterson won his third rushing title while leading the league in attempts.

Behind the scenes, Vikings decision-makers clashed about how to use Cordarrelle Patterson, the dynamic, but raw, second-year receiver Spielman traded three picks to take 29th overall in 2013. Turner’s efforts to set up his son Scott (the Vikings’ quarterbacks coach at the time) for an offensive coordinator job irked Zimmer, who would later make his own son the Vikings’ co-defensive coordinator.

The Vikings added [Tony] Sparano and Pat Shurmur, two former head coaches, to their offensive staff before 2016. By the middle of the season, as Turner bristled at Zimmer’s feedback about how to navigate a slew of offensive line injuries, the coordinator resigned.”

After his resignation, Turner said nothing to indicate that his departure had anything to do with Zimmer. But Goessling’s report certainly makes it seem like the unwanted involvement in Minnesota’s offense by the head coach played a large role in Turner leaving.

The need of wanting to be involved in the Vikings’ offense continued in 2018 for Zimmer, when John DeFilippo was the team’s offensive coordinator. DeFilippo ran a scheme that centered more around the passing attack, and unsurprisingly, Zimmer wasn’t too fond of his methods.

Goessling’s report shared some details that revealed that the situation between Zimmer and DeFilippo was likely much worse than the public knew about.

“After the Vikings scored 37 points to improve to 4-2-1 in a win over the Jets [in Week 7], sources said, Zimmer lambasted DeFilippo in a team meeting for not running the ball enough; he made his issues with DeFilippo’s approach public after losses in Week 11 and 13.

The Vikings would not score more than 24 points in six games following the Jets win, and after a Monday night Week 14 loss in Seattle where they narrowly avoided a shutout, Zimmer fired DeFilippo and replaced him with Kevin Stefanski.”

Fast-forwarding to the end of the 2021 season, Zimmer’s tone in his weekly press conferences began to make it pretty clear that his time with Minnesota was likely coming to an end. But the former Vikings head coach knew it too, and these feelings are probably what led to Zimmer giving his team a pretty strange presentation during a meeting a few weeks ago.

Goessling shared the details of this odd meeting in the report that was published on Sunday.

“Ultimately, though, the Vikings’ final two defenses under Zimmer were among the worst in the league and the team missed the playoffs both years. After a key loss in the final weeks of the season, his tone started to shift; sources said the coach gave a Wednesday presentation about all the bad things that happened to him in his eight years with the Vikings (Peterson’s suspension in 2014, Bridgewater’s knee injury in 2016 and so on), leaving players dumbfounded.”

Pretty much everyone in the building, including Zimmer, could sense that the head coach was likely heading out the door. But for good reason since the team was on its way to missing the playoffs for the third time in the last four years.

So it’s not like Minnesota was going to fire Zimmer for some random reason. A lot of his departure had to basically do with the performance of the team on the actual field.

Which makes the reported meeting Zimmer had at the end of the 2021 season even more strange as it makes it seem like he was trying to find whatever and whoever he could to blame for the Vikings’ struggles during the last few years.