Mike Zimmer might have sabotaged a rookie’s development in 2021

(Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer
(Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer /

In his first season with the Minnesota Vikings in 2021, rookie quarterback Kellen Mond wasn’t given much help from former head coach Mike Zimmer.

Before he was eventually shown the door last January, it felt like the writing was on the wall for Mike Zimmer in regards to his tenure as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings coming to an end.

Zimmer likely sensed his exit was looming as well, which is probably why it felt like he wanted nothing to do with helping develop some of the team’s younger players. Why would he try to help improve the Vikings’ future if he was about to be fired?

Among the young Minnesota players that didn’t receive much guidance from Zimmer during his final season with the franchise was quarterback Kellen Mond. In 2021, Mond was a rookie with the Vikings, and from the start, it never felt like the team’s former head coach gave him much of a shot.

Father of Minnesota Vikings QB Kellen Mond comments on his son’s rookie season with Mike Zimmer

So far this offseason, Mond has been receiving a bunch of praise from Minnesota’s new coaching staff. It sounds like he’s going to get a chance to compete for the No. 2 quarterback job behind Kirk Cousins this summer, and that is tremendous news for the young kid who might have been down in the dumps after a forgetful rookie year with the Vikings.

The most memorable moment from Mond’s rookie season wasn’t even anything that happened on the field. It was the comments from Zimmer following Minnesota’s Week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers when he responded with “not particularly” after being asked about playing the rookie in a meaningless season-finale matchup.

Why exactly Mond didn’t play in that final game of the 2021 season actually might have had nothing to specifically do with the quarterback.

Mond’s father recently spoke to the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson and here’s what he had to say about his son’s experience with Zimmer.

If Zimmer was indeed preventing Mond from getting snaps in the Vikings’ final matchup of the 2021 campaign to spite former Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman, then that was a terrible approach to take.

Zimmer has commented in the past about how his job was to win games. Well, that’s true, but part of his job was to also help with the development of young players on his team’s roster.

He was still getting paid by the Vikings in 2021, so it’s incredibly disappointing to hear that he potentially stunted Mond’s development as a quarterback because he was mad about a roster decision that Spielman had made.

Zimmer helped get Minnesota out of the gutter in 2014 and within one game of the Super Bowl in 2017, so let’s not ignore what he was able to accomplish as the team’s head coach. But this recent news about Mond is just one of the multiple reasons why Zimmer’s departure from the Vikings ended up becoming inevitable.

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