Kris Boyd delivers a harsh reality about the Mike Zimmer era
By Randy Smith
When Mike Zimmer was fired from the Minnesota Vikings, players criticized the head coach’s leadership approach and it hasn’t let up.
While the tenure of Mike Zimmer with the Minnesota Vikings came to an end after the 2021 season, he left as the third all-time winningest head coach in franchise history.
Zimmer’s defensive mindset had a promising impact from the start, turning around a team that gave up the most points during the 2013 NFL season. His experience as defensive coordinator around the league showed results, but as time rolled on problems started to occur.
Zimmer’s leadership style was one that was a bit out of left field, most notably with the “Fat Cats Get Slaughtered” story during the 2016 season. Approaches as such didn’t work, as Minnesota, who had a 5-0 record at the time of the incident, went on to suffer their first loss of the year against the Philadelphia Eagles, and ultimately recluse into an 8-8 finish for the season.
After Zimmer’s departure earlier this year, Vikings players such as linebacker Eric Kendricks echoed how the coach’s approach didn’t go into plan accordingly, stating that a “fear-based organization” wasn’t the way to go. An elder coach that seemingly didn’t resonate with his young team showed why Zimmer was let go.
Multiple players have echoed the ineffective approach that Mike Zimmer had with the Minnesota Vikings
Recently, Minnesota cornerback Kris Boyd furthered the stigma that Zimmer’s fear-based leadership style didn’t work when he appeared on teammate Patrick Peterson‘s “All Things Covered” podcast.
When co-host and former NFL defensive back Bryant McFadden gave the green light for Boyd to speak his mind on his time with Zimmer, Boyd stated that the old regime “walked around like their a**holes [were] tight. They would always be strict about everything. Anytime you messed up, [it was] like the world ended.”
Eye-opening comments like Boyd’s seem to be the norm in the post-Zimmer era, and while maybe unexpected for a coach that made the playoffs more than his two predecessors combined, it seems what it took to get there didn’t resonate with the entire team.
The Vikings can only hope that new head coach Kevin O’Connell can take a youthful team-building approach that not only results in wins and playoff appearances, but the chance to obtain the first-ever Vince Lombardi trophy in the franchise’s history.