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Is Zim holding us back?


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We all love Zimmer and think he's a good coach. But there is one thing I heard today that really stuck with me. He doesn't put enough emphasis on exploiting the defenses weaknesses. A good coach can utilize their personnel to optimize their offense. Purple daily even made the point if we drafted Lamar Jackson instead of Mike Hughs would we even have changed our scheme enough for him to be the same player he is. 

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3 hours ago, HeydudemanG said:

We all love Zimmer and think he's a good coach. But there is one thing I heard today that really stuck with me. He doesn't put enough emphasis on exploiting the defenses weaknesses. A good coach can utilize their personnel to optimize their offense. Purple daily even made the point if we drafted Lamar Jackson instead of Mike Hughs would we even have changed our scheme enough for him to be the same player he is. 

Zimmer IS ABSOLUTELY holding The Vikings back.  His too conservative offence is creating situations keeping The Vikings from blowing weaker teams out early, and so, keeping them from sealing up wins that allow those teams to stay in games late, and "steal" a few wins away from The Vikings just on a bad bounce of the ball and a turnover, when Minnesota had a sure win.  The Vikings have lost maybe 2-3 wins per season that way under Zimmer.  Cousins should have the opportunity to have a pass-option play on 2nd and long, instead of pounding Dalvin into the DL, hoping he finds a big hole or breaks 2 tackles.  Cousins should have the option to throw a screen, flair, or short swing pass to Dalvin, or whoever is most open, while Irv Smith is slanting over the middle, and the two wideouts are going out on mid-to -long routes.  This team should have several options on each play that should leave one, or possibly 2 very safe, and very sure options open to assure being able to march down the field, putting lots of pressure on the other team, not having enough strong defensive weapons to cover everyone that needs to be covered.  That ability to march down the field only being stopped by a lucky play, once in a while, tires out the opponent's defence, and keeps our defence fresh and strong, by limiting their time on the field.  IF our offensive line can protect at an average NFL-level on pass plays, our offence should be more like Kansas City's, (even if Cousins only runs with the ball 2-3 times a game), than like ours last season.  Weaker and lower mid-level opponents should be blown out of games early, so they have zero chance of coming back to win.  The Vikings shouldn't have lost recent games to Atlanta, Dallas, Carolina, and even a couple of the games lost to Chicago, because Zimmer's dictated "offensive play-calling rules" hold them back.  Saving The Vikings from maybe giving up an extra half an interception per game, to keep their offence from getting maybe 7-12 more points per game makes no sense at all.

Let's hope that Kyle Kubiak will be allowed to have Kirk throw more on all downs, and give him several options on each play, so that at least one will be open, and hope Cousins isn't scared to try to connect with that open receiver for fear of an interception.  He is accurate enough that the % caught by competitive receivers, Jefferson, Thielen, and Smith will be enough to risk the one in 10-15 of those competitive chances that will be picked off.  There are lots of ways to assure Cook will be alone to get him the ball in open space before a defender can get near him.  Those should be used on a lot more passing plays, when the wideouts and tight end might all get covered.  Now that the offensive line should be relatively competent at pass blocking, The Vikings won't have to waste a back in the backfield to block for cousins, freeing up a back to be a safety-valve receiver, IF needed.

Edited by Robb_K
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Zimmer is a great defensive coach. I can't say the same for Zimmer as a head coach. His bias towards the defense has been to the detriment of the overall team. He has had enough time where I am completely fine with the team moving on. I do not believe they should do that with the same GM.

 

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I do not love Zimmer as a head coach.  His overall game planning is not sufficient as he only adds a bit of value to the defensive side of the ball. It's shocking that a defensive guru will rally the GM to devote a lot of resources to the D side..

Oh, and his game management (challenges, clock management, timeout taking) is subpar.  

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Im meh on him personally If we struggle this year I wouldnt mind going hard for Joe Brady as our next HC and seeing if ZIm would be willing to be the DC with having all the power to do what he wants with our defense. Zim would add a good veteran presence with a lot of experience as a HC to help out our new young and upcoming HC. Obviously completely speculative. Think of McVay hiring Wade Phillips.

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Is he Bill Belichick?  No.  But he's not Adam Gase either.  He has his flaws, but they are competitive every season (even if it's only making the playoffs every other year), and can make a run, especially this year.  People complain about how he's defensive-minded, but guess what keeps them in games every year?  It's the defense. 

Everybody talks about how Kyle Shanahan is a wunderkind...but his teams have won 6 or less games 3 out of 4 years.  Zim has never won less than 7.  McVay has done a pretty good job and has never won less than 9, but he's also been loaded defensively with talent, and has had pretty decent talent offensively for the entire time he's been there.  He hasn't had that dramatic fall-off in talent like Zim had last year.

With the turnover that's been seen on the offensive coaching side of the ball, it's no wonder that there hasn't been any consistency offensively.  That certainly doesn't excuse Zimmer completely, but it certainly has made it difficult on him.  

It always amazes me that people seem to think that the grass is always going to be greener with someone else at the helm.  When you got other teams hiring guys like Nick Sirianni, Zac Taylor, Kliff Kingsbury, and Brandon Staley over the last few years, that tells me that the well is getting dry with qualified HC talent. So who out there is going to be better or more qualified than Zimmer?  If you can convince me someone is, then I'm willing to consider it. Joe Brady is not going to interest me, last I checked, the Panthers team is terrible and he's had a total of 3 years coaching in the NFL period.  That's not qualified to me. 

I personally would want someone who, like Zimmer, has earned their stripes.  If the guy is young (30s) and has been around the NFL game for quite some time, fine, that would qualify.  But, even the guys like Daboll or Eberflus (in their mid-40s or early 50s) would be fine with me as well.  I especially would look at a guy like Leftwich, since he's been around for so long, and still in his early 40s. 

In the end, I'm content with Zimmer.  If there is someone better out there, sure, I'll consider it.  But, I still think he's a good coach and can take us where we want in the right circumstances.  If you wish to use the comparison, he just might be the Kirk Cousins of head coaches.  He may not be the best head coach ever, but he's better than you think he is.

 

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I was 100% in favor, and pretty vocal in my opinion, of letting go of Zimmer and promoting Kevin Stefanski two years ago. But, without Stefanski as an option, I don’t have any real desire to show Zimmer the door. 

So, to answer the question, no, I don’t believe he’s holding the team back. 

Edited by SemperFeist
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3 hours ago, swede700 said:

Is he Bill Belichick?  No.  But he's not Adam Gase either.  He has his flaws, but they are competitive every season (even if it's only making the playoffs every other year), and can make a run, especially this year.  People complain about how he's defensive-minded, but guess what keeps them in games every year?  It's the defense. 

Everybody talks about how Kyle Shanahan is a wunderkind...but his teams have won 6 or less games 3 out of 4 years.  Zim has never won less than 7.  McVay has done a pretty good job and has never won less than 9, but he's also been loaded defensively with talent, and has had pretty decent talent offensively for the entire time he's been there.  He hasn't had that dramatic fall-off in talent like Zim had last year.

With the turnover that's been seen on the offensive coaching side of the ball, it's no wonder that there hasn't been any consistency offensively.  That certainly doesn't excuse Zimmer completely, but it certainly has made it difficult on him.  

It always amazes me that people seem to think that the grass is always going to be greener with someone else at the helm.  When you got other teams hiring guys like Nick Sirianni, Zac Taylor, Kliff Kingsbury, and Brandon Staley over the last few years, that tells me that the well is getting dry with qualified HC talent. So who out there is going to be better or more qualified than Zimmer?  If you can convince me someone is, then I'm willing to consider it. Joe Brady is not going to interest me, last I checked, the Panthers team is terrible and he's had a total of 3 years coaching in the NFL period.  That's not qualified to me. 

I personally would want someone who, like Zimmer, has earned their stripes.  If the guy is young (30s) and has been around the NFL game for quite some time, fine, that would qualify.  But, even the guys like Daboll or Eberflus (in their mid-40s or early 50s) would be fine with me as well.  I especially would look at a guy like Leftwich, since he's been around for so long, and still in his early 40s. 

In the end, I'm content with Zimmer.  If there is someone better out there, sure, I'll consider it.  But, I still think he's a good coach and can take us where we want in the right circumstances.  If you wish to use the comparison, he just might be the Kirk Cousins of head coaches.  He may not be the best head coach ever, but he's better than you think he is.

 

I think Zimmer is truly gifted as a teacher of football...especially defense.  He may be on the best teachers ever in the NFL.  However, game planning, game adjustments, time management abilities do not rise to the same level as his teaching.  That being said, the only guy I would really want to replace him is currently the head coach in Cleveland!

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My biggest knocks on Zim and yes he's holding the team back: 

  1. He acts more like the team's DC than a HC. Offense and time management suffer because his focus is defense.
  2. His conservative nature  
  3. Secondary adjustments in game. Zim has a solid initial game plan but once a team adjust he doesn't counter.

Offense has been filled with talent since Year 3 of the of the Zim era. Yet always felt like they never had the green light to be special.  Zim would love a player like Lamar but the Vikings would needed to have a OC with the vision to use Lamar. Zim wouldn't see the bigger picture with him. Similar to Cousins, Zim just feels like he's missing that "It" which gets you over the hump. I do like Zim and hope he wins a SB.   

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23 hours ago, swede700 said:

Is he Bill Belichick?  No.  But he's not Adam Gase either.  He has his flaws, but they are competitive every season (even if it's only making the playoffs every other year), and can make a run, especially this year.  People complain about how he's defensive-minded, but guess what keeps them in games every year?  It's the defense. 

Everybody talks about how Kyle Shanahan is a wunderkind...but his teams have won 6 or less games 3 out of 4 years.  Zim has never won less than 7.  McVay has done a pretty good job and has never won less than 9, but he's also been loaded defensively with talent, and has had pretty decent talent offensively for the entire time he's been there.  He hasn't had that dramatic fall-off in talent like Zim had last year.

With the turnover that's been seen on the offensive coaching side of the ball, it's no wonder that there hasn't been any consistency offensively.  That certainly doesn't excuse Zimmer completely, but it certainly has made it difficult on him.  

It always amazes me that people seem to think that the grass is always going to be greener with someone else at the helm.  When you got other teams hiring guys like Nick Sirianni, Zac Taylor, Kliff Kingsbury, and Brandon Staley over the last few years, that tells me that the well is getting dry with qualified HC talent. So who out there is going to be better or more qualified than Zimmer?  If you can convince me someone is, then I'm willing to consider it. Joe Brady is not going to interest me, last I checked, the Panthers team is terrible and he's had a total of 3 years coaching in the NFL period.  That's not qualified to me. 

I personally would want someone who, like Zimmer, has earned their stripes.  If the guy is young (30s) and has been around the NFL game for quite some time, fine, that would qualify.  But, even the guys like Daboll or Eberflus (in their mid-40s or early 50s) would be fine with me as well.  I especially would look at a guy like Leftwich, since he's been around for so long, and still in his early 40s. 

In the end, I'm content with Zimmer.  If there is someone better out there, sure, I'll consider it.  But, I still think he's a good coach and can take us where we want in the right circumstances.  If you wish to use the comparison, he just might be the Kirk Cousins of head coaches.  He may not be the best head coach ever, but he's better than you think he is.

 

It comes down to QB and overall team health with Shanny.

Jimmy G is a degree or two under Cousins. They are clearly moving on from that failed experiment because they understand sunk cost.

The other thing is Levi stadium. That field is a death trap. You saw last year when they lost Bosa, Samuals, and other for extended periods of time. All teams have injuries, but that seems like a running theme with them lately.

McVay had the same problem minus the injuries.

Zimmers game management isn't great, but the player that are put on the field don't execute in games that matter.

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I feel like the offense has been pretty good the last couple years especially considering the trash offensive line that they've had.  If Klint works out and the defensive pieces come together,  this could be a really good year

Edited by vikesfan89
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Posted (edited)

I was really high on Zim for the first several seasons, but lately I've been getting Burnsie kind of vibes when I think of him.  He's starting to look like a grumpy old defensive coordinator who is unwilling to stray too far out of the little box that he is used to working in.  As others have said, he is a good coach, but I  doubt he has what it takes to go any further than he has in the past few years. 

One thing that gives me a little hope for the Vikings sake is that Zim is finally starting to bring in some beef in the trenches.  This business of being "small but athletic" is fine in the regular season, but in the playoffs against teams with premium offensive and defensive lines of their own, the little guys just can't get it done.  It will be interesting to see how the Vikings defense looks with a solid defensive line. 

I also think that you finally got it right with the offensive line this year.  The addition of Darrisaw and Davis should make a huge difference in your offense.

Zimmer (and Spielman) deserve credit for bringing home some good "groceries."  Now it's up to Zim to cook up a meal that finally gets you to the promised land.

Edited by Uncle Buck
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I think we'll know after this season. This team is loaded with talent and the expectation should be to at least make the NFCCG. If the Vikings don't win the division and/or have a good showing in the playoffs then I think it is time to at least change the head coach.

I will add that every year under Zimmer the Vikings have had an excellent 3rd down defense. And 3rd down tends to skew more towards matchups and coaching and has less to do with overall talent.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/25/2021 at 7:09 AM, CriminalMind said:

I do not love Zimmer as a head coach.  His overall game planning is not sufficient as he only adds a bit of value to the defensive side of the ball. It's shocking that a defensive guru will rally the GM to devote a lot of resources to the D side..

Oh, and his game management (challenges, clock management, timeout taking) is subpar.  

Well we did have the #4 offense and returned most of it.  Devoted a 1st rounder to replacing likely the biggest loss and a 3rd towards replacing the worst returning player...i mean it wasn't as much as people wanted but it wasn't nothing.  Also we got 3 potential projects that could be something...not likely much this year.  There are still some options for a solid wr3 if no one seems to be improving enough to handle the role...it makes perfect sense to have devoted to defense. Also almost all of then minus peterson and maybe tomlinson were great deals compared to talent...so again makes sense.

Edited by Heavydan85
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21 hours ago, Heavydan85 said:

Well we did have the #4 offense and returned most of it.  Devoted a 1st rounder to replacing likely the biggest loss and a 3rd towards replacing the worst returning player...i mean it wasn't as much as people wanted but it wasn't nothing.  Also we got 3 potential projects that could be something...not likely much this year.  There are still some options for a solid wr3 if no one seems to be improving enough to handle the role...it makes perfect sense to have devoted to defense. Also almost all of then minus peterson and maybe tomlinson were great deals compared to talent...so again makes sense.

We didn't really have #4 offense. We had #4 in total yards. But total points scored and passing yards were both mid pack from my memory. Also, remember there was a decent amount of "empty yard stats" when we we were down big in 4th Q and teams were playing prevent defense. Let's not act like we would take our offense above TB (which finished outside the top 5 in total yards gained), which shows how flawed saying "we're the #4 offense" truly is. 

We will see if Darrisaw as a rookie can match a seasoned RR. We will see if Davis even starts as a rookie at RG.

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