This offseason was surely to be one of change for the Minnesota Vikings. With reports surrounding the team regarding cutting ties with two of their quarterbacks, they also let go of former head coach Leslie Frazier. Now, Minnesota has found their replacement in Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Vikings are hiring Mike Zimmer as their HC, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 15, 2014
Zimmer had stayed overnight with the team until Wednesday, but as of late Tuesday night he still had not been offered a job. It was thought that Zimmer may not have done enough to earn the offer as he prepared to leave Wednesday, but alas, the Vikings made their move just in time.
Zimmer’s first priority, I’m sure, will be to solidify the quarterback position. After all, they do boast one of the league’s best running backs in Adrian Peterson and don’t want to see the remaining years in his tank go to waste. But, another objective atop Zimmer’s list of immediate action will be to address the defense and get things turned around quickly.
The Vikings ranked 31st in total defense in 2013, giving up almost 400 yards of offense per game to go along with an average of 30.0 points per game. When you look at Zimmer’s recent history, it’s no wonder this guy was the right man for the job. In the last four seasons, Zimmer’s defense in Cincinnati has gone from 15th overall in 2010, to 7th in 2011, to 6th in 2012 and finally an impressive 3rd overall in the 2013 campaign.
Zimmer knows his way around a defense and has been in his most recent position since the 2008-2009 season with Cincinnati. As Zimmer begins to work with young, promising players like Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and Shariff Floyd — to name a few — he will do wonders for these guys. Minnesota’s defense has been poor and often undisciplined in their gaps and coverage, but with Zimmer’s leadership there is no doubt they can quickly improve from a disappointing year in 2013.