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Zimmer Gets a Wee Bit of Shade from Beloved Vikings TE


In Mike Zimmer’s eight seasons of leadership in Minnesota, the Vikings, via points allowed, are the sixth best defensive team in the NFL, allowing 20.9 points per game.

Prior to Zimmer’s arrival in 2014, all eight seasons before his tenure featured the 21st best defense in the NFL in terms of points allowed (2006-2013). Zimmer turned the Vikings into a defense team first – and he did so with a 15-place climb in the NFL pecking order.

Still, some people think his focus on defense is singularly focused. That is, he’s a glorified defensive coordinator, according to some Zimmer critics.

To some extent, former Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph echoes that sentiment. He said, “For me, this is the first time that I have a head coach who is not a defensive coordinator. So it’s a head coach who is in charge of the whole team.

Rudolph, drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft, spent ten seasons with the Vikings. Zimmer, the subject of his review although not mentioned by name, has been the skipper for seven of those seasons.

The New York Giants, Rudolph’s new team, now led by second-year head coach Joe Judge, have the same winning-and-losing record as the Vikings, 0-2. Both teams lost in week two due to last-minute special teams devastation.

Rudolph’s most memorable moment with the Vikings came during the 2019 season. Minnesota traveled to New Orleans for a playoff date with the Saints as heavy underdogs. The Saints couldn’t find any offensive continuity that afternoon, playing only through trickery led by hybrid quarterback Taysom Hill. When the game was on the line, quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​found Rudolph for an overtime touchdown, exiting the Saints in the Superdome, a moment that exists eternally in Viking lore.

It’s unclear whether Rudolph’s statement is an indictment against Zimmer – or just a trivial observation that Joe Judge has a broader understanding of football operations. Normally, head coaches oversee the entire business. So if Rudolph is right and Zimmer seemingly ignores offense in favor of defense, the dynamic would be special.

And that would be confirmation for a sect of Vikings fans. These folks perceive Zimmer as a fabulous defensive coordinator whose game management and offense struggles against other NFL coaches. Moreover, the “he is a coordinator!”lot of fans are usually the same crowd that prefers a change of leadership for the team. Today, the “pass it on” group regarding Zimmer feels pretty justified.

Rudolph ranks 10th in Vikings history for receiving yards and fifth all-time for the franchise in receiving touchdowns. His exodus from the organization last March was seen as a cap.

Since arriving in Minnesota, Zimmer has a 0.559 (66-52-1) winning percentage. It is the third in franchise history behind Bud Grant (.607) and Dennis Green (.591).

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. Its Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).



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