What is your reaction? What does this mean for the defense?
Jerome Simpson has high praise for Zimmer
“Oh man he’s a great coach,” Simpson said Wednesday. “He’s going to bring that hard-nosed football back to Minnesota. I’m pretty sure the people of Minnesota are going to really like him, the players will like him, too. I think he’s a pretty good players coach. He’s going to bring good things to Minnesota.
“I like him. I was there with him in Cincinnati and he did a tremendous job with that team and I know he will do an even better job here in Minnesota.”
I'm happy for Mike Zimmer. I'm bummed for the Bengals.
Zimmer changed the identity of the Bengals, from offense to defense.
When he arrived the Bengals were about Carson, Chad, TJ and Ced.
While he was here, the Bengals became Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson. Zimmer's defenses finished Top 10 four of the last five years. The Bengals had finished Top 10 once in 18 seasons, prior to his arrival.
I've never been around a coach whose players talked about him with such reverence, passion and loyalty. His players played to please him, to not let him down. They were like sons, not wanting to let dad down. I'll never forget Zimmer telling us about Reggie Nelson texting him the night of the San Diego playoff loss and apologizing for not playing better. The beauty of Zimmer was that it didn't matter how you got to Cincinnati, if you could help, you'd play. He molded high draft picks, undrafted free agents, and waiver wire pick-ups.
Consider some of the careers he helped salvage and resurrect: Adam Jones, Chris Crocker, Wallace Gilberry, Vontaze Burfict, Terrance Newman. As a result, you have to wonder what impact Zimmer's departure will have on free agents to be on this team (Michael Johnson) and potential free agents coming to Cincinnati.
I said at the start of the season I would put this coaching staff, top to bottom, up against any in the NFL. The Bengals top two coordinators have now been picked off by other teams. Remember when nobody wanted Bengals coaches and assistants?
On Bengals Line last week, Zimmer told us, "If I leave, I hope I leave this situation better than when I got here. If I stay, I hope to make it even better." How he leaves this defense is not in debate. I hope years from now we are not comparing the departure of Zimmer to when Bill Walsh left after 1975, when Paul Brown passed over Walsh to name Bill Johnson coach of the Bengals.
Zimmer takes over a Minnesota team that was 5-10-1 this past season. Their defense was 32nd in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed. The QB situation is a mess, with Christian Ponder, but don't forget Adrian Peterson and a talented WR core. The Vikings own the 8th pick in the draft.
The Vikings will move into a $1 billion stadium in 2016. They will play the next two seasons at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.
What they are saying
Lap on Sports Talk Wednesday night (6:11)
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Video: Joe Reedy on Mike Zimmer
Zimmer's legacy cemented
Coley Harvey, ESPN
In addition to helping the Bengals do something they hadn't previously accomplished in their 45-year history -- earn three straight playoff berths, including this season's brief appearance -- Zimmer established in Cincinnati a defensive juggernaut. Under his careful watch, he showed the league the last six seasons that as much as a good offense can support a team, an even better defense can carry it.
Paul Dehner Jr, Enquirer: Mike Zimmer finally got his head coaching job. For the Bengals, it’s a tough loss. He was the secret sauce behind a defense that served as the backbone of the team during the Marvin Lewis Reboot.
Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com: Mike Zimmer, whose top 10 defenses led the Bengals to three straight playoff berths and four in the last five years, has finally secured that elusive head coaching job with reports that he's the man in Minnesota.
What Vikings players are saying about Zimmer