In his Monday Morning Quarterback column for SI.com a couple of weeks ago, Peter King ranked Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer second on his list of NFL assistants most likely to get looks for head coaching jobs after the season.
Zimmer should be familiar with the attention. He’s gotten several head coaching interviews in the past, including looks from the Dolphins and Buccaneers after last season, and the way the Bengals defense has performed this season won’t do much to hurt his chances at more looks this time around. They rank eighth in the NFL in yards allowed and are tied for the league lead in sacks, a big reason why the team is riding a four-game winning streak into Sunday’s game with the Cowboys.
So Zimmer is likely to get some interviews again this offseason, although he’s determined not to pay any attention to the chatter about his coaching chances because it winds up leaving him feeling bad when he gets passed over.
“Honestly, I don’t listen to that stuff anymore. Honest to God’s truth,” Zimmer said, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’ve had for so many years people say, ‘This is your year.’ Then at the end of the year for about three days I’m totally depressed because I see this guy get a job, that guy get a job, that guy get a job. So it’s in my best interest not to think about it, talk about it and just try to do the best job I can because I’m like (everybody else), I get disappointed too.”
It’s impossible to know how good a job Zimmer might do as a head coach until he is a head coach, but his resume is certainly as good or better than several other coordinators who have gotten top jobs in recent years. That makes it easy to understand his disappointment, but it doesn’t mean that things will fall into place for him this time around as NFL coaching searches don’t always follow the most sensible paths to the eventual hire.