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Zimmer got input from players on how to improve

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While the concerns expressed by folks like the father of former Vikings tight end Rhett Ellison seem overblown, it’s not a stretch to conclude that something has gotten out of whack in Minnesota. Exhibit A would be a 3-8 record after a 5-0 start to the season.

The comments of Riki Ellison, a former NFL linebacker who won a trio of Super Bowls with the 49ers, caused us to dust off comments from Vikings coach Mike Zimmer at the Scouting Combine regarding advice he received from his players after the 206 season ended.

“I had several veteran, mostly defensive, players come in and they said, ‘Coach you know I want you to be the best head coach you can possibly be and here are some things that I think you could do better,'” Zimmer said. “‘Not schematically but do better in handling some of these situations where the team was a little bit uneasy about how you said things or did things.'”

Whatever the changes suggested by the veteran defensive players, there would be no need for any suggestions if everything was fine. The fact that Zimmer was willing to hear them out and to talk openly about the input should be regarded as encouraging by Vikings fans.

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48 Responses to “Zimmer got input from players on how to improve”
  1. hbudgess says: Mar 13, 2017 3:30 PM

    Everyone has made mistakes in their life or job. This includes me, packer fans, Viking fans. To not repeat them, and ask input is a smart move by anyone, not just Zimmer.

  2. zatko says: Mar 13, 2017 3:31 PM

    He’s a good coach. The Vikings season started with a HUGE sucking sound when Teddy went down and went full out haywire wqhen Adrian went down. I’m giving the guy a break on this one. Let him show us what he’s made of this upcoming season.

  3. irishgary says: Mar 13, 2017 3:34 PM

    What a Buffoon.

  4. ryder09 says: Mar 13, 2017 3:36 PM

    Probably get a QB that doesnt throw a 2 yard pass on 3rd and long.

  5. italianhorn says: Mar 13, 2017 3:37 PM

    I trust he will get itright. That said do you think the Pats coach would do this?

  6. billtetley53 says: Mar 13, 2017 3:37 PM

    Gary, pot, have you met the kettle?

  7. codythao35 says: Mar 13, 2017 3:42 PM

    He doesn’t need advice from players, they don’t know as much as he does. If they do they should be the head coach instead.

  8. boiler72 says: Mar 13, 2017 3:45 PM

    LOL. I hardly think it’s a good idea to have players tell the head coach how to do his job. That’s like a 7-year-old telling his parents how to better instill discipline to them.

  9. whatjusthapped says: Mar 13, 2017 3:45 PM

    Talk about the inmates running the asylum. Why doesn’t he ask Peterson for parenting advice, Sammy Sleeves about QB’ing a winning team or Matt Kalil about playing Left Tackle?

    The guy sounds clueless and with a 3-8 finish to the season, that might be the accurate description.

  10. glac1 says: Mar 13, 2017 3:47 PM

    Now that’s leadership! lol It’s critical to be a strong leader when dealing with most players who are there for one reason… themselves.

  11. pkrlvr says: Mar 13, 2017 3:47 PM

    The Vikings bad season had nothing to do with Bridgewater or AP going down. They started 5-0 without either of those guys. Something else happened. My guess is that Zimmer got too hardcore for some of the fellas and they revolted instead of responding. These are big dumb guys who hate to be “disrespected”” andu have to talk to them right or you’ll lose them. I think that’s what happened.

  12. Purple People Eaters says: Mar 13, 2017 3:49 PM

    Ok, I’m classifying that under “things you do, but do not talk about in public.”

  13. electricboogalo says: Mar 13, 2017 3:49 PM

    I guess there are many paths to not get to the Superbowl.

  14. fwippel says: Mar 13, 2017 3:50 PM

    This is good news for Viking fans. Hopefully it is the start of a season that picks up where 2015 left off. Zimmer wants to win, and his players see that passion in him. It’s also good that he has enough humility to listen to his players.

    2017 is a crossroad season for Zimmer as a head coach. A repeat of 2016, and fans will be calling for a new head coach; a return to form of a top tier defense and an improved offense, and he’ll be on his way to a lengthy head coaching career.

  15. filthymcnasty3 says: Mar 13, 2017 3:50 PM

    He can start by treating those stuffed animals with the respect they deserve.

    Toxic football.

    For toxic people.

  16. stellarperformance says: Mar 13, 2017 3:50 PM

    He needs to stop his panic-filled screaming fits…….the kind that burst blood vessels in his eyes.

    Start there.

  17. The Phantom Stranger says: Mar 13, 2017 3:50 PM

    Zimmer tells people he wants to improve and is willing to listen.

    McCarthy tells people, “I’m a highly successful NFL coach.”

    I’ll take the humble one.

  18. citizenstrange says: Mar 13, 2017 3:52 PM

    Good Lord! There is a reason there is a “dumb jock” stereotype.

  19. lenthevikesfan says: Mar 13, 2017 3:53 PM

    Still better than having a sensitive, grudge holding, family hating QB running your organization.

  20. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Mar 13, 2017 3:53 PM

    The Phantom Stranger says:
    Mar 13, 2017 3:50 PM
    Zimmer tells people he wants to improve and is willing to listen.

    McCarthy tells people, “I’m a highly successful NFL coach.”

    I’ll take the humble one.

    ———–

    Well, then I’m sure you’re happy with your 2 biggest free agent signings both being Right Tackles.

  21. The Phantom Stranger says: Mar 13, 2017 3:56 PM

    Zimmer took over a 5-10-1 team with the worst defense in the league and in two years led them to an 11-5 record, a division title, and what should have been a playoff win if not for Walsh’s shank or Peterson’s fumble.

    Last year, he lost his starting QB a week before the season opener, lost the RB around whom the offense was built, lost every offensive lineman on the team, and lost his eye, and the team finished 8-8.

    I think he’s a fine head coach right now. I’m looking forward to the improvements he’ll make.

  22. thegr8rayfinkle says: Mar 13, 2017 3:57 PM

    I have the transcription from Rhett to Rikki Ellison:

    “Dad (sniffles), coach Zimmer is making me block (sniffles) the big bad lineman (sniffles) and linebackers. It hurts to (sniffles) block them daddy (at this point it sounded like someone crying).”

    Give me a break, all players give feedback to coaches and as such. Nothing toxic here. The only toxic place in the NFL is the landfill otherwise known as Curly Lambeau Field.

  23. josiewales69 says: Mar 13, 2017 3:58 PM

    what do you expect this is the generation of everyone’s a winner and participation medals.

  24. teal379 says: Mar 13, 2017 3:58 PM

    I wonder if one of those things was how to cover Jordy Nelson.

  25. bhuettl says: Mar 13, 2017 4:00 PM

    Kinda sounds like the tail wagging the dog…

  26. cheeseisfattening says: Mar 13, 2017 4:09 PM

    Zimmer tells people he wants to improve and is willing to listen.

    McCarthy tells people, “I’m a highly successful NFL coach.”

    I’ll take the humble one.
    ——–
    Didn’t MM say how great a coach he was right after he said he could not win a NFCCG on the road?

  27. jpoh333 says: Mar 13, 2017 4:11 PM

    Zimmer lost his QB, RB, then his offensive coordinator quits and then his offensive line falls to pieces. Could any of those players kept the team together with all that mess? Zimmer is a great coach which means he can also listen.

  28. 13worldchampioinships says: Mar 13, 2017 4:14 PM

    It takes good leadership to be able to take comments/ criticism to work on improvement. I don’t hear Zimmer claiming himself to be a highly successful coach.

  29. jm91rs says: Mar 13, 2017 4:15 PM

    To be completely honest I’m a little surprised that Zimmer would need any advice on how to say something to his players. His defensive players in Cincinnati would have run through a wall for him. I’m wondering if he’s having a harder time managing his other coaches as opposed to his players.

  30. chaunceyb says: Mar 13, 2017 4:16 PM

    zatko says:
    Mar 13, 2017 3:31 PM

    He’s a good coach. The Vikings season started with a HUGE sucking sound when Teddy went down and went full out haywire wqhen Adrian went down. I’m giving the guy a break on this one. Let him show us what he’s made of this upcoming season.

    ____

    Let’s not forget losing their starting tackles and also their backups. They were so depleted that they let TJ Clemmings pretend to play tackle.

  31. clear2me says: Mar 13, 2017 4:19 PM

    This is not unusual. In Green Bay, Rodgers always asks McCarthy for help in coaching the team.

  32. The Phantom Stranger says: Mar 13, 2017 4:21 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Mar 13, 2017 3:53 PM

    Well, then I’m sure you’re happy with your 2 biggest free agent signings both being Right Tackles.
    ________

    That’s kind of a weird thing to say and not really relevant, but let me explain it to you. Reiff is a left tackle who played right tackle last year. Remmers is a right tackle who played left tackle last year. This year, they’ll both be playing their preferred position while still having important position flexibility in the event of injuries.

    It’s almost as if you don’t know anything about football.

  33. The Phantom Stranger says: Mar 13, 2017 4:22 PM

    clear2me says:
    Mar 13, 2017 4:19 PM

    This is not unusual. In Green Bay, Rodgers always asks McCarthy for help in coaching the team.
    _______

    The only help Rodgers wants from McCarthy is for him to smooth things over with the other players when Rodgers throws them under the bus.

  34. The Phantom Stranger says: Mar 13, 2017 4:24 PM

    chaunceyb says:
    Mar 13, 2017 4:16 PM

    They were so depleted that they let TJ Clemmings pretend to play tackle.
    _____

    Is that what he was doing? I thought he was practicing for his bull-fighting career while working part time as a revolving door.

  35. fanof4 says: Mar 13, 2017 4:25 PM

    The Phantom Stranger says:
    Mar 13, 2017 3:50 PM
    Zimmer tells people he wants to improve and is willing to listen.

    McCarthy tells people, “I’m a highly successful NFL coach.”

    I’ll take the humble one.

    ————————————————————-

    You can have him. I’ll take the highly successful coach.

  36. cardinealsfan20 says: Mar 13, 2017 4:37 PM

    “These are big dumb guys who hate to be “disrespected”” andu have to talk to them right or you’ll lose them”.

    Everyone hates to be disrespected. It has nothing to do with being big or dumb.

  37. upnorthvikesfan says: Mar 13, 2017 4:37 PM

    Conversations like that between players and coaches happen on every team. At least teams with a good coach. In all honesty, the fact that the players felt they could be open with him speaks volumes to just the opposite of what Riki Ellison said. Ellison said his son ended up signing with the Giants because of poor management. He’s right, but he’s got the wrong team. The Vikings were smart enough to see the Rhett Ellison was not worth a 4 year $18 million deal. The poor management of the Giants are the reason he got any deal at all.

  38. irishgary says: Mar 13, 2017 4:41 PM

    The Phantom Stranger says:
    Mar 13, 2017 3:50 PM

    Zimmer tells people he wants to improve and is willing to listen.

    McCarthy tells people, “I’m a highly successful NFL coach.”

    I’ll take the humble one
    ================================

    Which would mean you would take a coach who has lost his team and never one a playoff game. Not surprising.

    I’ll take the guy with the super bowl ring

  39. cardinealsfan20 says: Mar 13, 2017 4:43 PM

    Remember Zimmer’s first Vikings practice? Some people were fired up about how “tough” he was making things, how “old school” he was. The problem was that it didn’t take long for that 60’s Bear Bryant stuff to wear the team out. Then Zimmer was exposed as the sniffling bully from the trailer park that he is.

  40. frank booth says: Mar 13, 2017 5:31 PM

    He’s really smart to accept feedback from his players on what makes them perform best. It opens up an honest line of communication both ways, and if handled right, leads to a more cohesive unit. No one just wants to be dictated to.

    Part of leadership is recognizing your limitations and finding ways to improve upon them and make change, setting aside your ego for the betterment of the group as a whole. Everyone talks about the importance of making adjustments in football; the internal adjustments can be just as valuable.

    He doesn’t have to totally abandon his somewhat disciplinary approach in order to do this, and he’ll actually be more respected as a leader and his players will want to work harder for him. I respect what he’s doing.

  41. stellarperformance says: Mar 13, 2017 5:43 PM

    cheeseisfattening says:
    Mar 13, 2017 4:09 PM
    Didn’t MM say how great a coach he was right after he said he could not win a NFCCG on the road?
    //////////////////////////////

    I think he said something to that effect the day after beating the Bears, on the road, in the NFCCG, on the way to a SuperBowl victory.

    You’re too easy.

  42. shaggytoodle says: Mar 13, 2017 6:09 PM

    pkrlvr says:
    Mar 13, 2017 3:47 PM
    The Vikings bad season had nothing to do with Bridgewater or AP going down. They started 5-0 without either of those guys. Something else happened. My guess is that Zimmer got too hardcore for some of the fellas

    ______

    Some of the fellas, and a WHOLE LOT of stuffed animals allegedly. Let me guess the secondary gets to who they cover when the plays the Packers was on a slip in the suggestion box?

    He is a great defensive mind, but he needed to let Norv run the offense with minimal obstruction. Norval leaving was like the thread on the old sweater being pulled.

  43. GenXJ says: Mar 13, 2017 6:30 PM

    Multi-million dollar players need to shut up & color.

  44. jrsamps says: Mar 13, 2017 7:33 PM

    Title town has won 2 championships in the last 50 years. Move to pittsburgh or New England area.

  45. stellarperformance says: Mar 13, 2017 9:12 PM

    jrsamps says:
    Mar 13, 2017 7:33 PM
    Title town has won 2 championships in the last 50 years. Move to pittsburgh or New England area.
    /////////////////////////////

    Green Bay has four championship titles in 51 years. Huge difference, I know. But not too shabby as compared to most NFL teams.

    I’ll stay here. Why don’t you move to Pittsburgh or New England area?

  46. fmc651 says: Mar 14, 2017 9:49 AM

    Zimmer is a pretty blunt speaking guy. Greenway was giving suggestions as to how he could put things differently moving forward. Trolls are here for stupid comments only and ignoring Zimmer said nothing schematically. So they comment inmates running the prison. Completely absurd if they knew anything about the head coach.

  47. taintedsaints2009 says: Mar 15, 2017 12:26 AM

    The norv turner situation made me really question Zimmer. He better make the playoffs this year or he is on the verge of being fired.

  48. breadmeatcheese says: Mar 15, 2017 11:03 AM

    i guess we know what the problem was now: some of the players got their feelings hurt.

    so they walked right into zimmer’s office and cried;

    and he listened;

    and the next time these veterans feel sad, they’ll quit a little each game, again.

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