Zimmer cautiously optimistic about the Minnesota offense

AP

The Vikings can never quite match strength on one side of the ball with basic competence on the other. From the early Dennis Green teams that were all defense and no offense to the Moss-Carter versions that had plenty of offense and not enough defense to now, with a very good defense and an offense that sputters and spurts more often than not, the Vikings can’t find the balance necessary to rise above the rest of the NFC.

Coach Mike Zimmer, a defensive expert who is committed to becoming more involved with the offense, has plenty of praise for what he’s seen from this year’s team during the offseason program. In an interview with Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Zimmer praised various aspects of the unit that will be charged with scoring more points more consistently than in the past.

“Riley Reiff is playing left tackle, and he has done a nice job,” Zimmer told Hartman. “He’s going to go to work every day, make you compete, he’s going to make you work. I really like his mentality. Mike Remmers, who is playing the right tackle, is really doing the same thing. The thing I like about Mike is you know he gets a chance to go against Everson [Griffen] every day, so he’s going to give him a lot of different looks, and Danielle Hunter, he gives him a lot of different looks, different sets, changes things up, and he’s a battler and he’ll compete. The one thing, other than the way they’re fitting into the program, is that these two guys will really battle and compete.”

Zimmer believes Reiff and Remmers are “better in the run game, but these two guys have really impressed me this spring in the passing game, as well.” Zimmer added that the entire offensive line has done a better job with awareness as to pressure, and that “they’re all working on the same page.”

It’s still way too early, however, to make any sweeping proclamations about the team’s line, given that they’ve yet to truly block or hit.

“I’d say mostly now it’s just eye contact,” guard Alex Boone recently told PFT Live regarding the amount of contact in non-contact* practices. “Every now and then, somebody will accidentally trip and fall into somebody and the practice kind of stops. For the most part, as you look at practice, the ones versus ones is a very well-contained group. Guys understand how to control themselves. There’s not a lot going on. Twos versus twos, it kind of gets a little more ramped up, guys kind of falling into each other. Threes versus threes, it can be a little bit of a cluster. You really just kind of got to watch yourself. I think the key is, if you see someone falling or going down or you think you’re going to take someone out, just stop. I think that’s the one thing about the old veterans, you’ll kind of just see them slow up real quick.”

If that’s what’s truly happening, it’s hard to project the performances of Reiff, Remmers, and the rest of the line during OTAs and minicamp into what they’ll do when the real games begin in September.

19 responses to “Zimmer cautiously optimistic about the Minnesota offense

  1. He is setting the table for another miserable year of offense… It really must be bad when your coach starts excuses a month before camp opens.

  2. Vikings can’t have the same injury bug this year, as they had in 2016. They will have a better record this year. Getting rid of AP will help as well.

  3. Nothing inspires confidence more than “cautiously optimistic”.

    I’m cautiously optimistic that the Vikings will defend their third-place finish in the NFC North this year.

  4. The Vikes’ offense is gonna suck again this year. I like their Wide Receivers a lot, but that offensive line line play was so terrible, that until proven otherwise, I’m curbing expectations. Bradford still isn’t the answer long-term. I don’t care about his completion percentage, he doesn’t make the big play consistent enough. This is an 8-8 squad all day IMO.

  5. If anything, The Vikings offensive Line will be improved. They may have the best one – two – three punch with Latavius Murray, Dalvin Cook, And Jerrick McKinnon, Good tight ends, and a improving receiving corps. The detractors are Packers fans of course that seem to think their team can do no wrong. I would really like to know how the Packers defense is going to be any better with no Peppers, Losing Jones to the Vikings, and a revamped secondary . All i will say as a Viking fan is wait and see.

  6. icedvike5000 says:
    Jun 18, 2017 8:06 PM

    If anything, The Vikings offensive Line will be improved. They may have the best one – two – three punch with Latavius Murray, Dalvin Cook, And Jerrick McKinnon, harGood tight ends, and a improving receiving corps. The detractors are Packers fans of course that seem to think their team can do no wrong. I would really like to know how the Packers defense is going to be any better with no Peppers, Losing Jones to the Vikings, and a revamped secondary . All i will say as a Viking fan is wait and see.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    We’ve been telling you purples to wait and see for 20 years but you just can’t do it. You appear to be genetically programmed to make foolish statements. McKinnon has never been much, Cook is an unproven rookie with character concerns, and Murray was let go for a reason… but in your purple head, that’s “the best one two three punch.” Ai Yi Yi!

  7. icedvike5000: Losing Jones to the Vikings?

    Dude was a 1st round bust.

    Who was the Queens 1st round pick this year?

  8. Last year about this same time, Zimmer was saying “no excuses” and during the second half of the season, the part where the Vikings went 3-8 to miss the playoffs, all we heard were excuses.

    How about coming straight on this one, just say we are an unfinished product and whether we make progress or decline even further can only be assessed when we start playing meaningful games. History isn’t on the Vikings side but if history holds serve, the Viking fans will claim the paper championship all spring and they will be out of contention by the time your door bell rings for Halloween.

  9. “I think the key is, if you see someone falling or going down or you think you’re going to take someone out, just stop.”

    Subtle difference from cheesebay haymaker practices.

  10. Murray finished a distant third on the Raiders in YPC (about 4) behind a MUCH better line. You really think he can get close to that behind a worse line? Take it from a Raider fan and prepare to be disappointed in what looks to be a legit, big and fast RB… going down at first contact. You better hope Cook is the answer because Murray sure isn’t.

    The Vikes D is legit but once again their offense is full of question marks, especially on the line where it all starts. Unless their D is historically great ala 2000 Ravens, don’t expect much.

  11. As a Lions fan, I watched Rieff play for 5 seasons, 4 as the starting LT and one as the RT. I’m warning Vikes fans, he’s nothing special. Sure, he’s an upgrade over Kalil (he’s never been injured, so that helps a lot), but overall, he’s ranged from being mediocre, to average, to slightly above average.

    Obviously, he solidifies the position, but he’s never going to even be in the conversation for pro-bowl or all-pro, let alone get voted to either.

    Good luck, maybe he’ll continue to improve and prove me wrong, but I’m just telling you honestly what I’ve seen from him.

  12. bondlake
    Who was the Queens 1st round pick this year?

    )))))))))))))))))))))))

    You must not be a NFL football fan. The Vikings traded their 1st round pick away for Bradford. But they drafted a 1st round talent in Cook in the 2nd.Thanks to the Vikings GM.And Queens it makes you sound juvenile as well as misinformed.

  13. jimbobcooterqbtutor says:
    —————————————–
    Thank you for the encouraging assesment on Reiff. Remember, we lost our 1st and 2nd string LT by Week 3 last year… an average LT is going to look like a god compared to Kalil in general and the rest of practice squad players we rolled out last year.

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