Bengals keep Mike Zimmer

Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was considered one of the most sought-after assistant coaches in the NFL this off-season, with the Redskins and Dolphins among the teams that were reportedly interested in his services. But he’s not going anywhere.

Steve Wyche of reports that Zimmer has re-signed with Cincinnati.

There’s no word on the details of Zimmer’s contract, but considering that he had Dan Snyder’s deep pockets to use as leverage, it’s probably safe to say that the Bengals gave Zimmer a hefty raise.

The Bengals hired Zimmer as their defensive coordinator in 2008. He has previously worked for the Cowboys and Falcons.

UPDATE: Wyche reports that Zimmer signed a three-year contract.

38 responses to “Bengals keep Mike Zimmer

  1. Goes to show you how much the Bengals front office respect the defensive mind of Marvin Lewis. That number would be zero.
    And who could blame them. Until Zimmer got there, the Bengals defense stunk.

  2. LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Guess we aint the “Same Ole Bengals” as the Same Ole Bengals will let this guy walk for Dc or Mia or whomever….
    Thats right Pitt and Bmore……We in it for the long hall and we gone get this offense right again….PLEASE BELIEVE THAT!
    So DC call Greg Mathison…..LOL

  3. This is a great great thing for the bengals..
    I think the bengals are a few pieces away to having another strong season next year..

  4. Very positive step for the Bengals. Zimmer is one of the premier D-coordinators in the league. Barring injuries, I’d say you can pencil the Bengals in for another top 5 defense in 2010.
    Next on the agenda, GO GET B. MARSHALL FROM DENVER!!!!! Dude may be a lil’ beotch, but he’s kinda awsome.

  5. Dolphins were interested in Zimmer when and Parcells was responsible for running Zimmer out of Dallas because he failed to run an effective 3-4 defense (the same one they run in Miami under Parcells)?
    I have a very hard time believing that rumor.

  6. @ 1IH
    I dont think the bad news is keeping Palmer. I think the bad news will be if they keep Bratkowski and his uncreative-ness. Palmer needs better pass protection and a receiver to stretch the field like Henry did. Bengals offense became more stagnant after Henry got hurt at Baltimore.
    They also need to sign Benson long term.

  7. I’d love nothing more than to see Marshall signed and Bratkowski fired. I’d gizz my pants if I saw that. I’d actually start believing in Mike Brown. Wow, can’t believe I just said that.

  8. @kessdaman
    You’re dead right about that. They’ll extend Marvin to align with Zimmer’s deal. If he doesn’t get any playoff wins between now and then, Zimmer takes over.

  9. Would love to have Zimmer take over….Absolutely would love it….To have his intensity spread across trhe entire team would be huge…..
    “GAT YA -uckin A– in the huddle”
    -HBO Hard Knocks…. LOL

  10. I feel like I’m in an alternate universe where the front office for the Bengals makes good decisions!!! Man if this keeps up, they might fire Bob Bratkowski! As far as wepons go on O, draft Dez Bryant or Mardy Gilyard, OR go get Cribbs or Marshall, any of the four would be satisfactory with me, but I don’t see them going after Marshall due to the $ he will require. I like the Scheffler idea too.

  11. I just can’t wait until next year and the Steelers get a hold of this broken down organization. The Steelers will ride to their 7th Super Bowl win.

  12. Roboto you are the one with a broken ass team.
    Great move by the Bengals and I saw it comin a mile away. And everyone asking for Brats head need to calm down. It was about players making plays and players only. We need Safeties and a WR over 6’3 and that can run like Forest Gump. If we get that we will be fine. We lost all TEs and Henry and TJ…what? did you expect that to have NO effect? Cmon MAN! We will be more balanced next year and I hope we can make another run at it, lord knows we deserve it.

  13. You can’t seriously be a Brat apolologist can you? The guy is a terrible and predictable play caller, and might be the poorest in game “adjuster” I’ve ever witnessed. Ced goes OFF for 170 against the league’s best run D and we don’t even ATTEMPT an play action pass to open the STAGNANT passing game up, explain that one away dude, and that was just the most recent gaffe. C’mon man, I didn’t expect the losses of Henry and Housh to go un-noticed, but that doesn’t excuse brat at all. Put a RB out at flanker once in a while, throw him a screen, hell throw a screen out of the backfield! Be a LITTLE more creative with the unbalanced line, run it to the left, everybody and their mother knows that when Dennis Roland checks in that it’s a run to the right! Throw it out of the unbalnced line!!! Run the other way!!! How many other examples can I give? Oh wait! Maybe once in a while we can audible to a pass play, ONCE this year when Carson’s called an audible it’s been a pass, ONCE……. Now, that may have just as much to do with Carson as Bob, but make no mistake, Bob puts the audible packages together.
    Lastly, what do safeties have to do with ole Bobby boy?

  14. Great move keeping Zim. I know the players have to be fired up about the move as well..
    Goetta head needs to do just that.
    Getta head and think for a minute.
    Good coaches adjust to personnel.
    They knew they weren’t going to have TJ.
    They knew what they were getting in Coles
    They knew what they had in Caldwell and Simpson.
    They did not foresee Kelly and Utecht, and were not planning on playing Coffman. Foschi did the best he could… he was on the streets before the season. Coats needs to be on the streets.
    I bet they go after a TE in FA. Possibly WR…
    Do you remember the Trade talk for Martellus Jones from the Cowboys? That was real people.
    Honestly…Marvin will not stop untill he gets more weapons for Carson… and mike Brown will be on board cuz he needs more asses in the seats and less Boos in the stands…
    Did i mention I would only hope they sign Ced Benson to an extension??? like this week!!!
    Holy hell that guy runs pissed off.
    IMO-Brat has one more year… sad to say and i dont agree with it.

  15. The only way the Bengals could get Zimmer to sign that fast is if they included a clause that makes Zimmer the head coach if Marvin Lewis is fired, resigns, or doesn’t get extended.

  16. Great move keeping Zimmer, he is what we need.
    Now as for Brat. He was great in 05 when we let Palmer air it out and had the team to do it. Marvin wants to run it and play defense, and Brat is not any good at that kind of offense. And I think there is something physically wrong with Carson. I think his elbow healed poorly and either is too tight, too loose, or is in some kind of pain. He doesn’t trust his arm anymore.

  17. I can’t believe I read someone defending this Brat. This guy is the main problem with the offense not Palmer (although he does have issues- more on that in just a bit). In ’05 Brat looked like a genius b/c he had an o-line that could dominate the LOS, had three solid WR’s who could catch & get open, and a smart/ strong armed QB that could pitch strikes all day. I could call plays with that personnel and pick up 4 yards a play. From ’06 to ’08 the o-line fell apart; the QB got sevearly physically assulted (who now probably has the football equivlant of PTSD), & the WR’s got old. Meanwhile the vanilla play calling become more evident, but yet was continued eventhough the star QB called for a change (remember that a couple years back?).
    Between ’08 and ’09 they started to do the right things: reinvested/ rebuilt the o-line; refocused on the run to try to take the heat off the PTSD’d #9 in order to rehab his mojo. Unfortunately the 2008 WR draft picks are not going to be the next Chad Johnson or TJ’s- so they need to do something about that.
    Now the final three pieces need to be put in place for the offense to take it to the next level: 1) we need an attacking o-coord (someone who schemes to take advantage of the opponents weaknesses and attacks them all game- not call plays to hold onto a 3 pt lead); 2) WR’s that can run routes, catch and block; & 3) most importantly, the rehab of #9 needs to wrap up this offseason and he needs to come back to 2005 form. Unfortunately, drafting a WR takes 1-2 seasons to develop them so free agency or trades may be the way they have to go (if they pull of a Cribbs or B. Marshall then we all should know they are serious about winning finally). I think the o-line is going to be good with another offseason together so they just need to add depth here. If you saw any of my posts this year, I pointed out several times that his mechanics are messed up. This is a result of having his knee blown, elbowed shredded, and constantly being hit the past three seasons. He is not comfortable in the pocket and since his mechanics are messed up his passes sail or or randomly off. I give credit Brat on focusing on the running game since he knew his QB was not right, but where he failed is that he did not have passing plays that built off the running game- like the Jets successfully used against us.
    Overall the team has a really good fndn in place; this the first time since 1990 that I think they only have a couple of holes to fill and add depth rather than scrapping the whole team. This is a critical offseason, and if they are productive in the offseason as last year I expect them to continue their winning ways, and be a potential contender. Resigning Zimmer was the first step and replacing Brat is next…

  18. If players execute it doesnt matter what play you call. its 11 vs 11, every play is designed to succeed. So you guys are telling me that Brat is the reason Carson and his receivers are on different planets? Sure, its easy to blame one guy and say he is predictable but the fact is is that, in the Bengals case it is more complicated than that and has much more to do with players executing than schemes… Im no Brat apologist however changing OCs is not what the Bengals need, the Bengals need consistency. If we do change coordinators, which we wont and you all will scream bloody murder, it better be from within, someone like P Alexander. Other than that piss off. When the crowd is all in agreement, check your position. ‘Fire Brat’ makes for a good soundbite but it has no legs when scrutinized. Do you think the Colts OC has to be tricky and creative? Hell no….its called give it to #18. Any play can work any time any day…its always 11vs 11

  19. Your right Goetta head, players have to execute.
    IMO opinion this entire offense is geared toward getting to Third and short. I base this on a few things but namely the lack of downfield pass attempts with an effective running game. It was obvioius that L.C. was not the downfield threat Henry was (RIP).
    The problem I have with the playcalling is that
    there were no variations to pass off the run.
    (you could see the play action coming from a mile away)
    And when its second and twelve, why run it up the middle for minimal (if any) gain??
    How about a rollout? Put B Scott in the slot?
    How about putting Chad in Motion against Revis to help him get off the line?
    You cannot script the entire game on wednesday..
    Like Brat does?
    Why do you think Lil Schotty is getting looked at for a HC job and Brat isnt?
    Good Coordinators adjust when needed, not just try to pound a square peg in a round hole and wish for a big play?
    Bottom line… put your players in the best possible position to be successful and let them execute…
    Brat did not do that this year!
    All those boos Carson heard were boos toward the OC.

  20. This is the only OC that Carson has had in the NFL. If that isn’t consistency, I don’t know what is. If the offense was half way decent at throwing the ball, and Brat could make adjustments, I wouldn’t want him out. I won’t be disappointed if he is kept, but would prefer to see the team move to an OC that is more comfortable running the scheme that Marvin wants instead of running something contrary to their personal philosophy.

  21. You are right Shaun.
    And We have had a shot at the playoffs for what 4 of the 6 years Carsons been back there. ST did not execute in 06 or 07 to give us a birth. 05 was 05 and this year again. I think that is fine for OC. You attribute too much to OC. There are sooo many nuances in this game that we as fans have no clue about. I let coaches coach and his game plans swept the afcn and gave us a chance to win almost every game. Marvin wants running and defense. That is quite the opposite from what we have been. That isnt going to change overnight. We have a good foundation moving forward. Remember Carson didnt really throw a ball in 08. Even Carson can get rusty. Check out the article in about the offense under a microsope. It is able to get the points I am trying to make here but dont have the patience to type out. Safe to say that I want you guys to be more sophisticated fans…and to me that means not screaming for an OC job when we have no reason to be pissed. The adjustments you would make and point out in your posts are probably the worst things you could do in a game at that particular time…why? I dont know thats why they are coaches and professionals and we are fans….keep it in perspective and let them make the decisions and start to trust an organization that is trying to earn our trust back.
    Who Dey

  22. Goetta Head this makes absolutely no sense whatsover…You want us to be more sophisticated?
    How ? by not wanting to see improvement in Game time(or week to week) adjustments by our offense??
    Also dont say that an adjustment I made in a previous post is the “worst” and not have a valid reason to back it up..
    other than “I dont know that’s why their coaches and professionals and we are fans”
    Dont tell me to be more sophisticated…
    Do you really think we as fans dont have the right to question some of the decisions this organization has made? They have not won a playoff game in 19 freakin years!!!!!!!
    Take the blinders off man…
    They will EARN my trust when they consistently put a playoff caliber team with a solid chance of a suberbowl ring on the field…EVERY YEAR
    Mike Brown loves naive fans like you that think just cuz they make the wild card round twice in 5 years we should be quiet and happy…
    Go root for Detroit with that “perspective”
    Sophisticated fans like yourself should expect more.

  23. So tigeralum,
    you think you know how to break a game down do you? You think YOU know what adjustments to make? Do really think you can SEE the adjustments? I dont think so… Your points abt putting B Scott in the slot MAY not make sense because he doesnt know the playbook for receivers….Rollout? We have rolled out. The Jets D is fast on the edges…you want to go down for a loss? You dont kow what yo are talking about. Its pure conjecture and you are just mad. If you knew you would be a coach. You are not to my knowledge and dont know anything about the game from that perspective…none of us do. we are fans not experts in in game and week to week adjustments. As I said before, the offensive problems this year cannot and wont be attributed to Brat alone. Not with the injuries and new playbook. Calm down man. And I am not naive. I see it for what it is. Something out of my control. I will give them the benefit of the doubt because truth be told the Bengals will NEVER be SB contenders every year…sorry those are the breaks. But we had a shot at the layoffs for at least 4 years since Carson showed up. And the reason we only went twice was not because of Brat. It was because of Graham if you want to put blame on one person. We win as a team ands we lose as a team. and the OC is not going anywhere and that is because he had his hands tied when are TE (all of them) go down, and Henry dies and TJ is gone. How about you address that? I do expect more and Im not being quiet and happy douche, Im just not calling for Brats head. Sorry I dont agree with you. I think there are plenty of areas for improvement and offense is one of them, but that comes down to players, imho.

  24. Goetta-head,
    I appreciate your comments since they are not a fan just spewing hate or BS. As a former coach (HS level but we ran a very sophisticated pro style offense- not just your wing T crap), I can say that you are wrong on this issue. It appears to me from what I have read and watched that he does not have the mental capability that is needed to beat a solid DC in the playoffs. To scheme a game well, you build off of plays that you have in your book to throw off the DC (i.e. add a play action pass out of the unbalanced formation- if the Def saw the unbalanced line they new a run was coming) and use formations/ motion to create match-ups that are favorable in certain situations (i.e. make the def use a LB to cover a WR). Brat does not bring this to the table for some reason.
    I can say that Brat is not the OC we need for a couple of reasons:
    1. He cannot out-scheme a really good DC. Calling a game is not like picking plays from Madden. It is a game of chess in motion. Players are important, but if you do not have the correct play called at the right time it will get blown up (this happens a lot more frequently to us than other NFL games). The DC guesses what the OC is going to do in certain situations, and how the OC reacts to the situation he is in is critical. If he sticks to previous tendencies the play is typically not successful. They have software that breaks down game films and then spits out percentages to study what a particular OC is going to do in certain situations. I imagine that Brat sticks to plays within his percentage ranges on a higher than average basis; as evidenced that my mom can say what the play is before they run it on a regular basis.
    Another example of lack of out scheming is the offense’s productivity (or lack of it) in the 3rd quarter; ours has sucked for several years now. At half time Brat is not able to adjust (or just adjusts incorrectly) and in the 3rd quarter the DC typically abuses us, so we have a lot of 3 downs and out at the start of the second half. This is not a freak accident or just the Bengals dumb luck.
    2. His redzone play selection is predictable. Brat said it himself in an interview this past season (look for it on, he typically would call run-run-pass once he got inside the 20. In the interview he said that he thinks he should mix it up a bit more- that week they get in the RZ and guess what: R, R, P was the play selection. A good OC mixes that selection up, or again lines up in a formation that looks like run on 1st down, at the start of the play the players initial motion indicates run, but then they throw it.
    3. He is mesmerized with the Cover 2 scheme; he claims it cannot be thrown on since it takes away the deep threat (I believe he said this during the week of the Detroit game- look for it on When we played the Lions, guess what, no deep throws were even attempted. Meanwhile the week before the Browns were scoring on the Lions by, guess what, going deep repeatedly and taking advantage of the personnel match-ups. Cover 2 is not that tricky. I want an OC that is not afraid to take some shots against it to allow other schemes to open.
    4. Palmer called for his removal at the end of the 2007 season.

  25. To followup,
    My point is this: Brat is good enough for us to win games throughout the season, but he is not good enough to win at the next level.I think it would be a good step for them if they could replace him with someone who can. A couple years ago I was hoping they would go after Kevin Gilbride when he was available, but I am not sure who may be available out there now.
    I agree with your statements about the importance of personnel and that they cannot be SB contenders on a yearly basis- anyone who thinks that stuff is not educated on the game.

  26. blester,
    Interesting points. I do agree with you on RZ bs. He does call predictable plays. Correct me if I am wrong but didnt Chad score on a pass over the top against the lions to take the lead? It was over 20 yards but not much? I agree that this year has left me feeling something more when it comes to the play selection but, I attributed that to a new playbook that relys on the run first. It is not as flashy but it seems to get the job done in the regular season. I agree that something needs to happen in the playoffs. I thought naively that there would be some playoff playbook that we would go to once we were there and it completely flipped the script on our film from the previous 16 games but….no…nothing.
    I think they will go back to the drawing board and build upon what worked and …hopefully…make some adjustments on what didnt. It is glaring to us (fans) what is wrong, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt only until next year. After that if I dont see marked improvement, with fresh personnel and people injured coming back, I will jump ship and I think the Bengals will too on Brat. We should be more balanced as an offense but, I have to see players in there for me to make a final decision. But if he gets the ax in the next week or so, which he wont, I wouldnt be surprised and I wouldnt be that pissed. I think we can go back to the playoffs next year so I dont want to get rid of him yet. With the D taken care of I think we can start to really focus on the O. If we dont I see Marvin gone, Zimmer as HC and a whole new OC and DC.

  27. goetta head
    Yes I do see the adjustments needed. So do about 55,000 other fans that attend the game.
    As for what you think I know about the game?
    You have no freakin clue… You have no idea my experience playing (since the second grade thru college) and coaching (at the collegiate level)
    I know x’s and O’s,I have broken down many films and just so happen to be a diehard fan of the Bengals…
    first of all. B Scott does not need to WR position to play the slot. Ever think of running a two back set with Benson and Scott and putting Scott in motion from the backfield????
    Therefore putting him in the slot…
    Rollout? You think we used Carson enough in the rollout this year? Cant think of too many times that happened…and when we did it worked and no one expected it, IMO.
    especially in the red zone…
    Look I appreciate your passion as much as anyone. Brat has consistently been outschemed game to game. Basically Marvin stepped in this year and said two things..
    1. we will run the ball
    2 we will stop the run
    those two things will win the AFC north
    its evident there are many ways to skin a cat in this league ( the 2 i just mentioned are ours, no big secret)
    Brat and P Alexander did a good job scheming the run to Benson’s strengths this year. But where Brat failed was scheming the deviations off of what they did in the run game.
    Now, I know the play action took a hit when it became obvioius when Carson gave away play action and run..
    but get creative..we saw zero creativity other than Dennis Roland being eligible…
    as far as you and Blastero saying I am being ridiculous thinking they should be SB contenders…
    what in the hell are the Colts Patriots Steelers, Ravens???
    Bottom line
    I think Brat gets another shot (stated that in a previous post) I still dont agree but if shit doesnt improve…We will see beer fly on the field…
    I do appreciate the discussion and obviously respect your opinion even though I dont agree with some of it…
    Who dey

  28. Tiger,
    To clarify my comment, I think it is pure media hype to say that every year the Steelers, Patriots, Colts, etc. are SB contenders. The Steelers were not SB contenders this year- not even close. Since you know X’s & O’s as well, I imagine that you could probably see why the Steelers were not SB contenders- their o-line was not dominant like the previous years. The Colts were not SB contenders last year since their offensive line was decimated by injuries. Sure they are a good teams most of the time and have lots of success in the recent years. As franchises I respect them for that, and I wish the Bengals could follow their model of success rather than having Mikey’s irrational decisions). But there is a big difference between being a good team and a SB contender.
    I think the Bengals are on the cusp of finally having the right fndn in place to become a consistently good team and SB contender. As coaches, you and I both know that it takes very solid O&D lines to be a dominant team. I think finally (after years of failures) we are getting both of these units put together. We only have a couple of holes to fill, rather than having to blow up the whole units and start from scratch. You can have the best RB or MLB, but without a good line in front of him he is not going to produce on a consistent basis.
    I agree with your that Brat gets one more shot, and I predict that we will not get far in the playoffs next year (if we make it) with him calling the shots. I also agree with your assessment of his play calling and lack of setting up passing plays off of successful running plays.

  29. Blestero,
    Your right… I agree that I may have not articulated my thought of being SB contenders…
    As the season played out it was apparent the steelers would not make the playoffs.
    The point that I was trying to make (that i failed to do) was that the teams I mentioned in the previous post are in the hunt every year. These organizations make solid moves year in and year out. The only reason the media hypes those teams up is because they are generally in the hunt every year.
    Bottom Line,
    I (as a fan) want that to be the norm for us (as a Bengal organization)
    Thats not too much to ask. Other fanbases have this…why not ours?
    As for the steelers…
    This season speaks volumes about different schemes…
    Magic numbers…
    over 100 yards rushing more often than not won us the game.
    Ben threw for over 4K…(very rare)
    as well as threw for over 500 in one game…
    and that came down to the last second catch in the end zone.
    Marvin knows the formula what wins…
    Running the football and stopping the run
    We proved it in our division (6-0)
    I think the Jets are proving this as well.

  30. The way I see owners is that the NFL is legalized gambling for them. They get to invest in 60+ horses every year and see where they end up over the course of a year. Luckily for them they are subsidized by merchandising and shared TV revenue. So even if it is a terrible year at the track, they do not lose much- sometimes they even come out ahead.
    I believe our previous manager (PB) and most successful organizations was/are very calculated and understood what it took to have a successful franchise: great O & D lines and then good specialists to supplement. He was more willing to bet on a 20-1 horse and would not go after the long shots.
    When he passed the reigns to Mike, we became more of a betting organization since the old way is not as fun nor did it get consistent results. I feel like Mike is more of a gambler. He is tight with his money, but will bet on the 99-1 horse because if it turns out right he gets a huge payout.
    If you look at how we drafted since Mike took over, we have a lot of QB’s, RB’s, and WR’s in the first three rounds on a consistent basis. It seems like every year that there is talk of a RB that Mike is in love with, and the coaches have to talk him out of it- I remember this rumor for last year’s draft in fact. I bet it is more of a rush to Mike to feel like you are getting this awesome horse that scores points, and in your world everyone else wants (i.e. KJ Carter, Pickens, Klinger, Akili Smith, etc.) since the horse is so awesome it can change the game just by having its presence on the field. In Mike’s world, KJ Carter did not need an offensive line to make holes, he could do it himself since he was such a force. Since he doesn’t understand the game he was very random in his decision making and often repeated mistakes (i.e. Klinger didn’t work, but A. Smith will).
    I think the success that we are having is not a result of Mike’s dumb luck in picking horses, but Marvin fighting for control of the selection process and having a logical plan in place and/or maybe Katie gets it better than Mike.
    I agree that the Jets have the winning formula in place. All of the four finalists have different versions of this formula. I am taking the Saints and Colts in the SB since I think they have the capability to attack using different methods (also I am biased against the whole Farve SB drama- although a Colts/ Viking game would be a great one as well). Once you stop the run on the Jets (if you can), they are doomed; and I think the Colts might be able to shut it down.

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