Mike Zimmer looking for mental toughness from Vikings

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The Vikings have lost two straight games in very different fashions with a blowout home loss to the Seahawks preceding a tight defeat on the road against the Cardinals.

Coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday that he wants to see the Vikings avoid becoming what Bill Parcells, one of Zimmer’s coaching mentors, called “yo-yo” team that was up one week and down the next. Zimmer said that Parcells wanted the “same guys” every time out and said that the team has tried to find players who can provide the mental toughness that leads to stability from week to week.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” Zimmer said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “You talk to a lot of their coaches. What kind of competitor is a guy? How does he handle adversity? How smart is he? Is he moody on the practice field? Does he pay attention in meetings? There’s a big combination of things that helps figure it out. How does he react when you get after him? How is the best way to coach this guy? Does he put the team first? Is he all about stats?”

One thing that helps is having the same group of players on the field from week to week and the Vikings have been down several starters on defense in the last couple of weeks. Getting some of them back against the Bears this week would help avoid a three-game losing streak, since that’s almost certainly not the kind of consistency that Zimmer is talking about.

54 responses to “Mike Zimmer looking for mental toughness from Vikings

  1. The Packers and the Vikings are in similar positions. Neither team has established a clear identity, and neither team has a clear path to the division title.

    I have had one eye open and one closed on the Packers ever since the blowout in Denver. Very inconsistent. Vikings……same thing.

    I’m holding out hope the Packers can still earn a first round bye, but, as usual, they’ll probably make it difficult on themselves and will need to beat Minnesota at the twelfth hour just to make the postseason.

  2. At least Zimmer has a strong sense of what to look for, and how to build a consistent winner. That is something that was sorely lacking with Frazier, Childress and Tice.

    Lack of consistency has haunted this franchise over the past couple of decades. The Vikings are a very young football team, and with Zimmer as their coach, they are likely to keep improving. especially with Zimmer hammering these principles home. It’s nice to see a head coach put emphasis where it is needed.

  3. They already have more wins than last season….might not be contenders this year but you can’t argue with the improvement they’ve shown.

  4. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Dec 17, 2015 9:16 AM
    Zim seems like an ok coach and he’s doing the best he can with the talent that he has.

    ——————————————————————–

    We just got a back-handed compliment from Gerbs. He’s warming up to us.

  5. Mental toughness, along with physical toughness and consistency of play, go hand-in-hand. You can’t have any one of them without the other two if you want to be successful in the NFL. As Zimmer (who is rapidly becoming beloved in Minnesota) continues to put the pieces in place on his team, I believe consistency will begin to emerge alongside the mental and physical toughness that is so necessary. Zimmer is on the right path, and he’s taking this team in the right direction. He’s still a few players away, admittedly, but progress is being made. The Vikings are becoming a young but talented–and still improving–force with which to be reckoned. The next few years are going to be very, very interesting for Viking fans, especially when that incredible new stadium opens next year. Let’s hope the talent on the field will be as stellar as the building in which they’ll be playing. It’ll be fun to watch things develop.

  6. It hasn’t been a “yo yo” season there Zim. It’s pretty simple – when you play a good team you get embarrassed. No other way around it. And the Bronco’s were NOT a good team when Peyton was playing early this season there Vikings supporters…

  7. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Dec 17, 2015 9:16 AM

    Zim seems like an ok coach and he’s doing the best he can with the talent that he has.
    _____

    Thank you for pointing out that the Vikings have been missing some of their best players the last two games, but we don’t use injuries as an excuse around here.

    I have no doubt that the Vikings will become more consistent and more dominant as Zimmer builds his program. Remember, he took over a team with no quarterback and no defense whatsoever and he’s gotten them pretty far in his second year.

  8. He can look all he wants, at the end of the day, its still the same players that laid that egg vs. the Seahawks and Packers.

    Since there are only 53 opportunities to look at, I can save him some time by suggesting he doesn’t even look in the direction of Wallace, Patterson, Kalil, Peterson and his long snapper. It’s just not there.

  9. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Dec 17, 2015 9:16 AM

    Zim seems like an ok coach and he’s doing the best he can with the talent that he has.
    __________

    As opposed to McCarthy’s strategy of doing less with more. He’s wasting the career of one of the best quarterbacks in history.

  10. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Dec 17, 2015 10:50 AM
    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Dec 17, 2015 9:16 AM

    Zim seems like an ok coach and he’s doing the best he can with the talent that he has.
    __________

    As opposed to McCarthy’s strategy of doing less with more. He’s wasting the career of one of the best quarterbacks in history.

    LOL…LOL…

  11. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Dec 17, 2015 10:48 AM

    Thank you for pointing out that the Vikings have been missing some of their best players the last two games, but we don’t use injuries as an excuse around here.

    =================================

    So why did you mention injuries immediately? And before you Vikings supporters get your panties in a bunch keep in mind I’ve been saying all year long neither the Packers or the Vikings have enough offense to make any noise this year. The only difference – Rodgers gives the Packers a punchers chance. Teddy Turnover does not.

  12. The only problem with all of this is that it seems like it’s just lip service from Zimmer. Let’s face it, Adrian Peterson is exactly the kind of guy that Zimmer is saying he doesn’t want here. Peterson is and always has been all about his own personal stats much more than he’s ever been, or ever going to be, about “team.” Be it the Vikings team or any other team.

    Every year, AP tells the whole world what HIS goals are for HIS yardage stats and how he intends to break Dickerson’s record. How often has he mentioned team goals? Has he ever? I’m not asking that to bust chops, I’m being serious here. Does he ever talk about team goals, winning games, and/or a championship or is it always “me me me me me?”

    Someone said a while back that Peterson would be much happier to gain 200 yards in a crushing loss than to gain 40 yards in a huge win and that just seems to be true with this guy. He’s not the best receiving back but that’s okay. Nobody does everything perfectly and he is without question a dominant runner. The big problem is that he won’t block. Not can’t, but won’t.

    Zimmer said all the right things here but Zimmer’s also the guy that not only welcomed Peterson back after he beat his kid bloody, he also appeared to have been fully on board with giving Peterson more money as a reward for doing it. How does that work?

    I dunno, maybe Zimmer’s just biding his time and putting up with this guy in the hopes (or knowing) that Spielman will trade him in the offseason now that he’s shown he can still run the ball effectively? Or is Peterson running Zimmer like he ran Frazier before him and Childress before Frazier?

    You guys tell me. Just save the “you’re jealous” nonsense, please. I would not want this guy on my team if he came for free. Seriously. And I don’t think anyone could argue about his “me first” attitude OR that it flies directly in the face of what Zimmer said here. So what’s the real deal?

  13. tritz32 says:
    Dec 17, 2015 10:36 AM

    It hasn’t been a “yo yo” season there Zim. It’s pretty simple – when you play a good team you get embarrassed. No other way around it. And the Bronco’s were NOT a good team when Peyton was playing early this season there Vikings supporters…
    _______

    This is the same Bronco team that embarrassed your Packers 29-10 and held Rodgers to 77 yards passing while starting the season 7-0. If that doesn’t qualify as a “good team,” what does that make the Packers?

    Here are the facts. The Vikings have played five teams that have at least 8 wins. They beat one, got embarrassed by two, and played even with two. That’s a little up and down, and this season is about learning how to win those games on a consistent basis. They have one more shot at one of those teams and I’m expecting a good performance.

  14. It is good to see Zimmer is on to looking for tough players and is past looking for players to put down their video games and just give a crap or looking for players to step away from the buffet table in time to make curfew.

  15. whatjusthapped says:
    Dec 17, 2015 10:49 AM

    He can look all he wants, at the end of the day, its still the same players that laid that egg vs. the Seahawks and Packers.
    _____

    And the Packers are still the same players that laid those eggs against the Broncos, Lions, and Bears. In fact, every team except Carolina has laid an egg at least once this season. I don’t think it’s worth obsessing over.

  16. Cabbage, Peterson does talk a lot about personal goals but you can’t say he never talks about team goals. It would be fairly easy to find quotes about winning a Super Bowl, etc., but you guys have no desire to notice that kind of thing.

    That said, I don’t think Peterson is a big team first guy. He’s not a leader and he hasn’t done enough to improve himself in his blocking and receiving. But you can’t argue with the effort he gives.

    Zimmer never coached him before this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did trade him in the offseason so they can build the offense around Teddy and get something for him before he’s done. That’s what I’m hoping for.

  17. People keep saying Adrian Peterson is about team goals, but lets remember its mostly the media. Which of the below headlines would you click.

    Adrian Peterson hopes to surpass Dickerson’s Single Season Record.

    Or

    Adrian Peterson hopes to win the Division and make a trip to the Superbowl.

    He has been selfish and he says a lot of things but don’t think that he hasn’t said both of these at times.

  18. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Dec 17, 2015 11:06 AM

    Here are the facts. The Vikings have played five teams that have at least 8 wins. They beat one, got embarrassed by two, and played even with two.

    =========================================

    Gotta love Vikings fan logic – losing games is now “playing even” with teams. SKOL! See you losers in week 17.

  19. Teddy, it has nothing to do with what anyone cares to notice or not. It has everything to do with the fact that I don’t see nearly as many Peterson interviews as you do anymore than you see anywhere near the amount of Packers coverage that I see. That’s why I asked the questions.

  20. Vikings fans want to discuss Packer games that they played against other opponents like the Lions and Bears and COMPLETELY IGNORE the whooping that was put on their team at home as reasons why there are better.

    Conveniently ignoring getting destroyed by the lowly Niners. A team that the Packers beat.

  21. The collapse is nearing it’s conclusion…..

    Going to be some house cleaning after this season in MN. Khalil and Peterson will be the first to go, then they can dump other busts like Cordarrell and Wallace.

  22. The Almighty Cabbage says:
    Dec 17, 2015 11:21 AM

    Teddy, it has nothing to do with what anyone cares to notice or not. It has everything to do with the fact that I don’t see nearly as many Peterson interviews as you do anymore than you see anywhere near the amount of Packers coverage that I see. That’s why I asked the questions.
    ____________

    From the amount you post on every Vikings thread it would seem that all you do is watch Vikings highlights. Cabbage4Brains

  23. RE: In Teddy We Trust says:
    Dec 17, 2015 11:06 AM

    If, BIG IF, Zim looks to trade AP, look no further than Dallas. With Manziel getting cut in Cleveland, GM of the Century, Jerry Jones would look to make a HUGE splash by getting Johnny Arena Football and Adrian Peterson. The Vikings can fleece them for 2, #1s, 2, #2s and Rolando McClain.

  24. Teddy Bridgewater Is An Elite QB says:
    Dec 17, 2015 11:41 AM

    Vikings fans want to discuss Packer games that they played against other opponents like the Lions and Bears and COMPLETELY IGNORE the whooping that was put on their team at home as reasons why there are better.

    Conveniently ignoring getting destroyed by the lowly Niners. A team that the Packers beat.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I beg to differ. Actual Viking fans are capable of intelligent, reasonable discussion. The purveyors of nonsense to whom you are referring, are commonly known as “purples.” Sadly, the purples have caused most of the Viking fans to flee this place out of sheer embarrassment, or worse. Some Viking fans assimilated, which is saddest of all.

    On the plus side, every now and then we manage to drag a purple into the realm of sanity. This practice lies somewhere between deprogramming a cult member and performing an exorcism; sometimes dangerous, always loud, extremely messy, and difficult without doubt.

    Not long ago, I had one right at the brink of full blown rational discourse. As the Vikings were winning games early in the year, he exhibited further sanity with each win. I was so hopeful; so very, very hopeful. Then the second (much tougher) half of the Vikings’ schedule rolled around. They dropped a couple of games in a row and my pet purple project started to backslide.

    I began to panic! I had a lot of time and effort into this, after all. I tried a few gentle reminders but to no avail. My prodding, gentle as it was, was pushing my little purple in the wrong direction. I could see then that I had to just let my purple go and hope for the best.

    I’m not entirely sure how this will end up. I’m pretty sure my pet purple project was once a Viking fan that simply became overwhelmed by purple asininity and was assimilated. I think he wants to be sane again but the purple peer pressure is immense and intense.

    Mostly I just want my little purple’s inner Viking fan to know that I’m here for him when he’s ready. It’s not too late. It’s never too late. Here ends today’s lesson in the Church Of The Holy Cabbage. Lettuce pray.

  25. ragnarthemagnificent says:
    Dec 17, 2015 1:42 PM

    From the amount you post on every Vikings thread it would seem that all you do is watch Vikings highlights. Cabbage4Brains
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Cabbage4Brains! Gee, that’s swell! How many weeks did it take you to come up with that bit of brilliance?

  26. If “sanity” is defined as predicting a 6-10 season for the Vikings while expecting the Packers to clinch the division championship in October, I guess I’ll have to continue with my insanity.

    “Sanity” also apparently means worshiping a vegetable…

  27. Take a deep breath, Theodore. It’s all going to be okay. And why not a cabbage? It makes as much sense as a whole lot of other imaginary deities worshiped by various groups of people around the globe, past and present. Mass murder, enslavement, and religious persecution have never taken place in the name of Cabbage.

    “Welcome to the Church of the Holy Turnip. Lettuce Pray” just wouldn’t make any sense, now would it?

    Or are you some kind of Anti-Capitatite? That’s it, isn’t it? You’re an Anti-Capitatite! What’s next? Are you and Ragnarthemangina going to dress up in your stinky, hairy robes and your pointy little hats and burn a lattice on my lawn?

  28. Vikings are a very young team, especially at the skilled position. That lack of experience can lead to momentarily lapses in fundamentals and focus, hence the ‘eggs’ and inconsistency. Those things get fixed with time and by learning the hard way via the consequences of letting those lapses occur. Most Viking fans were hopeful for a wild card going into the season. Our quick surge to the top at midseason was unexpected by most and was probably a bit misleading.

    We aren’t a top 8 team yet, but we are a top 12 team (playoff team). And any team that gets into the playoffs has a chance, and any team with AP and a genius defensive mind like Zimmer has an even better chance.

    Us “sane” Viking fans can acknowledge our second tier position, it’s the puke and piss that are out of touch with reality and pollute these boards with their nonsense incessantly.

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