Mike Zimmer isn’t happy with the Vikings’ defense

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The good news for the Vikings is that their offense is performing well in training camp. The bad news is that their defense isn’t.

“We’ve gotta play better on defense than we’re playing right now,” coach Mike Zimmer told reporters on Thursday. “We need to play a lot better. Our offense has got a lot of grit and fight and I haven’t seen as much out of the defense yet. So that’s where my major concern is at this point.”

The problem, as Zimmer sees it, comes from familiarity with the system, each other, and success.

“As I’ve told a few of them, they’ve been together for quite a while now, and they think they’re pretty good,” Zimmer said. “So maybe we just go out and practice, and it’s not the intensity level or whatever we need to do. They’re not making mistakes because they’ve been in the same defense for six years now, and it’s maybe a little bit of complacency.”

Zimmer was asked whether the lack of competitions for starting jobs is a factor.

“I dont think that’s it,” Zimmer said. “I just think they need to get more competitive. We need to come out here and compete every day. In all the situations, the offense has won every time. So if they want to be great on defense, they’ve got to play with a chip on their shoulder, and I haven’t really seen it yet.”

So what do they need to do?

“I hope they watch this press conference,” Zimmer said.

Here’s the link to it, if they or anyone else want to see and here what Zimmer had to say.

51 responses to “Mike Zimmer isn’t happy with the Vikings’ defense

  1. Nothing wrong with the Head Coach gettin’ on some of these guys in training camp. Kids and young adults need to be kicked in the tail once in a while no matter how important they think they are. I think more of this should happen around the league!

  2. This is routinely played page out of the Zimmer Coaching Playbook.

    I’m not sure if talks to players directly or not….probably does….but whenever he wants to get a player’s attention or position group…..he goes on Twin Cities media and calls them out.

    I’m sure the players don’t love it.

  3. Good, call them out! The defense DID look lazy last year! Honestly I thought the offense LAST year was better than the defense, and I thought it was the defense more than anything that lost us games. Lord knows the offense was putting up points and driving down the field.

  4. “I hope they watch this press conference.”

    ========

    Is he afraid to tell them to their faces? Or does he know his job is on the line and he is just setting things up to tamp down the expectations for this season.

    The other day in a presser he was complaining about WR’s, now this.

    What a mess.

    Who has Kubiak in as interim head coach by week 9 in the pool?

  5. Not concerned about the defence. Practice is a lot different than actual game. The concern should be in preseason if the defence can’t get it together.

  6. Zimmer is motivating as opposed to giving timeouts for tackling.

    +++++

    Too bad he couldn’t motivate the team to take care of the Bears Week 17 with a playoff spot on the line.

  7. Zimmer probably has the highest bar set for his defense of any NFL coach. Him saying the defense needs to improve still probably means it’s still a top 5 defense. He just expects more. That’s what I’d want from a coach.

  8. It’s because they’re old. They will be 3rd place in the NFCN this year ahead of the Bears. This isn’t the 2016 defense anymore.

  9. I hope he is never happy with his defense……or his offense either. Might as well throw in special teams. Once the head coach is satisfied, the team will be too and the rest of the league will pass them by. Stay salty Zimmer, stay salty.

  10. Maybe the defense is as good as ever but they don’t look as good because the offense is better than ever.

    Whatever it is, I don’t have a problem with Zimmer having high expectations of both units.

  11. I thought the offense LAST year was better than the defense, and I thought it was the defense more than anything that lost us games. Lord knows the offense was putting up points and driving down the field.

    How quickly fans misremember.

    The offense racked up 5,529 yards (20th best) and scored 22.5 PPG (19th best).

    The defense gave up 4,955 yards (4th best) and allowed 21.3 PPG (9th best).

  12. As a complete homer, I choose to focus upon the belief that the re-vamped offense is much improved.

    And only cheesers would be gullible enough to believe that Zim hasn’t already discussed the D’s performance with them directly. Then again, I guess it is easy to understand this gullibility since they are used to their QB communicating to under-performing WRs and trashing his coach’s line of scrimmage play adjustment options via the media.

  13. arealisticpackerfan says:
    August 1, 2019 at 1:47 pm
    I thought the offense LAST year was better than the defense, and I thought it was the defense more than anything that lost us games. Lord knows the offense was putting up points and driving down the field.

    How quickly fans misremember.

    The offense racked up 5,529 yards (20th best) and scored 22.5 PPG (19th best).

    The defense gave up 4,955 yards (4th best) and allowed 21.3 PPG (9th best).
    ————————————————————————–

    I gave you a thumbs up on this because I didn’t clarify. What I should have clarified is as a Vikings fan watching every game, I was comparing what I saw in the 2018 defense to the 2017 defense. The 2017 defense looked much better than the 2018 defense. Relatively speaking, the Vikings 2018 defense looked lazy and seemed to miss a lot more plays or let a lot more offensive plays get by them than did the 2017 defense. Of course they were still a top defensive unit – we’ve come to expect that with Zimmer as our coach.

  14. LandOf10000MethLabs says:
    August 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm
    Viking players don’t care what Zimmer says anyway.
    ************************************

    I suppose that is why just about ever Bengals Defensive player tried to follow Zimm when he left them..
    Stop trying to be clever, you don’t quite make the cut..

  15. Stop and think about it. The Vikings have been getting torched against good offensive teams.
    Isn’t that why they looked so good?
    I’m pretty pumped for this year..

  16. LIKEtheVIKE says:
    August 1, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    I suppose that is why just about ever Bengals Defensive player tried to follow Zimm when he left them..

    ++++

    Name 3 of them.

  17. Problem is 8 of the 11 starters all make $10m/year (Barr, Kenricks, Smith, Rhodes, Waynes, Griffen, Joseph, Hunter). Tough to get maximum effort during training camp, but Zimmer is right, they need to up their intensity. They clearly under performed last year. The Vikings new offense either is amazing, or more realistically, the defense is just going through the motions.

  18. Ya he will be disappointed until the season starts. He shouldnt be crying all his top guys took less money to come back and play for him so he has a solid experienced defense again.
    The Vikes always had a good defense. Spielman understands you cant win without it.

  19. What a novel idea, a coach setting high standards for his players and team.
    And actually calling them out for not achieving what’s expected.
    This is genius.
    This is a coaching model that I’m sure will be copied throughout the league.
    And to think, Mike Zimmer came up with this on his own.
    No wonder you all trust in him.
    It certainly couldn’t have been the results over the last 5 long seasons.

  20. No wonder you all trust in him.
    It certainly couldn’t have been the results over the last 5 long seasons.
    ——-

    Do you even watch footbal? Zim and the Vikings have the best record in the NFC during the past 4 years. Packers have one of the worst, btw. SKOL!

  21. Maybe Zimmer is a little salty because he watched the NFC Championship game going up against a second string QB who torched the Vikings #1 D for 38 points. Or maybe was from last year’s games vs the Chiefs or the Bears where offenses made his defense look old. Either way, his defense got another year older and Zimmer knows that will do little to improve their performance.

  22. It seems like a lot of people can’t believe the coach is coaching and talking to the media about players that need to turn it up a notch. In green bay, they are led to believe that is the quarterback’s job.

  23. Zimmer said the same about the team last season, and that he’s fix that this year.

    Apparently that bit of motivation worked, judging by today’s practice

  24. As former Viking defensive great Jared Allen once famously said to Viking fans everywhere, “embrace the suck”. That classic MN rallying cry rings as true today as it ever has.

  25. Zimmer made some adjustments to the defense in training camp last year and they started out horribly the first four games, allowing 27.5 points and 390.25 yards per game. After he made some adjustments, the last 12 games, they gave up an average of 19.25 ppg, which would have ranked fourth in the NFL over the whole season, and 282.8 ypg, which would have ranked first. That ppg average is influenced by a lot of pick sixes and fumble sixes from Cousins. If you think the defense has fallen off a lot since 2017, that is based primarily on those early-season games. I think Zimmer wants to make sure something like that doesn’t happen again so he isn’t going to put up with any complacency.

  26. Alan Light says:
    August 1, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    No wonder you all trust in him.
    It certainly couldn’t have been the results over the last 5 long seasons.
    ——-

    Do you even watch footbal? Zim and the Vikings have the best record in the NFC during the past 4 years. Packers have one of the worst, btw. SKOL!
    ____

    People who have watched football over the past 4 seasons know that Minnesota has won exactly one playoff game in that time (and that took a COMPLETE MIRACLE to win), while the Packers won three playoff games. If you go back 5 years like the original statement said, add another playoff win for the Packers.

  27. “Packers resurgence this year”
    ————
    It oddly seems we heard this same rhetoric last year.

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