Football is family. Literally.
Nepotism in the NFL has become commonplace and accepted. Indeed, it’s hard for owners who pass teams from generation to generation to balk at coaches who try to involve family members of their own. Also, for coaches who saw their kids grow up without ever being there to actually see much of it, finding a way to work with a child once the child becomes an adult helps make up for lost years by turning every day of the year into an all-day-and-night father-son picnic.
In Minnesota, that may entail the head coach and the defensive coordinator coming from the same family tree. With George Edwards out, linebackers coach Adam Zimmer (son of head coach Mike Zimmer) is a candidate to take over the defense, according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio.
Plenty of business have clear policies against nepotism. NFL teams typically don’t. This past year, Patriots assistant coach Steve Belichick adopted a higher profile, and plenty of people within the league believe that Steve’s father, Bill, would like to eventually pass the baton to Steve.
Of course, the ultra-accountability of the NFL infuses some risk into the process. If the son lacks the chops to get the job done, he potentially puts both men in jeopardy of being out on their ears. In Minnesota, where Mike Zimmer is regarded as the architect and general of the defense, the title means less than it would elsewhere. Still, a promotion of Adam Zimmer will raise eyebrows, and as a practical matter it will put more pressure on Adam to bust his butt and otherwise prove that he deserves to be the recipient of his potential 23-and-me promotion.