Mike Zimmer “probably miscalculated” impact of defensive losses

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Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said late in the regular season that the team’s defense was the worst that he’d ever coached and the seeds for the unit’s struggles were planted in the offseason.

The Vikings parted ways with a number of veteran defenders, including defensive end Everson Griffen, defensive tackle Linval Joseph, and three cornerbacks who were regulars in the lineup. The team expressed confidence that they would be strong defensively despite the departures, but head coach Mike Zimmer said on Tuesday that it was misplaced.

“I probably miscalculated some things going into the season when we lost all the guys that we lost the year before,” Zimmer said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “We had a complete overhaul on defense, and sometimes that happens when you get to Year 7.”

Rebuilding a defense without in-person offseason work was always going to be a difficult task. It was made all the more difficult by defensive tackle Michael Pierce opting out, defensive end Danielle Hunter missing the entire season, and linebacker Anthony Barr missing 14 games.

Zimmer said getting those players back should “improve us automatically,” but there’s other work that will need to be done to make sure the defense is more capable in 2021.

17 responses to “Mike Zimmer “probably miscalculated” impact of defensive losses

  1. Zim has zero motivational skills , is a black cloud , zero ability to adapt and change , he’s had 7 years, the Vikings come out flat in every single big game except against the Saints. He needs to go.

  2. It better make an improvement in 2021 or else it is Zimmer’s job that is on the line.

  3. sdsmooth says:
    January 6, 2021 at 9:25 am
    There are more excuses in Minnesota than lakes.


    As a Vikings fan, that’s actually pretty funny!

  4. Without the injuries piling up and the opt out of Pierce, I still think we would have been in the top half of the league on defense. Missing Kendricks the last several games was the biggest blow, had he been healthy they probably back into the playoffs. Granted, this defense has a long way to go, the young corners improved all year and showed glimpses of greatness. I find our special teams to be more infuriating than this defense TBH.

  5. At this point I think the hunter thing is more than an injury and more about money. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him traded for draft picks this offseason.

  6. “Probably”? That’d maybe have been an acceptable answer like midseason but saying it now is akin to saying the Titanic “probably” should have kept better watch for icebergs.

  7. I think he’s already miscalculating for next year. This team has a lot of needs. They need to spend money on improving depth as well.

  8. Can we get anybody that has attitude on the D-line? Bunch of stiffs.
    And get rid of Barr, the LBs were just fine without him as long as Kendricks was out there.
    Secondary was a mess, but Gladney and Dantzler showed promise.
    Don’t even know who the other guys were half the time.

  9. They lost in the regular season instead of in the playoffs. At least they’ll get a better draft pick.

  10. Maybe he should have kept some of the guys he let go if he wanted a better defense this year, but I’d rather have the guys we have now with a year of experience than playing the rookies next year. Griffen, Joseph, Rhodes, and Waynes were not the future of anybody’s defense.

  11. It sounds like he’s saying his coaching has little or no effect, and he needs playmakers if he wants to keep his job. That had to be hard for him to admit.

  12. Of course Zimmer never lays any blame on coaching its always The Players but isnt he supposed to be a genius defensively ? I think maybe that he is way over rated as a coach .

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