Mike Zimmer feels “rejuvenated” by defensive additions

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
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As the 2020 season came to an end, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said the team’s defense was the worst he’d ever coached and later said that he thought the team didn’t fully appreciate the toll that departures from the roster would take on the unit.

Zimmer said on Wednesday that he didn’t feel too optimistic about the team’s ability to reverse the tide this offseason. While he hoped to have players like linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive end Danielle Hunter, and linebacker Eric Kendricks back from injuries, Zimmer said he wasn’t hopeful about adding players from outside who would help improve the situation because of the cap situation.

General Manager Rick Spielman and executive vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski were able to maneuver well enough to bring in defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, cornerback Patrick Peterson, safety Xavier Woods, defensive end Stephen Weatherley, and cornerback Mackensie Alexander. That’s left Zimmer singing a happier tune about that side of the ball.

“Honestly, after the season, I was kind of down in the dumps looking at the depth chart and knowing what kind of salary cap space we had,” Zimmer said, via Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Rob and Rick have done an unbelievably good job. They’ve gotten me rejuvenated with the guys they’ve brought in.”

The players are part of what’s needed to turn things around. The team also has to do things different schematically and Zimmer said “some of it is big change, some of it is minor tweaks” as he looked forward to what’s still on tap for the 2021 offseason.

19 responses to “Mike Zimmer feels “rejuvenated” by defensive additions

  1. Zim doesn’t mince words. He comes from the Bill Parcels school of coaching. These are grown men, and Zim doesn’t baby them. Get with the program, or the program will find guys that will.

  2. This year could be really great if he can get a number 1 defense rolling. Now as to the offensive line…………………?

  3. How many rookies started on that defense in 2020? Did Zim not expect a dropoff the first year? They will take time to come around. Hearing that the coach had to be rejuvenated by veteran additions isn’t going to hasten the process.

  4. It will be a good battle with the bears to see who has the best defense in the NFC north this season.

  5. tinye67 says:
    April 1, 2021 at 9:21 am
    Now if they could find a OL

    I was surprised the Vikings didn’t get in on the Center market and bring an elite center like Elite All Pro C Rodney Hudson or well above center like a David Andrews or Austin Blythe, maybe send a 5th to the Raiders for a OG like Gabe Jackson. There was a ton of room for improvement I’d of thought they’d of been more active in FA.

    The Vikings did however send a 6th round pick to AZ for former 3rd round pick C/G Mason Cole. AZ brought in thee best elite all pro center in the NFL in Pro Bowler C Rodney Hudson which was a MASSIVE upgrade over starter Mason Cole who was already getting seriously pushed by former starting GA C/G Lamont Gaillard whom AZ is extremely high on and former starting C”s from GA have an excellent track record lately in the NFL. Like Cole he can also play G and he’s good at doing it but at Center he was noticeably better than Cole by the end of last season making him expendable.
    In all seriousness though Mason Cole right now to me is an extremely high quality backup who can play LG/C/RG and can do a very good job of protecting the QB. In 3 seasons at Center Mason Cole from 2018-2020 posted a PFF grade I’d say on average in the mid 50s allowing 1-3 sacks per season and through the first half of 2020 had his PFF grade between 69-72 consistently. Cole had to fill in at LG for a stretch of 3-5 weeks I wanna say and I remember him doing extremely well posting a PFF Grade in the high 60s low 70s at Guard and I’ve felt he’s a better guard because at Center when he snaps the ball he lacks the hand speed to get his snap hand back up in time leaving his outside shoulder exposed and he gets beat a lot 1 on 1 because of that leading to interior pressure right in the QBs face. The thing is at Guard Cole makes for a very small LG at about 6”2-300pds. He will never be a great run blocker do to his size and I feel Mason Cole would be at his best in a pure ZBS system like what Shanahan runs in SF, LaFluer in GB or McVay in LA. Coles size and athleticism would fallow Cole to fit like a glove in ZBS.

  6. Now that free agency has been devoted to the defense, the draft can be devoted to the offensive line. Their first three picks should include a tackle and a guard.

  7. I don’t understand why everyone’s so hard on Mike Zimmer.
    I mean, he obviously doesn’t compare to Mike McCarthy, or any other Super Bowl winning coach for that matter, but he does compare somewhat favorably to former Packer coach Mike Sherman.
    I know Sherman had as many postseason wins, as well as a higher winning percentage than Zim, but I have faith in this old man.
    There’s simply no substitute for old, tired ideas and yet another OC to kick around.

  8. People worried about ol. they will likely draft the #1 ol prospect in the 1st and another in the 3rd. God help us if dru starts again though.

  9. Normally it is the Barney fans crowing about off-season acquisitions and how the team will kill it the next season. Sounds like Zimmer is now drinking the Kool-aid too.

  10. He’s used to having decent enough talent, signing guys off the street last season had to be tough on the old man.

    Back to a top 10 defense is a near guarantee.

    Pair that with another top 10 showing from the offense and they could be back to the NFC championship caliber team they were two years ago.

  11. You won’t live to see a Viking Superbowl, vikings fans. Come over to America’s Team or Greenbay.

  12. Packers choke all the time. Their fans must be miserable. If Vikings defense can stop their opponents to 10-12 points a game, they’ll win every game. This year’s defense could be the best in all of football.

  13. codylaws says:
    April 1, 2021 at 4:03 pm
    Packers choke all the time. Their fans must be miserable. If Vikings defense can stop their opponents to 10-12 points a game, they’ll win every game. This year’s defense could be the best in all of football.

    April Fools!

    Good one!

  14. @stellarperformance That restructure deal get done yet? Tick tick tick tick……getting close to 2 minutes to midnight.

  15. danicafallsinlove says:
    April 4, 2021 at 5:39 pm
    @stellarperformance That restructure deal get done yet? Tick tick tick tick……getting close to 2 minutes to midnight.

    Why ask me? I don’t care. It’s just a game. Whatever will be, will be.

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