Over the course of his football career, Mike Zimmer. . .the prohibitive favorite to land the Minnesota Vikings' head coaching job. . .has worked for a lot of different coaches. A couple of the more prominent ones gave him a very strong endorsement on Monday.
The two former coaches are Barry Switzer, who Zimmer worked for with the Dallas Cowboys, and Mike Price, who was Zimmer's boss at Weber State University. Switzer is most widely known for his run as the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, while Price held a number of college football jobs, most notably at Washington State and Texas-El Paso (and he was also the head coach at Alabama for roughly five minutes).
Price, for one, says he views Zimmer "as a son." Price was one of the pallbearers at the funeral of Zimmer's wife, Vikki, who died in 2010.
"He was my defensive coordinator (at Washington State), and we led the nation in defense his last year before he went to Dallas," Price said. "He's the best defensive coordinator I've ever been around or know about."
. . .
"I can't believe he's still available," Price said. "I thought he would have been a head coach a long time ago. Maybe it's because he's honest and blunt and tells the truth. He's real. He's not a phony. He's very well respected in the profession, and he's really a players' coach. He's a strong disciplinarian, but the players just love him.
"I think you would have to be a certain special owner (to hire Zimmer). He's not a brown-noser. He lets his work stand for him, and his professional demeanor stand for him. He's not going to be a media darling. He's a football coach, and he's a hell of a football coach, and he's a hell of a person."
Switzer, too, gave Zimmer a ringing endorsement.
"He has all those attributes (to be a head coach)," said Switzer, who had Zimmer on his staff for four seasons. "He's aggressive. He wasn't bashful or shy with his convictions about what he believed in and he had the ability and the talent to sell it, and in most cases he was right.
"I saw it every day, on the field and in staff meetings. He was totally immersed in football from the beginning and was recognized right away as a top defensive coach ... He had great knowledge and background. Immediately, you knew this guy was a football coach."
So, basically, it appears he's the anti-Leslie Frazier. Take that how you will.
The key part of the article, in my opinion, is Price stating that with all of Zimmer's connections in football, he would have "no problem bringing in a top-notch offensive coordinator." For someone with a defensive pedigree like Zimmer has, that would be a big key for him, particularly if he's going to a team like Minnesota with serious quarterback issues.
It's looking more and more like Mike Zimmer is going to be the ninth head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. He's got the pedigree and he's getting a second interview. Again, I wouldn't be surprised to see something happen relatively quickly.