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Mike Zimmer Nearly Pulled Out Of Vikings Coaching Search

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Minnesota Vikings everywhere were quite excited about the hiring of new head coach Mike Zimmer back in January, and with good reason. Zimmer, who had long been considered one of the premiere defensive minds in the National Football League, had been passed over for numerous coaching jobs in the past, despite having all the hallmarks of a potentially good head coach.

And the Vikings almost didn't get the opportunity to hire him, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports.

Seeing the news while airborne had Zimmer pondering his fate during a layover. A defensive coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals from 2000-13, he was ready to accept he'd be a career assistant.

"I almost didn't go (on the second interview with Minnesota), yeah. I was so disappointed," Zimmer, 57, who nabbed the Vikings job after that interview, told FOX Sports. "It was like, 'Why even do this?' It was to that point. I figured I was getting too old. It thought, 'Forget this.'

"But I talked to a couple of people who said, 'Hey, you've gotta go. What are you doing?'"

According to the article, word came across while Zimmer was travelling that the Tennessee Titans had decided to go with Ken Whisenhunt as their head coach rather than Zimmer, who had interviewed for the job. That's what made Zimmer almost decide not to come to his second interview with Zygi Wilf and company. But, he got on the plane to Minneapolis, and the Vikings gave him the nod over candidates like Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, and Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Zimmer has been a breath of fresh air in Minnesota thus far, from all accounts, and even had the cachet to get Norv Turner to agree to be his offensive coordinator. Mike Zimmer waited a long time to finally get his opportunity to be a National Football League head coach. . .now that he's got it, I don't think the Minnesota Vikings are going to regret their choice.