In the four years that he has been the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, Mike Zimmer has guided the purple to 39 regular season victories and their first playoff win since 2009. It appears that he might finally be starting to get the respect that’s due to the top-flight coaches in the National Football League, and with good reason.
The folks from Rotoworld put together their head coach rankings, as they do at about this time every year, and they’ve placed Zimmer as the 8th-best coach in the National Football League. That’s a seven-spot jump from where he was last year, when Rotoworld put him at #15.
Here’s what Rotoworld had to say about the job that Zimmer has done and what the future looks like for him as a coach.
Mike Zimmer’s reward for an 8-8 2016 was eight eye surgeries. The operations were the result of a freak Week 8 accident where Zimmer’s laminated play sheet blew into his eye and detached his retina. Coupled with the Vikings’ devastating Wild Card defeat the previous January, it made Zimmer’s third year as coach one to forget. Following Sam Bradford’s mysterious Week 1 knee injury, 2017 seemed on a similar trajectory. Zimmer couldn’t buy a break. He had to make his own. Controlling what he could control, Zimmer maintained his brand of stable leadership — “controlled intensity” comes to mind — while doing his best ever job on defense. The Vikings’ 252 points allowed were the fewest in the NFL. With Zimmer’s side of the ball shutting teams down, the offense managed to get on a roll with journeyman quarterback Case Keenum. The end result was the Vikings’ first NFC Championship Game appearance since 2009-10. After four years, it’s clear what Zimmer provides. Both his defensive prowess and leadership are amongst the best in the NFL. He has brought the Vikings to within a quarterback of being something special. Even if Keenum remains the starter for 2018, Zimmer has established a floor capable of touching the Super Bowl ceiling.
The #8 ranking placed Zimmer ahead of all of the other NFC North coaches, though to be fair two of those teams have new coaches (Matt Patricia in Detroit and Matt Nagy in Chicago) and Rotoworld doesn’t assign them a ranking. The only other returning coach in the NFC North, Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy, ranked two spots below Zimmer at #10.
Based on the rest of the list, it looks like the #8 ranking is just about right for Zimmer, in my opinion. The only guy above him that I think you could really argue with is Carolina’s Ron Rivera, who sits just above Zimmer at #7 on Rotoworld’s list. Frankly, I’m just happy that they stopped putting McCarthy ahead of ZImmer on lists like this.
What do you think of Rotoworld’s head coach rankings, and specifically their ranking of Mike Zimmer?
Rotoworld ranked Mike Zimmer as the 8th-best head coach in the NFL. What do you think of his ranking?
This poll is closed
He should be higher up on the list
#8 is just about right
He should be lower on the list