Kevin O’Connell and Mike Zimmer
Mike Zimmer was a great coach for the Minnesota Vikings from 2014 to 2019. The Vikings have won 59.9% of the games in those six seasons, the seventh-best in the NFL.
A defense-first leader, Zimmer Leslie Frazier changed the dialogue of the days when the team finished second-worst in the NFL per points allowed for opponents (2011 to 2013). From 2014 to 2019, Minnesota allowed a second-The lowest Pointing to the opponent, only the strong New England defended the Patriots defensively.
Out of the shadow of doubt, in Zimmer’s first six seasons, he single-handedly transformed the Vikings from the NFL’s second-worst defensive team to the second-best team. It’s easy to forget.
However, with the start of the 2020 season, Zimmer’s defense has expired. Straight and simple. A team of defensive free agents has left the team, and Zimmer’s baby – the defense – has never been the same.
The NFL, meanwhile, was moving toward a crime-first company, when it seemed that Zimmer’s defense was gripped by defense-or-other thinking. That’s right and Dandy if someone’s defense is still high-level, but Minnesota is stuck in the most important place of the 2020 and 2021 games.
Accordingly, Minnesota fired Zimmer after the 2021 season because the defensive-minded coach no longer built a league-in-the-best-defending defense. If the team’s maintenance was messy, hiring defensive coaches in the offensive league was no longer worth it.
Insert Kevin O’Connell.
Not defensive brains, O’Connell was scaled from Super Bowl winner Los Angeles Rams in February to take over the Vikings.
And in the initial dealings with his team during the May mini-camp, the difference between Zimmer and O’Connell is obvious. Zimmer was silently a defensive-first captain, where O’Connell, who fully acknowledges his offensive background, wants to embrace both sides of the ball.l It’s as if he was deeply aware of the “problem” before – the emphasis on narrowly tracking one side of the football operation.
O’Connell told Pioneer Press Chris Thomson on Wednesday, “[I want to] Be visible to the defense, let them know that I am learning the direction of their ball just as much as they are. They’re in our coverage, under pressure, how can we stop the run and they just can’t see me as an aggressive head coach.
Truth be told, the Viking spectators longed for Zimmer during the extended period of his reign, wanting to convince a Kubiak with “you do your job” power, rather than a verbal acknowledgment and engaging in offensive matters.
Of course, O’Connell wouldn’t be as defensively savvy as Zimmer, but his initial underscore “I am here to defend too” lacked Zimmer. Zimmer’s defense was mysterious for a few seasons, and he left the offensive control of others. Also, Zimmer had a new guy in charge of the offense each season, which didn’t help the consistency.
At least for O’Connell’s first few engagements with the players, he’s pointing to an awareness of how the Vikings have become a one-sided venture under the former coaching staff.
O’Connell was taking corrective action early on, where it was uncertain whether Zimmer would ever develop.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to her daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. She Hosts a podcast With Bryant McKinney, which airs every Wednesday Raun Sai And Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking Fandom dates back to 1996. Listed Criminal Pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (Band).