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Presser Points: Zimmer Will Patiently Evaluate All of 2016

Posted Dec 28, 2016

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday that he’s only focused on the upcoming Bears game this week.

Any reviews or assessments of 2016, which were frequently brought up during Zimmer’s podium session, can wait.

When asked about bringing Pat Shurmur back as offensive coordinator for next year, Zimmer said that he plans to carve out time after the season for reflection and assessment on the tumultuous 2016 season. 

“What I’m going to do is sit down, take a few days,” Zimmer said. “I’m going to work, but I’m going to sit down, take a few days and kind of refresh everything in my mind. Then I’ll make all kinds of decisions and evaluate a lot of different things.”

Zimmer said now isn’t the appropriate time to make any hasty judgments without going back to review the season in its entirety.

“I don’t want to make any rash decisions on anything,” Zimmer said. “I don’t want to linger from whatever happens Sunday or the past Sunday or the season. I want to take a fresh, new look at everything.”

Here are three other topics covered by Zimmer during his podium session:

Vikings struggled to finish games in 2016

While Zimmer said it’s too early to make thorough assessments, he did pinpoint a number of specifics he was unhappy with after the Vikings started 5-0 and then entered a slump.

“After the bye week, what happened? Thursday night games, Sunday night games, Saturday games, the week after those games. There’s a lot of different things. I’m going to look at a lot of stuff,” Zimmer said.

He pointed out that in games decided by seven points or fewer, the Vikings were 4-2 last season and 2-4 this season.

“We’re ahead in ball games at the end, and we didn’t win,” Zimmer said.

He later added: “The teams that maintain and sustain the things that they’ve done, those are the teams that I have to look at even more and find out why they’re sustaining good things as opposed to what we did this year.”

A loss of confidence wasn’t the issue

Zimmer was asked by media if he sensed after the Oct. 31 loss to the Bears that the Vikings were headed toward an at-best 8-8 record.

Zimmer said he didn’t feel overly concerned at that point.

“There’s always going to be, during the season, highs and lows and things like that,” Zimmer said. “Did I think we’d be [2-6] after the Chicago game? No.

“I really don’t think the team lost confidence; I didn’t lose confidence,” he added. “Our penalties were up this year, our pre-snap penalties were up especially. Offensive penalties were up this year. There’s a lot of things to evaluate and try and figure out why.”

Happy with home crowd, not home record

The Vikings up to this point are 4-3 in their debut season at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Leading up to the stadium’s opening, Zimmer had anticipated the home-field advantage in the team’s new digs. He said Wednesday he was pleased with the home crowd but not the home record.

“I think our fans are great, and I think the stadium is unbelievable,” Zimmer said. “But we haven’t won enough games. To make it a home field advantage, you have to win.”