The goal for each NFL head coach each season is singular and simple: win the Super Bowl.
Every team wants to be playing into February and be the last one standing after a grueling season and playoff run.
A quick glance around the league shows that seven of the NFL’s 32 head coaches have won a title, leaving more than two dozen wanting their first as a head coach.
While Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is among that latter group, former NFL quarterback and current NFL.com analyst David Carr believes Minnesota’s head man is among those with the best chance to get it done in 2019.
Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, wrote:
Mike Zimmer has helped build a championship-caliber roster in Minnesota, and this will be the season he and the long-suffering Vikings fans finish on top. The Vikings had one area in desperate need of improvement this offseason — the offensive line — and they made the necessary moves to piece together a unit that can protect Kirk Cousins and spearhead a rushing attack led by Dalvin Cook.
This offense will undoubtedly be better with Gary Kubiak and Kevin Stefanski running the show. Cousins played some of his best football in Washington under Kyle Shanahan, whose offense is a clone of Kubiak's. Kubiak won a ring as Denver's head coach in 2015, and now he helps Zim’ get his.
Zimmer, who is entering his sixth season in Minnesota, has an overall record of 47-32-1 as the Vikings head coach. He won a Super Bowl ring when he was the defensive backs coach with Dallas to finish the 1995 season.
View photos of the Vikings during their second OTA practice on May 22 at TCO Performance Center.
ESPN reveals best route for rookie TE Smith
When the Vikings added tight end Irv Smith, Jr., in the draft, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman spoke highly of the athleticism and versatility the tight end could bring to the team.
And while it remains to be seen what impact Smith will have, as he still has a few months to go until his first NFL game, ESPN gave a hint with an area the former Alabama star could shine in the pros.
Cam Mellor of ESPN.com recently went through a list of draft wide receivers and tight ends and picked out their best route in the passing game. Mellor said Minnesota’s new tight end excels at running corner routes.
Smith demonstrated an ability to run away from linebackers and slot defensive backs in coverage, as he was almost equally impressive on post routes as he was on corners. However, topping the charts for him was his grade on corner routes and post-corners, as he hauled in 5-of-8 targets for 113 yards, three touchdowns and two contested catches. [Alabama quarterback] Tua Tagovailoa and Smith generated quite a rapport on the route at Alabama, as Smith tracked the ball well and used his speed to get open.
In Minnesota, Kirk Cousins launched three big-time throws on corner routes last year, connecting on 9-of-14 for 145 yards. With one of the league's top receiving duos occupying a lot of deserved attention, Smith might now be free to run wild over NFL linebackers on corner routes.
Smith, the 50th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, had 58 receptions for 838 yards (14.4 yards per reception) and 10 touchdowns in 38 games for Alabama. He had 33 receptions that gained a first down or scored a touchdown in college.
Smith is one of six tight ends currently on the roster, joining Kyle Rudolph, David Morgan, Tyler Conklin, Cole Hikutini and Brandon Dillon.
NFL announces future draft sites
It’s been less than a month since the 2019 NFL Draft came to a close.
But the league’s annual offseason extravaganza was in the spotlight Wednesday as the league announced future host cities for the draft.
While it was known that Las Vegas will host the draft in 2020, the league revealed that Cleveland will do so in 2021 and Kansas City will welcome the draft in 2023.
The host city for the 2022 NFL Draft was not announced.