Lunchbreak: Zimmer Listed in Top 10 Head Coach Rankings

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is one of the most-respected coaches across the league, and a guy who is known for being a defensive mastermind.

Since taking over in Minnesota in 2014, Zimmer’s defense has ranked in the top 10 in points allowed per game in four of five seasons. The Vikings ranked first in points and yards allowed per game in 2017.

But where does Zimmer stand in regards to other league coaches?

Patrick Daugherty of Rotoworld recently released his annual list of head-coach rankings and had Zimmer slotted in the ninth spot. Zimmer was the highest-rated of any coach that is yet to lead a team to at least one Super Bowl.

Daugherty, who Zimmer ranked eighth at this time last year, noted that the Vikings were 7-1-1 against non-playoff teams but went 1-6 against teams that made the postseason. He wrote:

Part of Zimmer’s diagnosis was that he strayed too far from his roots. Desperate and disgusted, he pink slipped pass-happy OC John DeFilippo on December 11. Following the firing were wins over the hapless Dolphins and Lions before a season-ending suffocation against the Bears. Even with those inconclusive results, Zimmer removed fill-in OC Kevin Stefanski’s interim tag, making his 2019 intentions clear. More runs, fewer missed blocks, more big plays on defense.

He is doubling down on Zimmer Ball as the rest of the league loads up on “Next McVays.” One of the NFL’s most focused, disciplined coaches, Zimmer’s track record suggests 2019 will not be another season of poor game plans and botched execution.

Zimmer is 47-32-1 (.594 win percentage) in five seasons in Minnesota, and the Vikings have the sixth-most regular-season wins during that span.

The 62-year-old Zimmer has won a pair of NFC North titles and is the longest-tenured head coach in the division.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman announced last week at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine that Zimmer’s contract has been extended through the 2020 season.

View some of the team photographers favorite the Through the Lens images from the 2018 season.

A look at Vikings needs before free agency

While we’re less than a week away from the start of free agency, it remains to be seen how active Spielman and the rest of Minnesota’s front office will be beginning at 3 p.m. (CT) Wednesday.

But Chris Wesseling of NFL.com recently went through each NFC team and looked at potential needs for each squad.

When it came to the Vikings, Wesseling opined that Minnesota could be looking to add players on the offensive line, at linebacker and at the wide receiver spot.

Wesseling wrote:

On defense, four-time Pro Bowl selection Anthony Barr [could be] set to fly the coop. Coach Mike Zimmer [might] be in the market for a replacement alongside middle linebacker Eric Kendricks.

The Vikings have a handful of players, including Barr and Sheldon Richardson, who are scheduled to become free agents next week. They could also agree to a new contract with Minnesota before that time to keep them off the market.

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