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Lunchbreak: Zimmer Ranked Among Top 10 NFL Coaches by 'Sporting News'

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is entering his fifth season at the helm in Minnesota, holding a regular-season record of 39-25.

Bill Bender of Sporting News recently ranked the NFL’s head coaches, tabbing Zimmer at No. 7 overall. Bender wrote:

Zimmer is the highest-ranked coach without a Super Bowl. His no-nonsense approach is a perfect fit in Minnesota, where the Vikings made a run to the NFC championship game last season and appear to be the new team to beat in the NFC North. They should only get better with Kirk Cousins.

Coming ahead of Zimmer on Bender's list from Nos. 1-6, respectively, were Bill Belichick (Patriots), Doug Pederson (Eagles), Mike Tomlin (Steelers), Pete Carroll (Seahawks), Mike McCarthy (Packers) and Sean Payton (Saints). Barr should have been included in NFL's 'Top 100' list

NFL Network on Monday wrapped up its "Top 100 Players" series in which the league's top players were revealed weekly in groups of 10.

Seven Vikings were included in the list: DE Everson Griffen (19), WR Adam Thielen (36), S Harrison Smith (46), CB Xavier Rhodes (55), WR Stefon Diggs (65), DT Linval Joseph (83) and QB Kirk Cousins (94).

But the ranking is based on peer voting, and's Nick Shook said that "even the pros make mistakes" and offered five personal corrections. Topping Shook’s list of blunders was leaving Vikings LB Anthony Barr and Redskins QB Alex Smith – who was traded by the Chiefs after the season – off the Top 100 entirely.

Shook said that Barr's absence wasn't "as egregious but is still remarkably surprising." Shook wrote:

Barr is one of just five linebackers to make the last three Pro Bowls (including the most recent) and a key part of the league's reigning top defense. After three years of being overlooked on this list, Barr appeared set to make the cut.


But, as often goes with these rankings, another year at or near the top of the NFL's defensive rankings could see the Vikings outside linebacker finally crack this list. After all, he can't be ignored forever.

Star Tribune features Thielen as All-Metro Sports Awards' keynote speaker

Adam Thielen is used to reporters asking him about his journey to the NFL, but Tuesday night he shared that story with local high school athletes.

The Star Tribune hosted the first All-Metro Sports Awards at Target Field, and the Vikings receiver was featured as the evening's keynote speaker. After delivering the formal speech, Thielen later held a Q & A session with award winners.

The St. Michael-Albertville wrestling team and Eastview girls basketball team were named the Boys and Girls Teams of the Year, respectively.