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Strong Relationship Enables Players to Share Viewpoints with Zimmer

Mike Zimmer has taken improving the Vikings 8-8 showing in 2016 personally.

The head coach and his staff have gone through a series of assessments to evaluate how to have a better 2017 and beyond.

One thing, however, that Zimmer didn't take offense to was advice from a few players that was offered in postseason meetings.

Zimmer, who is in Indianapolis this week for the NFL Scouting Combine, was a guest on KFAN's 9 to Noon Show as he made the media rounds.

Preparing for his fourth season in Minnesota, Zimmer was asked by "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen and Paul Charchian about the status of Trae Waynes, a 38-year-old who has played eight of his 14 seasons with Zimmer as his defensive coordinator or head coach, but is scheduled to become a free agent on March 9.

Zimmer's eventual response was, "I think Terence has a lot of value for this team and I think a lot of it is up to Terence. He may want to do some other things, but I'll let him decide."

Before that, however, Zimmer shared an anecdote about receiving advice from Newman and other players after a roller-coaster season.

"We have a great relationship," Zimmer said. "One of the good things about — mostly defensive guys came in after the season and Terence, obviously, was one of them who said, 'Coach, I want to talk to you.'

"It was one of those things like, 'I want you to be the best head coach you can be, so I'm going to say this in a nice way," Zimmer added. "Here are some things you could do better.' "

The discussion was less about Xs and Os and more about handling "other intangible things" from the eyes of players.

"He wasn't the only one … Harrison Smith, a guy that doesn't say, 'Boo,' came in to see me one day and talk about some things," Zimmer added. "The big thing is you kind of have to evaluate what they're saying and see where you can get better, take it into consideration."

Click here for the full interview.

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