Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer recently had an interview with KSTP (I was clued in through @Kevin_VFP and Dan Zinski at the Viking Age) and while he’s a really charismatic guy in person, he’s not really a television personality—which makes him perfect for television.
It’s actually a very good interview, from both the perspective of a Vikings fan who wants more information and from the perspective of having a good interviewer. Zimmer is trying to continue the tradition of opacity from the Vikings organization, so it’s still difficult to glean a ton of information.
He did indicate that while he values strength, speed and fiery competitiveness that the most important quality seems to be intelligence (which he implies is concurrent with instinct—makes sense).
Zimmer also said he’d love to “go for it” on 4th and 1 with the game on the line, and is comfortable making aggressive calls on third and fourth down.
In that context, Cincinnati has been one of the most aggressive teams in the NFL.
This accords well with the things he’s emphasized. He pounds home the idea of football coaches as “teachers” more than anything else—and has mentioned that role nearly three times as much as any other role a coach has in pressers and interviews. Zimmer also consistently talks about technique and technicians, using specific on-field mechanics as the best way to improve football players.
Zimmer is clearly a little uncomfortable behind the camera and he sometimes looks over to his PR handler to see if it’s OK to go in a particular direction and even retracts a story he was going to tell.
The highlight, from an entertainment perspective, comes at the end of the video when he talks about … “guts.”
Which was not the word he was planning to use going in to that sentence (in case you can’t watch the video, he wants to have “nuts” to make an aggressive call in tight situations).
Obviously, it doesn’t matter how good a coach is in the interview room or on camera. It may even be comforting to a lot of Vikings fans that we have a coach so intensely focused on football who treats the entertainment side of the game so dismissively.
But at some point, Zimmer is going to slip up before he realizes his mistake and say some excellent choice words on camera, which is going to be very fun to watch.