Football fans got a sense of Mike Zimmer’s no-nonsense attitude when the Bengals’ then-defensive coordinator appeared on HBO’s Hard Knocks in 2013; every sentence out of his mouth littered with four-letter words, every criticism on the field a jarring blow to a helpless victim’s ego. Zimmer isn’t an inherently nasty coach — every coach cusses and screams at his players — he’s a coach who expects excellence, commitment, and consistency from his players.
Before joining the Vikings, Zimmer was (and still is) one of the league’s most respected coaches. Players love him, respect him, and recognize his knowledge of the game. He treats them like professionals and holds them accountable for their actions, both on and off the field. Each player, from the team’s franchise quarterback to a practice squad running back, is equal in Zimmer’s eyes. On Wednesday, after the team’s second OTA, Zimmer made that point abundantly clear to the absent Adrian Peterson:
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) May 27, 2015
Peterson, who has threatened retirement and refuses to participate in OTAs, is driving a stake through the brief relationship he shared with Zimmer last season. Zimmer, who is as blunt as coaches come, was visibly frustrated when talking to reporters this afternoon. In what has been a long, convoluted series of events, Zimmer did what he does best, making Peterson’s decision simple — play for the Vikings, or play for no one.
After the jump, a look at some of the best Vikings stories around the Internet: