Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who is missing OTAs as he recovers from an eighth eye surgery, dismissed talk of his retirement on a Friday conference call with Twin Cities media. ““I’ll be back shortly with one eye or two,” he said, per Brian Murphy. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll be back either way.”
According to Murphy, Zimmer is recovering in his home outside of Cincinnati, where he’s reviewing practice tape and staying in constant communication with the organization. “The players are probably tired of me texting them when I see things on tape,” he said. “The coaches have done real good job relaying messages.”
If all goes according to Zimmer’s plan, the Vikings will have their head coach back on the field on June 5. He’s scheduled to return to Minnesota on June 4 and could be conceivably cleared as early as the fifth. The team’s first week of OTAs went off without a hitch, but Zimmer’s presence would only serve to boost the morale at Winter Park.
While he’s been away, Zimmer’s missed a few updates, including the development of Laquon Treadwell and the steady rehab of Teddy Bridgewater. On the call, he specifically pointed to Treadwell’s growth and the second-year wide receiver’s newfound comfort in the offense.
“He looks good, his stopping and starting, some of the routes he’s been running as far as when he has to come back…when he has to accelerate over the middle, inside breaks in routes, and you guys saw him catch the deep ball the other day,” he said, per Matthew Coller. “I think his game has expanded; I think he’s so much more comfortable now than he was a year ago.”
Zimmer also commented on the hype of the offseason, which reached a tipping point when the Vikings released a video of Bridgewater throwing with his teammates. “I’m happy for him with the work he’s put in; progressing as well as anyone could hope for.”
Until he returns, Zimmer will have to rely on his son, linebackers coach Adam Zimmer, and defensive line coach Andre Patterson to relay information back to Cincinnati. But detached retina be damned, Zimmer has no plans of giving up his coaching career.
“This will not keep me from coaching. I’ve asked the doctor if it’s a lost cause. He said, ‘No, it’s not like that. If it were, I’d tell you.’ Obviously, I’ve thought about it. But this is not going to keep me from coaching one way or another.”