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Has any head coach ever had it as good as Zimmer?

The Case for firing Zimmer pt. 47 - the ROI

Someone recently asked me in the comment section underneath one of the more recent case for firing Zimmer articles why I hated Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. First of all, I don’t hate Zimmer. That’d be like hating a beige paint job. It isn’t great, nor is it awful, it’s just run of the mill.

But, when pondering how to respond to that comment it occurred the me the very best term that sums up my feelings about the Zimmer era is: return on investment.

What have the Vikings brass received in terms of success in exchange for what they’ve invested in and for Zimmer?

First up, what investments?

You know, just the most any one franchise has invested or given a head coach in NFL history? Think I’m being hyperbolic?

New stadium? Check.

New state of the art facility in Eagan? Check.

Every single free agent/draft pick or trade needed to fill gaps? Sam Bradford and Kirk Cousins say check!

Changing how NFL contracts are done forever to sign a quarterback? Check.

Maxing out the salary cap year after year? Check.

Complete autonomy to run things his way? Check.

An extension right after the team fired George Edwards in lieu of Zimmer? Check.

Players restructuring deals or turning down larger contracts elsewhere to stay here? Check.

Seemingly equal (or majority) say in draft picks year-after-year? Check.

Zimmer wants for nothing. I can’t think of a single thing he could complain about or ask for more of from general manager Rick Spielman or the Wilf family.

Can you?

So when you look at that set of facts, and then look at the return on that investment (getting embarrassed in the playoffs every other season), it starts to make sense that some of us think that a change is necessary.

Somehow people are convinced, still, that Zimmer is THIS close to getting this team over the hump despite the fact that we’ve already seen the peak of what Zimmer can do. 2019.

The Vikings returned 10-of-11 starters on defense, eight of which were together for five seasons (oh and the 11th starter? Was a Viking the season before 2018). They had the best on paper roster, as well, in the entire NFL.

But 2017! You’ll say. Sure, they had a historically great third down percentage in the regular season, but after half-time against the Saints? They were never the same.

Enter the 2020 Draft, one with a modern record haul in terms of quantity of picks. I thought that maybe, just maybe, Zimmer had learned from his time here and when gifted with another shot at building up this Vikings team? He might apply those lessons.

You know, by building up the offense line and finally protecting the quarterback the team, again, changed NFL contracts for? Instead Zimmer used 5 of the 15 picks on defensive backs, including another first-round pick on a corner (with Xavier Rhodes, that makes four first-round picks and a second-rounder on corners that Zimmer has coached)).

That reminds me!

Using four first-round draft picks, one second-rounder and a third on Zimmer’s favorite position (one that has two starters)? Check.

Instead of using a third-through-fifth round pick on a guard, the Vikings used their 15th-pick (the second to last in the entire draft) on one. Sure, Ezra Cleveland looks like the right guard of the future, but he’ll most likely end up taking over for Riley Reiff (especially with the COVID Cap most likely being a $30 million reduction from what the cap would’ve been).

Meaning the Vikings will yet again be without any answers at the guard spot. Which means that the team will yet again waste another season of Cousins’ expensive services.

“But it’s not Zimmer’s fault! He’s only been given everything that a head coach could ever ask for and you’d have to be crazy to not be happy with that slick regular season record and every other season playoff appearance streak! “

Well, then, I guess I’m crazy! I guess every one of my ex-girlfriends is right! May god rest their souls.

Truth be told, the Vikings ownership has done an first-class job running this organization and they’ve done it for the right reasons. To bring the state of Minnesota a Super Bowl. Sure, tax payers also paid for a large chunk of US Bank Stadium, but the Wilf’s paid out of pocket for a lot as well (and footed the bill for upgrades more than once).

They deserve more, and frankly? We do too.

In the mean time, enjoy your continued beige paint job.

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Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson started back in 2015 & in 2019, and purchased before the 2017-18 season , used to write for and is the host of the ’Morning Joes’ & ‘About the Labor’ Podcasts, as well. Follow on Twitter: @vtPTSD

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1 month ago

Do you believe there is any truth to the rumor that Zimmer didn’t want Cousins? If that is true than he doesn’t get everything he wants. Spielman may have over-ruled him and signed Cousins.

1 month ago

Experts in the nfl or players think people calling for zimmer’s job are out of their minds..

Did mike tice have the star qb of the Packers say he’s a good coach? Or childress..

For crying out loud.. for somebody who claims to love the team you sure want us to be relegated to the cellar by firing our coach every two years..

You get zero respect for an opinion that included. “I think Mike tice would do better”

Like laughably terrible take.

Ask pa.. he thinks zimmer is good coach.. so you think you know more than aaron rodgers.. paul allen among others..

Ha 🤡

1 month ago

Like for example you list draft picks as a reason to fire zimmer.. when it’s spielman who drafts the players with advise from coaches..

Even you’re justification is crap.

1 month ago

These idiots will support Zimmer to hell and back. It doesn’t matter what he does or doesn’t do. Good take and much needed one at that. Fans of Zimmer are fans of mediocrity. No one should take them serious.

1 month ago

Joe you are absolutely 100% spot on. I literally haggle with DinoZim fans on the unrelenting pro Zim DN Daily Norseman site. These fans and a few here don’t know a damn thing about football. In 7 years , 2 playoff wins against the same team. A 15-37 record against teams with winning records. Some of our fans are adverse to truth, and the truth is, Zim is done. He is failing more and more, even with a offense full of weapons. He is stuck in 1985. The Wilfs are to blame though. What are they waiting for?? Zim is not going to suddenly change and learn to finally run a 2 minute drill, when to call a timeout, when to run and not run. The dude is a joke at this point, and its only going to get worse. The Wfs need to let him go today.

Reply to  Mullie
1 month ago

You talk about how pro Zimmer people don’t know football and then you back that argument up with Zimmer’s bad offensive calls and inability to run a two minute offense? 🤦‍♂️