Vikings ‘Expected to Move on’ from HC Mike Zimmer This Week

Vikings 'Expected to Move on' from HC Mike Zimmer This Week
Mike Zimmer

Since the start of 2014 when Mike Zimmer took over the Minnesota Vikings, the franchise has won 55% of its games. But now Minnesota’s brass is looking for more.

The Vikings are “expected to move on” from Zimmer, according to CBS Sports Jason La Canfora.

General Manager Rick Spielman is likely to remain with the organization.

When Zimmer joined the team eight years ago, the Vikings had notched a .466 win percentage in the eight seasons before, from 2006 to 2013. That ranked 22nd in the NFL. Under Zimmer, Minnesota improved to a Top 11 franchise. In the last eight seasons, the Vikings are within percentage points for win rate of teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills.

Mike Zimmer
Nov 12, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer stands on the sideline during the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. Minnesota Vikings defeated Washington Redskins 38-30. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

So, it’s time for a change, per ownership’s expectations.

During the first six seasons of Zimmer’s tenure, the Vikings were restored to an era of defensive supremacy. Per EPA/play, the Vikings ranked #1 in the NFL for defensive efficiency from 2014 to 2019. In 2020 and 2021, Minnesota plummeted to 26th leaguewide — or seventh-worst.

The next head coach will have to make the Vikings win with quarterback Kirk Cousins at the helm — or on-board a new quarterback if general management trades Cousins this offseason, of which rumors suggest.

Coaches expected to be in the mix for the Vikings and other HC-needy teams include Eric Bieniemy, Byron Leftwich, Matt Eberflus, Kellen Moore, Brian Daboll, Doug Pederson, Todd Bowles, Nathaniel Hackett, and more.

To finish out the Zimmer era — if the CBS Sports report is accurate — the Vikings host the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The Vikings will play starters, Zimmer explained this week, even though the team cannot reach the playoffs.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).