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New Vikings coach Mike Zimmer at introductory press conference: ‘I was destined to do this’


In his introductory press conference on Friday that surely has Minnesota Vikings fans brimming with confidence for the future and the belief that the team made the right choice in who to pick as a successor to the milquetoast Leslie Frazier, new head coach Mike Zimmer appeared to say all the right things to ingratiate himself to the fan base.

After being passed over repeatedly for head coaching positions despite his impressive résumé that boasts great success at every stop, Zimmer clearly feels that his time at long last has arrived and appears to have a great belief that he’ll be able to handle the enormous task of running an NFL football team.

“I feel like I was destined to do this,” Zimmer said.

Brimming with confidence but not appearing cocky, Zimmer, 57, laid out how he envisions his tenure as only the ninth head coach in the organization’s 56-year history.

“I want Vikings football to be tough, smart … and works relentlessly for one goal,” Zimmer said, as quoted in a Star Tribune report. “I want our fans to be proud of the way we play — tough, resilient football.

“We don’t win alone, we win as a team. I’m determined to bring a championship to Minnesota. And I can’t wait to get to work.”

Zimmer was one of seven candidates Vikings general manager Chris Spielman interviewed during the three-week process. Discussing his impressions of Zimmer when the longtime defensive coordinator came in for second interview on Tuesday, Spielman praised the man.

“What stood out for us was not only the passion, but the football intelligence and the leadership,” Speilman raved. “He has a great history of developing young talent, and taking veterans and helping them play above their ability.

“There was not one negative thing that was said about Mike Zimmer.”

Perhaps the No. 1 priority for the Vikings — save for filling out Zimmer’s coaching staff — is figuring out what to do at the quarterback position. The Vikings hold the eighth pick overall in the draft and while fans are salivating over Johnny Manziel, it is unlikely he will be around when Minnesota picks, but there will be plenty of options remaining.

But to ask Zimmer, franchise quarterback or not — a glaring hole in the roster given the bevy of talent at the quarterback position in the NFC North — he says his job is to win football games, no matter who is under center.

“We’ll try to do our best to have the best quarterback in the division,” he said. “But my job is to win football games, it’s not to worry about if the QB is fourth best or first best in the division.”

Further highlights from Zimmer’s presser, as compiled by the Star Tribune:

On what kind of coaches he is looking for: “I want teachers, leaders. …They don’t all have to be me like me. That’s hard to do anyway.”

On overseeing the team: “I think I’m a fixer, and I do think I’m an observer. If guys are doing things correctly, there’s no issues.”

On what opponents must prepare for: “When you go play the Minnesota Vikings, you’re going to have a full day’s work ahead of you.”

On dealing with players: “Honesty is always the best policy. That’s what players want…I’m doing a disservice to players if I’m not honest to them.”

On his stern style: “I’m going to be passionate on the field. That’s who I am. That’s why they hired me.”

A straight-shooter, without a doubt, and by all appearances and indications, a true motivator.

The Vikings may have picked a winner with Zimmer. But the proof will be in the pudding — whatever that saying means — and things always look great at the onset when hope springs eternal and controversy is nowhere to be seen or felt. Let’s see where this team is following training camp in August once Zimmer has had time to impose his will upon the roster. We know Adrian Peterson is paying close attention right now. Hopefully he likes what he’s hearing.

(image via @Vikings)