Mike Zimmer on charge Vikings play dirty: ‘That doesn’t bother me’
Mike Zimmer barely registered a reaction when asked about accusations leveled by Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate that the Minnesota Vikings are a dirty team.
“That doesn’t bother me,” said the nonplussed Vikings head coach, via the Star Tribune. “I know what kind of team we are. We’re not dirty.”
Tate charged Minnesota with dirty play in the wake of Detroit’s 26-16 loss when asked if Vikings players were making any cheap shots during the game.
“One hundred and ten percent,” Tate said. “After watching the film there were several holds, late hits that I thought should have been called. A couple of them I wouldn’t be surprised if we turn them in [to the NFL]. But then again, that’s part of playing on the road. You’ve got to control that by not making the game close and busting it wide open. So that’s what we should have done better. But there were a few plays out there that I think were clear violations of this game.”
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell essentially dismissed Tate’s comments after reviewing game film.
Zimmer, meanwhile, discredited any notion that his players are prone to cheap shots, instead suggesting that he and his staff coach players to play within the boundaries of the rules.
“We try to coach within the rules,” he said. “We try to do things the right way. We want to be a football team that’s known for teaching proper technique. We’re not trying to cheat the rules and I don’t want our football team to be put at a disadvantage because other people are trying to cheat the rules. I want our guys to know the rules, play by the rules and play fair.”
Tate’s accusations may have stemmed from some bitterness over how the loss dropped the Lions to an 0-2 record. In other words, it may simply have been a case of sour grapes over how the Vikings played a more physical brand of football on Sunday that left Matthew Stafford bruised, battered and beaten at game’s end.