Mike Zimmer on why he sat Teddy Bridgewater: ‘Because I wanted to’
One of the stranger developments from Thursday’s NFL preseason action was when the Minnesota Vikings sent out backup Shaun Hill to start the game against the Seattle Seahawks, not Teddy Bridgewater.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was conspicuously vague with the media Thursday night when asked after the game why he decided to sit Bridgewater in the team’s second preseason game.
“Because I sat him,” Zimmer retorted after the Vikings’ 18-11 exhibition victory, via the Star Tribune’s Matt Vensel.
When asked why he sat the third-year signal-caller, Zimmer made it clear he wasn’t interested in discussing it.
“Because I wanted to,” he said.
Zimmer was pressed further about the situation, asked if the decision was precautionary or disciplinary. Zimmer touted Bridgewater’s sterling off-the-field reputation in response.
“Teddy Bridgewater is the nicest kid in the world. There is no disciplinary action ever with Teddy,” Zimmer said, reportedly emphatically. “It had nothing to do with discipline and it had to do with my decision.”
A reporter attempted to ask another question about the curious decision. Zimmer wasn’t having any of it.
“It was my decision. How many times are we going to go through this? It was my decision. Good enough?”
If it wasn’t a sufficient explanation, odds are certain the no-nonsense Zimmer wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it.
If the “Because I wanted to” explanation sounds somewhat familiar, it should. It’s similar in tone to how Zimmer explained why he decided to not to renew offensive line coach Jeff Davidson’s contract after last season.
“I didn’t want to,” Zimmer said in January.
Zimmer is entering his third season as the Vikings head coach. Not only has he improved each year in the win column, he has completely transformed the identity and culture of the entire organization for the better.
While the decision to sit Bridgewater — whose continued development is critical to the Vikings’ prospects for success — is arguably confusing, Zimmer presumably had his reasons.
It’s just that he’s not inclined to tell the media exactly what they were.