Bill Parcells counseled Mike Zimmer amid Teddy Bridgewater fallout
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has often relied upon the counsel of mentor Bill Parcells throughout his career. And Zimmer most certainly is in need of the Hall of Fame coach’s advice more than ever.
The Vikings continue to navigate the devastating fallout from Teddy Bridgewater’s horrifying season-ending injury, a shocking development that arguably removed the Vikings from being tabbed as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Zimmer mentioned during Tuesday’s press conference about Bridgewater that he had consulted Parcells in the wake of the inarguable setback.
Parcells, who navigated a similar situation when the New York Giants lost Phil Simms, revealed to MMQB’s Peter King the nature of those discussions, saying the team will look to Zimmer.
“I told him, ‘The first thing you need to know is this: Everyone in the organization, and that includes some of the players and the coaches, are going to think they have an excuse now,'” Parcells told King, via CBS Sports. “Once the shock is over, probably 48 hours from now, they’re all gonna come to you and look at you and say, ‘What are you gonna do?’ Because you’re charged with winning games now, no matter what you have on your team. You need to figure out what works – what recipe works. And tomorrow morning, once the shock wears off, nobody’s gonna give a s—. It’s his problem. He’s gotta figure out how to win now.”
Parcells’ Giants turned to the unproven Jeff Hostetler, who of course led the team to a Super Bowl win.
Zimmer’s comments on Tuesday echoed Parcells’ sentiments, mainly related to how no one is going to feel sorry for the Vikings. Zimmer also insisted his players won’t feel sorry for themselves, either, saying the Vikings remain a “good team.”
Further, the third-year head coach made sure to point out despite how bad he and every member of the organization feel about and for Bridgewater, the Vikings aren’t a “one-man deal.”
Parcells went on to say that he believes with Zimmer’s leadership — not to mention the talent the Vikings possess — that all is not lost.
“… and I told [Zimmer] this: You’re driving the train, and there’s 100 sets of eyes on you from behind,” Parcells said. “Players, coach, front office. They’re all screaming, ‘You gotta do something! What are you gonna do?’ And you’re going to have to figure it out.”
It’s going to require a Herculean effort from each and every member of the Vikings organization — coaches, staff and players — to be able to overcome Bridgewater’s devastating injury. But Zimmer — who knows a thing or two about heartbreak and crisis control after losing his wife unexpectedly in 2009 — might be the right man to lead the way.