Sportress of Blogitude

Mike Zimmer colorfully praises Case Keenum over gutsy play

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t been reticent about busting out some colorful superlatives of late to praise the gutsy style of play out of Case Keenum. And his most recent comment on the quarterback — who arguably saved the Vikings’ season in the absence of an injured Sam Bradford — is certainly the most … interesting.

Zimmer said Keenum has “got a horseshoe right now” — presumably meaning luck is on the quarterback’s side — following last Sunday’s 24-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. And on Tuesday, Zimmer spoke highly of Keenum’s loosey-goosey play by touting … well…

“The thing I like the most about Case is he’s got big balls,” Zimmer said, via the Star Tribune. “He’s not afraid. He’s going to pull the trigger and he is going to play like that. That’s a good thing.”

There you have it.

Keenum (65.7 CMP%, 2,194 yards, 12 TD, 5 INT) has posted a 6-2 record — although the Vikings also beat the Chicago Bears when Keenum replaced a gimpy Bradford in Week 5 — in leading the Vikings (8-2) to a two-game lead in the NFL North heading into a critical divisional showdown with the Detroit Lions (6-4) on Thanksgiving.

Keenum has in recent weeks played under the specter of Teddy Bridgewater — a Zimmer favorite — waiting in the wings following an inspirational comeback from a devastating knee injury. But Keenum has risen to the challenge, even excelling, amid the pressure.

Keenum has been confident-but-not-cocky throughout the process and the case can be made that he has made it impossible for the Vikings to sit him in favor of Bridegwater at this point.

Perhaps it has something do with …. what Zimmer said.