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Sportress of Blogitude

Mike Zimmer rails against proposed in-game video access

The NFL competition committee for the second time in three years proposed at the annual owners meetings a change to bylaws that would allow in-game video access. Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer made his opposition to such a proposal more than abundantly clear.

Zimmer contends allowing video functionality on Microsoft Surface Pro tablets — which are already used on the sidelines for still shots — would level the playing field between good coaches and bad ones, thereby rendering astute, in-game coaching acumen — and the advantages it affords — obsolete.

“If I’m looking at the video, I’ll never be wrong,” Zimmer said. “I’m against it because I think it takes some of your true coaching skills away and it makes it even for everybody, for good coaches and bad coaches.”

Interestingly — albeit arguably not so surprisingly — coaches strongly opposed the proposal, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert reports, writing, “Investigating this fracas at the annual meetings proved to be an amusing journey into the deep but occasionally absurdist minds of the top 32 football coaches in the world.”

And Zimmer’s comments presumably speak for the dissenters among the NFL’s coaching ranks.

“We come in on Monday morning and start watching the tape,” Zimmer said, “And you say, ‘Oh that’s what they were doing.’ Now, you wouldn’t. So I can do this at six minutes in the first quarter and say, ‘Oh here this is what they’re doing. Here’s how they blocked this.’ And I can coach my guys on what’s happening. Whereas in the past, you have to rely on your skills to figure it out.

“It takes coaching and all of the things out of this when you go and sit there and watch it. Anyone can do that. I can bring [anyone] in there [to watch video] and say, ‘The left guard is pulling, and they’re blocking down in a combination down on the linebacker.’ Anyone can figure that out [with video]. But that’s what we’re supposed to do as coaches.”

In other words, it would seem, at least according to Zimmer, that anyone could be an NFL head coach. Interesting, albeit dubious, thought.