The Sword Falls

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RSteve

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MN Vikings' GM Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer were terminated this morning. It's pretty clear that the firings come as a result of the signing of Kirk Cousins three years ago for a multimillion dollar contract far greater than Cousins' prior record would merit. Cousins' lifetime winning record is slightly under .500, but his record against teams with a winning record, at the time of his initial signing was 18%, now, even lower. His percentage of the total team salary cap is 20.1%, which seriously limited the team's ability to sign other players.
 

RSteve

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Very interesting day in MN Vikings land. Several of the unrestricted free agents, who asked not to be identified, said if Spielman and Zimmer were back next year, they would sign elsewhere. Eric Kendricks, Vikings' Pro Bowl middle linebacker said Zimmer/Spielman cultivated a culture of fear. ESPN reporter Courtney Cronin, who covers the Vikings, said that several players confided that they thought Zimmer was totally out of touch with the players; that he was completely distant and cared nothing about the team members as human beings, only as players. Zimmer didn't get his first head coaching job until he was 57-years-old. I'd guess that his distant personality had much to do with that.
He was a brilliant defensive coordinator years ago, but didn't change with changes in the game. Zimmer is owed $30 million on his contract, so he won't starve.

Also reported was that the Wilf brothers, Vikings' owners, hadn't planned on terminating GM Spielman until late Sunday after speaking to many players following the Vikings-Bears game. Apparently, many spoke about the negative level of communication that Spielman had with players and that he would not take suggestions about team needs.
From Wednesday's Mpls-Star Tribune:


Vikings' all-pro offensive tackle Brian O'Neill and linebacker Eric Kendricks, suggested the Vikings could benefit from a coach who could connect with players. Zimmer, known for his skills as a schemer and play-caller on defense, would light up practices with a string of expletives, and though some players appreciated his candor, his sharpest public critiques — such as when he called the team "soft" after the Vikings lost their first game following a 5-0 start in 2016 — didn't go over well in the locker room.

"I think from an overall standpoint, a culture where communication is put at the forefront [would help]," said Kendricks, who played seven seasons for Zimmer and was named an All-Pro in 2019.

"No matter what your role is on the staff, [it's] you having a voice and being able to communicate things that you think could help facilitate wins. I think just having that voice, no matter how big your role is, is important, to listen up and take each other's feelings into account. I don't think the fear-based organization is the way to go."
 
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Carlos

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It's a team sport. Everyone including the support staff needs to play their part. And they all need to feel like part of the team.
 

daveinlax

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As a lifelong Viking fan I’m happy they’re moving on. Hope we sign a offensive mind Coach/GM.
 

RSteve

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Apparently, there were some "racial" issues, as well. During a radio interview, an African American Viking in his 30s and a long time NFL veteran, was asked how he felt about Zimmer describing him as a skilled player and a good kid. The player responded, "I appreciate it that Coach Zimmer thinks of me as a skilled player, but kid is too close to boy and I'm a grown man with a wife and children of my own."
 
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