Latest posts by pickettschargeksk (see all)
- Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer Faces the Music and Dances – January 26, 2018
- Despite Worrying Preseason, Mike Zimmer ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ in Press Conference – August 30, 2017
- In the Dome of Dementia – October 31, 2015
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer today did not conduct a surprisingly candid press conference in which he spoke directly about his team’s prospects for success in the coming season.
“The thing is,” he did not begin in answer to a general question about the Vikings’ current status, “you have to understand how it was when I got here. No disrespect to [former Vikings head coach] Leslie [Frazier], but these guys were…they were just in bad shape, there’s no way around it. They were so mixed up we couldn’t tell the good from the bad. Everyone was terrible, except Adrian Peterson, whom we later discovered was suffering from a bizarrely specific violent psychopathy directed toward his own children. Good quality players like [offensive center John] Sullivan were lethargic and uncoordinated. The defensive secondary seemed permanently disoriented. Look at the tape of the last games under Leslie – it looks like someone flashbanged the locker room moments before kickoff. The team had regressed so badly I’m surprised they could put on their cleats. One of the linebackers, and I won’t say who, came up to me when I arrived and silently offered me a turd. Was it a present? A warning? I don’t know to this day. I don’t know whose turd it was. I assume it was his. God, I hope it was his. This place was fucked up, is my point.
“So I feel pretty good about some of the progress we made last year,” Zimmer did not continue. “A lot of that has to do with [starting quarterback] Teddy [Bridgewater], of course – he took his knocks as a rookie but he closed out the season very strong. Looked accurate and in command. Now, I admit it was a mistake starting Matt Cassel last year. Shit, we’d have been better off just tossing Teddy to the wolves than starting that gormless piece of crap.
“No, I mean literal wolves,” Zimmer did not clarify in answer to a follow-up question. “I have a pack of them in the back that I make the defensive linemen fight. Keeps them mean. The linemen, I mean. And the wolves, too, I guess. Anyway, yes, I am saying it would have been better to have fed our first-round draft-pick quarterback to a pack of ravening predators than start Cassel. At least someone would have gotten a decent meal out of the experience.
“Where was I?” Zimmer did not resume as the press corps exchanged worried looks. “Ah, right, where are we going? Well, Bridgewater’ll be worth a damn. Adrian Peterson is thirty, which worries me a little, but on account of being a juvenile-ball-flogger he had to miss some time last year, so he should be fresher than a tailback of that age would normally be. Our best receiver is a seventh-round-draft pick with unbelievable speed and questionable hands, so we basically have Troy Williamson all over again except at an eight of the price, which is fair enough as far as I’m concerned. And we got Mike Wallace. We’re all looking forward to watching him burn cornerbacks en route to being out of Teddy’s effective range. That’s going to be pretty great.
“Cordarelle? Well, now…” Zimmer did not go on, shaking his head. “Sad story. He got off to such a great start last year, then he got kicked in the head by a horse.
“I know, I know,” he did not continue, trying to quiet the aghast press corps. “It seems unbelievable, even now, but is there any other reasonable explanation for why someone of his enormous athletic talent should have been so unremittingly fucking terrible for 15 games last year? Right.
“On the plus side, it seems possible that this year Matt Kalil won’t be any more dangerous to Teddy than the actual pass-rushers themselves, which is a huge upgrade. Otherwise the line should be pretty solid, and we have one of the deepest tight-end rosters in the NFL, assuming Kyle Rudolph doesn’t suffer a full-body hernia and die on the sidelines.
“Now, as you know, defense is my specialty, and I’m not bullshitting when I say we can field a top ten unit this year, maybe top five. We’re deep and wide – like Belichick and your mom – on the defensive line, led by Everson Griffen, one of the better pass-rushers in the league, and Sharrif Floyd, who’s as promising a young tackle as there is. We’re surprisingly strong at linebacker after years of fielding golden retrievers in purple jerseys at that position, with quality young players in Anthony Barr and rookie Eric Kendricks, as well as having seen great progress from last year’s backups Audie Cole and Gerald Hodges, but I’ll still start Chad Greenway because I like crafty veterans even if they are 52 years old and blind in both eyes.
“And also because fuck you,” Zimmer did not add, matter-of-factly.
“Now, I’m known as a cornerback whisperer, which I think is a mischaracterization because I actually shout at them. But I have a way with them, it’s true, and it’s showing. Xavier Rhodes improved enormously last year and could be one of the best corners in the league. Captain Munnerlyn is unlikely to make Rear Admiral but is otherwise serviceable in the slot, with the other outside corner spot being a toss up between Terrance Newman, who hasn’t had back-to-back quality games in twenty-five years, when he was thirty, and rookie Trae Waynes, whose spine and hips are in fact welded together, meaning he can only run in a straight line. But if you happen to be standing on that straight line, watch out.
“Harrison Smith is one of the best safeties in the league,” Zimmer did not proclaim defiantly. “Doubt me at your fucking peril. As for Robert Blanton…here’s the thing about Robert Blanton. Statistically, he was an average safety last year, maybe even a little bit above average. Does that surprise you? It should, because it shocked the fuck out of me. Every time I looked at the dude he was getting bulldozed or burned. He was basically the city of Detroit in human form. And yet he graded out pretty well, according to Pro Football Focus. I can only conclude that it’s some weird perversion of the Observer Effect in which the mere act of watching Robert Blanton somehow makes him terrible. So I appeal to you, good people, avert your eyes from Robert Blanton! If no one ever looks at him again he’ll make the Hall of Fame.
“Oh, how will we do?” Zimmer did not muse. “We went 7-9 last year. We’ve got Adrian Peterson back, most of our players are better, that Leslie Frazier hangover seems to be dissipating…on the other hand, Norv Turner’s offenses tend to regress a little in their second year, so there’s that. I know we’re all looking forward to watching him call a dump-off to Matt Asiata – a man who takes ten yards to accelerate to the speed of a shopping cart rolling down a gentle incline – in the flat on 3-9 at least fifteen times this year. I’m planning on drinking paint each time. I have a can of it with me on the sidelines. You’re welcome to join me. Any takers? Fine, more for me.
“What? Oh, 9-7 sounds about right. I will now take no questions.”