When Mike Zimmer was hired as the new head coach of the Minnesota Vikings following the 2013 season, he promised to change the culture and part of that would entail bringing in “Zimmer guys.”
As he and General Manager Rick Spielman have become more on the same page as to the style and skill set of athletes that thrive in Zimmer’s defense and, alternately, the offenses of Norv Turner and Pat Shurmur, the bar is being raised.
In the first year of the Zimmer Administration, it was a solid first 100 days. He signed some reasonably priced free agents, headed up by Linval Joseph and Captain Munnerlyn. The draft produced two starters – Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater – and four significant roles players and part-time starters – Jerick McKinnon, Antone Exum, Shamar Stephen and Jabari Price.
At one point or another, all were asked to step in and either take over the battle or contribute. To a large degree, even in limited sample sizes, they succeeded.
It wasn’t as if the draft was Cliff Clavin’s Jeopardy dream board. There were a couple of significant whiffs. The scouts who vouched for Scott Crichton and David Yankey were advised not to make unnecessary eye contact with Zim for an extended period of time. But, overall, it was a success.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/vikings/story/ ... to-success