Although the Vikings want to expand upon their offensive production and consider quarterback their biggest concern, Spielman’s extensive coaching search ultimately zeroed in on defensive minds who had success in 2013.
In a wide-ranging search that included at least 10 candidates that the Vikings either interviewed, requested an interview with or were believed to have an interest in, it was Zimmer, Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn who were reportedly the three finalists.
Zimmer was praised by Parcells recently in a Star Tribune article.
“He’s very competitive, he’s intense,” Parcells said. “I think he’s a smart guy. … Every place that I’ve ever heard that he’s been, the players really liked him. And yet he doesn’t coddle the players at all. He’s got a good balance with that tough love.
“I think now he’s got enough experience to handle the players and the big picture and the scouting and the constraints and the things that the league mandates now. He’s got enough experience to where he’d do a good job.”
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis also has said Zimmer has what it takes to be a head coach.
“Zim does a great job of identifying who to push and when,” Lewis was quoted as saying on the Bengals website. “He helps me by being the guy who puts his foot up their butt, getting them moving in the right direction so I don’t have to be the one to do it all the time.”
©2014 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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