Year in and year out, Mike Zimmer is a trendy name when NFL head coaching jobs open up, but five times he’s been passed over.
Not the sixth time, though, according to multiple reports. The Minnesota Vikings hired Zimmer, the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator, to replace Leslie Frazier, who was fired Dec. 30. Zimmer has been with the Bengals since 2008 and, before that, was defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons.
With the departure of Zimmer, Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis will have to replace both of his top assistants. The Washington Redskins hired offensive coordinator Jay Gruden last week to be their new head coach.
“He’s very competitive. He’s intense,” Bill Parcells said of Zimmer in a Star-Tribune interview. “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.”