Mike Zimmer, Kirk Cousins proper duo for Vikings’ title hopes

The Vikings’ determination to present contract extensions to quarterback Kirk Cousins and coach Mike Zimmer this offseason imply that this membership has made its determination on who can lead it to a Tremendous Bowl.

There’s little doubt followers prefer to complain in regards to the head coach of the soccer workforce and the beginning quarterback greater than some other positions in all of sports activities. However the reality is that Zimmer and Cousins are the correct tandem for this franchise.

The most important problem for the Vikings below Zimmer has been discovering some sort of consistency on the offensive facet of the ball, and whereas followers could be involved about shedding some key defenders, there may be zero query this teaching employees can produce an awesome protection.

With Cousins at quarterback and Gary Kubiak operating the offense that he put in final season, this workforce can take one other step in the correct path offensively. And that can make them Tremendous Bowl contenders.

Zimmer mentioned at his information convention asserting his new three-year contract, which can hold him right here by means of the 2023 season, that Cousins’ nice play in 2019 can get even higher.

“Him being in the identical system now for 2 years, I feel it’s all in entrance of him,” Zimmer mentioned. “I assumed he performed terrific final yr. And if we are able to proceed to enhance in a number of the different areas that we have to enhance on with a number of the safety issues and operating recreation issues that we are able to all enhance on, I feel the sky is the restrict for him.”

The membership did lose offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, who grew to become the coach of the Cleveland Browns, however Zimmer mentioned that this offense goes to be virtually similar to final season, and that will likely be an enormous assist for Cousins.

“Actually offensively it’s not going to vary hardly in any respect,” Zimmer mentioned. “Gary was very, very influential final yr with all the things that went about offensively. I’m not attempting to take something away from Kevin, nevertheless it was mainly Gary’s offense. Loads of the issues that have been put in have been Gary’s offense and Gary gave numerous enter to Kevin all through the course of time, and Rick Dennison with the offensive line.

“I feel that is necessary for us that you realize we’re speaking about — defensively we now have some turnover, however offensively we’re mainly a veteran group now. We’ve added a few guys that we really feel might help us in right here, however I feel that it’s going to look actually, actually related.”

Proud Parcells

Zimmer’s greatest booster has been Corridor of Fame coach Invoice Parcells, who Zimmer labored below whereas with the Dallas Cowboys. When Zimmer received his contract prolonged, Parcells was one of many first to congratulate him.

“I’ve heard from him fairly a bit this summer time,” Zimmer mentioned. “He nonetheless calls me fairly a bit. He was excited for me. He is aware of that Minnesota is the correct place for me. We’ve established actually the sort of those that we wish in right here. We’ve established the relationships that we wish with gamers and possession and administration and I feel these issues are so necessary to me, the loyalty that all of us have towards each other. He knew that these issues have been necessary, as properly.”

There’s little doubt Parcells taught Zimmer to place nice worth in his assistant coaches. When Zimmer was requested if he has improved as a head coach throughout his six years with the Vikings, he mentioned these relationships made all of the distinction.

“I attempt to be taught from the entire coaches,” Zimmer mentioned. “You realize all of them give enter, we’re capable of communicate freely on all types of points, my door is at all times open for them. I attempt to be taught from all people. I attempt to be taught from different folks within the league. We’ve good gamers, too, and that helps. We’ve been very, very lucky that the defensive employees has been the identical mainly for six years.

“We’ve had some turnover offensively, however a few these is as a result of guys received head teaching jobs and that’s nice for them, and so they have been capable of take another guys with them. However you realize, it’s all a course of and we’re simply comfortable that we are able to proceed ahead and attempt to attain our final objective.”

Swing for the Tremendous Bowl

In Zimmer’s six seasons, the Vikings have gained three NFC North titles, reached the NFC Championship Recreation as soon as and posted a 50-37-1 document, the fourth-best mark within the NFC since 2014, behind the Seahawks, Packers and Saints.

The 64-year-old Zimmer is aware of that the following 4 years of his contract will give him an opportunity to maintain taking a shot at an NFL title. However that doesn’t imply that is his closing contract.

“I really like being across the gamers. I really like going out on the sphere. I really like game-planning. I really like doing all of the issues that you just’ve received to do to prepare for the season,” he mentioned. “I feel when it will get to that point [when this contract is up], you realize, we’ll all decide. Both I’m teaching actually good or I’m teaching actually unhealthy after which we’ll determine how I’m feeling and go from there. However it is a nice alternative that we now have, to proceed to maintain taking swings at what we have to swing at.”

JOTTINGS

• Corridor of Fame soccer coach Tony Dungy advised Sirius XM Radio that he sees numerous similarities between Gophers coach P.J. Fleck and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney: “I feel that’s the wonderful thing about faculty soccer proper now,” the previous Gophers quarterback mentioned. “I visited with Dabo Swinney loads. It was not a spot the place you say robotically, ‘Hey if I take this Clemson job, we’re going to be nationwide championship contenders in three years.’ It wasn’t checked out that approach. The truth that it could possibly occur at Clemson, the truth that it could possibly occur at Minnesota, that makes faculty soccer nice.”

• May faculty soccer go to regional nonconference video games sooner or later? The one FBS program from a neighboring state is Iowa State. Close by FCS applications will embrace St. Thomas in addition to Drake, North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota and South Dakota State.

• Professional Soccer Focus ranked the Vikings operating backs because the seventh-best group within the NFL. PFF highlighted the return of Dalvin Cook dinner, Alexander Mattison and Mike Boone as giving the Vikings an opportunity to have the league’s high speeding assault.

• Former Twins prospect Nick Burdi is serving as nearer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In his first two video games he gave up no hits, with one stroll, 4 strikeouts and a save in two innings. The 2014 second-round choose by no means pitched for the Twins due to harm bother however is now in his third season with Pittsburgh.

• The Gophers males’s hockey workforce introduced this system had an NHL-high 17 alumni enjoying within the playoffs, together with 4 gamers — Hudson Fasching, Alex Goligoski, Phil Kessel and Aaron Ness — on Arizona. The Wild has two former Gophers, Kyle Rau and Mat Robson, though it’s unlikely both one will see any motion in Edmonton. Not listed was Pittsburgh ahead Nick Bjugstad, who will miss the playoffs following spinal surgical procedure in Could.

 

 

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