You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Big C: Zimmer eager to turn Vikings around


Former Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer had to wait what seemed like an eternity for his opportunity to become a head coach in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings put an end to the wait last month when they hired the 20-year coordinator to lead their team.

During an interview at the scouting combine the well-respected coach started by expressing his gratitude for the city and team he left behind.

“I’m going to miss the fans a lot,” Zimmer said. “They treated me with great respect and I think they were proud of the way we played defense. I’m obviously going to miss Marvin (Lewis) and interacting with the players. They were instrumental in everything that has happened for me. The people in the organization were outstanding.”

Zimmer was instrumental in turning around an undisciplined and underachieving Bengals defense when he arrived in Cincinnati in 2008. He is expected to mimic the approach he took in Cincinnati in order to transform Minnesota’s 31 st -ranked defense.

“I want to get the players out on the practice field and get a feel for how they are and interact,” Zimmer said. “Then try to figure out where we go from that point. My expectations are always very high and I plan to raise the level of expectation with our team.

“When I first came to Cincinnati they didn’t have the reputation they have now, so to accomplish the things we did was extremely important. We hope to duplicate that in Minnesota.”

The Vikings defense was the gift that kept giving last season allowing the most points in the league.

Zimmer should bring a physical toughness and an intense atmosphere to the team on the field and in the locker room. There are some players on Cincinnati’s defense who would have thrown themselves in front of a moving bus to make plays for no-nonsense Coach Zim. They respected him that much.

Of course, creating the same type of environment up north would be beneficial, but Zimmer won’t push it. That’s something that should come naturally.

“You always want that to happen, but that’s not my goal to do those things,” he said. “My goal is to try and make them better football players each and every day. Hopefully, I can do that with my current players. It’s nice to see that the players have that kind of respect for me.”

That being said, it will be no surprise to see Minnesota pursue some of Zim’s protégés such as soon to be free agent defensive end Michael Johnson. When asked if he would look at some former Bengals to fill areas of need, he played it close to the vest.

“We’re going to take a look at the entire free-agent market,” Zimmer said. “Obviously, I have a little more knowledge of the guys in Cincinnati, but at the end of the day we’re looking for good players. We have a few holes on defense we need to fix and want to put the best possible product on the field. I don’t care if it’s a left tackle or defensive end, we want to get the best guy with talent.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Falcons give game ball to player's wife who sat in stands while in labor
Falcons give game ball to player's wife who sat in stands while in labor

The Atlanta Falcons have the hottest offense in football. So can you blame any fan who doesn’t want to miss a single play? Put Falcons guard Andy Levitre’s wife, Katie, into that group. She went into labor right before the NFC Divisional Round game against the Seahawks. But she stayed in the stands for the entire game. For her dedication...
Girls Basketball: McDavid scores 37 in Kenton Ridge win
Girls Basketball: McDavid scores 37 in Kenton Ridge win

Kenton Ridge’s girls basketball team is on the upswing as the regular season winds down and hopes to carry the momentum in the tournament. The Cougars ran away in the second half on Monday night to an 94-55 win over Greeneview in a nonconference game. It’s their fourth win in the last five games, and all of the victories have come by 20...
H.S. Results for 1/23/17: Fairborn girls win at the buzzer

Fairborn’s Evelyn Oktavec hit a shot from near midcourt as the final buzzer sounded Monday, giving the Skyhawks a 57-56 high school girls basketball victory over Chaminade Julienne. Oktavec scored a career-high 23 points for Fairborn, which has won four of its last six. Khala Powell added 16 for the Skyhawks, Kaylie Cook 9. Girls Basketball Badin...
Bengals player Adam Jones tells cop ‘I hope you die’
Bengals player Adam Jones tells cop ‘I hope you die’

Police on Monday released video from inside a police cruiser in which Cincinnati Bengals player Adam Jones goes on an expletive-filled rant following his arrest and tells the officer driver the cruiser ‘I hope you die.’ Jones, 33, was arrested Jan. 3 in downtown Cincinnati on charges of disorderly conduct and assault. He later was...
High School Boys Basketball Poll: Is your team ranked?
High School Boys Basketball Poll: Is your team ranked?

The top 10 teams in the Associated Press Ohio high school basketball poll with first-place votes in parentheses and won-loss record, total points and position last week at right: DIVISION I 1, Cin. Moeller (20) 15-0 200 2, Newark 14-0 162 3, Pickerington Cent. 13-1 140 4, Tol. St. Francis 13-1 128 5, Massillon Jackson 12-1 111 6, Wooster 13-0 85 7...
More Stories