They’ve looked incredibly bad in going 0-2 and Mike Zimmer seems to have no answers, so here are 5 candidates to be the next Minnesota Vikings head coach.
The Minnesota Vikings dropped to 0-2 with a 28-11 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. They have been outscored 71-45 in two games, and if not for a chunk of garbage time points in Week 1 that margin would be worse. The once-vaunted defense, designed by head coach Mike Zimmer, is toward the bottom of the league by any measure.
The offense led the ugliness in Sunday’s game, as Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions and took a sack for a safety for the second time in as many games. The defense has been put in tough position by the offense’s inability to sustain drives, but the unit of Zimmer’s expertise is not exempt as the Colts had a 100-yard rusher (Jonathan Taylor) and a100-yard receiver (tight end Mo Alie-Cox) in Week 2.
Looking at and hearing Zimmer’s postgame quotes after Sunday’s loss, does he come off as a coach who has any answers? Lot’s of crutch buzzwords and strained phrases, with no substance.
Coming off a playoff win last year, contract extensions for Zimmer, Cousins, general manager Rick Spielman and running back Dalvin Cook gave the Vikings stability into and looking beyond what will be a unique season. But it also removed a sense of urgency, and invited excuses (lack of OTAs, no preseason games, a bunch of young cornerbacks). There’s no motivation to not just go 3-13 and “go get ’em next year.”
The Vikings face long odds to make the playoffs now, and a head coaching change might no be ideal with what it would mean in the big picture of more changes. But Zimmer is firmly on a warm (and should be getting hotter) seat, and mostly looking to 2021 here are five candidates to be the next Minnesota Vikings head coach.
5 candidates to replace Mike Zimmer as Vikings head coach
5. Josh McDaniels, Patriots Offensive Coordinator
If feels like a matter of time before McDaniels gets another shot to be a head coach, and his (to this point) successful reshaping of the Patriots offense around the talents of Cam Newton will only bolster his candidacy after the season.
McDaniels could stay in New England, on the idea he’ll eventually succeed Bill Belichick. But at age-68 Belichick doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, and five more years might be the minimum for him. Even with some sort of unofficial succession plan, no one would blame McDaniels if he didn’t want to wait for Belichick to retire.
That said, McDaniels seems to be carefully considering the opportunities that come his way in each hiring cycle. The stain of leaving the Indianapolis Colts at the proverbial alter a few years ago should be gone. Looking toward 2021, firing Zimmer and at least reaching out to McDaniels for an interview should be emerging on the Vikings’ radar.