Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer refuses to believe he’s on the hot seat

In comments before Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer refused to think he’s on the hot seat.

Based on head coach Mike Zimmer’s tenure, this year should mean playoffs for the Minnesota Vikings. With everything in play, as his signature unit on the defensive side of the ball has to improve, it’s not a reach to say Zimmer is on a bit of a hot seat.

Unless you ask him, of course.

“I think if you polled all the offensive coaches in the league, they would say that I’m still ahead of the curve,” Zimmer said, via Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “They would tell you how much they respect me. So I don’t worry about all that. The fans can say all that stuff they want, but the people who know, they know.”

Zimmer also addressed last year’s abysmal Vikings’ defense, with an attempt to say it was great coaching given the group that was available.

“[Co-defensive coordinator] Andre [Patterson] and I talked early in the season and said, ‘If we can win eight games with this group that we got, it’s probably one of the best coaching jobs there was,’” Zimmer said. “We ended up winning seven.”

Does Mike Zimmer think he’s on the hot seat now?

Zimmer’s comments came out before Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, via the Star Tribune’s season preview. A penalty-riddled effort on the road, with a couple critical mistakes at critical stages of the game, led to a 27-24 overtime loss. Zimmer can try to put a huge chunk of the blame on Kirk Cousins, who is not without flaw. But a sloppy showing against the Bengals did not include the quarterback.

With a Week 2 road game against the Arizona Cardinals, followed by home games against the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns, the Vikings are staring an 0-4 start right in the face. Zimmer’s public tune dismissing being on the hot seat won’t be changing, but he’s definitely there and the talk isn’t going to go away even if he doesn’t like it.