Mike Zimmer Talks Senior Bowl and Changes to the Vikings Coaching Staff

Alexander Shun | @alexpshun

Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is in Mobile, Alabama this week for the 2017 Senior Bowl and, although he and the rest of the Vikings' coaches will be quite busy while down there, he took a few moments to catch up with the team's official website (vikings.com) to talk about the Senior Bowl and the recent changes to his coaching staff.

The Importance of the Senior Bowl

While some have questioned the importance of the Senior Bowl in years past, Zimmer believes there is still value in getting the 'veteran' college players together and letting them compete, particularly those from the smaller schools.

"Well you get a chance to eyeball them, first of all," Zimmer said when asked what he thought was important about the Senior Bowl. "Then a lot of these small school players, they get up against better competition and I think that's always good when you see how they interact with other people. And then you see them against good players every play.

"I think it's fun for the players too," Zimmer continued. "It's a real honor to be invited to the Senior Bowl."

The Senior Bowl is the first chance for the selected college players to talk to and interact with the NFL coaching staffs. And, as Zimmer was quick to point out, also the first chance for coaches to see how they handle NFL playbooks, NFL schemes and NFL rules.

Coaches from all NFL teams have made their way to Mobile this week and, like Zimmer, will be looking to see how everyone matches-up with one another as well as many intangibles that may or may not show up at the Combine next month.

"One of the biggest things you get to see is how they finish plays," Zimmer noted. "Again, how they interact with other guys. You know, all of that stuff is important."

Shurmur's Switch To Permanent Offensive Coordinator

Pat Shurmur took over as offensive coordinator for the Vikings just before the midway point of the 2016 season, after Norv Turner unexpectedly resigned the position. Zimmer named Shurmur offensive coordinator because of his previous experience in the position as well as his excellent relationship with quarterback Sam Bradford. 

At the time, Shurmur's role was considered temporary. Now, it's a permanent title.

"I think Pat did a great job of coming in under difficult circumstances," Zimmer said. "Pat and I have a good relationship. We're able to communicate very easily. It's been good.

"I think the relationship between Pat and Sam has been good as well," Zimmer continued. "I think we've been doing a lot of things with the offense...We're just starting the process but it's kind of refreshing to be with, almost, a new system now."

Zimmer, Shurmur and Bradford will now look to improve upon an offense that finished 28th in the NFL in total offense and scored just 20.4 points per game.

You can watch the entirety of the interview with Coach Zimmer from the Tweet below.

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