The announcement was made earlier this week that the Vikings and Mike Zimmer reached a contract extension making him the head coach for the next four seasons. Zimmer held a press conference on Saturday afternoon addressing his contract, new Covid protocols, social injustice and what it means to not have a preseason.
“I feel blessed to be able to continue on with the Minnesota Vikings,” Zimmer said. “With all of the help that I’ve been able to get throughout my time here I feel blessed and very honored. The fans have been outstanding to me, I love the culture and the state of Minnesota, I love the way they’ve opened their arms to myself and our foundation. Hopefully we can continue to build upon this and get to where we need to be which is in the Super Bowl.”
Zimmer is entering his seventh season as the head coach for the Vikings and discussed how he has come a long way since he first arrived in Minnesota. Although he is more experienced, 2020 has thrown a few new challenges at every team in the NFL.
He mentioned his lack of patience, but also talked about other struggles he has been through since becoming a head coach.
“My first year I had a running back suspended in the second game and no one knew that was going to happen. Teddy (Bridgewater) blows his knee out, Bradford (gets hurt), Everson (Griffen) misses a game. Like Coach Parcells all the time they’re not going to cancel a game,” Zimmer said. “When we get a guy hurt, they understand that’s part of the game. They’ll understand if a guy misses two weeks because he tests positive for Covid then somebody has to come in.”
The Vikings and their ownership group have shown their support for the social injustice issues currently going on in not only Minnesota, but in the entire country. Zimmer talked about the importance of having good players within the community and how that has benefited the Vikings.
“One of the things we’ve talked about since the day I walked in here was we want smart, tough, passionate football players that love the game of football and are good assets in their community,” Zimmer said. “Those are the kind of guys that we try and bring into our locker room. I ask the players to do a lot of things for me and when they ask me to do something for them socially justice wise, then I’m going to be there for them with my voice, with my ears and with the way I try to help them in any particular way.”
It’s going to be a much different start to the 2020 season starting out with no fans being out at training camp. Zimmer did say that he expects all his players to report on Tuesday, including star running back Dalvin Cook.
The lack of a preseason and limited roster spots is going to play a role in some of the younger guys making rosters across the NFL. Zimmer talked about how his preseason record is “pretty good” and how they will need to find new ways in completing the 53-man roster.
“Well my record in the preseason has been pretty good so that’s going to go away,” Zimmer said. “The good thing about this is that we can keep 16 practice squad players, so I think that’s going to help them a little bit.”
The NFL announced earlier this week that all training camps are going to start on time. The Vikings will have their full team at TCO Performance Center starting Tuesday, with their first game still scheduled against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 13.
Zimmer made it clear throughout his press conference that his team will be ready to go, no matter what obstacles are thrown their way. For more information on Zimmer’s press conference, follow KFAN on Twitter and KFAN.com.