• My Scores
  • NFL
  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • Golf

2014 NFL combine: Vikings GM Spielman says Zimmer's not gruff

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

More Draft: NFL Mock Drafts | Big Board | NFL Combine news and updates

INDIANAPOLIS -- The prevailing opinion on why Mike Zimmer interviewed for so many head coaching jobs but never actually got any of them was because he was too gruff and too honest during job interviews. Which apparently was too much of a turnoff for whomever was hiring for those positions.

But when asked Thursday about Zimmer's reputation for gruffness and whether he displayed any of those tendencies before he landed the Vikings head coaching job, Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman began to laugh.

Gruff? No, Zimmer's not gruff, Spielman said. At least not off the field.

"[The gruffness], that's not true," Spielman said. "He may be gruff between those lines. But I called agents of the players he coached. As demanding as he is, I've never heard so much respect for him as a coach. He has that 'it' factor for being a coach who holds guys accountable. Yet the players love him for that. That's really one thing that stuck with me about him."

Mostly, Spielman liked the chemistry he had with Zimmer, particularly since they were both the sons of coaches and both have many of the same philosophies on coaching and team-building. Even though the Vikings interviewed seven candidates in an eight-day span to replace Leslie Frazier, the chemistry was perhaps the biggest attribute Zimmer possessed.

"How he operates in the office, I've learned a lot myself," Spielman said. "He has a reputation for taking guys that are good football players -- some guys who people thought were done - but getting them to play up to their capabilities. I can't tell you how impressed I've been with Mike."

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Sign up to our newsletter and find out who your team could be picking

nfl Video

October 6, 2015
We Need To Talk: Dan Quinn talks Falcons football (6:49)
October 6, 2015
We Need To Talk: Charles Woodson on his foundation and legacy
October 6, 2015
We Need To Talk: Most surprising undefeated team
October 6, 2015
We Need To Talk: Joe Philbin out; Dan Campbell in


Most Popular

CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike Scarlet Ohio State Buckeyes No. 15 Limited Football Jersey

College Sideline Gear
Get your favorite school
Shop Now

2016 Super Bowl
Super Bowl