2014 NFL combine: Vikings GM Spielman says Zimmer's not gruff
The prevailing theory that Mike Zimmer was too gruff and honest in interviews to land a head coaching job didn't apply to the Vikings.
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."
Our Latest Stories
The new Packers tight end says he was inspired by his brother, Seahawks defensive end Michael...
Brandon Brooks did more than just respond to an invitation
Currently, the rule prevents a team from earning more than just a third challenge
Goodell said the NFL hasn't 'identified a viable solution' to keep the Raiders in Oakland
Maualuga was Cincinnati's starting middle linebacker for most of his eight seasons with the...
Stewart has been overworked the last two years and his efficiency has suffered