Mike Zimmer is an excellent defensive coach with an impressive resume. No one disputes his ability to develop talent and scheme opponents. The loudest criticism of Zimmer during his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings has been his overwhelming focus on the defense.
Many on the outside feel Zimmer is too invested in coaching his favorite side of the ball and doesn’t give a fair share of bandwidth to the rest of the team.
Kyle Rudolph certainly isn’t helping tamp down those feelings. Now in his first season with the New York Giants, Rudolph, let a subtle shot at his former head coach slip in a Tuesday press conference.
To me, it’s the first time I’ve had a head coach who’s not a defensive coordinator. So, it’s a head coach that’s in charge of the entire team.
He certainly didn’t go nuclear on his former coach but the phrasing in the second part of his statement, “the entire team,” is a pretty damning indictment of how he believes things were run during his time in Minnesota.
Rudolph certainly isn’t the first person wearing purple to feel this way. From a disgruntled Stefon Diggs to an enraged Norv Turner through a spinning wheel of offensive coordinators Minnesota certainly hasn’t been an offensive oasis during Zimmer‘s tenure.
The timing of this comment may allow it to fall on deaf ears after the Vikings looked exceptional on offense against the Arizona Cardinals. And Zimmer certainly has bigger things to worry about after an 0-2 start than what a scorned tight end thinks, but as his hot seat continues to heat up, having former players add validity to negative public sentiment is not necessarily a good thing for the head coach.