Under new rules this season, NFL teams can start the interview process for new coaches as soon as Dec. 28th. However, only teams who have either fired or informed their current head coach that they will not be retained are eligible to begin conducting interviews.
Mike Zimmer’s fate was still up in the air heading into Sunday night’s border battle, according to Ian Rapoport. “Mike Zimmer appears to be one of the coaches whose fate has not yet been decided, per sources informed of his situation,” Rapoport wrote. “Winning out and making the playoffs would go a long way toward solidifying his status. Miss the playoffs for the fifth time in eight seasons and it would be a decision left to Minnesota’s ownership.”
But a 37-10 thumping in Lambeau has officially has sent the Vikings down the former path according to Jason La Canfora:
The Vikings, Broncos, and Bears have also had internal discussions about their head coaching situations and are preparing to conduct a search at the end of the season, league sources said.
While a final decision has not been made, coaches on all three staffs are bracing as if they might be elsewhere next season, and it would not be surprising to many within those teams if they make a change. Within those organizations, background work on potential candidates and what attributes would be most attractive to ownership/management have begun, and all three of these teams harbored playoff expectations entering the season.
By the end of play in Week 17 that could be expunged for all of them, and any chance that the Bears avoided a coaching search basically expired weeks ago.
As many expected, it’s looking like the Vikings will have a new leader after 8 seasons.