Jump to content

Most signs point to Zimmer


oldschooler
 Share

Recommended Posts

Most signs point to Zimmer

The Bengals are expected to remain quiet through the weekend but could name Mike Zimmer as their defensive coordinator as early as next week. Zimmer interviewed Jan. 4 with the Bengals in Cincinnati.

He was told by the Falcons to look for another job, though he was not fired, after Atlanta's season and staff fell apart with the resignation of head coach Bobby Petrino to take the Arkansas job.

Zimmer was Atlanta's coordinator in 2007 and was credited as coordinator in Dallas for moving its defense from a three-linebacker to four-linebacker scheme, a possibility this offseason with the Bengals.

Zimmer and Bengals offensive coordiantor Bob Bratkowski were both on the Weber State staff from 1981-85.Here is Zimmer's biography from the 2007 Atlanta Falcons media guide:

Mike Zimmer enters his first season with the Falcons after spending the past 13 years with the Dallas Cowboys,including the last seven years as Defensive Coordinator.

During his time in Dallas, Zimmer established himself as one of the NFL's top defensive minds with a fundamentally sound and aggressive scheme. After joining the staff in 1994, he was promoted to Defensive Coordinator in 2000. In seven of his 13 years with the club, the Cowboys ranked in the top 10 in total defense and pass defense, while advancing to the postseason seven times.

As Defensive Coordinator in Dallas, Zimmer has earned respect and recognition from around the NFL in 2005 as he adapted his defense to the Cowboys changing rosters by successfully overseeing the transition from the club's base 4-3 defense to a 3-4 system.

Prior to assuming the Defensive Coordinator post, Zimmer directed the Cowboys Secondary that was one of the league's best throughout the second half of the 1990's.

In 2006, Zimmer coordinated a defense that finished ranked 13th in total defense and 10th in rush defense as Dallas advanced to the postseason. Second-year linebacker DeMarcus Ware ranked tied for second in the NFL with 11.5 sacks on the way to his first Pro Bowl honor, while veteran safety Roy Williams led the team in interceptions as he tied a career-high with five thefts en route to his fourth straight Pro Bowl under Zimmer's watch.

Incorporating as many as three rookies (Ware, Marcus Spears and Chris Canty) and another first-time starter (Bradie James) in the front seven, Zimmer's unit finished the year 10th in the NFL in total defense in 2005. A veteran secondary anchored by Williams, a three-time Pro Bowler, and third-year starter Terence Newman, allowed opponents to complete just 54.7% of their passes, the second lowest figure in the League.

Zimmer's 2004 defense was forced to play without the services of veteran safety Darren Woodson (back) for the year while rotating through four different players at right cornerback.

The Cowboys defensive unit finished the season 16th in total defense, but came together over the final half of the season, recording 17 sacks and 17 turnovers while holding three opponents to 12 points-or-less.

In 2003, Zimmer's defense surrendered only an NFL best 253.5 yards average per game - the sixth best single-season performance in club history. The Cowboys led the NFL in pass defense, and closed out the season third in rush defense. The end result helped return Dallas to the playoffs after a three-year absence. The Dallas defense held six opponents to less than 10 points while finishing the year as the only NFL club to boast an opponents' pass completion percentage of less than 50% (48.6). The defense also led the NFL in fewest yards allowed on first down (4.13) and fewest first downs (14.3 per game) while ranking second in scoring defense (16.3).

For the first time since 1998, three Dallas defenders earned Pro Bowl recognition as Williams, LaRoi Glover and linebacker Dexter Coakley represented the NFC in Hawaii.

Despite playing with the youngest secondary in the NFL in 2002, Zimmer's squad finished the year 18th in the NFL in total defense, 15th against the run and 19th against the pass. On a play-by-play basis, the Cowboys were sixth in the league in yards per play, third in rushing yards per attempt and 13th in passing yards-per-attempt. Only six teams allowed fewer touchdowns than the 32 given up by Dallas, and the 10 rushing touchdowns given up by Dallas was the fifth best total in the League. Five times during the season, the Dallas defense allowed 13 points or less. Setting the pace with young players, Zimmer had two rookies, safety Roy Williams and cornerback Derek Ross, tie for fourth in the NFC with five interceptions each.

In 2001, the Cowboys allowed 1,710 rushing yards, a figure that was 927 yards less than the club allowed during the 2000 season. That figure represented the largest turnaround in the NFL in 2001. The club's overall defense showed a 730-yard improvement when compared to the previous season, jumping the club from an overall NFL ranking of 19th in 2000 to fourth in 2001. The Dallas defense jumped from 31st against the run in 2000 to 13th, allowing an average of 106.9 yards per game on the ground. The Cowboys were third in the NFL (second in the NFC) in pass defense, giving up an average of 180.6 yards-per-game. The unit gave up fewer than 200 passing yards in seven of its last nine games, while allowing only one opposing quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in 16 regular season games.

The Cowboys 2000 defense battled through a string of injuries that forced a total of five key starters to miss a combined 33 games. The Dallas pass defense once again landed near the top of League rankings under Zimmer, finishing third in the NFL (second in NFC), allowing just 168.3 passing yards per game. Despite struggles early in the season, Zimmer's troops improved to finish the season ranked 19th in the NFL (ninth in NFC) in total defense, allowing 333.1 yards per game.

Prior to being promoted to Defensive Coordinator, Zimmer spent five years as Dallas' Defensive Backs Coach and a year as a Defensive Assistant working with the nickel defense. In six years under Zimmer's watchful eye, the Cowboys pass defense surrendered an average of 190.6 passing yards per game, the second lowest figure in the League over that time span (Philadelphia 187.4). In addition to finishing as one of the top two pass defenses in the NFL three times in that time frame, Dallas was the only team to have allowed fewer than 176.0 passing yards per game over a season three times.

Despite using five different starting lineups in the secondary in 1999, Zimmer's defensive backfield helped the Cowboys pass defense finish fourth in the NFC. The unit also tied for sixth in the NFL with 24 interceptions and returned four for touchdowns, tying the club record (1985, 1995). The Cowboys defense also limited seven opponents to 190 yards-or-less passing.

In 1998, the Cowboys were able to hold eight opponents to 200 yards passing or less, including four to 160 yards or less. Cornerback and former Falcon Deion Sanders led the team with five interceptions, totaling 153 return yards to earn his third consecutive Pro Bowl berth, while Woodson earned his fifth straight Pro Bowl appearance after leading the team with 136 tackles.

The Cowboys finished 1997 at or near the top of several NFL pass defense categories, including fewest completions allowed (253 - first), net yards per pass play (4.94 - third) and yards gained per completion (10.74 - third). The Cowboys also held five opponents to less than 120 yards passing and 12 to 176 yards or less.

In 1996, CB Kevin Smith returned from a ruptured Achilles tendon to tie for the team lead with five interceptions. Woodson earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl berth after finishing with 118 tackles and five interceptions to tie Smith for the team lead. Sanders intercepted two passes, knocked away another nine and recovered a team-high three fumbles to earn his fifth career Pro Bowl selection (and first with Dallas).

In his first season as Defensive Backs coach in 1995, Zimmer lost Smith for the year with a ruptured Achilles tendon in the season opener and did not have Sanders' services until week nine. Despite the injuries, the secondary surrendered only 204.5 passing yards per game, and Dallas returned four interceptions for touchdowns, tying the club record (1985). Through Zimmer's help, Dallas' defense allowed less than 200 yards passing in 10 of 16 games in the regular season and Zimmer was fitted for a Super Bowl ring as the Cowboys captured Super Bowl XXX with a 27-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As a Defensive Assistant in 1994, Zimmer worked with the Dallas nickel defense, which helped the secondary finish as the top ranked pass defense in the NFL (allowing only 172.0 passing yards per game) en route to advancing to the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco.

Before joining the Dallas staff, Zimmer spent five seasons as the Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach at Washington State. Zimmer's first Cougar defense in 1989 established a school record with 24 interceptions and 48 sacks. In 1993, the Cougars finished eighth in the nation in total defense and second in rushing defense.

Prior to joining the Cougars' staff, Zimmer was an assistant at Weber State from 1981-88. Zimmer coached inside linebackers from 1981-84, while adding the duties of Defensive Coordinator. From 1985-88, he served as coordinator and oversaw the secondary alongside current Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino, who served as the Wide Receivers and Tight Ends Coach for the team from 1987-88.

Zimmer began his coaching career as a part-time assistant on defense at the University of Missouri in 1979, coaching, among others, All-Pro cornerbacks Eric Wright (San Francisco 49ers) and Johnnie Poe (New Orleans Saints).

Zimmer played quarterback at Illinois State University in 1974. After redshirting the 1975 season, he suffered a broken thumb in the spring of 1976 and was moved to linebacker. A neck injury suffered during the 1976 season led to surgery and the end of his playing career. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1979.

Zimmer was a two-time all-conference quarterback at Lockport (Ill.) High School in 1972-73, playing for his father, Bill, who played football at Bradley and later with the 49ers. Mike also earned all-conference honors in wrestling and baseball.

Born June 5, 1956 in Peoria, Illinois. Mike and wife Vikki have three children, Adam, Marki and Corri. Adam is currently an assistant coach with the New Orleans Saints.

http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/bengals/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good post, and great news! Sure he's a 3-4 guy, but if that's what it takes for Cincinnati's defense to finally move into the upper half of all NFL defenses, so be it. Who knows...maybe this is part of things being "blown up".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This would certainly make 3-4 more likely, but he's run both. So that's good news.

I'll go on record as saying this looks like our best bet. Proven guy who's only on the market due to circumstances - Parcells leaving in 2006 and the Falcons imploding in 2007.

He must be pretty decent if Parcells kept him on staff when Parcells joined the Cowboys. As we saw lately, the Tuna likes to clean house and bring his guys on board.

Unless there's something I'm missing, I say let's get him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zimmer is a good choice. He's pretty young but also experienced. He was a hard-ass, like Parcell, so style-wise look for him to have no time for anything but success.

If this happens, it will be interesting to see how he meshes with ML + SoP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Curnutte on the Hue news:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chess pieces on a board

Word from Atlanta over the weekend is that Hue Jackson, Falcons offensive coordinator in 2007, could be re-hired by the Bengals. Officially, the Falcons, still searching for a head coach to replace Bobby Petrino, who quit, have given the Bengals permission to interview Jackson. Jackson has told associates in Atlanta that he is confident he could be back on the Bengals staff quickly.

In fact, both of Atlanta's 2007 coordinators, defensive boss Mike Zimmer and Jackson, could end up on Cincinnati's staff in the near future. Zimmer interviewed with the Bengals for their vacant coordinator job Jan. 4 and is the top candidate.

Jackson had a successful run from 2004-06 as Bengals wide receivers coach and played a big role in the further development of Chad Johnson, the emergence of T.J. Houshmandzadeh as an eventual Pro Bowl player and the grooming of 2005 rookies Chris Henry and Tab Perry. Jackson's greatest asset was his ability to communicate with his position players and the way he kept a collection of strong personalities in check and focused.

But there are no openings on the offensive staff at this point.

One possible shift to keep an eye on:

No coach on the Bengals staff is ripe for promotion or advancement like five-year quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese. He interviewed for the offensive coordinator position at Carolina and was offered the coordinator job by Jets coach Eric Mangini. Zampese chose to stay with the Bengals.

Zampese's name is likely to surface again in the next couple of weeks as a strong candidate for another coordinator position, once head-coaching jobs are settled in places such as Miami, Baltimore and Atlanta.

If Zampese were to leave for another job, current Bengals wide receivers coach Mike Sheppard, a former quarterbacks coach with the Saints (2002-04), could slide over to coach quarterbacks, creating room for Jackson to return as wide receivers coach.

No one is saying this, but I will. (Again, this opinion is mine and is not based on anything I was told.) But I would guess that quarterback Carson Palmer, in his Dec. 31 comments that changes had to be made on the coaching staff, might have been talking about the unruliness of the team's wide receivers. Palmer never outed his receivers, but the sense around the locker room was he was growing weary from dealing with the constant lobbying for the ball and personal competition between his top two receivers.

Sheppard is an excellent coach, a professorial type, with an impressive resume, but word in the locker room was that the receivers didn't listen to him the way they had Jackson. Whoever was responsible, there were many times this past season when Palmer and his receivers mis-communicated on pass routes. The ball was one place, the receiver another. Such problems shouldn't have been so frequent with a quarterback and receivers (Johnson and Houshmandzadeh) who'd been starting together for a fourth season. A symbol of the dysfunction was the goal-line interception before the half against New England and the now-infamous caught-on-TV verbal confrontation between Palmer and Johnson coming off the field.

When the Bengals fired defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan and linebackers coach Ricky Hunley two weeks ago, they also said that the rest of their coaching staff was under contract for 2008. But there still could be more changes, especially if a coach or two left for a promotion with another team. There is no one more likely to get that chance than Zampese. He is primed to be an NFL offensive play-caller.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No word on Zimmer...but Hobs says the Bengals are now talking to Hue Jackson about coming back. In what capacity? Unknown.

Pure speculation, but if no coaches defect (Zampese) adding Jackson would be a perfect opportunity to flesh out the current coaching staff....as I've been known to "howl" in favor of.

Pick whatever title you wish. Assistant head coach, special consultant, offensive quality control coach, guru, svengali, day care manager, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No word on Zimmer...but Hobs says the Bengals are now talking to Hue Jackson about coming back. In what capacity? Unknown.

Pure speculation, but if no coaches defect (Zampese) adding Jackson would be a perfect opportunity to flesh out the current coaching staff....as I've been known to "howl" in favor of.

Pick whatever title you wish. Assistant head coach, special consultant, offensive quality control coach, guru, svengali, day care manager, etc.

Let's start with Chad's shrink and go from there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if Zimmer is holding out to see what happens in Atlanta first. I'm not so sure the opportunity here is any better than it is there - plus in Atlanta he knows he'll be with an owner that's more committed to winning.

That's the kind of crap analysis I've come to expect from you...as Arthur Blank may be the worst owner in all of professional sports.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if Zimmer is holding out to see what happens in Atlanta first. I'm not so sure the opportunity here is any better than it is there - plus in Atlanta he knows he'll be with an owner that's more committed to winning.

That's the kind of crap analysis I've come to expect from you...as Arthur Blank may be the worst owner in all of professional sports.

Do you know the Browns personally? You seem pretty damn harsh in their defense. I'm being serious too. I know a guy who is close with the family and he gets very defensive if people around him bash Mike and co.

Just curious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if Zimmer is holding out to see what happens in Atlanta first. I'm not so sure the opportunity here is any better than it is there - plus in Atlanta he knows he'll be with an owner that's more committed to winning.

Shula! You agree with my take on the winning Bengals organization so much you quoted me in your sig. :sure:

I agree that Blank is more committed to creating layers of bureaucracy. And he wants to win. But I question his MO so far. He threw a bunch of money at his pot-smoking quarterback, and now that he's looking to restaff he's keeping his gm, hiring a new GM (not sure how that works), and sending like 8 people to interview coaching candidates. He's got the 8-headed hydra thing going. But he's not all bad, as I buy hammers from him, and he's good at selling hammers. Also, he has that special quality that you, Daugherty, and Bengals1 look for when taking the measure of another human - He is not now nor has he ever been Mike Brown. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I question his MO so far. He threw a bunch of money at his pot-smoking quarterback...

More to the point, Atlanta newspapers confirmed that Blank had been warned about Vick's drug use and continued involvement in dogfighting even before offering him a contract extension that made him one of the highest paid players in the NFL. Seriously, just think about how that type of commitment to winning would play in Cincy, where by comparison....Chris Henry and Odell Thurman play for peanuts.

...and sending like 8 people to interview coaching candidates. He's got the 8-headed hydra thing going....

Well, his last coaching search didn't work out too well, right? In fact, it's been called one of the worst head coaching hires in the history of the NFL. But what the heck, I guess our boy Shula was impressed by Blank's sense of daring and willingness to think outside the box.

But he's not all bad, as I buy hammers from him, and he's good at selling hammers.

Exactly. The idea that he's shown a greater commitment to win is dubious since his own actions have resulted in his franchise crashing in spectacularly inept fashion. But he has shown a commitment to sell hammers for less, as well as the concrete wonderboard that I'll be purchasing within the week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to break up the Mike Brown love fest you two, but you two can disagree with it all you want. Cincinnati is a coach's graveyard for coordinators and head coaches, I'm guessing Zimmer isn't desperate enough yet. Who else are the Bengals' considering? Coyle?

I am not commending Blank for anything other than his effort, at least a coach knows he's going to get that down there, and that's more than they know they'll get with Brown and his NFL leading 17 year playoff game winless streak (0 for 1).

8-8 seasons don't mean anything unless they lead to something other than one home playoff loss, and that was 2 freakin seasons ago now.

Oh I forgot we should all admire how "efficient" his business is. Great, woo hoo, thanks for the annual ticket price raise and same old effort behind the scenes.

Cmon the guy's the worst football GM in the history of mankind. Nothing left to defend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not commending Blank for anything other than his effort, at least a coach knows he's going to get that down there....

What position are you in to judge the amount of effort Blank is putting out? None, right? At best, all you can do is read the papers and then comment on the amount of window dressing he uses to mask his own record of production. And how funny is it that you dismiss Blank's inept ownership because you feel he cares? (Sniff)

Check the standings. Read the papers. The Falcons are a freaking trainwreck, yet here you are championing Blank's outstanding commitment to winning, conveniently forgetting that he was the engineer driving the train off the rails. He's the one who agreed to make Mike Vick one of the highest paid players in the NFL despite being repeatedly warned about Vick's involvement in dog fighting and drug use. He's the one who hire Bobby Petrino, a head coach so inept he had lost the support of his entire team before a single season was over.

This is what you want? Or is it simply something you'd accept because of how badly Blank feels afterwards?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...