COB Posted January 18, 2008 Report Share Posted January 18, 2008 Zimmer described himself in the Columbus Dispatch story today as "a hollerer and a screamer." He also said his priority will be making the team "physical and tough minded." Billie, were you added to the hydra? This looks like your guy. And there's interesting stuff near the end about how he values technique and discipline over trying to outscheme teams. He'll never get labeled a genius that way!http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/conte...G3.html?sid=101A familiar spot for ZimmerCoordinator made Cowboys defense shine without stars Thursday, January 17, 2008 3:14 AM By Scott PriestleTHE COLUMBUS DISPATCH Mike Zimmer likely will have to improve the Bengals defense without adding any major players to it.Thursday, January 17, 2008CINCINNATI -- In 2001, Mike Zimmer developed a reputation as a bright defensive mind by building a stout defense out of players largely lacking reputations. Those Dallas Cowboys featured Darren Woodson, Dat Nguyen, Dexter Coakley and assorted spare parts, but they finished fourth in the NFL in yards allowed.It was Zimmer's second season as an NFL defensive coordinator, and it solidified a coaching philosophy he carries into his new job as defensive coordinator of the Bengals: Success is about more than schemes and stars."They loved playing football," he recalled yesterday. "They didn't care about anything else, and we didn't change much week to week. We did what we did. It taught me that if you can get all the guys playing on the same page, doing the same thing, doing things right -- and they care about football and they care about winning and they care about doing what you want them to do -- then you've got a chance to be pretty good."If Zimmer is to have similar success in Cincinnati, it will be under similar circumstances. The Bengals have devoted about 60 percent of the salary cap to the offense. Their best-known and most-decorated players are quarterback Carson Palmer, receivers Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, running back Rudi Johnson and tackles Levi Jones and Willie Anderson.It has been that way for most of the past two decades: While offensive standouts such as Anthony Munoz, Boomer Esiason, James Brooks, Carl Pickens and Corey Dillon played their way into multiple Pro Bowls, the Bengals defense ranked in the bottom half of the league in 20 of the past 23 seasons.Coach Marvin Lewis downplayed the possibility of the Bengals signing a high-profile defensive free agent, so it is up to Zimmer and his assistants to change the culture without drastically changing the landscape."It was very much like that after my first year as coordinator in Dallas," Zimmer said. "Everybody was saying how terrible we were on defense, and then from that point on we were pretty good. So hopefully I can change the culture here the way we did that year."Lewis said his priority is "providing an identity … being physical and tough-minded." Zimmer is Lewis' third defensive coordinator in five-plus seasons."Mike and I, philosophically, are somewhat joined," he said.Zimmer described himself as "a hollerer and a screamer" who focuses more on fundamentals than schemes."I'm big on technique," he said. "I want to make sure guys do the things we ask of them and do it right. Play hard all the time. Hands in the right place, feet in the right place. In pro football, I think a lot of guys get to the point where you worry so much about who you're playing that your technique goes bad, especially late in the year. So I'm a big stickler on a lot of those things."Zimmer has experience with the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses, including transitioning the Cowboys to a 3-4. The Bengals have played a 4-3 in recent years, and their roster seems better suited to it, but neither Zimmer nor Lewis would commit to a style."We'll address that as we go through the spring," Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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