Zimmer nearly withdrew his Vikings candidacy

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer nearly bowed out of consideration for the head coaching job before his second interview because he was frustrated with not getting other jobs.

When it comes to drafting players or signing free agents, franchises look for players with something to prove – guys with a proverbial chip on the shoulder.

What put that chip on said shoulder is irrelevant. That player is motivated.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer can empathize with how players feel when they think their talent is unrecognized. Zimmer was a featured speaker at the NFL's career development symposium at the University of Pennsylvania last weekend – a gathering of prospective coaches and general managers – and discussed how he almost pulled his name from consideration for the Vikings' head coaching vacancy.

Zimmer was interviewed for six head coaching jobs over the years, only to be passed over for all of them. The last of those, a second interview with the Tennessee Titans, was the most painful. He found out the Titans had hired Ken Whisenhunt when he was on the plane flying back from his second interview for the job.

When it came to his second interview with the Vikings, Zimmer almost contacted the Vikings to remove his name from consideration.

"I almost didn't go," Zimmer said over the weekend, according to FOX Sports. "I was so disappointed. It was like, ‘Why even do this?' It was to the point I figured I was getting too old. I thought, ‘Forget this.'"

We all know how the story ended. Zimmer did come to Minnesota and have the second job interview and was hired as the Vikings head coach. But it was interesting to see how close Zimmer was to throwing in the towel and accepting a fate as a career assistant coach.

Perhaps his experience will be helpful for a player with a chip on his shoulder who is simply looking for an opportunity because Zimmer can attest that he has been there and done that.


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    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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