Zimmer analysis means more than ranking

Mike Zimmer was ranked No. 24 among head coaches by NFL.com, but the analysis is more telling than the actual ranking.



While NFL Network wraps up its 10-week countdown of the projected top 100 players for 2015 – a list that only included one Minnesota Vikings player (Adrian Peterson at an objectionable No. 62) – the league’s official website took a one-time stab at ranking the head coaches from top to bottom.

As expected, Super Bowl coaches Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll topped the list, while Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was all the way down at No. 24.

You can’t really blame NFL.com for ranking Zimmer as low as it did because he lacks head coaching experience with just one 7-9 season under his belt.

The complete list is as follows:

1. Bill Belichick, New England
2. Pete Carroll, Seattle
3. John Harbaugh, Baltimore
4. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay
5. Sean Payton, New Orleans
6. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh
7. Bruce Arians, Arizona
8. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
9. John Fox, Chicago
10. Andy Reid, Kansas City
11. Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis
12. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati
13. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia
14. Jason Garrett, Dallas
15. Jeff Fisher, St. Louis
16. Jim Caldwell, Detroit
17. Ron Rivera, Carolina
18. Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay
19. Rex Ryan, Buffalo
20. Gary Kubiak, Denver
21. Ken Whisenhunt, Tennessee
22. Mike McCoy, San Diego
23. Bill O’Brien, Houston
24. Zimmer
25. Joe Philbin, Miami
26. Jack Del Rio, Oakland
27. Gus Bradley, Jacksonville
28. Mike Pettine, Cleveland
29. Jay Gruden, Washington
30. Todd Bowles, New York Jets
31. Dan Quinn, Atlanta
32. Jim Tomsula, San Francisco

A lot of the coaches made their bone on reputation. Payton hasn’t proved much over the last couple of years and, considering he was sidelined for an entire season for his culpability in allowing Bountygate to take place on his watch, his ranking as the No. 5 overall head coach seems a bit inflated.

The coaches list behind Zimmer all deserve to be there since they’re either first-time head coaches or coaches who got their first chance at being a member of the elite fraternity and, as of yet, have failed to make the most out of that opportunity.

In describing Zimmer’s attributes as a coach, his analysis read, “One season might not provide enough evidence for us to gauge what kind of head coach a guy is. Yet, given how Zimmer made Minnesota competitive despite starting a rookie quarterback and playing without his best player, it's impossible to not notice the job he's doing. Tack on how he handled the Adrian Peterson situation this offseason and you have the makings of a solid organizational leader. The 2014 Bengals surely missed what he used to bring to their defensive coordinator post.”

Like so many other aspects of the Vikings and their team and individual rankings, it seems clear that the consensus is that Minnesota is heading in the right direction. But until they show it on the field, not only will their players get overlooked in rankings of the top talent in the league, so will their head coach.


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