Mike Zimmer has made no secret about the level of respect he has for his mentor and Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells.
In fact, Parcells was one of the first people who contacted the Minnesota Vikings coach after Sunday’s big road win at Carolina.
“I talked to him,” Zimmer said Monday. “He texted me right after the game. Then he texted me at 5:30 this morning and called me after that. So, I've talked to him three times. He's just giving me advice.”
So what kind of advice does a coaching legend give a career football coach in his third season as the top dog in an organization?
Zimmer seemed like he wanted out of the conversation at his press conference shortly after it started and the line of questioning switched from players and schemes to his personal relationship with Parcells.
Was it complimentary?
“He's not real complimentary all of the time, but he's telling me how we keep going,” Zimmer said.
Their relationship seems to be one of a veteran and a young player. A coach can be a position coach or a coordinator, but until they step into the head coaching job, they don’t know how things are going to go on a day-to-day basis – through the good times and the bad times, through success and adversity.
Asked what he thought Parcells liked specifically about the Vikings win over the Panthers, Zimmer wasn’t positive Parcells knew anything more than the score of the game.
Their conversations aren’t about X’s and O’s, they’re about the process of dealing with the grind of a 16-game season and how a coach handles his own business and handles his players.
“I don't even know if he watched the game,” Zimmer said. “He didn't tell me if he watched the game or not. We just talked about moving forward.”
So what about the Giants next Monday?
That was the franchise with which Parcells enjoyed his greatest success as a head coach. Surely, he must still have ties with the staff there. Would it be a conflict of interest for him to talk G-Men with Zimmer?
According to Zimmer, nobody should be concerned about that. He’s doing with Zimmer what Zimmer does with his players – keeping him focused on the next game, regardless of who the opponent is.
“He doesn't typically give me advice on the other team,” Zimmer said. “He gives me advice on my team.”
Zimmer Talks Treadwell
Rookie Laquon Treadwell was a healthy scratch Sunday. Through the first three games of his pro career, the Vikings first-round pick has been on the field for just two plays.
Despite a lack of playing time, Zimmer said it hasn’t been an inflated ego or a sense of entitlement that has kept Treadwell off the field.
“His attitude is great,” Zimmer said. “His attitude is really good. He’s working, just biding his time until he gets an opportunity. It’s kind of like (Stefon) Diggs last year.”
Like many new players to the Vikings system, Zimmer believes it will only be a matter of time before Treadwell finds a comfort level with the offense. When that happens, good things could follow.
“I still think he’s thinking a little bit about the number of steps to take on each route and things like that,” Zimmer said. “It’s just being at the right depth and things of that sort. He’s doing good. He’ll be fine.”