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Lunchbreak: Zimmer Ranked Among League's Top Coaches
June 22, 2017 03:37 PM | Eric Smith


Few coaches had to endure as many ups and downs during the 2016 season as Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

Minnesota was struck by an injury bug that Zimmer's squad couldn't avoid. The Vikings fell short of the postseason despite getting off to a 5-0 start.

Despite the roller-coaster season, Elliot Harrison of NFL.com held Zimmer in high regard for the work he did in 2016.

Harrison recently released his power rankings for NFL head coaches and had Zimmer slotted at No. 10.

Harrison wrote:

Although the Vikings went 8-8 last season, Zimmer did his job. Remember that the Vikings' two most important players -- Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson -- were non-factors. Zimmer kept the ship afloat, even starting the season 5-0. While the slow finish was not optimal, without Zimmer's panic-free attitude, it's doubtful Minnesota would have finished at .500 in a division with two playoff teams.

Zimmer is entering his fourth season as the Vikings head coach and is 26-22 during that span. He helped lead the Vikings to an 11-5 record and NFC North title in 2015.

Zimmer spoke this offseason of working to become a more well-rounded head coach as his career evolves.

"I've said this a million times, maybe not a million, but I've said, 'There's so many times you get to be a head coach and you're a defensive coordinator and you come in trying to able to get the defense fixed. Then you get fired in a year or two years,'" Zimmer said last week. "So, you don't learn how to truly be a head coach. You're just trying to put your fingers in different holes as much as you can. It takes a while to learn how to do this job, it really does."



Yary, Zimmerman listed among top tackles in NFL history

Gil Brandt of NFL.com has spent more than six decades in and around the league, meaning he's seen thousands of players over time.

Brandt recently listed his top offensive tackles of all time in a photo essay, with a pair of former Vikings making the cut.

Gary Zimmerman was ranked No. 17 as the tackle played for the Vikings from 1986 to 1992 before finishing his career in Denver.

Zimmerman, who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was a nine-time Pro Bowler who made 169 consecutive starts.

Named as one of the 50 Greatest Vikings, Zimmerman was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team in the 1980s and 1990s.

Another Vikings Hall of Famer, Ron Yary, made Brandt's list at 12th.

The first offensive tackle to be drafted first overall (Yary was the Vikings No. 1 pick in 1968 out of the University of Southern California), Yary played for the Vikings from 1968 to 1981.

A tough competitor who only missed two games in his entire career, Yary was named All-Pro six consecutive times and All-NFC in eight consecutive seasons. He also is one of the 50 Greatest Vikings.



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