Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has a knack for rubbing people the wrong way.
So when the Vikings fired him in mid-January after eight turbulent seasons, it came as no surprise when those closest to the situation began reflecting on Zimmer’s tenure as one reportedly built on fear mongering and authoritarian leadership.
“The devil’s gone,” an anonymous former Vikings coordinator told Tyler Dunne of GoLongTD.com. “Satan is out of the building.”
“It became toxic,” added Terence Newman, who played under Zimmer and coached with him in Minnesota. “It was a trickle effect. If players are dreading getting cussed out and s— like that, then it’s going to make it a long day for everybody.”
Those horror stories weren’t lost on new head coach Kevin O’Connell, who in his first face-to-face meeting with his new team confessed that the players would be the ones to facilitate Minnesota’s culture change.