MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Calling himself “extremely disappointed,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer voiced his displeasure with his team and its performance following a 17-3 loss to the Lions on Sunday.
“I can handle getting beat,” Zimmer said. “But I can’t handle getting our butts whooped like that.”READ MORE: Vaccine Doubts Fuel Dr. Scott Jensen's Rise In Minnesota Governor Race
Zimmer didn’t hold back his frustration, and it wasn’t just frustration with the loss. It was frustration with his players.
“I’m still having a hard time judging these guys a little bit,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer took his team to task in his postgame news conference, revealing issues with his players that go deeper than game day.
“I had to fine a lot more guys (than usual) this week for whatever reason: missing meetings, late to a meeting, whatever,” Zimmer said. “And I’m not going to let them slide. I’m going to keep pounding my head. And like I told them, the fines are going to start going to the max now. I’m tired of it.
“We’ve got guys on the sideline talking to officials. I tell them, ‘Don’t talk to the officials, let me do it.’ We’re undisciplined. Trust me, we’re going to get disciplined.”
Zimmer is clearly fed up and clearly putting the responsibility for fixing the problems on his players.READ MORE: 'Perfect Timing To Go': MEA Marking One Of The Busiest Travel Weekends Of The Fall
“That’s their job,” Zimmer said. “I’m the boss. So their job is to please me, not the other way around.
“This team, like I said, they’re hard to figure out. But they care, they study. I haven’t changed about my opinion about how they go about their business. Now maybe I’m missing something, but I’ve been around an awful lot of teams.”
Despite all the issues, Zimmer thought they were ready to play Sunday. They showed him otherwise.
“We had a good week of practice,” Zimmer said. “We practiced good. (But on) Sundays, we don’t play as good as we need to. That’s the thing I can’t figure out. Why don’t we play like we practice. You don’t see any of this stuff going on in practice.
“It bothers me a little bit when some things happen bad, and we don’t fight our way out of the hole. And that’s what the good teams do. We haven’t done that yet. (When) things are going good, we’re pretty good. (When) things are going bad, we don’t continue to push out, fight out.”
And as a result, Zimmer said changes could be coming.
“We’re going to look at everything again,” he said.MORE NEWS: A Ride-Along With Minneapolis Police Shows How Staffing Shortages Have Officers Stretched Thin
It’s rare to hear a coach so open about his frustration in a news conference. And just think — if that’s what Zimmer is willing to say publicly to the press, imagine what he’s saying behind closed doors to his players.