By RICK SOLEM
He sounded a bit like a defensive coordinator on the podium, today ... the first time on the podium as a head coach.
The Minnesota Vikings officially announced Mike Zimmer as head coach (go to 5:00 on the link).
He sounded a bit nervous to start, checking over note cards and sounding like a guy who's been in charge of a defense the last 14 years, not a guy worried about talking to the media, but he did loosen up.
And he didn't have much to say of any substance, as most professional coaches and athletes do.
But that expected, too. It is, after all, his first day on the job.
He did say he has a chip on his shoulder about being a head coach, which stems from being an assistant for 20 years.
"I've got a chip on my shoulder," he said. "I want to make sure 31 other teams know I'm here and ready to coach this football team."
Sure, he feels slighted for being passed up for head coaching jobs in the past, but does that mean he'll work harder?
I doubt the the motivation of a head coach is going to be a "something to prove" attitude.
It makes a little more sense for a player. He can prove his worth to his coach, his teammates and the teams that slighted him - perhaps with a big hit in a game.
But what's a coach going to do? Talk trash after defeating Detroit and yelling about how they passed on him as coach?
It was about the most interesting thing he said, however.
Zimmer touched on the defense, but nothing specific. He touched on the quarterback situation, but nothing specific.
Those are the biggest questions for Minnesota heading into the season.
Zimmer was the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator the last six seasons and is expected to get rid of Minnesota's Cover 2, which led to the 31st-ranked spot last season.
And this is what he had to say about the quarterback: "We’ll try to do our best to have the best quarterback in the division," he said. "My job is to win football games, it’s not to worry about if the QB is fourth best or first best in the division.”
And, as a defensive guy, perhaps it will be someone else's job to worry about quarterback to a degree.
Rumors swirl that Norv Turner will be hired as offensive coordinator. The offensive-minded Turner will be a perfect compliment to defensive-minded Zimmer.
Turner made helped make guys like RB Ladanion Tomlinson and TE Antonio Gates in San Diego and WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron in Cleveland.
Zimmer can transform the defense, while Turner can play with Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph and turn last year's rookie-WR Cordelia Paterson into a stud.