CURRENT JOB: Defensive Coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals
HISTORY: Bengals DC (2008-present) Falcons DC (2007) Cowboys DC (2000-2006) Cowboys Defensive Assistant, DB Coach (1994-1999) fourteen years college coaching experience, mostly as a DC
DOB: 06/05/56 (54)
STRENGTHS: History of success at the pro level. Defenses have consistently performed at a high level. Was a constant in Dallas even when the head coaching position was a revolving door. Worked under, and was highly regarded by, legendary coach Bill Parcells. Coached both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes in Dallas. Even though Parcells tenure was his first time ever running a 3-4, Zimmer coached it well.
QUESTIONS: Perennial bridesmaid. Has been talked about as a head coaching candidate since his days in Dallas but from what I can find, has never actually netted an interview.
PANTHER CONNECTIONS: Coaches alongside former Panther assistants Chip Morton (strength and conditioning, 1995-1998) and Darrin Simmons (special teams assistant, 1999-2002) Coached against the Panthers for one season as part of Bobby Petrino’s staff in Atlanta. Panthers and Falcons split that year (so did Petrino).
WHO HE MIGHT BRING WITH HIM: Ken Zampese, current Bengals QB coach and a candidate for the Panthers OC job that eventually went to Jeff Davidson. Current Bengal OC Bob Bratkowski is also a possibility since Zimmer and Bratkowski are close friends. A really wild scenario could see Zimmer getting Jason Garrett as an OC if Garrett were to depart Dallas (Zimmer coached for several years while Garrett was a player) but that's highly unlikely. Garrett as a head coach with Zimmer as his OC is only slightly less out there.
WHY WE MIGHT NOT GET HIM: If Marvin Lewis isn't retained (he's a lame duck like Fox) then he could get an offer for the Bengals job. Also, like Frazier, he could be a hot commodity.
ODDS AND ENDS: Third oldest on the current list of candidates (Heimerdinger is the oldest, Keith Butler is second by only a month). No pro playing experience. Unusual college career at Illinois State in that he started off as a quarterback but later moved to linebacker. Wife Vikki died tragically last year. Players rallied around him after. Vikki was said to have sometimes baked cookies and brownies for players whom Zimmer had ripped in practice the day before.
ANALYSIS: Zimmer’s was my top candidate for a longtime, but more recently I've jumped on the Jim Harbaugh bandwagon. I’ve admitted all along that there are questions about him as there are with anyone. It’s fair to wonder, with his record, why he might not have been interviewed for a head coaching position before. Does he want to be a head coach? You’d think so, but who knows?
Regardless, time spent in the Bengals organization has hurt his rep a lot (kind of like it does with everybody who goes there). Mike Brown is like the anti-Midas. Everything he touches turns to crap. Zimmer's still a good guy in my opinion, and my hope right now is that he has the chance to rehab his career somewhere else. Not likely it'll be in Charlotte, though.
READ UP: Bengals Coaching Bio
WATCH: NFL All Access: Mike Zimmer
UPDATE (11/8): Any scenarios involving Jason Garrett are pretty well off the table now that Garrett's been named Head Coach of the Cowboys.
Edited by Mr Scot, 29 November 2010 - 03:23 AM.