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Bleacher Report – Vikings

No grudge: Zimmer says win’s significance had ‘nothing to do with Atlanta’

By Derek Wetmore

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – The Vikings win on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons was important to the team – and to its head coach – for a number of reasons.

Mike Zimmer was quick to point out several of those reasons Monday during his weekly press conference. He also was quick to shoot down a theory that part of significance stemmed from the way his brief tenure in Atlanta ended. Zimmer made clear the importance wasn’t due to any personal grudge reason against the Atlanta Falcons, where he served as defensive coordinator for a year in 2007 that ended in ugly fashion.

(A quick overview of that falling out, if you’re unfamiliar: Bobby Petrino was the head coach of the Falcons and quit before the season was over to take a different job as the coach of the University of Arkansas. Zimmer, who was the defensive coordinator at that time later revealed during a press conference that he thought Petrino was a coward who ‘ruined a bunch of people’s lives,’ for quitting before a job was complete.)

“I’m proud – really proud of this team,” an emotional Zimmer told his team in the locker room post-victory. “I wanted this one really bad today, fellas, it meant a lot to me.”

But Zimmer said Monday that the Vikings’ 20-10 win against the Falcons in Atlanta had nothing to do with any sort of lingering resentment.

“It really didn’t have anything to do with Atlanta,” Zimmer said. “It was important to me that we were better than we were a year ago. … If we win this ballgame we’d be 8-3. We have a chance to continue to move forward. We lost last week [to the Packers] — there was a lot of things. It really had nothing to do with Atlanta, I’m way past that.”

The Vikings finished 7-9 a season ago. Sunday’s win assured they’ll finished with a better record no matter what happens the rest of the way. Better record? Check.

Zimmer wanted to guard against a let-down after a disappointment loss to the Packers, the team the Vikings surpassed in the NFC North standings with Sunday’s win (and Thursday’s Packers loss). Bounce-back performance? Check.

Secure first place in the NFC North? Check.

Beat a legitimate playoff contender on the road? Check.

How about win a game without one of the most important players on one of the league’s best defenses, in Harrison Smith? Check and mate.

Those are plenty of reasons to appreciate a win like Sunday’s. Even if any possible lingering grudge was not part of the equation.

The post No grudge: Zimmer says win’s significance had ‘nothing to do with Atlanta’ appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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