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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Zimmer doesn’t want OC changes to impact reputation

By Matthew Coller

EAGAN, Minn. — One week ago, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he didn’t want to further discuss the decision to change offensive coordinators from John DeFilippo to Kevin Stefanski. But there’s no avoiding the hottest topic surrounding the team, especially after Stefanski’s strong debut in a 41-17 win over the Miami Dolphins.

On Wednesday, the Detroit media asked Zimmer about having two changes at offensive coordinators mid-season in the last three years.

“The last guy (Norv Turner), he quit, so that was a different deal,” Zimmer told the Motor City media. “We did it kind of the same way, promoting a guy within. It’s hard to change a lot of things, but each person has his own ideas and wrinkles.”

His comment clarifying that Turner, who was OC from 2014 through Week 8 of the 2016 season, resigned — and was not fired — marked the fourth time Zimmer noted the difference in situations since he let go OC John DeFilippo.

“There’s a reputation that I’m hard to deal with,” he told the Twin Cities media on Thursday. “That’s not the case. I don’t want people to think I’m trying to run guys out of here.”

Zimmer did not expand further on Turner’s exit. The circumstances surrounding his exit have never been fully explained by either Zimmer or Turner, who is currently the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers.

In June 2017, Turner would only say that he and Zimmer had “different ideas.”

Turner left following a loss in Chicago in which the offense appeared to focus on classic Turner concepts rather than the quick-passing West Coast offense that Pat Shurmur deployed from mid-2016 through 2017, when Shurmur left to become the head coach of the New York Giants.

DeFilippo was hired after last offseason, but let go following a 21-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. At the time, the Vikings ranked 20th in scoring.

Stefanski was part of the Vikings’ organization before Zimmer was hired in 2014 and was kept on, having coached multiple positions since then. Stefanski said Thursday that Zimmer has had an influence on him during their five years together.

“Coach Zimmer has been here, he’s been awesome,” Stefanski said. “Particularly with me working with the tight ends, with the running backs, with the quarterbacks has really helped shaped and formed me as a coach. Again, he is always going to be a resource for me, especially now as we are putting together some game plans.”

Stefanski will have the challenge this week of repeating his performance from last Sunday against the Detroit Lions on the road while he continues to find his identity as a play caller.

“It’s important to know yourself and I am talking about our staff and knowing our scheme and knowing our plays,” Stefanski said. “We try to know ourselves as well as the opponent does because that informs us in our decisions and in our scheming and in our game planning.”

The post Zimmer doesn’t want OC changes to impact reputation appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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