Firing Zimmer Could Lead To One Distinct Disadvantage

Kirk Cousins
Oct 24, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A general view as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws during the second quarter against the Washington Redskins at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Firing Mike Zimmer has been on the mind of many Vikings fans. After an underwhelming 2020 season, many were expecting the usual pattern to hold as the Vikings bounced back for a strong 2021 season. So far, that hasn’t happened. The team sits at 6-7, leaving them in a five-way tie for the seventh wild card spot. It’s safe to say that this isn’t what anyone had in mind.

As I’ve previously discussed, the chances are looking pretty strong that Zim will be replaced as some point soon. Jeff Diamond – a former Vikings GM – indicated it shouldn’t happen until the very end, but the broader point remains: Zim is likely a goner.

Assuming Kirk Cousins sticks around, the Vikings may be left with another challenge as a result of replacing the HC. Moving on from Zim will inevitably start a domino effect among the coaches. Adam Zimmer – his son and the co-defensive coordinator – will almost certainly be fired. Moreover, Klint Kubiak will likely be looking for work. The safe money suggests that the Vikings will pivot for their next HC by bringing in a dynamic offensive mind. The chances of an offensive wizard opting to not only keep Lil’Kub but also let him call the plays seems low.

The end result will be yet another play caller for Captain Kirk, who may end up setting the record for most OCs in a career. Take a peak at all the different voices he has had:

2013Kyle Shanahan
2014Sean McVay
2015Sean McVay
2016Sean McVay
2017Matt Cavanaugh
2018John DeFilippo & Kevin Stefanski
2019Kevin Stefanski
2020Gary Kubiak
2021Klint Kubiak

The Vikings, in all likelihood, won’t be looking for a full-scale rebuild during the offseason. Rather, I expect them to merely retool as they look to refine their identity. Such an approach will likely involve keeping Cousins under center for at least a couple more seasons. If they do take that approach and decide that firing Zimmer is the best option, then Cousins will likely be adding an 8th play caller to his career.

For whatever it’s worth, Klint Kubiak has shown improvement. The rookie play caller has had more than his fair share of rough moments. Nevertheless, he has re-committed to prioritizing Mr. Jefferson, a decision that has been beneficial. Adding Adam Thielen back into the mix alongside a re-energized Dalvin Cook means this offense ought to operate at a high level.

Of course, all of this will be much ado about nothing if the Vikings pull off a miraculous run. Perhaps the Klint/Kirk marriage will continue to grow stronger, propelling Minnesota to an unlikely Super Bowl push. Don’t hold your breathe, but we do live in a strange world.