Giants tight end Kyle Rudolph spent 10 years with the Vikings. His head coaches were Leslie Frazier and Mike Zimmer, both of whom parlayed careers as successful defensive coordinators into head-coaching jobs.
On Wednesday, Rudolph expressed appreciate for Giants coach Joe Judge while arguably taking a little bit of a shot at Zimmer and/or Frazier. (Many are interpreting it as a shot at Zimmer.)
“You see that day in and day out, the way he pushes us on our fundamentals, on our technique,” Rudolph recently said of Judge. “To me, it’s the first time I’ve had a head coach that’s not a defensive coordinator. So it’s a head coach that’s in charge of the entire team. And it’s been a lot of fun for me to get to learn from it.”
It’s a fair assessment, frankly. Zimmer delegates the offense to the offensive coordinator, focusing on the defense. Under Zimmer, the Vikings have gone from Norv Turner to Pat Shurmur to John DeFilippo to Kevin Stefanski to Gary Kubiak to Klint Kubiak as the offensive coordinators. That’s one of the reasons why it makes sense to go with an offensive guy over a defensive guy when hiring a coach. The offense is far more important to the team, and if the team does well, the offensive coordinator becomes a candidate to become a head coach elsewhere.
For the Vikings, two of the offensive coordinators under Zimmer have become head coaches. One quit. One was fired. One retired. It makes it hard to have consistency on the offensive side of the ball. And that is one of the things that potentially will stop Zimmer from getting another year beyond 2021.