I love Mike Zimmer. It's not because of Leslie Frazier's career as a mediocre two-year defensive coordinator mostly degraded by the lack of talent on the defensive roster. Nor it is because of Chuck Bresnahan's priority of recording turnovers, even at the expense of a defense that never ranked higher than 27th during his reign. Alright, so maybe a little. When your defense goes from 27th in the NFL, allowing 348.8 yards/game to Mike Zimmer who subsequently changed the culture of defense in Cincinnati, improving the defense by 23 yards/game just outside the top-ten in one year, it tends to develop a serious man-crush. And a year later, Cincinnati's defense improved another 20 yards on average. Since Zimmer's arrival, the Bengals defense went from allowing 348.8 yards/game, ranked 27th in the NFL, to 301.4 yards/game ranked fourth in the NFL within only two years.
But it's not like Zimmer was born a big black glob of goo, cropped like the Uruk-Hai in a bottomless pit full of Orc workers, burning trees with wicked cool birds scouting the locale. Zimmer spent some time in Dallas before making a parallel move to become the Atlanta Falcons' defensive coordinator in 2007 after Bobby Petrino took the job as the head coach, signing a five-year deal worth $24 million. He had to pay Louisville $1 million for breaking a 10-year commitment. Segue.
After a 3-10 start in 2007, Petrino ditched the Atlanta Falcons for Arkansas, replacing former head coach Houston Nutt who resigned two weeks prior. Petrino never faced his players upon his exit, leaving a typewritten note on their lockers, leaving the day after a big loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night football.
Mike Zimmer, the team's defensive coach at the time, sort of remembered Petrino's exit.
“He came in and said he resigned, he would talk to us all at a later date, walked out of the office and no one has ever talked to him since. Not that anybody wanted to.
“He’s a gutless b—–d. Quote that. I don’t give a s—.”
When told that we might might not be able to use the B word, Zimmer went one better: “How about this, gutless MF. You can use that.”
"I never even was there," said Zimmer. "When a coach quits in the middle of the year and ruins a bunch of people's families and doesn't have enough guts to at least finish out the year ... I am not a part of that.
"You can put that in the Arkansas News-Gazette. I don't really give a (hooey). I am serious. He is a coward. Put that in quotes."
For the love of god, get this man on Twitter!