Why Mike Zimmer is (is not) qualified to be a head coach

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a look at the Bengals assistant coaches to judge if they're qualified to becoming a head coach in the NFL.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator has multiple interviews scheduled this year, with three teams generating interest. Let's take a look at why is (or not) qualified to becoming a head coach.

Why Zimmer is qualified as a head coach: Just watch as players praise Zimmer, not only as a coach, but as a mentor for many. Players want his love and they try to earn it by playing with ambition in the hopes of making their defensive coordinator proud. An inspiration that draws internal motivation is a powerful attribute.

As a defensive play-caller, Zimmer is aggressive. He's creative enough that losing lost multiple starters (Geno Atkins, Leon Hall, Taylor Mays, Emmanuel Lamur, Rey Maualuga, Terence Newman) didn't cause any degradation. In fact, his defense finished the season as the third-best in the NFL -- his personal best.

Zimmer can lead men.

Why Zimmer is not qualified as a head coach: No where is it written that a successful coordinator automatically translates into being a successful head coach. How many great coordinators have been promoted as head coaches, only be to be fired within three years? It happens.

Zimmer is a different animal. He's blunt. Honest. It's with admiration that someone speaks their mind, but it scares ownership, most of whom run their organizations like a real-life version of fantasy football. If Zimmer doesn't agree with something that ownership wants, Zimmer is the type of personality to call someone out on that. And in an NFL world where owners rule, unless Zimmer engineers a quick turn-around, he could be facing the reality of being the next Dick LeBeau.

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