Mike Zimmer was a cornerstone for the Bengals from 2008 until he left for the Vikings in 2014. He was one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL, and he was a huge reason why the Bengals were respectable during those times.
Zimmer has had some pretty good times in Minnesota so far. His lowest record was a 7-9 season, but when his team made the playoffs in 2015, they narrowly failed to beat the Seahawks after a missed field goal.
Now with the Bengals coming to town with Marvin Lewis looking like he is on his way out, Zimmer shared his thoughts on the possibility of Lewis moving on:
Mike Zimmer on #Bengals Marvin Lewis: "Marvin has done some unbelievable things for that organization. He deserves to be there as long as he wants to be in my opinion. It would be a tremendous loss if he wasn’t back."— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) December 13, 2017
This is where you lose me Zimmer. I love the guy, but he is so wrong about this. It isn’t even Zimmer’s fault.
Since he left the Bengals, things have not gone great. He wasn’t around for the Bengals’ meltdown in 2015, and the years after where this team has looked like a shell of itself.
Mike Zimmer: "I love Marvin Lewis and I love the Bengals. Right now, I just love the Vikings more."— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) December 13, 2017
I get why Zimmer wants to stick up for his old boss. Lewis, overall, was a very good thing for the Bengals. Prior to his arrival, this team was a joke. He has also orchestrated two of the better eras that this team has ever seen.
Still it is very obvious that those days are over. This locker room needs a change in order to get back to the places they’re expected to get to. Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener, but at this point how long can you expect a team to sit on dead grass and not try and see what else is out there?
Over the past two seasons the Bengals have won a total of 11 games with three remaining this season. They haven’t beaten the Steelers over that span. They have defeated the Ravens once. Also. four of those 11 wins were against the Browns, who have won a single game over the same span.
Right now, it looks like this is a roster that has some talent, but they aren’t being put in the correct positions to succeed. It took this team most of the season to realize Joe Mixon runs better out of the shotgun than from an I-formation, something you’d think they know considering he ran almost exclusively from the shotgun in college.
They also benched John Ross in his only real action after a fumble where the defender made a great play on the ball. It felt like we were all held back from the Ross experience. Some of that was due to injury, but some of that was due to not playing your ninth-overall pick.
It is just time for both teams to step away from each other. I respect Zimmer, but he isn’t seeing the opportunity for both sides to get out of this situation before it has anytime to get worse.
Zimmer, however, will get a first hand look at just how far the Bengals have fallen this Sunday.