It was a tough go around for the Vikings in 2018. The team signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to a huge deal and after entering the season expecting to compete for a Lombardi Trophy, the team missed the playoffs all together, finishing 8-7-1. What does the rebound in 2019 look like for Minnesota? What is coach Mike Zimmer's status with the team as a result of the bottom dropping out?
General manager Rick Spielman took the the podium here in Indianapolis to provide some answers.
First and foremost, Zimmer isn't going anywhere. The Vikings elected to exercise Mike Zimmer's contract option for 2020, meaning the head coach will have two years remaining under his current contract.
Continuity, particularly in the NFL, is a good thing (most of the time). Even when success isn't continuous. The Vikings absorbed a lot of changes last year and having the foresight to continue staying dedicated to Zimmer and the general direction fo the franchise should be applauded as a win.
Spielman was not as transparent with the rest of the team's plans, including whether or not the team planned to use their franchise tag within the next week. Defenders Sheldon Richardson and Anthony Barr are potential candidates, but Spielman added that the Vikings will be meeting with pending free agents here in Indianapolis.
But the best breadcrumb that Spielman dropped during the course of his press conference was adding what assistant head coach Gary Kubiak (and new hire) will bring to the offense. More specifically, Kubiak's speciality with outside zone will benefit the Vikings greatly.
That's quite a clue for a team that needs help along the interior offensive line. Names like North Carolina State's Garrett Bradbury and Texas A&M's Erik McCoy suddenly flash for the Vikings, knowing that they intend to capitalize on Kubiak's zone rushing concepts.
Look for this development to lead to reports of interest in these athletic interior blockers, as their value in reach blocks and getting leverage on point of attack defenders will be key to Minnesota executing their plans.