According to Jason La Canfora, Vikings ownership expects the team to be a playoff factor in 2021 and there could be consequences if Minnesota falls short of that bar.
La Canfora says the Vikings have mulled significant changes in the past, including firing HC Mike Zimmer after a playoff appearance two seasons ago.
He adds the coaching staff understands this is a significant season for maintaining job security, and the Week 1 loss to the Bengals only heightened the tension.
Defense is Zimmer’s specialty, but that unit was awful in 2020 and is looking to improve significantly this season. Penalties were also a problem in Week 1 and the Vikings have yet to really see their major investment in QB Kirk Cousins pay off.
Zimmer, 65, began his NFL coaching career with the Cowboys back in 1994 as their DBs coach. He worked his way up to defensive coordinator and had stints with the Falcons and Bengals before the Vikings hired him as their head coach in 2014.
Minnesota signed Zimmer to a three-year extension last July as he entered a “lame duck” season in the final year of his contract.
During his eight years as Vikings’ head coach, Zimmer has led the team to a record of 64-48-1 (57.1 percent), which includes three playoff appearances and one trip to the NFC Championship game in 2017.