If you’re among those who feel the Tennessee Titans need an injection of attitude from their next head coach then Mike Zimmer might be the guy for you.
Zimmer, 57, has been an NFL assistant for 20 years and a defensive coordinator for three teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals for the last six seasons.
According to reports, three teams in search of a head coach, including the Titans, want to interview him.
Prior to Cincinnati, he spent one year (2007) with the Atlanta Falcons. For those who have forgotten, that was the season Bobby Petrino took over, and later walked out on the Falcons. He left with three weeks remaining in the season and a 3-10 record to become head coach at the University of Arkansas.
Three years ago, prior to a game between the Bengals and Falcons in Atlanta, the Cincinnati Enquirer talked to Zimmer regarding his thoughts about that season and his time with Petrino, who currently is a candidate in his own right for a head coach opening.
To say Zimmer was blunt, is an understatement.
On the circumstances of Petrino’s resignation:
“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.
“… He is a coward. Put that in quotes. He ruined a bunch of people’s lives, a bunch of people’s families, kids, because he didn’t have enough nuts to stay there and finish the job. That’s the truth.”
“Most people in football have enough courage about them and enough fight to stick through something and not quit halfway through the year. It is cowardly.
“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—.”
Given a chance to amend his language on that last line, he offered this:
“How about this, gutless MF. You can use that.”
All of that was on the record. Just imagine what he’s willing to say and the degree to which he’s willing to challenge his players and his staff behind closed doors.