NFL: Minnesota Vikings to hire Mike Zimmer as new head coach

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH.   Last Updated: 15/01/14 5:36pm

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Former Cincinnati Bengals coach Mike Zimmer now head coach of Minnesota Vikings

Former Cincinnati Bengals coach Mike Zimmer now head coach of Minnesota Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings are set to fill their head coaching vacancy by bringing in Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Leslie Frazier was fired after a disappointing 5-10-1 season where all the headlines revolved around their quarterback triangle of Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman, but where defensively they were also lacking.

The Vikings conceded more points than any other team in the NFL this season and also surrendered the second-most yardage, but Zimmer has a proven track record of defensive excellence.

Zimmer has spent five years with the Bengals and created one of the best defences in the league, ranking in the top ten in yards and points in four of the last five years.

He also made the Dallas Cowboys the top defence in the NFL in 2003 but has been overlooked for a head coaching position until now, with the Vikings making him their ninth coach in team history.

The 57-year-old remained in Minnesota overnight after his second interview on Tuesday, and owner Zygi Wilf will unveil him as the new coach as soon as the contract details have been finalised.

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has already reacted to the news on Twitter, with the Cincinnati native excited to be working with the former Bengals man.

"Fired up about Coach Zimmer!" Rudolph wrote on his Twitter account. "As a Cincy kid he's been fun to watch there and can't wait to work with him! Welcome to the @Vikings!"

Zimmer's tough-talking style hasn't been to every owner's taste of the years, hence the lack of a head coaching job offer, but that toughness is needed to shake a Vikings team lacking in that department, amongst others, this season.

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