The Vikings may have a mediocre 4-5 record at this point, but fans have reason to be optimistic. Great players make great coaches - but on the other hand lousy coaches can screw up a good team.
Mike Zimmer seems to know what he's doing in his first year, and first opportunity, as a head coach. Minnesota's defense is much better now than it was in the past few years. Part of that is because of the addition of several new players, but it is mainly because of Zimmer's scheme and style of coaching.
On offense the Vikings have struggled, but having to start a rookie quarterback due to an injury to a veteran quarterback hasn't helped. Nor has the absence of running back Adrian Peterson and tight end Kyle Rudolph. Still, Teddy Bridgewater has played reasonably well for a rookie, and again Zimmer's style will help.
Even with a few misses in the last few games, Zimmer said he believes Bridgewater is good at throwing the deep ball. In fact, he said the Vikings could open it up a little more often.
Zimmer was quoted as saying, "Even if you don’t hit them, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, what’s the difference between just missing the 50-yard shot or you gain one yard? Second-and-9 or second-and-10, same deal. There’s a lot of strategy involved in some of those things we’re doing.”
This is quite different from former Vikings head coach Brad Childress, who may have been the worst head coach in the team's history. Childress believed that throwing a long ball that no one has a chance to catch does no good. He referred to his schemes as a "kick-ass" offense - but the only asses the Vikings kicked when Childress was in charge were their own.
Vikings owners the Wilfs made a big mistake when they hired Childress, but they seem to have made a good decision in hiring Mike Zimmer.