The Cincinnati Bengals have lost their second assistant coach this offseason as defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is being named the next head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Zimmer was viewed as the favorite for the job since first interviewing with the team two weeks ago, and this hiring came as no surprise. It's well deserved for him.
According to Bengals.com editor Geoff Hobson, Zimmer's 2013 Bengals defense held opponents to 17 points and 1.1 touchdowns per game and finished third in the NFL defensive rankings, tying for the second-highest ranking in franchise history.
Needless to say, many Bengals players were sad and joyful to see him finally become a head coach. Bittersweet best describes how safety George Iloka and many of the Bengals feel right now:
Bitter sweet, bitter sweet....— George Iloka (@George_iloka) January 15, 2014
Linebacker Ray Maualuga couldn't fit all of his words onto Twitter, but Twitlonger works:
Gonna miss you coach Zimmer! Wish you nothing but the best in Minnesota. You brought out the best in each of your players! So honored to have been coached by you!
Fans got to see Zimmer on this year's Hard Knocks with the Bengals, and former NFL player and current NBC Sports Network Analyst Ross Tucker thinks the Vikings should do it with Zim this year:
Vikings just got my vote for Hard Knocks this year— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) January 15, 2014
CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman has raved about Zimmer in the past, and he pointed out how he was key in developing Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict:
Always heard Mike Zimmer's the real deal: Helped turn underachieving, undrafted Vontaze Burfict into NFL's #1 tackler & a ProBowler w/i 2yrs— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) January 15, 2014
Bengals beat writer Jay Morrison thinks Zimmer's matchup with his former college and current Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden will be worth watching:
Gruden's Redskins play at Zimmer's Vikings in 2014. That would make for an interesting early-season primetime game.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) January 15, 2014
Bengals cornerback Adam Jones saw his career revived under Zimmer in Cincinnati, and he was as happy as anyone to see Zim finally get that head-coaching opportunity:
I told you'll Zimm would be the Head Coach , that was a good move for the Vikings congrats to coach !!!— ADAm Pacman Jones (@REALPACMAN24) January 15, 2014
Congratulations are certainly in order for Zimmer, who's finally getting to live out his dream of being a head coach in the greatest sports league in the world.