From seeking improvements on the offensive line to the search for a full-time offensive coordinator, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on Thursday touched on a variety of subjects during his end of season press conference.
No subject appeared off limits during a media session that lasted a little more than 19 minutes, and Zimmer even addressed with a touch of humor if he was comfortable going into the 2019 season without a contract extension.
"Sure, I've got no problem with that," Zimmer said with a grin, via the Vikings' official website. "Free agent after that, right?"
Zimmer also reinforced what he told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, saying he never considered retirement after the Vikings finished the season with an 8-7-1 record to miss the playoffs.
"No, I can't believe somebody even threw that out there," Zimmer said. "But, no, it was totally 100 percent -- what do they call it? Hashtag-fake news or something? No. I'm not a quitter."
Minnesota entered the 2018 regular season as a favorite to return to the postseason given the stout defense and an upgrade at the quarterback position with the free-agent signing of Kirk Cousins.
But the Vikings became one of the more inconsistent teams as the season progressed and couldn't repeat the magic from a 2017 campaign that saw the team steamroll over opponents en route to a 13-3 record.
Zimmer knows the team didn't live up to expectations, which led to the firing of John DeFilippo after a Week 14 loss, but still found some good out of the lost season.
"We started our evaluations from this past season trying to look back at everything that went on and where we need to go from here," Zimmer said. "There were a lot of good things that happened. Unfortunately, we didn't reach the goals that we wanted to.
"It's disappointing we end up finishing that way, but there are a lot of good, positive things. We finished in top five on defense again, we finished No. 1 in red-zone defense, finished No. 1 in third-down defense again, so there's a lot of good things. There's a lot of things we got to get cleaned up, and like I told the team the other day, we're going to evaluate everything very thoroughly, including myself and everywhere we're going to go from there."
While it is unclear what will happen to Zimmer beyond the 2019 season short of the Vikings taking care of him now with an extension, he'll be part of the problem-solving process in the short term as Minnesota moves beyond the disappointment of 2018.