Vikings Cornerback Addresses Mike Zimmer’s Kindergartners Dig

Kris Boyd

Getty Vikings cornerback Kris Boyd aired his grievances with his playing time on defense amid his Pro Bowl bid on special teams.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, a publicly acclaimed “cornerback guru” accepted the challenge of developing an almost entirely new cornerbacks group from a season ago after the salary-cap strapped team released all three of its starters from 2019.

That challenge has been exacerbated by a rash of injuries as the Vikings started the season 1-5 and are currently the league’s 30th-ranked pass defense. Following the Vikings’ third-straight loss to start the season against the Tennessee Titans, Zimmer said in a moment of frustration that: “At times, it feels like I’m coaching kindergartners.”

The comment was met with some backlash on social media as it was seen as an insult to their intelligence.

Zimmer returned to the comment in better spirits following an upset over the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago, saying “we’re still in kindergarten but we’re trying to get to a master’s program here quick.”

Returning Cornerback Addresses ‘More Personal Attention’

Second-year cornerback Kris Boyd, who made his second career start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, chuckled at the question of if the cornerbacks group has had “more personal attention” this season compared to last year’s veteran group.

“I just be [sic] out there doing my job — playing,” Boyd said in a press conference on Thursday. “I don’t pay attention to him paying attention to us cause we’re out there practicing. If that’s what it seems like to y’all I guess y’all can say that, but I don’t really know.”

Boyd will be a piece of the youngest cornerbacks group Zimmer has started to date with rookie cornerback Cameron Dantzler expected to re-join the lineup this week alongside fellow rookie Jeff Gladney, who has started a team-high seven games among cornerbacks.

Third-year cornerbacks Holton Hill and Mike Hughes were expected to be veteran leaders to the young group but remain on injured reserve with second-year corner Mark Fields II who played in the stead of Hughes and Hill.

Vikings Defense — The Good & The Ugly

The Vikings defense’s three interceptions against Matthew Stafford last week was paydirt for weeks of anguish, especially in the secondary.

The unit that was slated to introduce five new starters in the offseason and had to weather the losses of replacement nose tackle Michael Pierce and Pro Bowlers Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter. While there are glaring issues with the defense, the group has carried on the bend, don’t break, style of play accustom to a Zimmer defense.

The Vikings defense has allowed the seventh-most points in the league (234), the third-most yards (3,303), second-most passing yards (2,303) and have allowed the highest percentage of scoring drives in the league at 52.9 percent.

On the plus side, the Vikings have allowed the second-fewest rushing touchdowns (5) and are the sixth-best defensive unit on third down (37.2%) and boast the sixth-lowest red zone-touchdown rate at 54.8 percent.

Pro Football Focus currently ranks the defense as a whole at No. 20 in the league as several young players are continuing to carve their roles into the defensive unit that’s only 2019 returning starters are safeties Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris and linebacker iEric Kendricks.



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