MINNEAPOLIS -- If Chris Cook does wind up returning to Minnesota next season, he'll probably be greeted with a quick -- and direct -- discussion about new coach Mike Zimmer's thoughts on social media. Zimmer said on Thursday that Cook "probably shouldn't be tweeting our conversations," though the coach isn't on Twitter and hadn't seen that Cook had only posted that he and Zimmer had an honest conversation about his future.
But beyond the admonishment -- which had Cook riled up on Twitter again on Thursday -- Zimmer offered another hint that there still could be a place for the underachieving cornerback in Minnesota.
"He’s a guy that has some ability that I’ve had some luck in the past with, getting guys to play good that have ability," Zimmer said. "So if he comes back here then I’m going to coach him as hard as I can and see if I can get him to play good.”
Zimmer has said on several occasions that he gravitates toward players with something to prove, and Cook would certainly fit in that category. His size (6-foot-2) and ability to be physical with receivers could make him a fit in Zimmer's defense, and other than Xavier Rhodes, the Vikings don't have many corners who fit that mold. Zimmer's comments, in some ways, sounded to me like he was making an appeal to Cook that the Vikings would still be a good fit for him.
I think it's likely the team will try to upgrade its defensive backs group either in free agency or the draft, so Cook might not come in as a starter. If he's the third or fourth cornerback, though, with an urge to be more than that, he might match up well with Zimmer -- aside from the occasional Twitter flap.