Zimmer tragedy also impacted Saints

MIAMI -- Back during the regular season, we all heard a lot about how the Cincinnati Bengals rallied around defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer after his wife Vikki died suddenly in October.

The Bengals weren’t the only NFL team impacted by that tragedy. New Orleans defensive assistant Adam Zimmer is the son of Mike and Vikki. He took a few minutes Thursday to discuss how the Saints’ run to the Super Bowl has helped him deal with the loss.

“Obviously, nothing is ever going to replace mom, but at least something good happened this year,’’ said Zimmer, who works primarily with linebackers and has been with the Saints since 2006. “That helped me put it in the background a little bit. When I’m working, it’s a lot easier to keep my mind off of it. I’m sure after this game, it’ll be a little harder because things will slow down and I’ll have time to think.’’

Zimmer said the Saints have rallied around him with lots of support.

“They’ve helped a lot,’’ Zimmer said. “Scott Shanle’s had me over when we’ve had time off. Mark Simoneau had me over for Christmas dinner and [assistant] Coach [Joe] Vitt had me over for Thanksgiving. They’ve been there for me. All the linebackers showed up for the funeral and that was really important to me when I saw them coming.’’

Zimmer said he and his father also have leaned heavily on each other.

“We call each other every night now,’’ Zimmer said. “He’s texting me all the time now. He hardly ever even used texting before this year, but now he’s texting me all the time. Whenever we need each other or need to talk, we give each other a shout. We’ve always been close, but this has brought us closer.’’