Mike Zimmer has interviewed, and been passed over, for head coaching jobs in the past. And, at age 57, his window for landing one of these jobs could soon close. That doesn't mean he'll take anything that's offered -- or so he says now.
Zimmer is among the 11 names that have thus far been connected to the Washington Redskins' opening; they've interviewed five and have requested permission to speak with six others, including Zimmer. He reportedly will interview with Minnesota and Tennessee this week. Nothing has yet been scheduled with Washington, though Zimmer told Bengals reporters he likely would go on another interview next week.
But he told Bengals reporters any decision to leave is tougher than you think. Here's ESPN.com Bengals reporter Coley Harvey's piece on the topic.
Among the highlights, Zimmer said, "If I get offered one of these jobs and I don't feel good about it, you know me -- I'm going to do what I think is best."
It's hard to imagine him turning down a head coaching position, but if he doesn't like the situation, then the tug of family could win out. As Harvey wrote, "He has a son, Adam, who is on staff with him in Cincinnati. He has a daughter who moved to the area not so long ago. And he has 43 acres of newly bought land in nearby Independence, Ky., that is waiting for him to plop a house atop it. He already has the plans for the place drawn up; all he needs is for it to be built."
That's why Zimmer said, "There's a lot of factors."
Still, it's hard to imagine any coach wanting to run their own team and then turning it down, knowing it could be his one and only shot. But in the end, what it means is that it would provide him a peace for any decision a team makes regarding him. He understands the fickle nature of coaching searches, too.
"I believe I’ve gotten better at it," Zimmer told reporters. "The first one I did was a long time ago with the Rams. I didn’t do a very good job. It’s like coaching, I guess. I think you know when you do good and when you don’t when you walk out. I was told that I did good in the other ones, so we’ll see. They may not be looking for me and whatever. They may want an offensive coach, or they may want a different style guy, who knows?"