Jeff Fisher had more than a few words of advice for Mike Zimmer a day removed from the late hit that caused Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to lose consciousness.
As many are likely aware, Zimmer was extremely mad after the game. He said “If we were on the street, we probably would have had a fight,” via Pro Football Talk, and also pointed to the history of Gregg Williams-coached defenses, saying it was “a dirty hit” and that his defenses “are all like that.”
Responding Monday, Fisher cautioned his colleague to “control your emotions” and take a look at the tape before jumping to conclusions.
“I think a good a lesson to be learned from this is control your emotions immediately after the game and go back and look at the tape before you jump to conclusions,” Fisher told reporters.
Fisher also addressed the now-famous pass-by handshake Zimmer gave him after the game.
“Mike’s and my handshake was very short,” Fisher added. “He didn’t say a word. I went out to congratulate him. I was going to ask him how his quarterback was and congratulate him on the win, and he was gone. I understand that, but you also need to control your emotions after a game and go look at the tape and then adjust accordingly.”
He also said Lamarcus Joyner didn’t intentionally hurt Bridgewater and that he made the decision to hit the quarterback before he went into his slide.
Unfortunately, “the tape” clearly shows Joyner had time to pull up and NOT hit the sliding Bridgewater.
More than this, Joyner’s elbow crashed into Bridgewater’s helmet. Whether or not he was intentionally trying to hurt the quarterback or not, at the very least what he did was irresponsible, and Zimmer has every right to be angry about the whole thing.
The fact that Williams is the defensive coordinator didn’t help matters, and Zimmer is a guy who’s been in the league a long time and has seen this type of thing going on all too often on teams Williams coaches.
So Fisher can preach all he wants about showing restraint and “looking at the tape” before rushing to judgement. But he’s on the wrong side of this argument and should have used some restraint himself when responding to questions about this incident.
All he had to say was something along the lines of “I understand why he was upset.” That’s it.
We’ll see if Zimmer or anyone on Minnesota’s staff or roster has more to say about this soon enough. For now, it appears neither Zimmer nor Fisher will be sending one another Christmas cards this year.