Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports
The Minnesota Vikings parted ways with head coach Mike Zimmer at the end of the 2021 season, which seems to have come as a relief to the bulk of the organization. In fact, things were so bad that even one of Zimmer’s assistant coaches was comfortable throwing the ex-coach under the bus.
Longtime NFL cornerback Terence Newman played under Zimmer and went on to coach under him, serving as the Vikings’ defensive backs coach since 2018. Newman admitted that players “dreaded going to work” in Zimmer’s final years as coach, as the organizational culture became so bad.
“It became toxic,” Newman told Tyler Dunne of Go Long. “It was a trickle effect. If players are dreading getting cussed out and s— like that, then it’s going to make it a long day for everybody.”
When this is the line coming directly from one of Zimmer’s staff members, you know things were bad. Some of the stories that have come out about the final days of Zimmer’s tenure certainly back that up.
Zimmer has already taken on a new role since the Vikings fired him. That team might want to keep a close eye on things to ensure that these problems do not arise there as well.
The Minnesota Vikings are facing something of a crisis in their secondary ahead of Saturday’s playoff game in San Francisco, and they looked into an unusual idea to try to rectify it.
On Friday, the Vikings placed cornerback Mackensie Alexander on injured reserve following arthroscopic knee surgery. Another cornerback, Mike Hughes, was placed on injured reserve last week, leaving the Vikings seriously depleted in the cornerback department.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Vikings went so far as to work out 41-year-old former player and cornerbacks coach Terence Newman as a possible option ahead of Saturday’s game.
With CBs Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes on IR, the Vikings worked out their former nickel/CB coach and player, Terence Newman, league sources tell @FieldYates and me. Newman is 41, but the team considered signing him before promoting a cornerback from its practice squad.
The Vikings ultimately opted against signing Newman, instead activating rookie Nate Meadors off the practice squad.
Newman wanted to play into his 40s, so he was probably game. Still, it would have been something to see a guy who most recently served as a cornerbacks coach for the team suiting up for a playoff game out of nowhere.
Some say that the NFL stands for “Not For Long,” and the reasons for that are obvious. Football is a dangerous game played by some of the strongest and fastest athletes in the world. Most NFL careers are understandably short at an average of between 3-6 years, with the higher number projected by the NFL and the lower number projected by the NFLPA.
In some cases, players exceed those numbers, but Father Time catches up with everyone. And quite often, that’s a hard pill to swallow for someone who loves the game and knows nothing else. But in the end, retirement is inevitable for all who snap on the chinstrap.
Here’s a look at 10 NFL players who should be considering retirement in 2018.
10. Karlos Dansby, LB, free agent
Karlos Dansby briefly considered retirement a season ago before signing a one-year deal to return to the Arizona Cardinals, where he appeared in 16 games, recording 95 tackles and one sack. While Dansby’s numbers were still respectable, his Pro Football Focus grade dipped to 68.2, which is considered below average. But despite that, and the fact that he’s approaching the age of 37, Dansby still does not appear ready to hang them up, and teams remain interested. Ultimately, the window on Dansby’s career is closing. He’ll need to think about life after football sooner rather than later.
Logically, many would expect 39-year-old Terence Newman to retire if the Minnesota Vikings were to win a Super Bowl.
However, the veteran cornerback isn’t willing to go that far yet.
“Let’s just say hypothetically speaking that I was able to (win a Super Bowl), then why not try to get two?” Newman said Thursday, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “You can look at it at both sides.”
Could Newman still be a quality player at age 40?
“I don’t have any problems with that,” Newman said.
Newman is, in fact, still performing at a high level, much to the amazement of some of his peers. Obviously he’s not putting the cart ahead of the horse here, but he’s clearly given his future some thought and doesn’t appear ready to retire yet. That’s good news for the Vikings, no matter how their playoff run plays out.
Terence Newman has been singled out as the ringleader of the Minnesota Vikings players who decided to ignore their head coach in Week 16, but the veteran cornerback insists the reports of a so-called mutiny have been inaccurate.
“There were and are no issues with anything between player and coach,” he wrote. “The whole thing was blown out of proportion.”
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer started the controversy himself when he said Xavier Rhodes was supposed to be covering Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson the entire game, not just in the second half. Nelson caught nine passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 38-25 win. Rhodes essentially told reporters that Minnesota’s secondary got together and blatantly defied Zimmer’s game plan.
The latest report about the bizarre situation does not paint Newman in the best light, so you can understand why he wants to throw cold water on it. Regardless of what he says, it’s clear that the Vikings ignored their coach in some capacity and got burned because of it.
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes ultimately took the fall for defying coach Mike Zimmer’s defensive gameplan on Saturday, but the mastermind was another veteran defensive back.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, it was veteran cornerback Terence Newman who told Rhodes early in the contest to stay on his side of the field and share the duty of covering Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson with him.
When confronted by Zimmer, Rhodes said he was conflicted between performing his coach’s orders or listening to the team’s 38-year-old defensive leader. It only lasted a few series before Zimmer intervened and got everyone on the same page.
No punishment has been issued against anyone on the team since the game.
What’s strange, as Rapoport notes, is that Newman played under Zimmer in both Dallas and Cincinnati when the current Vikings coach was defensive coordinator, so it’s rather odd that he would so openly defy a coach he knows well.
Rhodes ultimately took the fall for it in the media after the game, but it sounds like he was pressured into doing what he did. Either way, this story is a pretty bad look for a Vikings team that has seen a once-promising season collapse spectacularly, with this being the final nail in the coffin.
Mike Evans apparently can do much more than just catch the ball.
The Bucs rookie wide receiver absolutely destroyed Terence Newman while blocking him during Sunday’s Buccaneers-Bengals game. Evans had Newman on his heels the whole time, and the climax came when the rookie slammed the veteran to the ground.
From the sound of it, free agent cornerback Terence Newman is close to coming to an agreement with some NFL team. Chances are the 34-year-old is returning to the Cincinnati Bengals, as the team recently expressed a desire get his contract situation wrapped up by the end of the week. But first, Newman has to track down his agent.
On Sunday, Newman took to Twitter to let everyone know that he is trying to get his contract taken care of but cannot seem to locate his agent, Ben Dogra. Yes, we’re serious. You can’t make this stuff up.
If anyone sees Ben Dogra of CAA, tell him I’d like him to get my deal finalized so if he could call me it would be appreciated.
While many superstar athletes just let their agents handle their contract for them, Newman seems to be struggling to get his to do his job. Potential suitors probably aren’t lining up for the services of a 34-year-old corner whose best years are behind him, which is likely why Newman is anxious to get the deal done. This can’t be good PR for Dogra. How long until he ends up like this agent?
The Cowboys are no strangers to sidelines fights, but that was back when they had Terrell Owens on their team. Now, there’s no T.O. but there are still sideline issues. The FOX cameras caught CB Terence Newman in a shoving match with secondary coach, Dave Campo. Here’s the video of the testy twosome:
I’m not sure exactly what set the issue off but I’m guessing it had to do with Newman doing something different from what he was assigned. I’m sure we’ll find out more details after the game.
UPDATE: Wade Phillips took a “nothing to see here” approach after the game
T.O. says it (half-jokingly) and it becomes a firestorm. Terence Newman says it (a week ago) and not much attention is paid. Newman had an interview with WFAA in which he talked all things Cowboys. I thought he had a great take on team captains, saying that it should be the guys who played the best the week before because they’ve earned the right to speak. After that, maybe a few guys are needed to step up and say something when it’s appropriate, but in general, leadership is earned. He was also asked about everyone’s favorite Cowboys subject (now that The Player is gone), Tony Romo. Here were Newman’s thoughts on whether or not Romo’s grasped what being the Cowboys quarterback is all about:
“I think that with the situation Tony was in, I think that kind of maybe hurt him a little bit, being a first-year starter. Then you have the limelight with his girlfriend and situations of that nature — it’s going to take away from him being a quarterback, being a successful quarterback. He won 13 games and everything was perfect, but now, after this past season, it was, ‘Is he doing enough for the team? Is he working hard enough? You know, he’s got this girlfriend, so …’ I think that once he inherited the starting quarterback job and his relationship got into the national media attention, I think that that was something that definitely hurt and took away from Tony Romo being a great quarterback.”
I’ve defended Tony Romo in the past saying people are too quick to criticize him, forgetting how young he is in his NFL career and how good he’s already been. I’ve said it before and I truly believe that winning cures all. Because the team lost and didn’t make the playoffs, people look for reasons to explain what went wrong. I don’t condone going to Mexico the week before a playoff game, but I don’t think anyone would be saying this stuff had they won a few more games last season. And losing was more a factor of a bad secondary, a brutal schedule, and an unfortunate pinkie injury to Romo, rather than his flakiness because of a girlfriend. It’s too bad that Newman fell into the trap along with so many others.