Saints Nation caught up with current Saints Defensive Assistant/Linebackers Coach Adam Zimmer (pictured on left) this week for a quick Q&A. Adam Zimmer is entering his 4th season as a coach of the Saints and has been with the team during the entirety of the Sean Payton regime. Adam is a native of Ogden, Utah, but considers Texas home. His father, Mike Zimmer, is the current defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals (who the Saints will play in their first preseason game). Adam is a graduate of Trinity University (Texas) and his already rich NFL pedigree will no doubt land him a more prestigious coaching role in the very near future. Enjoy!
Saints Nation: Adam, thanks for joining us. Curious which player in your mind is the most vocal leader on the team?
Adam Zimmer: We have a lot of leaders on the team, but on offense when Drew talks everybody listens. On Defense, Scott Fujita has been a captain for us 3 years and he is a great leader for us.
SN: Does any player come to mind as the funniest personality?
AZ: We have some good humor guys as well. Since I work with the Linebackers, I’ll stay in our room with Troy Evans, his nickname in our room is “Funboy”
SN: What’s it like to work with Sean Payton?
AZ: I love working for Coach Payton. I’ve learned a lot from him. He is a brilliant offensive coach and he challenges the Defense everyday in practice. Anytime you work for a great coach, it makes you better as a Coach. He is very good at organizing practices, and schedules as well. He also knows when the guys need rest and when to give them a bone with a team activity. I’ve known him since he worked with my Dad in Dallas and he is a great guy and a great Coach to work for.
SN: In your off time you’ve got a lot of great food to enjoy in New Orleans. What is your favorite restaurant in NOLA?
AZ: Well, I’m not that big of a fan of seafood, and I grew up in Texas so I love Mexican food so I would say Superior Grill. I like Impastatos and Dragos as well but I love my Mexican food.
SN: Back to football – How would you compare Saints fans to fans for other NFL teams in your experience?
AZ: Saints fans are great. They are loud and into the game for the whole time. When my Dad was in Dallas, the fans were not that loud until something good happened for the team. Saints fans are loud from the opening kickoff until the final whistle. The Dome is a great homefield advantage.
SN: Of all the players your team has faced, who is the most difficult player to gameplan against in the NFL?
AZ: Well since we play him twice a year I’d have to say Steve Smith. He is as good a receiver that there is in the NFL. You can double him, focus on him and try and take him out of the game and he will still beat you. Also, when we played Michael Vick he was very hard to plan against. He scares you to death because he is so versatile. I haven’t played against Brady yet (we will this year), but I’m sure he is a handful too.
SN: Which player on the Saints in your mind has the most untapped potential?
AZ: That’s a hard question. We have a lot of young players that I think will step up this year in some way. We will find out soon when training camp starts. It’s hard to judge a players toughness without pads on in the OTA’s and Mini Camp, so I’m looking forward to training camp.
SN: Alright, give us your prediction for the Saints’ regular season record for 2009?
AZ: Well obviously we are going to go 16-0, haha. Really, there is so much that can go on in a season as we saw last year with injuries and stuff so its hard to predict a record. I do think we have potential to be the top seed in the NFC if we can play smart and stay healthy. It will be a fun year, and hopefully a Super Bowl run that Saints fans deserve.
Special thanks again to Adam for taking the time, and good luck to him and the team in training camp which is right around the corner. Hopefully he can enjoy a few good Mexican meals this week before he gets back to the grind!