Mike Zimmer calls Petrino a ‘coward’ over his 2007 exit

Former Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer (right) is probably not having Bobby Petrino over for a cookout this summer.  (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Former Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer (right) is probably not having Bobby Petrino over for a cookout this summer. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

After practice in Cincinnati on Wednesday, former Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer ripped former head coach Bobby Petrino.

Zimmer was the defensive coordinator in 2007, the season that Petrino abruptly resigned 13 games into the season. Zimmer ended up in Cincinnati and has led the defense to its highest ranking in three decades last season at No. 4.

“When a coach quits in the middle of the year and ruins a bunch of people’s families and doesn’t have enough guts to finish out the year, I’m not a part of it,” Zimmer told the Cincinnati media. “And you can put that in the Arkansas News Gazette. I don’t really give a (bleep). He’s a coward, he ruined a bunch of people’s lives, a bunch of families, kids, because he didn’t have enough (guts) to stay there and finish the job. And that’s the truth. Most people in football have enough courage about him and enough fight to stick it out and not quit halfway through the year. It’s cowardly.”

Petrino went back into the college ranks to coach at Arkansas.  Zimmer shined some light on Petrino’s exit.

“He came in and said he resigned, (said) he’d talk to us all at a later date, walked out of the office and no one has talked to him since,” Zimmer said. “Not that anybody wanted to. He’s a gutless (bleep). You can quote that.”

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

194 comments Add your comment

DirtyBird

October 20th, 2010
5:37 pm

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Rick

October 20th, 2010
5:43 pm

Just tell us what you really think. I love it. petrino is a gutless piece of S**t that proved he has no business in the big leagues.

James

October 20th, 2010
5:43 pm

Nice. A little on the angry side, but, hell, I’m glad Zimmer is doing well in Cincy…

1990_Champs_GT

October 20th, 2010
5:50 pm

I (unfortunately) live in Arkansas, and he’s a saint here. People are expecting a National Championship from Petrino’s Hogs around here.

I tell them that once Mallet leaves for the NFL, Bobby-boy will be seeking greener pastures.

And I agree: He has no business in the pros.

Reid Adair

October 20th, 2010
5:55 pm

I understand you have to edit it, D-Led, but the uncensored version is much better. Expletives and all, Mike Zimmer described Bobby Petrino perfectly.

Dannyboy

October 20th, 2010
5:58 pm

I believe Zim’s wife died unexpectedly a few years ago…so I think for him to speak out like this says something. Someone who goes through a devastating loss like that usually finds compassion for others. I think the only people left in this world who puts up with Petrino are currently within the Arkansas border…and that’s only because they HAVE TO put up with him.

For what I’ve read and seen, all the players who have played for Zim love him. Karma is a b$tch Petrino…good luck with it…

Johnny DangerDawg

October 20th, 2010
5:59 pm

Wow, great quotes! I really enjoyed reading this.

some sense

October 20th, 2010
6:01 pm

1.) Who is Mike Zimmer?

2.) This is so three years ago.

JD

October 20th, 2010
6:01 pm

LOL – what a breath of fresh air Zimmer is….

chris

October 20th, 2010
6:02 pm

hmmm…talking trash via the media isn’t gutless at all, huh coach? “you can quote that!” pick up the phone or travel to Fayetteville and tell him yourself tough guy….otherwise shut your mouth, mind your business, and worry about making your football team better…..its a shame, i thought a lot of Zimmer when he was with the Cowboys…lost some respect after reading this…,

SawThat1nce

October 20th, 2010
6:04 pm

AMEN, Brother! Tell it, like it is!

SawThat1nce

October 20th, 2010
6:06 pm

chris, ………maybe you should go to ARK., and see if Petrino wants to be your daddy.

Paddy

October 20th, 2010
6:14 pm

chris….Zimmer owes absolutly nothing to Petrino. No phone call no letter, nothing. I am so glade that someone on his former staff has spoken out on this coward. How would you like to have that spineless pos in a foxhole with you when things got hot? His players said it best when he left for Ark.; “coach was a mile wide and an inch deep” Bout says it all right there, chris.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jay Kapp, Matthew Cafaro, Matthew Cafaro, shutupayouface, John Breech and others. John Breech said: RT @AJCFalcons Zimmer calls Petrino a ‘coward’ over his 2007 exit http://bit.ly/cGOvCh <- thats the most newspaper friendly word he used. [...]

Bluestreak

October 20th, 2010
6:17 pm

Chris,

I think if Petrino had the guts to show up in front of Zim, not only would Zim say the exact same thing, if not more but he would probably follow up with a left hook or a kick to the….well, would matter to Petrino anyway.

chris

October 20th, 2010
6:21 pm

Saw…wow, clever comment, who writes your material? i never said i agreed with or defended the way petrino handled his exit from atlanta, but talking trash about someone through the media (or anyone else) isn’t exactly the way a man handles his business…just pointing out the hypocrisy bud…

Tom Pridemore was tuff

October 20th, 2010
6:24 pm

Good stuff D Led…..Bobby is no good….he’s one those guys that comes to your house and asks for a to go plate after supper , drinks all your beer…and the cat comes up pregnant….

maybe I was a bit harsh…I don’t like him…if he was on fire I wouldn’t spit on him

richham

October 20th, 2010
6:26 pm

Wow he resigned and just left with nothing else said!!! That is almost too hard to believe that someone coaching professional football would do that. Gutless is almost to light of a description. That is sad!

chris

October 20th, 2010
6:28 pm

@paddy and bluestreak
you guys are probably right…but talking trash via the media is childish and cowardly too…let it go and take the high road or speak to the man personally…thats all i’m saying…not defending petrino at all here…i will still root for zimmer cause i think he’s a hell of a coach and i’m sure it was just his emotions getting the best of him but i would have expected more from a guy like him…no need to stoop…

Birdman

October 20th, 2010
6:28 pm

One way to look at it is if this worthless human being had stayed we would not have found Smitty and Dimitroff. Better we got to the point that was inevitable, that Petrino is a lesser class of human being than most who get these jobs. Blank should truly question his judgement on that hire. Although he got it right the 3rd time finally.

Birdman

October 20th, 2010
6:29 pm

Arkansas fans will rue the day they made this hire. It will end in fire and destruction, this man is out for no one but himself.

bird

October 20th, 2010
6:38 pm

layinlow

October 20th, 2010
6:43 pm

Chris, Zimmer has every right to speak out about this POS. He left Zimmer and all the other assistants who followed him here without jobs. Imagine the impact it had on their families when they had to pull kids out of school and move again after one year. And then he didn’t even have the guts to sit down and explain his reasons. Plus most coaches call to make recommendations to help their assistants land other jobs. This coward ducked out in the middle of the night and never spoke to his coaches again. They had to scramble to find new jobs with no help from Metrino.

Section 108

October 20th, 2010
6:45 pm

Petrino is a gutless S.O.B.. O wait, Van Gorder essentially did the same thing to the Georgia Southern Football Program in 2007

j rev

October 20th, 2010
6:46 pm

Atlanta will welcome Vick with open arms long before it ever forgives Petrino.

Birdman

October 20th, 2010
6:47 pm

Anyone who faults Zimmer for his speaking out is way misguided. If you don’t have the common decency to face me when you put me out on the streets then you have earned all the public commentary on your sad state as a human being. My biggest disappointment when this roach left town was that Zimmer was not kept around. In retrospect he landed on his feet no thanks to the guy who asked him to commit to his cause in Atlanta and then cut and run in the middle of the night. If anyone is worse than Petrino as a human being I would hate to see it.

4 jacks

October 20th, 2010
6:47 pm

There has never been a bigger scumbag and cpwardly douche that Petrino…hope karma comes back around and destroys him and his family and kids, let him get a taste of it…and by the way I am a Tech fan, and I was pulling for UGA when they played that scumbag…I hate UGA, but not as bad as that limp d**k…but wouldn’t you know it, the first time in years I pulled for them and you see what happens…lol

Pat

October 20th, 2010
6:48 pm

+1, Mike Zimmer

Dawgbreath

October 20th, 2010
6:49 pm

Really doesn’t deserve a job in the SEC. Gutless.

Bubba Bean

October 20th, 2010
6:49 pm

Found this in Webster’s:

patrino – (pa-tren-o)n. coward; one who shows lack of courage; showing fear in the face of danger.

Wow! Who knew it would actually become interchangable with coward.

True story – Patrino and an assistant coach are on a recruiting trip traveling down an Arkansas dirt road when they happen upon a Razorback with it’s head caught in a barbed wire fence.

Assitant coach: “Boy, I sure wish there was something we could do for that hog.”

Patrino: “Shoot, I just wish it was dark already!”

Charles

October 20th, 2010
6:50 pm

Zimmer hit it on the nail- everytime that piece of crap is on tv, I boo him and his porks- I hope he never gets to the SEC title game, but if he does, I would love for him and his hocks of ham to go up against the Dawgs (and then the Dawgs would be eattin bacon afterwards)!

Not a Falcon fan

October 20th, 2010
6:59 pm

Since I’m not a Falcons fan, Bobby Petrino is my favorite Falcon’s coach.

Mike E.

October 20th, 2010
7:14 pm

Bobby Petrino is and always has been a total douchebag, I think he and Nick Saban are basically cut from the same cloth, except Saban is a better coach. He has quite a legacy of deceit and betrayal, starting with his “clandestine” meet up with Auburn’s since fired Pres and A.D. at the behest of one of their biggest boosters and trustees. I watched the Arkansas-Alabama game wishing both coaches could lose. Fans always love a winner, so Arkansas fans may praise him but everybody else can’t stand the guy. Here’s hoping they struggle down the stretch now that Mallett is banged up.

ELVISKL

October 20th, 2010
7:15 pm

since patrino beat the dogs i have forgiven him, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

jack e. row

October 20th, 2010
7:19 pm

Shoot, I wouln,t give him air if he was in a bottle!

Alabama Communist

October 20th, 2010
7:19 pm

Poor Baby Coach Zimmer! If he had been at Alabama, we would shot him for treason….

Falcons Fan

October 20th, 2010
7:21 pm

Hey Not a Falcon Fan,
Drink a big cup of STFU and get off this blog!

perk

October 20th, 2010
7:28 pm

go coach Z! – wished he would of also said Booby P screwed his brother too. He came here to coach Vick – never was into it when #7 was done in Atl. Never will forget the new conf that nite and seing that swine sing soooey. have always heard that Jerry Jones got him the job at Ark. Another swine.

cheshire

October 20th, 2010
7:31 pm

Chris, i fail to see how Zimmer is “stooping”. Why should he drive to Arkansas? That would imply that Petrino deserves any of Zimmer’s time or effort. Zimmer was asked a question and he answered it honestly – what’s wrong with that? To say “oh, go say it to his face!” is just silly.

And remember, Petrino is the one who ran away, not Zimmer. Someone like that is unlikely to give Zimmer an audience. If he wasn’t man enough to quit honorably and live up to his word of talking with the coaching staff at a later date, what makes you think he would be willing to get in a room with someone he thinks might criticize him?

Van Note

October 20th, 2010
7:32 pm

Petrino is a slime ball !

Danny Ford

October 20th, 2010
7:33 pm

Bobby Petrino will be Mark Richt’s replacement!

[...] So what does Mike Zimmer, who was the Falcons’ defensive coordinator at the time say about Petrino? Well, it’s nothing positive: [...]

[...] So what does Mike Zimmer, who was the Falcons’ defensive coordinator at the time say about Petrino? Well, it’s nothing positive: [...]

jim

October 20th, 2010
7:34 pm

I have been watching and following football for over 50 yrs and hands down, Petrino pulled the most irresponsible, gutless, chicken stuff deal I have ever witnessed. Bad enough to quit during the season but to disrespect coaches who were on the line for you is unforgivable. Not to mention that good ole Petrino left a letter on the players’ lockers to let them know. You can’t make that garbage up people. Petrino really impresses me as someone that you would want to take a shower after being in the same room as him.

Kane337

October 20th, 2010
7:44 pm

Zimmer says what I felt back in 2007. Zimmer was one of the few bright spots on our 2007 team.

Fred

October 20th, 2010
7:47 pm

How apropos. The Arkansas Pigs have a Pig for a coach………..

jojatek

October 20th, 2010
7:49 pm

Perfect!!! Petrino’s run at Arkansas will end soon enough, and the football coaching fraternity (a very small, closely knit cirlce, I suspect… they all know that they are living on borrowed time in every job they take…) will remember the situation in Atlanta. What assistant in their right mind (let alone players and recruits) would follow this guy into battle??!!! Kudos to Zimmer for saying publicly what every right-minded coach, player, and fan has been thinking for years (check that… most of us forgot about Petrino a long time ago… he’s not worth our time…).

pmc

October 20th, 2010
7:54 pm

Zimmer is right on. The best thing that came out of that deal was a short but good amount of time with Paul Petrino.

All Zim said was what everyone already knew.

Bobby Petrino is an Ass. It’s just the embodiment of who he is as a human. Everyone is happier after he’s gone

pmc

October 20th, 2010
7:57 pm

It’s not like this is shocking to anyone. His entire career he’s treated everyone like crap. What are they supposed to ignore that when asked a question about him? People like winning and they like being competitive….of course the fans like him at Arkansas… until he leave there like he has everywhere else. He’s a self serving Ass. Proof that you can win being an absolute jerk.

BirdDawg24

October 20th, 2010
8:00 pm

i know he played a part in getting that reporter fired. i dont hate him , i feel sorry for him, he just got really scared and ran. bless his heart.he was afraid somebody would find out he really didnt know how to coach an NFL team and it scared him.