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Zimmer dreams big, expects nerves for opener

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"It was amazing, and it was real too," said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. "Then I woke up."

Zimmer was talking with reporters about a dream he had Thursday night that the Vikings had just won the Super Bowl.

It's a good thing that Zimmer can rest easy now, because the season still hasn't kicked off for the Vikings. But the head coach may still have a couple sleepless nights before his dreams may become a reality.

Zimmer acknowledged that he will be nervous when the Vikings open the season on Sunday against St. Louis.

"It hasn't hit yet, but it will," said Zimmer. "I'm excited to watch this team play and if we play like we practice and do the things we did I shouldn't be nervous, because we are doing the right things."

There isn't anything in particular that Zimmer is apprehensive about, he said it is just in his nature to be nervous.

Zimmer has 35 years of experience as a coach, he enters his 21st season coaching in the NFL, but it is his first time as a head coach. He replaced Leslie Frazier, who was fired after a 5-10-1 finish last year.

"As a defensive coordinator my fear was always that we wouldn't tackle anybody the whole day, so that should tell you a little about my nervousness."

A Super Bowl in Zimmer's first year would be a surprise. While the Vikings made it to the NFC Championship game in 2009, FOX Sports Net notes they haven't been to the Super Bowl since 1976.

One guy who knows the nervousness Zimmer feels better than most is former Vikings coach Jerry Burns. Burns was the team's offensive coordinator from 1968-85, before taking over as the head coach in 1986. He visited practice on Friday and told Zimmer he was nervous before every game.

"It's a big game for Zimmer, I'm sure of that," Burns told the Pioneer Press. "I think any coach would be nervous before his first game. Everything rides on your shoulders, and it took (20) years for him to get his first opportunity as a head coach."

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