Adam Zimmer


Adam Zimmer enters his 5th season as the Vikings LBs coach in 2018.

The 2017 Vikings 13-3 regular-season record was the 2nd best in the history of the franchise (15-1, 1998). Minnesota won the NFC North and hosted a Divisional Round Playoff game against Zimmer’s former team, the New Orleans Saints, where the Vikings won on a walk-off, game-winning touchdown as time expired in the 4th quarter.

Adam Zimmer enters his 5th season as the Vikings LBs coach in 2018.

The 2017 Vikings 13-3 regular-season record was the 2nd best in the history of the franchise (15-1, 1998). Minnesota won the NFC North and hosted a Divisional Round Playoff game against Zimmer’s former team, the New Orleans Saints, where the Vikings won on a walk-off, game-winning touchdown as time expired in the 4th quarter.

The Minnesota Vikings defense led the NFL in yards per game allowed (275.9) for the 1st time since 1993 and also led the league allowing 15.8 points per game in the regular season. The Vikings defense limited opponents to 83.6 rushing yards per game (2nd in the NFL) and 3.6 yards per rush (5th in the NFL). Minnesota held opponents to 192.4 passing yards per game, 2nd in the NFL, making them the only defense in the NFL to rank in the top 3 in both rushing yards per game and passing yards per game. The defense also held opponents to a 25.2% (51/202) 3rd-down conversion rate, the best mark in the NFL.

Zimmer’s UCLA duo, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr led the team in tackles, having 136 and 98 (tied for 2nd), respectively. This is his third consecutive season Eric Kendricks has led the team in combined tackles. Kendricks finished the regular season setting career high with 87 solo tackles, 49 assisted tackles and 13 quarterback hurries. Kendricks had the lone defensive touchdown of the season vs. Cincinnati (12/17/17) returning an interception 31 yards for a score. He is tied for 2nd for most career interception return touchdowns (2) in team history by a linebacker, trailing only Rip Hawkins (3).

Anthony Barr has started all 58 games in which he has appeared. Barr was selected to Pro Bowl following the 2017 season, earning the honor for the 3rd consecutive year. He finished the regular season with 67 solo tackles, 31 assisted tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, 14 quarterback hurries and 6 passes defensed. Barr tallied his 2nd career interception, and first in the playoffs, in the Vikings Divisional Round victory over New Orleans (1/14/18).

2017 4th round pick Ben Gedeon was the only rookie defensive player stepping into the starting line-up for the Vikings. Gedeon made 9 starts in his 1st season with the Vikings. Gedeon, along with undrafted rookie Eric Wilson and Emmanuel Lamur made significant contributions on special teams.


The 2016 Vikings defense posted the highest ranking, #3 in the NFL, since 1993.

The Vikings defense in 2016 ranked #5 in scoring defense, allowing 18.7 points per game and one Zimmer’s top pupils, LB Anthony Barr, was named to his 2nd Pro Bowl following the season. Minnesota ranked tied for 4th in the NFL with 41.0 sacks on the season and tied for 7th in the NFL with 27 takeaways. The Vikings defense scored 4 TDs and a safety with LB Eric Kendricks taking home NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for him season-opening game at Tennessee (9/11) when he had a 77-yard INT return TD.

The 2015 Vikings won the NFC North and hosted a Wild Card Playoff game, highlighted by a stingy defense that jumped to #5 in the NFL in points allowed at 18.9 after ranking #11 in 2014. Under Zimmer’s watch, Barr elevated his game in his 2nd year in the NFL to become a Pro Bowl-caliber player and was the 1st Vikings LB to become a Pro Bowler since 2012 when Chad Greenway received Pro Bowl honors. Additionally, the Vikings 2nd-round selection, Kendricks, became the 2nd rookie in franchise history to lead the team in tackles (105 total tackles), a feat that was last accomplished by Rip Hawkins in 1961.

Not to be outdone by his younger counterparts, Greenway snared a Philip Rivers pass in the Vikings 31-14 win over the Chargers and returned the INT 91 yards to pay dirt. The 91-yard return was the 5th-longest INT return in team history and the 6th-longest INT return by a LB in NFL history.

3 of the top 5 tacklers for the Vikings during the 2015 campaign were the three starting LBs in Kendricks (105 tackles), Greenway (86 tackles) and Barr (80 tackles).

During his initial season with the Vikings, Zimmer helped Barr, who was the 9th-overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, splash onto the scene, leading the Vikings in tackles through the first 12 games before he was shut down for the season due to injury. Barr, who is relatively new to the position, having played FB for 2 years in college before switching to LB and immediately contributed, starting every game he played in recording 99 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 3 passes defensed. Barr’s 99 tackles ranks as the 5th-most in team history among rookies. The UCLA product was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 8 after recording 8 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 pass defensed and stripping, recovering and returning a fumble 27 yards on the first play of OT for a game-winning TD at Tampa Bay (10/26/14).

In his 1st season as an NFL position coach, Zimmer saw contributions from across the board. Veterans Greenway and Jasper Brinkley started 12 and 11 games, respectively, and helped solidify an otherwise inexperienced group. Greenway totaled 115 tackles while Brinkley corralled 85. 2nd-year LB Gerald Hodges saw the first significant playing time of his young career, starting 7 games and amassing 73 tackles. Hodges scored the fastest defensive TD in team history by intercepting Geno Smith of the Jets and returning the ball 27 yards for a TD 12 seconds into the game. Audie Cole, who mainly played special teams throughout the year, made his lone start in the season finale and performed well, leading the Vikings in tackles with 14 in a defensive effort that held the Bears to 9 points.

Before joining the Vikings, Zimmer spent the 2013 season with the Bengals and has previously worked with New Orleans (2006-09) and Kansas City (2010-12).

In his lone season with the Bengals, Zimmer, who served as the assistant DBs Coach, helped lead one of the top secondaries in the NFL. Despite facing the 5th-most passing attempts in the NFL, the Bengals allowed the 4th-fewest passing yards. The 5.9 yards-per-passing attempt the Bengals defense allowed was the 2nd-best in the NFL, trailing only Seattle. There were 7 different Bengals defensive backs who recorded an interception, and the group finished with 14 total, which was more than 11 teams had total. The Bengals tied for 5th in the NFL with 20 INTs during the 2013 season.

A coach for 4 playoff teams in his 9 seasons in the NFL, including the Bengals in 2013, Zimmer was also a member of the New Orleans Saints coaching staff in 2009 when they defeated Indianapolis 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV. Prior to joining the Vikings, all 3 teams he has been with have won a Division title, combining for 4 total. 

Prior to joining the Bengals, Zimmer served as defensive assistant/assistant LBs coach for the Chiefs for 3 seasons. In 2012, his final season in Kansas City, Zimmer coached Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson to spots in the Pro Bowl. It marked the 1st time in Chiefs history that 3 LBs were named to the Pro Bowl in the same season. Houston finished the season 5th amongst NFL linebackers with 10.0 sacks. Hali and Johnson both earned Pro Bowl honors in 2011, the 1st time the Chiefs had sent multiple LBs to the Pro Bowl since 1972.

In Zimmer’s 1st season with Kansas City, the Chiefs won the AFC West title with a 10-6 record. Hali had one of the best seasons by a LB in Chiefs history, finishing with the 2nd-most sacks by a LB in franchise history (14.5). The Chiefs run defense improved in 2010, allowing 46.2 fewer rushing yards per game than they did in 2009, moving up from 31st in the NFL in 2009 to 14th in 2010. 

Zimmer spent 4 seasons with the New Orleans Saints and added duties as the assistant LBs coach in 2009. During their championship season in 2009, the Saints defense had the 2nd-most takeaways in the NFL (39), and Jonathan Vilma earned Pro Bowl honors.

The Saints won the NFC South and advanced to the NFC Championship Game against Chicago in 2006, Zimmer’s 1st season in the NFL. The 2006 season saw the Saints improve in both offensive yards allowed and offensive points allowed. The Saints gave up 51 fewer points and improved from 27th to 13th in the NFL in scoring defense. The Saints defense gave up 5 fewer yards per game and finished 11th in the NFL in yards allowed.

Zimmer was a safety for Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, from 2002-05 and graduated in 2006. Zimmer is the son of Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, and 2017 marks the 5th season the father and son have worked together. Adam (1/13/84) was born in Ogden, UT while his father served as an assistant coach at Weber State University.

zimmer’s Background


2002-05           Trinity University (TX) // DB


2006-08           New Orleans Saints // Defensive Assistant

2009... New Orelans Saints // Assistant DBs

2010-12           Kansas City Chiefs // Defensive Asst./Asst. LBs

2013... Cincinnati Bengals // Assistant DBs

2014-   Minnesota Vikings // LBs