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Adam Zimmer
Linebackers

BIOGRAPHY

Adam Zimmer enters his 4th season as the Vikings LBs coach in 2017. 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.

Adam Zimmer enters his 4th season as the Vikings LBs coach in 2017. 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 2016 marks the 3rd 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.

ADAM ZIMMER’S BACKGROUND

Player

2002-05 Trinity University (Texas) // Safety

Coach

2006-09 New Orleans Saints // Defensive Assistant

2009 New Orleans Saints // Assistant Linebackers

2010-12 Kansas City Chiefs // Defensive Assistant/Assistant Linebackers

2013 Cincinnati Bengals // Assistant Defensive Backs

2014- Minnesota Vikings // Linebackers

Season Team Record Result

2006 New Orleans 10-6* Lost in NFC Championship

2007 New Orleans 7-9

2008 New Orleans 8-8

2009 New Orleans 13-3* Won Super Bowl XLIV

2010 Kansas City 10-6* Lost in Wild Card

2011 Kansas City 7-9

2012 Kansas City 2-14

2013 Cincinnati 11-5* Lost in Wild Card

2014 Minnesota 7-9

2015 Minnesota 11-5* Lost in Wild Card

*Won Division