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George Edwards
Defensive Coordinator

BIOGRAPHY

George Edwards is in his 4th season as Vikings Defensive Coordinator in 2017 coming off a 2016 season that featured a defense that was #3 in the NFL in total defense and sent 4 defenders to the Pro Bowl. 

Edwards’ stint with the Vikings marks his 3rd as an NFL defensive coordinator after working in Washington (2003) and Buffalo (2010-2011) in the same capacity. The 2017 season is Edwards’ 20th season in the NFL and 28th season as a coach, all spent on the defensive side of the ball. In January 2017, Edwards served as head coach of the West team in the Shrine Bowl.

In 2016 the Vikings climbed to #3 in the NFL in total defense, the highest ranking since 1993, and ranked #5 in scoring defense, allowing 18.7 points per game. The club finished with an 8-8 mark. 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 defense was led in INTs by CB Xavier Rhodes with 5 and a TD en route to his 1st career Pro Bowl. Joining him in the all-star game were DT Linval Joseph (1st honor), DE Everson Griffen (2nd honor) and S Harrison Smith (2nd honor).

George Edwards is in his 4th season as Vikings Defensive Coordinator in 2017 coming off a 2016 season that featured a defense that was #3 in the NFL in total defense and sent 4 defenders to the Pro Bowl. 

Edwards’ stint with the Vikings marks his 3rd as an NFL defensive coordinator after working in Washington (2003) and Buffalo (2010-2011) in the same capacity. The 2017 season is Edwards’ 20th season in the NFL and 28th season as a coach, all spent on the defensive side of the ball. In January 2017, Edwards served as head coach of the West team in the Shrine Bowl.

In 2016 the Vikings climbed to #3 in the NFL in total defense, the highest ranking since 1993, and ranked #5 in scoring defense, allowing 18.7 points per game. The club finished with an 8-8 mark. 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 defense was led in INTs by CB Xavier Rhodes with 5 and a TD en route to his 1st career Pro Bowl. Joining him in the all-star game were DT Linval Joseph (1st honor), DE Everson Griffen (2nd honor) and S Harrison Smith (2nd honor).

The team was led with 12.0 sacks in 2016 by 2nd-year DE Danielle Hunter and fellow 2nd-year standout LB Eric Kendricks led the club in tackles for the 2nd time. Rhodes notched a team-high 5 INTs, including setting the team record with a 100-yard INT return TD vs. Arizona. The Vikings defense scored 4 TDs on the season and a safety with INT return scores by Kendricks and Rhodes and FR TDs by Hunter and Griffen while Hunter also had a safety. Kendricks (at Tennessee), Griffen (at Carolina) and Rhodes (vs. Arizona) all earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors during the season.

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. For the 1st time since the inaugural season in 1961, the team was led in tackles by rookie 2nd-round pick Kendricks with 105 stops. The Vikings defense was honored with 3 NFC Defensive Players of the Week - Joseph vs. St. Louis, CB Terence Newman at Oakland and Griffen at Green Bay. Kendricks and Hunter were each named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.

Inheriting the defense that allowed the most points per game and 2nd-most yards per game in 2013, Edwards helped turn the Vikings defense around in 2014, his 1st season as defensive coordinator. The Vikings had the NFL’s most-improved defense in 2014, allowing 7.1 fewer offensive points per game in 2014 than in 2013. Griffen was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month in October 2014 and Smith led the Vikings defense with 5 interceptions. Edwards played an instrumental role in the development of Barr, a rookie 1st-round pick (#9 overall), was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week at Tampa Bay after forcing and recovering a fumble in OT and returning it for a TD.

Edwards returned to Miami for his 2nd stint as LBs coach for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The Dolphins rush defense ranked 13th in the NFL in 2012.

Edwards served as Defensive Coordinator with the Buffalo Bills in 2010 and 2011. While with the Bills, Edwards led a base 3-4 defense; however, the unit was flexible and played out of multiple fronts throughout his tenure. During his time with the Bills, defensive tackle Kyle Williams emerged as a defensive presence and was named to his 1st Pro Bowl after producing career numbers in sacks (5.5) and fumble recoveries (2) in 2010. Also under Edwards’ watch in 2010, the Bills’ pass defense allowed an average of 192.0 passing yards per game to rank 3rd in the AFC, while producing 9 fumble recoveries to tie for 4th in the AFC and forcing 12 fumbles to tie for 5th in the AFC.

From 2005-2009, Edwards was the LBs coach for the Miami Dolphins. His first 3 years with Miami were spent tutoring the LBs before focusing on the inside linebackers in 2008. Under Edwards, Zach Thomas was selected to the Pro Bowl following both the 2005 and ’06 seasons and was named as the NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year for the 2006 season.

 Edwards spent the 2004 season as the Cleveland Browns LBs coach. Before that, Edwards was with the Washington Redskins for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. In 2003, Edwards was named the defensive coordinator for the 1st time in his career. Following the ’03 season, LB LaVar Arrington and CB Champ Bailey were selected to the NFC Pro Bowl squad. In 2002, Edwards served as the Redskins’ assistant defensive coordinator/LBs coach, as Arrington accounted for the most productive season of his NFL career with 107 tackles and 11 sacks and earned his 2nd consecutive Pro Bowl berth. In addition, each of the team’s starting LBs, which also included Jesse Armstead and Jeremiah Trotter, surpassed the 100-tackle plateau.

Edwards entered the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and remained there from 1998-2001. Serving as the LBs coach, Edwards worked under Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer, who led the Cowboys’ defensive attack. Under Edwards’ guidance, Dexter Coakley, a 3rd-round draft choice in 1997, was selected to the Pro Bowl twice over the 4-year span (1999, 2001).

Before making the leap to the NFL ranks, Edwards held collegiate assistant posts at Florida (1990-91), Appalachian State (1992-95), Duke (1996) and Georgia (1997). During his lone season at Georgia, Edwards tutored a defensive line which included a pair of freshmen in Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud, both selected in the 1st round of the 2001 NFL Draft.

A 4-year letterman at Duke University, Edwards was twice named the special teams captain and an honorable mention All-ACC selection at linebacker in 1989.

A native of Siler City, N.C., Edwards and his wife, Jami, have a son, B.J.

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