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Robert Rodriguez
Assistant Defensive Line

BIOGRAPHY

Robert Rodriguez returns for his 3rd season with the Vikings, serving as the team’s assistant defensive line coach. Rodriguez will again work closely with veteran defensive line coach Andre Patterson in their 3rd season together with the Vikings. 

The Vikings defense ascended to #3 in the NFL in 2016, powered by strong and consistent play along the line. The Vikings ranked tied for 4th in the NFL with 41 team sacks, 34 of those coming from the defensive line, which was the 2nd-most as a unit in the NFL. The d-line was represented at the Pro Bowl by DE Everson Griffen (2nd honor) and DT Linval Joseph made his 1st appearance. Joseph notched 100 tackles on the season and 2nd-year player Danielle Hunter led the club with 12.5 sacks putting him in a tie for 3rd in the NFL. The Vikings defensive line accounted for 2 TDs and a safety with Hunter returning a fumble for a TD and notching the safety and Griffen returning a fumble for a score. Griffen was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his game at Carolina (9/25) when he had a season-high 3.0 sacks.

Robert Rodriguez returns for his 3rd season with the Vikings, serving as the team’s assistant defensive line coach. Rodriguez will again work closely with veteran defensive line coach Andre Patterson in their 3rd season together with the Vikings. 

The Vikings defense ascended to #3 in the NFL in 2016, powered by strong and consistent play along the line. The Vikings ranked tied for 4th in the NFL with 41 team sacks, 34 of those coming from the defensive line, which was the 2nd-most as a unit in the NFL. The d-line was represented at the Pro Bowl by DE Everson Griffen (2nd honor) and DT Linval Joseph made his 1st appearance. Joseph notched 100 tackles on the season and 2nd-year player Danielle Hunter led the club with 12.5 sacks putting him in a tie for 3rd in the NFL. The Vikings defensive line accounted for 2 TDs and a safety with Hunter returning a fumble for a TD and notching the safety and Griffen returning a fumble for a score. Griffen was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his game at Carolina (9/25) when he had a season-high 3.0 sacks.

Everson Griffen led the team with 10.5 sacks (4th in NFC) on his way to his 1st career Pro Bowl. Griffen posted back-to-back seasons with double-digit sacks and ranks 6th in the NFL with 22.5 sacks since the start of the 2014 season. Spelling Griffen and veteran DE Brian Robison (5.0 sacks) was Danielle Hunter, the youngest player in the NFL. Hunter, a 3rd-round selection out of LSU, ranked 2nd in the NFL for sacks by a rookie with 6.0. He posted the 2nd-most sacks on the Vikings and 5th-most by a rookie in team history. NT Linval Joseph was a dominant force in his 2nd year as a Viking, and he led the DL with 71 tackles. Joseph (Week 9 vs. STL) and Griffen (Week 17 at GB) earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Hunter was named to the All-Rookie team by the PFWA. DT Tom Johnson continued to flourish in Minnesota and added 5.5 sacks. Since 2014, Johnson ranks 6th in the NFL in sacks by a DT with 12.0. 3rd year starting DT Sharrif Floyd added 2.5 sacks and 37 tackles. The DL accounted for 30 of the 43 team sacks during the regular season. Only 5 RBs reached 100+ rushing yards in 2015. The defense ranked 5th in the NFL only allowing 19.3 points per game.

From 2008-14 Rodriguez would coach the LBs and special teams at his alma mater, Texas-El Paso.

During the 2013 season, the Miners’ special teams unit was sparked by Autrey Golden, who under the direction of Rodriguez averaged 27.6 yards per kickoff return, which ranked 10th nationally, and tied for second nationally in KORs returned for TDs (2) and already holds the UTEP career record in that category with 4 TDs in his first 2 collegiate seasons. In 2011, LB Isaiah Carter finished with 54 tackles and was named All-Conference USA honorable mention, for the second-consecutive season.

The former Miner ranks in the top 5 among UTEP’s all-time leading tacklers with 443 career tackles, including 33 TFLs. He led the Western Athletic Conference in tackles in 3-of-4 seasons with the Miners and was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year following his senior season in 2004, after being credited with 121 tackles and 16 TFLs and was selected to play in the 2005 East/West All-Star Game.

In his professional playing career, Rodriguez spent time with the Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans (2005), before playing for Cologne in the NFL Europa (2006) and the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL (2006-07).

A native of El Paso, TX, Rodriguez was a standout RB at Montwood High School, earning All-City Offensive MVP as a senior. Rodriguez and wife, Holly, have a son, Caleb.