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Vikings Promote Andre Patterson, Announce Coaching Staff Additions

View photos of the Vikings 2021 coaching staff.

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Wednesday announced that Andre Patterson has been promoted to Assistant Head Coach.

Patterson — a highly accomplished defensive line coach, trusted confidant to Head Coach Mike Zimmer and well-respected person throughout the organization — is entering his 10th overall season with Minnesota (1998-99; 2014-present).

He will continue to lead the coaching of Minnesota's defensive line as well as share co-defensive coordinator duties with Adam Zimmer, who also coaches Vikings linebackers.

Patterson has helped the Vikings defense rank ninth in the NFL in sacks (283), third in rushing touchdowns allowed (76) and fifth in opponent yards per game (332.0) since 2014.


Whether it has been through guiding the likes of players already on their way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame like John Randle, helping Danielle Hunter become the youngest player to record 50 career sacks or helping other players maximize their individual potential, Patterson is highly regarded for his work on the field.

He also is revered for his wisdom in football meeting rooms and the leadership that he has provided for the Vikings Social Justice Committee.

The promotion of Patterson was announced along with two additions to Minnesota's coaching staff.


Steeples returning to Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings special teams unit has its first return of 2021.

Former cornerback Robert Steeples is rejoining the organization as assistant special teams coach.

Steeples first joined the Vikings as a member of the practice squad in September 2013. He was elevated to the 53-man roster for the final three weeks of the season and made his NFL debut on Dec. 15 in a win against Philadelphia. Steeples also played in the season finale, which was the final Vikings game at the Metrodome.

He was released during the 2014 preseason and spent time with Kansas City and the Cowboys but did not play in another regular-season game.

The native of St. Louis began his pro career with the Rams in 2013 when they were still in his hometown. Steeples joined the team as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis, where he transferred after earning a business degree at Missouri.

Steeples has spent the past five seasons as head coach of De Smet Jesuit High School, his alma mater in Missouri. Steeples led the Spartans to a state title in 2019 and back to the championship game in 2020.

"I am blessed and humbled to have been the leader of such great young men and to have had the opportunity to work alongside the best coaches and faculty here at De Smet Jesuit," Steeples said in an announcement posted by the school. "I will carry this team with me into the NFL, and I will smile watching the Spartans continue to earn success together at De Smet Jesuit."

Steeples will fill the role that was created after Ryan Ficken was promoted to Special Teams Coordinator. Ficken, who has been with the Vikings since 2007, first began his run as assistant special teams coach in 2013.

The school congratulated Steeples on his new opportunity in the statement and on Twitter:

Memphis Head Coach Ryan Silverfield, who was an assistant with the Vikings from 2007-13, also posted a congratulatory message:

Johnson added to strength and conditioning staff

Marquis Johnson also was announced as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Johnson was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Jackson State in 2020. Prior to that role, he spent 2017-19 with the San Francisco 49ers and 2019 at the University of Houston in his hometown.

A graduate of Prairie View A&M (2004-08), Johnson also has previous experience at Eastern Michigan (2008-10), high schools in Texas from 2010-16 and at the University of Tennessee (2016).