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5 Things to Know About New Vikings OL Coach Rick Dennison

Rick Dennison

EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings have hired a new offensive line coach/run game coordinator, the team announced Friday.

Rick Dennison, who has more than 20 years of NFL coaching experience, will join the ranks of Minnesota's offensive coaching staff.

During the 2018 season, Dennison worked as the Jets offensive line/run game coordinator.

He has served as an offensive coordinator four times for three different teams: the Broncos (2006-08 and 2015-16), the Texans (2010-13) and the Bills (2017). Dennison also served as the Broncos special teams coordinator (1997-2000) and offensive line coach (2001-05 and 2009) and as the Ravens quarterbacks coach (2014).

Here are five things to know about the Vikings new offensive line coach:

1. Playing career

Dennison played linebacker for the Broncos, who signed him as an undrafted free agent, from 1982-90 before trading his cleats for a coach's whistle.

Over nine years in the NFL, Dennison started 52 of 128 games played. He recorded four interceptions, five fumble recoveries and 6.5 sacks.

2. Super Bowl champion (x3)

The Broncos have three Super Bowl championships since their founding in 1960, and Dennison was part of Denver's coaching staff for each one.

Dennison was the special teams coordinator when the Broncos won back-to-back Lombardi Trophies over the Packers (XXXII) and Falcons (XXXIII). Dennison returned to Denver as offensive coordinator in 2015, and the Broncos went on to defeat the Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50.

3. Coaching connection

The ties run deep between Dennison and Gary Kubiak, whom the Vikings announced on Jan. 14 as their new assistant head coach/offensive advisor.

Dennison and Kubiak both played for the Broncos (Kubiak as a backup quarterback to Hall of Famer John Elway), their careers overlapping from 1983-90.

The two have worked together as coaches for a total of 15 seasons, starting in Denver, where Kubiak was the Broncos offensive coordinator from 1995-2005 (he also held the role of quarterbacks coach through 2002).

Dennison then worked under Kubiak in Houston for four of Kubiak's eight seasons as the Broncos head coach.

The pair spent 2014 in Baltimore before returning to Denver, where Kubiak was head coach in 2015 and 2016. Dennison and Kubiak worked with Vikings backup quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Kyle Sloter, both of whom spent time with the Broncos before signing with Minnesota.

4. Collegiate success at Colorado State

Dennison originally played offense. He lettered in football at Colorado State University in 1976, 1978 and 79, where he primarily played tight end but also saw some time as a wide receiver. As a senior, Dennison received the Merrill-Gheen Award as the university's most outstanding male student-athlete.

Other Vikings products of Colorado State University include Vikings Legends Mark Mullaney and Oscar Reed.

Dennison showed his smarts off the field, as well, earning bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering.

5. Affluent in the AFC

Dennison is a six-time AFC Champion, including three times as a player and three as a coach – all with the Broncos.