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Vikings Name Patterson, Zimmer as Co-Defensive Coordinators

View images of Vikings co-defensive coordinators Adam Zimmer and Andrew Patterson.

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings are going with a pair of strong football minds to take over the team's vacant defensive coordinator role, as Andre Patterson and Adam Zimmer will share those duties in 2020.

The team announced Monday that Patterson and Zimmer will be co-defensive coordinators for the upcoming season, and that each will continue to coach their respective position groups.

Both coaches have been on Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer's staff since 2014.


Patterson has been Minnesota's defensive line coach for the past six seasons and has helped the Vikings develop one of the league's most formidable fronts.

A veteran of 16 NFL seasons, Patterson has helped develop the likes of Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter and Linval Joseph into Pro Bowl players under his watch.

Patterson and assistant defensive line coach Rob Rodriguez have also built a collection of depth behind the starters, as linemen such as Ifeadi Odenigbo, Stephen Weatherly and Jaleel Johnson have flashed their talents in recent years.

The connection with Patterson and Mike Zimmer began in 1988 at Weber State with Patterson as the defensive line coach and Zimmer as the defensive coordinator. The duo also worked together in Dallas from 2000-2002 on the Cowboys defensive coaching staff. Patterson has 37 total years of coaching experience at all levels of football.

This is Patterson's second stint with the Vikings, as he was also Minnesota's defensive line coach from 1998-1999. He helped Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle earn Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in 1998.

Adam Zimmer, Mike's son, has been the Vikings linebackers coach since 2014, helping Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr become one of the league's top tandems at their position.


Kendricks, a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2019, has led the Vikings in tackles in each of the past five seasons. Barr is a four-time Pro Bowl selection (2015-2018) who was Minnesota's first-draft pick in the Zimmer era back in 2014.

Adam Zimmer is entering his 15th overall season of coaching in the NFL.

He began his career with the Saints as a defensive assistant and helped New Orleans win Super Bowl XLIV before spending three seasons as the Chiefs assistant linebackers coach. In 2013, Adam joined his father on Cincinnati's staff as assistant defensive backs coach.

Patterson and Zimmer fill the role that George Edwards held from 2014-2019.

Both coaches have had a hand in developing the Vikings into one of the league's top defenses since 2014.

In the past six seasons, Minnesota has ranked no worse than 11th in points allowed per game.

In fact, the Vikings have had one of the best units in terms of keeping opponents from scoring, as Minnesota has finished in the top nine in points allowed per game in each of the past five seasons.

That run was highlighted by the 2017 unit that finished atop the NFL in both points allowed (15.8) and yards allowed (275.9) per game.