It’s an unusual move to split coordinator duties, but it will allow the team to maintain consistency on defense going forward. Patterson is entering his ninth year with the Vikes while Zimmer is entering season No. 7. Neither coach has previously served as an NFL DC.
Since rejoining the Vikings six years ago, Patterson has guided the defense to a No. 3 rank in sacks (260), rushing touchdowns allowed (123), and opponent yards per game (321.8). Last year, as the team’s defensive line coach, he had a part in the team’s 30 defensive takeaways, 17 interceptions, and 14 fumble recoveries. Meanwhile, pupil Danielle Hunter became the youngest player in NFL history to eclipse 50.0 career sacks.
Zimmer, the son of head coach Mike Zimmer, has been in charge of the team’s linebackers and instrumental in developing Pro Bowlers such as Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks. In his six years, the Vikings have allowed opponents to converts on just 36.1% of third downs, the best rate in the league over that span.
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