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Mike Zimmer’s Son Nears Deal in AFC


Mike Zimmer's Son Nears Deal in AFC
Jan 19, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; West head coach Adam Zimmer. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports.

The son of former Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, Adam Zimmer, is reportedly joining the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff for the 2022 season, although the job title is not yet clear.

Adam Zimmer was the Vikings co-defensive coordinator in 2020 and 2021.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweeted on Sunday, “Indications are Adam Zimmer, ex-Vikings assistant, and son of ex-Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, is returning to a role with the Bengals, whom he was an assistant for in 2013. […] When I called Adam today to ask about his Bengals role, he said, no comment.”

The move for son Zimmer would mark a sequel as he spent the 2013 season in Cincinnati as assistant defensive backs coach — his father’s final year with the Bengals before taking over the Vikings. All told, Adam Zimmer coached for the Vikings during all of Mike Zimmer’s tenure, leading linebackers from 2014 to 2019 and graduating to co-defensive coordinator in 2020.

Adam Zimmer

Tomasson’s reporting was all but confirmed by The Athletic‘s Paul Dehner Jr., who tweeted that Adam Zimmer was present at the Bengals organized team activities in May.

On his watch as linebackers coach, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr truly blossomed into NFL stardom. After the job promotion to defensive coordinator, along with Andre Patterson, the Vikings defense tumbled in Mike Zimmer’s final two seasons.

Vikings Defensive Ranking,
Per EPA/play,
Since 2014:

2014-2019 = 1st
2020-2021= 23rd

Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Patterson also landed on his feet after the departure of the Zimmers, signing on with the New York Giants in February as a defensive line coach, a role he held in Minnesota for six seasons.

It is unclear what specific coaching role the son Zimmer will undertake, but he will inherit a defense that unexpectedly reached the Super Bowl in 2021. Cincinnati’s defense ranked 11th in EPA/Play, 13th in points allowed, and 19th in yards allowed.

Before joining the Bengals and Vikings, Adam Zimmer was an assistant linebackers coach for the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. He helped the 2009 Saints win a Super Bowl.

Adam Zimmer is 38 years old.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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