The Vikings have been running the same 4-3 defense since Mike Zimmer became the head coach in 2014. In 2020, Zimmer will be expanding his horizons.
With 3-4 specialist Dom Capers arriving as a senior defensive assistant, Zimmer told reporters on Tuesday that he’s looking to “get some fresh ideas,” via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
“Dom has been doing this for a long time and I know he’s always had really good ideas,” Zimmer said. “I just wanted a really good idea guy.”
Zimmer also cited Capers’ extensive experience. A native of Cambridge, Ohio, the 69-year-old Capers has worked at the NFL level since 1986, with only one year out of the game (2018). (He didn’t coach in 2001, but he was preparing at the time for the debut of the Texans, where he served as head coach from 2002 through 2005.)
Capers served as Green Bay’s defensive coordinator from 2009 through 2017, winning his only Super Bowl ring a decade ago with the Packers. He also won the coach of the year award in 1996, for his efforts in the second season of the Carolina Panthers.
It’s the second straight offseason for Zimmer to actively seek out better ways of doing things, as he tries to get the Vikings back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1976.