July 12, 2024

EAGAN, Minnesota The Minnesota Vikings have promoted assistant head coach Mike Pettine to assistant linebacker coach and designated Marcus Dixon the team’s defensive line coach. In addition, Pettine started coaching the outside linebackers in 2023. Pettine has been the Vikings’ assistant head coach for the last two seasons (2022–2023).

Minnesota Vikings Kevin O'Connell: Assessing first year as head coach

Dixon joins head coach Kevin O’Connell’s staff with six years of collegiate and professional coaching experience, having served as the defensive line coach for the Denver Broncos for the previous two seasons (2022–2023). In 2021, he began his NFL coaching career with the Los Angeles Rams as an assistant defensive line coach, working alongside offensive coordinator Brian O’Connell’s staff.

In 2023, Dixon’s second season in Denver, he oversaw a defensive line that contributed to the Broncos’ league-high 15 fumble recoveries—the highest since the team’s 2007 total of 16. The Broncos’ defensive line also helped them hold their opponents to a 33.2 percent third-down conversion rate in 2023—the second-lowest percentage in the league, only surpassed by the Cleveland Browns (29.13 percent).

After serving as a four-year defensive line starter at his alma mater Hampton University (2017–19), Dixon started his coaching career there. Dixon held the positions of defensive ends coach, recruiting coordinator, director of player development, and defensive line coach when he was with the Pirates.Dixon played three seasons with the New York Jets from 2010 to 2012 after joining the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys in 2008. In his 22 appearances, he racked up 21 tackles (15 solo), 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one pass defensed, and one fumble recovered. O’Connell and Dixon were colleagues while Dixon was a member of the Jets, while Pettine oversaw the defense for New York from 2009 to 201Dixon, a Rome, Georgia native, is married to Tesa (TEE-sa), with whom he has three children: Rhylee, Madylin, and Zoë Olyvia.

As the outside linebackers coach for the first time, Pettine is starting his third season with the Vikings. He joined O’Connell’s team with over thirty seasons of combined coaching experience, having coached at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels.2.

 

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