July 15, 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 head football coach Brad Childress, seen in this November  14, 2010 file photo in Chicago, has been fired by the Vikings after the  team fell to 3-7 following a 31-3

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 defensive line led the Broncos to a league-high 15 fumble recoveries—the highest since the team’s 2007 record of 16—during his second season in Denver. 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 defnse for New York from 2009 to 2012.
Dixon, 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 has provided O’Connell’s staff with nearly 30 seasons of total coaching expertise, originating in

Pettine’s defense helped the Vikings move up from 31st overall in 2022 to 16th in 2023 this past season. The defense also ranked in the top eight in terms of rushing yards per play (fourth) and rushing yards per game (eighth). The Vikings recorded 43 sacks in the 2023 campaign, led by OLBs Danielle Hunter (16.5 sacks) and D.J. Wonnum (8.0), who combined for 24.5 sacks—the fourth-highest total in team history for two defensive ends/outside linebackers.
During his first seven NFL seasons as a coach, Pettine was employed by the Baltimore Ravens (2002–08), where he coached the outside linebackers in each of his final four seasons (2005–08). After that, he worked as the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 2013 and the New York Jets from 2009 to 2012, before taking over as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

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