Dom Capers, a former head coach of the Panthers and Texans, will join the Vikings staff as a senior defensive assistant.
The 69-year-old Capers is a familiar face in the NFC North — he was the Packers defensive coordinator from 2009-17, including their Super Bowl XLV title following the 2010 season.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, who calls the defensive plays, recently promoted linebackers coach Adam Zimmer and defensive line coach Andre Patterson to co-defensive coordinators. They replaced George Edwards, whose contract expired.
Capers was head coach of expansion Carolina from 1995-98 and expansion Houston from 2001-05. He also has been defensive coordinator for the Steelers (1992-94), Jaguars (1999-2000) and Dolphins (2006-07). Capers has coached in the NFL for 33 seasons and was Jacksonville’s senior defensive assistant last season.
He is best-known for the 3-4 zone blitz schemes the Steelers have run for years (and the Packers eventually adopted). Mike Zimmer’s scheme has used 3-4 linebacker types (James Harrison in Cincinnati, Anthony Barr in Minnesota) to blitz out of a 4-3, so Capers might have some thoughts on how to get more out of those players.
As an expansion team, the Panthers were 7-9 in 1995 before going 12-4 in their second season and losing to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. Capers was fired after a 4-12 season in 1998.
He was named head coach of the Texans for their first season, 2001, and went 18-46 in four seasons. Gary Kubiak, the Vikings new offensive coordinator, succeeded Capers as head coach in Houston.
• Vikings assistant defensive line coach Robert Rodriguez is leaving to be Arizona State’s defensive line coach.