A Vikings defense with new faces will also be wired differently this season. Senior defensive assistant Dom Capers’ influence will be seen through different coverages and blitzes, helping to evolve a well-established playbook under coach Mike Zimmer.
Zimmer has turned to Capers, the 70-year-old former Packers defensive coordinator entering his 33rd season as an NFL coach, for fresh ideas. Since being hired in February, Capers has taken some young defensive backs under his wing while adding ways for Zimmer’s defenses to attack on Sundays.
“Different ideas to affect the quarterback,” Zimmer said, “because really that’s what we’re trying to do. Figure out ways to affect the quarterback, whether that’s with pressure or coverage.”
Generally, the Vikings have covered and pressured well under Zimmer, with five consecutive seasons as a top-10 scoring defense, but those ideas can risk becoming stale. Zimmer sought Capers as a veteran addition after two longtime defensive