5 Things You Need to Know About George Edwards

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1. As Minnesota’s defensive coordinator, George Edwards turned the Vikings defense into one of the most notorious the league has seen in recent years. When he was hired in 2013, Minnesota ranked 31st in total defense. By 2017, Edwards had taken them all the way to the top ranking for the first time since 1993. On that 2017 defense were three All-Pro and five Pro Bowl players that led the way in holding opponents to 4,415 yards and 252 points all season, an average of just 15.2 points per game. There were only 13 passing touchdowns scored on them all year. Pro Bowlers that year came from all levels of the defense in cornerback Xavier Rhodes, defensive end Everson Griffen, safety Harrison Smith, linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive tackle Linval Joseph, with the former three earning All-Pro honors.

2. Edwards has spent the majority of his coaching years in the NFL. Twenty-one seasons, to be exact. He first entered the league with the Dallas Cowboys as the team’s linebackers coach from 1998-2001. From 2002 to 2014, he had stops with the Washington Redskins, the Cleveland Browns and then two stints with the Miami Dolphins with a stop in Buffalo in between before assuming his role as Defensive Coordinator with the Vikings.

3. He has more Florida-ties than just his years with the Dolphins, garnering his first coaching job as an assistant at the University of Florida in 1991. He continued in the college ranks, eventually ending up at Georgia in 1997 for one year where he worked with then-freshmen Marcus Stroud and Richard Seymour, both of whom would be taken in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft.

4. While in his first stint with the Miami Dolphins, he was the linebackers coach under then-first year Head Coach Nick Saban. It was a staff that included two current NFL head coaches with Jason Garrett coaching quarterbacks and Dan Quinn heading up the defensive line. Edwards spent five seasons in Miami during that time and was retained by Head Coach Tony Sparano when Saban was fired and returned to college. Edwards was elevated to his first NFL defensive coordinator role in 2010 with the Buffalo Bills.

5. A North Carolina native, Edwards was a four-year letterman in college, playing linebacker for the Duke Blue Devils. He was a two-year special teams captain and earned an honorable mention All-ACC selection in his senior season in 1989.

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