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NFL notebook: Vikings make Zimmer new coach


Mike Zimmer is finally a head coach in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings think now is the time for the veteran defensive coordinator.

The Vikings announced on Twitter on Wednesday night that they had hired Zimmer for their top coaching job.

“I’m extremely excited to bring a championship to the state of Minnesota and to the great fan base of the Vikings,” Zimmer said in a video posted on the team’s Twitter account. “I can’t wait to get to work.”

The 57-year-old Zimmer played at Illinois State and spent 14 seasons coaching in the college ranks, including a stint as Washington State’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach from 1989-93, before being hired in 1994 as an assistant with Dallas. He got a Super Bowl ring the following season as defensive backs coach.

Zimmer then spent 14 seasons as an NFL defensive coordinator, the last six of those with Cincinnati.

The Bengals were third in the league in yards allowed and fifth in points against this season but lost in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year.

Zimmer replaces Leslie Frazier, another former Bengals defensive coordinator, who was fired Dec. 30 after the team finished 5-10-1 this season. The Vikings allowed an average of 30 points per game, the most in the league, and 397.8 yards per game, the second most.

Super Bowl security plan

The game plan for security at this year’s Super Bowl will include deployment of nearly 4,000 local police and private security officers, airport-style screening for those entering MetLife Stadium and a host of other measures visible and invisible to the average fan, law enforcement officials said at a briefing at the stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Officials said at least 100 government agencies were involved in the security effort, but they gave no estimate on how much it would cost.

Around the league

Veteran official Terry McAulay, in his 16th season, will be the referee at the Super Bowl, marking the third time he has worked the NFL title game. The rest of his seven-man crew on Feb. 2 will be umpire Carl Paganelli, head linesman Jim Mello, line judge Tom Symonette, field judge Scott Steenson, side judge Dave Wyant and back judge Steve Freeman. … Lions receiver Calvin Johnson had a minor arthroscopic procedure on his right knee as well as a finger. … The Redskins hired Ben Kotwica as special teams coordinator. The team also promoted Sean McVay to offensive coordinator and hired Brian Baker as outside linebackers coach. … Police say Buccaneers rookie defensive tackle Akeem Spence is free on bond after being arrested on drug charges in Flomaton, Alabama. Spence faces misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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