The Chargers on Monday officially hired former Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell as their defensive coordinator under new head coach Norv Turner.
"Ted is one of the NFL's most respected defensive minds, and his experience and success with the 3-4 defense will help us maintain continuity on that side of the ball and grow and get better," Turner said.
Cottrell is a 22-year veteran of the NFL and coached a number of 3-4 defensive schemes, although his time with the Vikings (2004-05) was coaching a 4-3 alignment. He will have the advantage of working with Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman in San Diego.
"I'm looking forward to working with such a young and talented group of athletes," said Cottrell. "I enjoy coaching the 3-4, particularly if you have athletes like those here in San Diego. I look forward to helping these players be the best they can be."
In eight seasons as a defensive coordinator, Cottrell has been a part of five playoff teams. He's also coached 10 different players to a total of 16 Pro Bowls.
Cottrell's last coaching assignment was with the Vikings in 2004-05, but he was let go when the team fired head coach Mike Tice following the 2005 season. Cottrell interviewed for the head coaching job. After the Vikings hired Brad Childress, Cottrell had hoped to catch on with another team and improve his coaching pension, which his shot with San Diego will do.
During his first season on Tice's staff, Cottrell helped guide second-year standout Kevin Williams to an All-Pro season, finishing the year as the NFL's leader in sacks among defensive tackles. Minnesota earned a postseason berth and defeated the Green Bay Packers in a Wild Card contest. In 2005, the Vikings finished fifth in the NFL in takeaways with 35.
The 59-year-old Cottrell's best seasons came during a six-year run with the Buffalo Bills from 1995-2000 that saw the franchise reach the playoffs in four out of his six seasons with the club. The Bills posted a 55-41 record during his tenure and won three AFC East titles. Marv Levy hired Cottrell to coach Buffalo's linebackers, and in Cottrell's first season with the Bills, linebacker Bryce Paup led the league with 17.5 sacks and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
He also coached the New York Jets in 2001, as Herman Edwards' assistant head coach/defensive coordinator. His other coaching jobs have included time with the Arizona Cardinals, the New Jersey General of the USFL, Kansas City Chiefs and with Rutgers.
Cottrell enjoyed a four-year professional playing career. He was a seventh-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1969 and spent two seasons playing linebacker in Atlanta. He concluded his playing career with a two-year stint with the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Cottrell Gets Chargers DC Job
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