Giants land ‘one of the best’ coaches in league at defensive line position spot

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One of the Giants’ most impressive defensive assistant hirings this off-season has been Andre Patterson, who’s spent the last 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings coaching their defensive line.

Patterson has a decade worth of experience at the NFL level and then some. Having started his career back with Weber State in 1988, Patterson joined the New England Patriots in 1997. At 61 years old, he’s coming off an illustrious run with the Vikings and an eight-year stint with Mike Zimmer, who was recently fired from the job.

Known for his developmental qualities and ability to find talented players and coach them to become quality NFL starters, the Giants are extremely excited about his presence in the locker room and on the field.

Ed Valentine of Big Blue View spoke with Robert Rodriguez, the Minnesota Vikings’ assistant offensive line coach for the past five years, who raved about Andre Patterson:

“Dre’s confident in his coaching ability, as he should be. I think more people should know if he’s not the best he’s one of the best, and to me he’s the best. I’m not insulting anybody. I’m saying there’s really good coaches in the league and he’s the best of them. He’s the best I’ve ever been around and he doesn’t act that way. He acts like a servant. He goes in there trying to make others better.”

Patterson is known for developing Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen, two of the league’s most feared pass rushers at one point in time. However, when the Vikings drafted Hunter, Patterson was one of the only coaches vouching for his qualities but ended up striking gold.

“Dre [Patterson] and Rick [GM Rick Spielman] were really the only two in the room that loved Danielle. It was a tie in the room between two guys. I thought the other guy was better than Danielle. He [Patterson] said why. I told him he sheds blocks better, takes better angles, he’s a better pass rusher, seems like he’s bigger. This guy is athletic when he runs around blocks. I don’t really see him do anything physical,” Rodriguez said.

“Dre said I see what you see, but I need you to learn two things right now. First of all, Danielle bends better, he’s longer. Yes he’s more raw but in these situations, Rob, you can look at the player or you can look at what he can be. Danielle is smart and he’s more athletic and he’s under-coached in my opinion. So now, you’ve gotta trust yourself as a coach to develop that.”

Hunter is still featuring in the NFL, playing seven games this past year with the Vikings at 27 years old. However, he’s totaled 60.5 sacks over the past six seasons, including two Pro Bowls in 2018 and 2019. Hunter missed all of 2020 when he battled a herniated disc in his neck. Last year, he sustained a torn pectoral muscle, putting the Vikings pass rush in disarray.

Nonetheless, Patterson is capable of developing raw talent into phenomenal players. Whether or not he will assist in coaching the outside linebackers unit is yet to be seen, but young second-year pass rusher Azeez Ojulari may benefit tremendously from his presence.

In fact, both Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence should see a different style of coaching, potentially extracting even more value.

Patterson doesn’t only consider film as a variable for players’ success but also assesses their personality and character as part of his overall grades. Make no mistake about it, the Giants walked away with a treasure at defensive line coach, naming yet another phenomenal hire by the newly structured management.

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