Bengals re-sign Zimmer

Updated: January 12, 2010, 6:06 PM ET
By James Walker | ESPN.com

The Cincinnati Bengals hit the ground running with their 2010 offseason by re-signing defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, the team announced on Tuesday.

NFL.com reported Zimmer agreed to a three-year contract.

In two seasons, Zimmer has transformed the Bengals into one of the NFL's top defenses. The team, which ranked 27th in the 2007 NFL yardage rankings, rose to fourth in Zimmer's second year as the Bengals won the AFC North Division. The defense gave up 301.4 yards a game and finished sixth in scoring defense at 18.4 points.

The team rallied around Zimmer when his wife of 27 years, Vikki, died unexpectedly on Oct. 8.

"I love working with [Bengals coach] Marvin [Lewis]," Zimmer said in a statement. "He's a great coach who does a terrific job, and he has been like family to me through all the ordeal our family has gone through. And I really respect the group of players we have. They have worked exceptionally hard, and I know they join me in knowing we have to keep improving as we move forward."

The 2010 season will be Zimmer's 11th as an NFL defensive coordinator. He has coached for Dallas and Atlanta.

Cincinnati lost its wild-card game last week against the New York Jets.

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter