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Vikings Special Teams Strong Again Saturday Night

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 22, 2011 – 8:42 am

The Vikings special teams unit is going through a period of transition right now, partly because of some roster turnover but largely because there is a new coordinator in charge. Mike Priefer is now on the job and he’s making significant changes to some of the fundamental aspects of each special teams phase.

We’ll spare the detail of those changes for now, but suffice it to say Priefer has had a lot to teach in a short amount of time, especially considering he didn’t have the minicamps and Organized Team Activities (OTAs) usually afforded to teams in the offseason.

Despite all of that, early results are outstanding for Priefer and Co. The special teams were probably the strongest part of the Vikings preseason debut in Tennessee a week ago and then last Saturday in Tennessee the special teams gave another strong showing.

Let’s go over some of the highlights…

– Ryan Longwell has been solid on kickoffs all preseason. On Saturday night he was hitting his kicks into the endzone, with one going as deep as 6 yards. That combined with terrific effort from the coverage team is helping the Vikings win the field position battle. Here is Seattle’s starting field position after Longwell’s four kickoffs: SEA 11, SEA 27, SEA 9, SEA 15. The Vikings defense will enjoy life quite a bit this season if opponents are starting drives inside the 20 with regularity.

– P Chris Kluwe is doing his part to help the Vikings win the field position battle, too. On Saturday night he had 4 punts, with a gross average of 39.8 and a net average of 38.5. When the gross average and net average are similar, you know the opponents aren’t doing much in the return game. Seattle averaged just 1.7 yards per return on 3 tries and Kluwe landed 2 of his 4 punts inside the 20.

– S Eric Frampton continues to be a standout in kick coverage. He had another open-field tackle on Saturday night.

– Longwell was also solid in the place kicking department, nailing FGs from 34 and 36 yards and also hitting his lone PAT try. The battery of long snapper Cullen Loeffler to Kluwe also improved on Saturday night.

– Lorenzo Booker, who is my choice to be the Vikings kickoff returner this season, registered another impressive return on Saturday night with a 26-yard scamper. Marcus Sherels, who returned an INT 64 yards for a score in the game, also had 2 punt returns for a 10.0-yard average, but he did lose a fumble and that won’t be tolerated by Priefer and special teams assistant coach Chris White.

– Outside of Frampton, the other players credited with special teams tackles on Saturday were: Tony Carter, Loeffler, Sherels, Devon Torrence and Mark Washington. Devin Aromashodu (1), Jasper Brinkley (2),  Booker (1) and Larry Dean (1) were all credited with assists.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 35 Comments »


35 Responses to “Vikings Special Teams Strong Again Saturday Night”

  1. By Frederick Jones on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Test

  2. By Frederick Jones on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Marcus Sherels had a great all-around game against the S e a h a w k s.

    He also did great in the T i t a n s game.

    He should have a l o c k on a roster s p o t.

  3. By Rocksalt on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    I gree, Fred.

  4. By xvike on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    I say cut asher allen and give sherals his spot on the roster. At this point, almost anyone is a better option than allen and in my opinion, sherals certainly is.

  5. By Nicholas on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Mike W,

    Why are we getting the cold shoulder as to why the Vikings didn’t even try to retain Rice? ‘

    Are you not allowed to speak on this issue?

  6. By Carl K on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Nicholas-
    I wouldn’t say that the Vikings didn’t try to retain Rice. The Vikings made him a good offer and he turned it down. Rice is a big boy! He made his mind up, and now he has to live with it.
    What did he want the Vikings to do… fall at his feet and beg him to take less money to stay here??? How often does that work in the NFL? Also, Rice was very quick to accept the Seahawks offer.. within the first few hours of the free agency period he made his mind up. The Vikings didn’t have much cap room to work with either.

  7. By Mike B on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    I want to post here since I brought up the Rice issue in the blog. I read the story and it comes from only one side of the whole story. I think that the vikings side should be heard also before making any hasty conclusions. I made some of those conclusions in past blogs and that wasn’t fair. Sorry to All.

  8. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    @ Nicholas, it seems almost impossible to receive a reply on this site if the question could be construed as being remotely “controversial” or requiring the author to render an opinion.

  9. By David P on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    I think both Allen and Cook need to go. Carter and Sherrils both have layed better and do not look llost while on the field. I would also like to see #47 make the team. This guy is big and plays hard.

  10. By Nicholas on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    I posted the question in the Monday Morning Mailbag….no reply.

    Carl K, your viewpoint is what I gave the Vikings organization until I read the press release last week that came from Rice’s viewpoint. He stated that he would have liked to have been a Viking again, and that the Vikings didn’t even give him a phone call once free agency began. I realize the cap issue, etc…but none the less…he was a fan favorite and a franchise caliber WR.

    He might have stuck around if we would have simply worked with him…besides…going to work for Bevell and being thrown to by T. Jackson can’t be that appealing : )

    Anyway, I wish that the organization would at least give us concrete answer on the matter.

  11. By Nicholas on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    *a concrete

  12. By Carl K on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Mike B- No need to be sorry, I think the Rice story is an interesting subject.

    I will admit I was a fan “posting” in favor of the Vikings to match what ever offer it would take to keep him. That was easy for me to say because the money wasn’t coming out of my pocket.

    It just shows that if Rice is looking back at this whole thing, he may not be all that happy looking/moving forward with the Seahawks.

    Sidney Rice – Yes, I will miss you…but I think you made the wrong choice. Enjoy the money and good luck to you!

  13. By vikeforever on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    I was just reading the blogs about S.Rice stating he didnt get called by the organization for an offer. I was just wondering if it had anything to do with the fact when he got injured in NO that he waited to long to decide to have surgery & the Vikings lost him for the year, it didn’t seem that it sat right with the organization. Do you think it might have some to do with it?

  14. By Carl K on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    What is a phone call going to do?
    H E L L O Sidney…. Hey you know that the Vikings really love you right? You know that we really need you right? You know that you are our top priority right? We can’t pay more than the Seahawks, but we love you and need you more? Please stay?

    Ok now picture Sidney telling his agent Drew Rosenhaus (the best agent in the business)… the Vikings love me and need me more… I can’t take the big 41 million contract from the Seahawks. But thanks for the effort Drew… you da man!

  15. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Show me the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  16. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Carl K, you are 100% correct. Rosenhaus IS the best p1mp, I mean agent, in the business.

  17. By Carl K on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    If Rice wanted to stay with the Vikings, why didn’t he accept the offer the Vikings made just before the lockout started?

    If a girl doesn’t want to dance, will you keep showing her the love???

  18. By Parody on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    WOw, since when are we all experts on agents? How does everone seem to know that Rosenhaus is a great agent? What is it that makes him so spectacular?

  19. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    His bank account and his client list.

  20. By Nicholas on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Lmao, you’re funny Carl.

    It would have just been nice to see the Vikings Extend him an offer at the very least, and show him that his decision to stay in Minnesota in the long term would be a better choice than to go with the Seahawks.

    His value will stay on the upside if he is on a good team with lots of promise. He might have considered staying regardless of the Money due to the fact that Minnesota likely has a brighter future than Seattle.

    Quoting other fans comments: “Sidney Rice is now Nate Burleson 2.0.” So whatever, there may be good money offered, but ultimately that money could be a double edged blade if it means the decline of S. Rice’s NFL career.

    His contract could always be restructured at a later time with the Vikings if he wanted more pay, etc etc etc.

    Whatever…I know there is plenty of SPECULATION (I’m guilty of it, so is anyone) on all of our parts as FANS (whether it be in favor of the retention of Rice or not)…all I am stateing is that it’d be nice to know why we didn’t try to retain our franchise caliber WR from the ORGANIZAION its self.

  21. By Carl K on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    I disagree with the statement “if the Vikings would have simply worked with him”. It was Rice that really wanted to test the free agent market a long time ago.

  22. By 61vikings on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Seattle is where receiver’s go to die!! Just ask ex-Viking Nate Burleson and for that matter T.J. Housmanzadeh!! I’m sure there are more!! Don’t expect to much from Sidney Rice in Seattle, considering their QB situation!! Tavaris Jackson sucks!! Don’t be surprised if Seattle cuts him!! Loving our special teams so far!! I think that will be huge this year considering the new kickoff rule!! Pinning teams deep in their own end will prove to be huge this season!! Who ever masters the art of kicking it up high and around the goal line will win the field possession battle!!

  23. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    I wouldn’t even risk a big return by kicking it to the goal line. Sure, you might pin them at the 10 or 15 yd. line, but you’re only gaining a few yards and risking everything. Boom it through the end zone. It is a terrible rule.

  24. By Carl K on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Parody- ESPN seems to think he is one of the best agents in the business. They alway have him on commercial skits. And at the NFL draft, he always gets more TV time with his arm around his new trophy client than any other agent.

  25. By Carl K on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Nicolas – I agree, I would like to hear a statement by the Vikings as to why no body called Rice? I am some what curious myself… and I know I shouldn’t poke fun at this craziness.

  26. By Justin F on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Do we really need to talk about Sidney Rice? What’s done is done and we have to move on. Besides the Vikings can survive without him.

  27. By Carl K on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    thevikingage.com is reporting that the Vikings have just signed DE Stylez White. Is he any good? All I know is he last played for Tampa and has 24 career sacks. Is Robison’s job in danger? Do we need another DE?

  28. By David P on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    The Vikings had a roster spot and decided to do what they have always done. Sign the best available not what is needed. The OL needs major help.

  29. By Parody on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    White appears to be a decent add. He’s averaged 6-sacks over the last 4-years. It’s just a bit strange having a guy who was proving to be your best choice as a starting offensive lineman replaced with a defensive lineman, especially when the former group has been looking significantly weaker.

    I just hope our QBs are taking dancing lessons.

  30. By sandiamond on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    san diego looked good last night. c. collingsworth said sd looked in mid-season form. plan on an air attack with Rivers. We can almost match TE’s on offense ….Gates/McMicheal

  31. By Parody on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    I wonder if the signing of White is any indication that WIlliams’ foot is looking worse than the team is letting on.

  32. By Carl K on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Parody, I think you might be right about Kevin’s foot injury.
    I am just surprised that a quality player like S White was still available in free agency.

  33. By CA_Viking_fan on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Rice is GONE and the Vikes Special Teams rock! Done

  34. By Don on Aug 23, 2011 | Reply

    Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…Cut Berrian…

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