Roster cut-down day presents a nervous time for hundreds of NFL players. But the anxiety isn’t limited to just them. Roster cut-down day can be a nervous time for coaches, too.
While coaches are intimately involved in a player’s role and development on the team and they’re often times consulted when it comes to some personnel decisions, they aren’t typically making the final call on roster spots. It’s probably quite common for a coach to feel strongly about a particular role player’s ability to help the team, only to see that player lose out on a numbers game or simply cut for other reasons.
Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer met with reporters for his customary Thursday press conference, and was asked about some of those anxious times on cut-down day.
“The great thing is, and we talked about this at training camp, was we had more competition at different spots,” Priefer said. “When you have that, it’s a good problem to have. Am I disappointed we lost some guys? Sure. But all in all, I think we’re a much better football team defensively, offensive and special teams, and I’m excited about that.”
Another thing Priefer is excited about is to have Marcus Sherels on the team. Sherels is a Rochester, Minnesota, native and made the Vikings back in 2010 as an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Minnesota. But Sherels wasn’t an undrafted college free agent of the one-year wonder variety. He played in all 16 games last season after seeing action in just one game as a rookie, and this year Sherels once again figures to play an important role on the team.
When you think of players important to the Vikings weekly game plan, Sherels’ name might not be one that comes to mind right away. As it turns out, though, the 5-10, 175-pound CB helps the team in several capacities. He’s listed as the starting punt returner and the backup kickoff returner, plus he plays on both the kickoff and punt coverage groups.
Sherels was one of nine players listed on the Vikings initial injury report of the season, as he tries to work his way back into playing form after injuring sustaining an ankle injury that caused him to miss the preseason finale. Priefer told reporters on Thursday that Sherels has made progress and has a chance to play on Sunday in the Vikings season-opener.
Priefer is big fan of Sherels’, and has surely advocated for Sherels to hold down a roster spot through a couple of anxiety-filled cut-down days.
“I’ve always been in Marcus’ corner,” Priefer admitted. “I think he’s what you want in a professional football player in terms of his attitude, his work ethic, his intelligence. Is he the biggest guy? No. But he’s always going to play hard, he always comes to work. He’s gotten better in every phase since we’ve been together. I’ve always been in his corner, to be quite honest.”
Tags: Marcus Sherels, Mike Priefer
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