Vikings special teams coordinator Brian Murphy met with reporters on Thursday, as he does each week, and there were a few interesting notes to take from what he had to say. Let’s take a look at them…
– I wrote on Monday that the Vikings put together perhaps their most complete special teams effort in Sunday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys, thanks in large part to Percy Harvin’s 95-yard kickoff return for a TD but also because of outstanding work by P Chris Kluwe, K Ryan Longwell and the kick coverage units.
Murphy was asked on Thursday about his team’s overall effort against Dallas and said that it was a solid performance. He also explained that the quality play is a function of continuity.
“It was a solid performance,” Murphy said. “It’s a reflection of stability at all the positions. Playing with the same guys will lead to success; the same guys doing the same things, working with the same people.”
– This was Murphy’s response when asked if Harvin would be utilized on punt returns: “It’ll come eventually. I don’t think it’s him (not being smooth enough yet), it’ll be the right place and the right time for him to be back returning punts.”
– Kluwe is receiving rave reviews for his punt performances not because of how far he’s kicking it but because of his accuracy and ability to hang the ball up in the air long enough to allow the coverage unit to surround the returner.
“He’s been very consistent,” Murphy said of Kluwe, “and he’s another guy that you appreciate because the bottom line is winning and he’s doing what it takes for us as a team to win. Punters are judged right, wrong or indifferent, they’re judged by their gross punt (average). But in order for the Minnesota Vikings to win, we need to net out and change the field. And he’s done that unselfishly. He’s doing the things that we need to win.”
– You’ll remember that TE Jim Kleinsasser had a good game catching the ball against Dallas. But in recent seasons Kleinsasser’s value has been as an effective in-line blocker for the offense. He’s also a core special teams player, though, and Murphy was asked to comment on what Kleinsasser means to the special teams group.
“Jim is one of those guys [who] regardless of years, he comes, he prepares, he’s a steady performer, you know what you’re going to get out of him and that’s great effort,” Murphy explained. “He’s strong at the point (of attack). He never lets you down in that role. He’s willing to do those things. And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what he brings to the table because not only does he do it without a lot of fanfare, I think it’s a good example for the rest of the guys in the room to see a guy like that that has played that long and is still willing to do those things.”
Tags: Chris Kluwe, Jim Kleinsasseer, Ryan Longwell
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