View images from the first preseason game of 2014 as the Vikings played host to the Raiders.
The Minnesota Vikings finalized there plan regarding special teams while Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer serves his suspension. Joe Marciano, a veteran special teams coach, joined the team yesterday and will aid in the special teams coaching along with current Special Teams Assistant Ryan Ficken.
Brian Hall of FOX Sports North writes about the coaching staff addition:
"We felt like, in our thinking, that it'd be good to get someone in here, go through these next three weeks of camp, get a feel of exactly how we're doing things, where we can continue to speak the same language but have some veteran experience for these first couple ball games, especially with me being a new head coach," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. "And I think the experience factor has been good. Mike and Joe and Ryan are going to work very, very closely together so the continuity of what we do special teams is always the same."
Marciano has spent the past 28 seasons coaching special teams, including the past 12 seasons for the *Houston Texans before he was fired at the end of last season as Houston underwent a coaching change. Marciano was with Houston since its inception in 2002.*
As we approach the season, Priefer, Marciano and Ficken will work to get on the same page and make sure the special teams units, which have ranked among the league's best the past threes, doesn't skip a beat.
Vikings' Cordarelle Patterson makes pitch for fellow receiver Adam Thielen
Vikings second year wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Adam Thielen have formed a bond since joining the team together in the 2013 offseason. While Patterson's spot on the team is as close to a sure thing as you can find, Thielen has been working to prove his worth on nearly every special teams units while showing vast improvement as a receiver.
Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson wrote about Patterson's pitch to keep Thielen on the roster post cuts in late August:
"He's a part of this team,'' Patterson said Sunday. "I don't see no way he can not be part of this team.''
Patterson is Thielen's roommate at training camp at Minnesota State Mankato, where Thielen once starred. Patterson went so far as to say Thielen should have made the 53-man roster last season.
"I had defensive guys, veterans, saying Adam should have been part of the team last year, and I feel that way, too,'' Patterson said. "I feel like he should have been a part of this team and he wasn't, and this year he feels like he's got a lot to prove.''
Thielen will continue to get many opportunities to make this team going forward but is seems as of now the former Minnesota State Maverick is on the fast track to the 53-man roster.
- 1500 ESPN's Derek Wetmore touches on Marcus Sherels and his punt return job here.
- Zimmer was pleased with his team's opener against the Raiders, ESPN's Ben Goessling notes.
- The team will have its final night practice during the three-week stay in Mankato on tonight.