Marcus Sherels was one of three players to have two punt returns for touchdowns in 2016, and he finished second in the league with a punt return average of 13.9 yards.
But even as Sherels rolls on with his eighth training camp, the former undrafted free agent said not much has changed in his approach.
Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press caught up with Sherels to see how he has evolved over his NFL career. Turns out he's still the same guy he was back in 2010.
Back in 2010, the Rochester native and University of Minnesota graduate arrived in Mankato hoping to make enough of an impression to make the cut — or at least the practice squad. Now, he's a longtime veteran, a reliable special teams player and backup cornerback who holds the Vikings record for career punt-return touchdowns.
It must be different, right?
"I try to approach it the same way," Sherels said, "just try to get better each and every day and help my teammates out and learn from the coaches. I try to take the same mentality."
Come on, something must be different.
"I am (old)," the nearly 30-year-old said. "I don't feel like it. I literally am. (Teammates) give me a hard time about my beard."
Sherels, a Minnesota native, hold the Vikings franchise record with five punt returns for touchdowns.
Easton, Elflein can't be slow blinkers
The battle between centers Nick Easton and Pat Elflein is one of the key storylines to watch during training camp.
John Holler of *Viking Update *recently took a look at what key areas Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur is looking for at that position.
*The bond between a center and a quarterback is a unique one in that both of them exit a huddle and assess the field pre-snap – the quarterback reading the back end of the defense to see if the play being called will work with the formation the defense is presenting and the center reading the front seven and potentially changing the line call based upon what he sees. *
*No play starts until the center snaps the ball to the quarterback, so Sam Bradford is looking to build a bond with both Elflein and Easton. What may be the determining factor of who wins the starting job is which of the two can read and react faster – and make the right decision based upon that snap judgment. *
"I've always referred to it that you can't be a slow blinker," Shurmur said. "You've got to make a good decision and roll with it. If Sam doesn't like it, he can trump it. Go with it and we'll run off the cliff together. But the center has to be able to do that. If you're a guy who's indecisive or you're a slow blinker, there's not a spot for you."
Easton started five games at center in 2016, and Elflein was a third-round pick out of Ohio State.