The Vikings for the first time since 2011 will have a new face at special teams coordinator.
Minnesota announced the hiring of Marwan Maalouf, who previously spent six years as a special teams assistant in Miami and in 2012 served as the Colts special teams coordinator.
Tim Yotter of Viking Update recently delved into Maalouf's previous experience and pointed out that the Dolphins "were generally [strong in special teams] during Maalouf's six seasons there and several times were ahead of the Vikings." Yotter wrote:
Last year, the Dolphins ranked fourth in the compilation of 22 special-teams rankings put together annually by Rick Gosselin, the longtime writer for the Dallas Morning News. Miami's top special-teams rankings last year were in punts inside the 20 (fifth), opponent punting (second), opponent net punting (first), opponent field goal percentage (fourth), points scored (tied for first with two touchdowns), takeaways (tied for second with two), giveaways (tied for first with none) and penalties (fourth with 11).
According to Yotter, the Vikings ranked 13th in Gosselin's rankings last year.
Yotter went on to look at each of Maalouf's seasons in Miami, during which the Dolphins ranked 11th in 2017, seventh in 2016, 15th in 2015, 10th in 2014 and 17th in 2013.
Vikings Hall of Famer reflects with MPR for Black History Month
Vikings Hall of Fame defensive end Alan Page has made an impact far beyond the gridiron.
Page was Minnesota's first black Supreme Court justice, serving from 1993-2015, and also founded the Page Education Foundation alongside his late wife, Diane Sims-Page.
Page recently sat down with Minnesota Public Radio's Evan Frost for an interview and was joined by 28-year-old Page Scholar Paris Yarbrough. The interview is part of an ongoing February series that features "black Minnesotans making history to celebrate Black History Month."
One of the questions Page responded to was, "What figures have shaped you into the person you are today?" He answered first and foremost that he has been shaped by his family members, including his parents. He then continued:
"When I look back on people other than family I think about people like Thurgood Marshall, I think about people like Nelson Mandela, I think of people like Emmett Till. I think of people like Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner, the young men who were killed in Mississippi during the civil rights movement. I think of strong women who have had an influence in my life and influence in the decisions that I have made. One of the women that comes to mind is Constance Baker Motley, a lawyer, a judge who fought in the civil rights movement. All of those people have been a part of shaping me.
"And finally in (the Tennyson poem) 'Ulysses' there is a quote, 'I am a part of all that I have met.' We are shaped by everybody around us and all of our experiences."
Page was asked by Frost about his vision for the future of black individuals in Minnesota, and he said he hopes "that one day the disparities that we see in our criminal justice system cease to exist."
He added: "I would hope that one day the disparities that we see in our educational system, the racial disparities, cease to exist."
"I would hope that one day every black child, every brown child and every red child and white child and yellow child is treated equally, has the same opportunity.
"You know we're — we all have different abilities and disabilities, but we're all equal. Somehow that gets lost on a day-to-day basis, that somehow because I look different I'm less than. And I dream of the day when that doesn't happen, that you see me and whatever hue of the rainbow I am, you see me just like you see everybody else.
"And more importantly, you treat me like you treat everybody else (and) also that I treat you as I treat everybody else; this is a two-way street."
View pictures of the Vikings players, coaches and staff in the community throughout the 2018 season.
Thielen hosts youth golf event for charity
Adam Thielen is not only talented on the football field but also on the golf course.
The Vikings receiver spent an afternoon of his offseason with local youth, hosting a putting clinic for young people at Saturday's Minnesota Golf Show.
"I think golf is a great sport and it teaches you a lot about fundamentals of how to keep your composure, be consistent through 18 holes of golf," Thielen said. "So I think it's great for these kids to learn and to start at a young age because it's only easier to pick up and learn when you start at a young age."
Thielen told FOX 9 that golf has been more enjoyable in recent years.
"I really fell in love with the sport and I played it my whole life, but now I'm a little bit more mature and able to handle my emotions a little better; it's a lot more fun," he said.