Vikings seek to strike gold again with rookies on special teams

  • Article by: Mark Craig , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 31, 2013 - 6:16 PM

Rick Gosselin, longtime NFL reporter for the Dallas Morning News, has been ranking the league’s special teams units for the past 33 years. Guess which Purple-clad squad was most special a year ago? ¶ No, it wasn’t the Super Bowl champion Ravens. It was the Vikings. ¶ Gosselin assigns points to teams based on where they stand in 22 objective categories. And according to Gosselin, the Vikings “booted the most field goals, committed the fewest turnovers and allowed the fewest points” on special teams a year ago. ¶ Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer returns for his third season in Minnesota. He’ll have many of the same unusually talented players to work with, such as defensive end Everson Griffen, a 6-3, 273-pounder with 4.6 speed. But he’ll also be introducing new faces in critical places, such as rookies Jeff Locke at punter and Cordarrelle Patterson at kick returner. ¶ Here’s a closer look at those two players, as well as All-Pro kicker Blair Walsh, the headliner in Gosselin’s defending champion special teams units.

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Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Baltimore 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland 2 Top 7th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Minnesota 5 Bottom 6th Inning
Kansas City 4
Texas 2 Top 6th Inning
Houston 4
Oakland 0 Top 1st Inning
LA Angels 0
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 4th Qtr 2:00
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 4th Qtr 6:51
NY Giants 13
Washington 24 4th Qtr 2:46
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 19 4th Qtr
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 3rd Qtr 4:24
Cleveland 23
Denver 24 3rd Qtr 2:36
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 4th Qtr 14:51
Tennessee 0
San Francisco 24 3rd Qtr 3:41
Houston 6
Arizona 3 1st Qtr 12:20
San Diego 0
Seattle 7 1st Qtr 13:15
Oakland 0
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
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ULM 17
Boise State 3 3rd Qtr 5:42
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Tulsa 14
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Washington St 0
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(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
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(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
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(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
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