Vikings seek to strike gold again with rookies on special teams

  • 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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Cincinnati - A. DeSclafani 6:05 PM
Washington - D. Fister
San Diego - J. Shields 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - A. Burnett
Houston - D. Keuchel 6:10 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
St. Louis - J. Lackey 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Lester
Atlanta - M. Wisler 7:10 PM
Milwaukee - K. Lohse
Baltimore - W. Chen 7:10 PM
Minnesota - P. Hughes
Toronto - M. Buehrle 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Sale
Tampa Bay - A. Colome 7:10 PM
Kansas City - E. Volquez
Philadelphia - S. O Sullivan 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - E. Surkamp
Detroit - A. Simon 9:10 PM
Seattle - H. Iwakuma
NY Mets - J. Niese 9:15 PM
San Francisco - C. Heston
Hamilton 52 FINAL
Winnipeg 26
Calgary 11 FINAL
Montreal 29
Brt Columbia 16 FINAL
Ottawa 27
Toronto 42 FINAL
Saskatchewan 40
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