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Continued: NFL evolution makes special teams coaches vital

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG
  • Last update: August 14, 2014 - 6:53 AM

Decisions based on special teams ability are commonplace in today’s NFL because of larger rosters and fewer starters playing special teams.

“It has become such an important part of the game and how you shape your roster that everybody now has assistant special teams coaches,” said Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who is in his 30th NFL season. “The last 15, 20 guys on your roster are special teams guys. It’s a critical deal.”

During a typical day of training camp, the Vikings dedicate two half-hour meetings, a 20-minute walkthrough, a 10-minute jog-through in pads, a seven-minute period on returns and another nine-minute period just to special teams.

“The first book on special teams I read was ‘George Allen’s Guide to Special Teams,’ ” Mike Priefer said. “I loved it. He was way ahead of his time.

“Not a lot of people like special teams because it’s a lot of work without a lot of credit or glory. Not that I do it for that. But I’ve never wavered. For me, it’s either this or head coach. I just love my job.”

 

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