Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings add players, lose coach, but gain one as well

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings coaches Updated: January 22, 2014 - 5:18 PM

The New York Giants announced they have hired Vikings quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson as their new running backs coach, but the Vikings apparently gained a defensive backs coach as well.

The Vikings haven't made any official announcements about their staff under new coach Mike Zimmer, but it is known that Norv Turner will be the offensive coordinator, and Turner's son Scott will be the new quarterbacks coach.

Johnson was the quarterbacks coach for the Vikings for three seasons under Leslie Frazier, and also held that position with the Tennessee Titans for eight years.

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reported former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray will be the Vikings defensive backs coach.  Gray spent three seasons with the Titans as DC under the recently fired Mike Munchak, who was replaced by Ken Whisenhunt. He was defensive coordinator for the Bills from 2001-05.

Gray, 51, was a four-time Pro Bowl defensive back while playing for the Rams. He also had stints with the Oilers and Bucs before retiring in 1994.

Zimmer, who was defensive coordinator of the Bengals, is believed to be forming his staff this week at the Senior Bowl, where Vikings coaches have declined comment.

The Vikings made one roster move today, adding defensive tackle Kheeston Randall as a reserve/future free agent.

Randall was drafted by Miami in the seventh round in 2012 out of Texas. He played 12 games as a rookie but was cut before the 2013 season. He's 6-5 and 309 pounds. He was signed by Cincinnati in November and, obviously, Zimmer liked him, because he's with the Vikings now.

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