The Vikings have hired Andrew Miller, the Toronto Blue Jays’ vice president of business operations, as chief operating officer to replace Kevin Warren, who will start as Big Ten commissioner this fall.
Miller will start his new position Sept. 1. He spent the past four MLB seasons leading the Blue Jays’ and Rogers Centre business operations. Miller was previously with the Cleveland Indians for a decade, when he was credited for the growth and operation of the team’s Goodyear Player Development Complex.
Before his career as a baseball executive, Miller worked in the investment banking and venture capital industries. He has a law degree and master’s of business degree from Northwestern and got his undergraduate degree at Cal. He and his wife, Jill, have two children and are expecting a third.
Starting Sept. 16, Warren will become the first black commissioner of a Power Five conference when he takes over for former Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany.
The Vikings used the Turnkey Search Firm to narrow their candidate list.
A bittersweet move
Long snapper Kevin McDermott’s release Sunday night was bittersweet for rookie Austin Cutting, the seventh-round pick awarded the Vikings’ starting job while also saying goodbye to his mentor for the past three months. Cutting, 21, said he’ll benefit from getting all the reps in practices moving forward as the Vikings sort through the holder and kicker jobs.
First, Cutting wanted to thank McDermott for teaching a younger competitor.
“Anything, and not just football,” Cutting said. “Kevin is a great person. That’s an understatement, and to be able to learn from him — things on the field, different things for punt and different things for field goal. It’s been a great experience.”
‘Press the launch button’
Kirk Cousins has two of the NFL’s best deep threats in receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, evident when Thielen hauled in the contested 35-yard pass in New Orleans on Friday that set up a touchdown.
Under coach Mike Zimmer, who wants to curb turnovers, coordinator Kevin Stefanski will walk a fine line when picking his spots to take downfield chances to the star duo.
“Ultimately that quarterback as the trigger man, we preach to him he’s got to be aggressive and smart at the same time,” Stefanski said. “We’ll do our best to let him know the opportunities that we’re giving him to go ahead and press the launch button, but certainly that’s not going to be every play lofting it up there.”
Young DBs on notice
Defensive coordinator George Edwards said he saw “poor eyes” during Friday’s preseason opener in New Orleans from young defensive backs, who were flagged for illegal defensive contact and pass interference while competing for roles on the 53-man roster. One rookie just needs to get on the field: Corner Kris Boyd, the seventh-round pick who has been sidelined a week — and missed the preseason opener — because of injury.
“The biggest thing is getting him back out here,” Edwards said. “Get him going where he can recognize different things, work on the technique. Those things are hard to do when you’re not practicing.”