The Minnesota Vikings have found someone to replace special teams coach Mike Priefer while he serves his three-game suspension, and they've gone outside of the organization to do it.
The team has announced that Joe Marciano will fill in for Priefer for the first three weeks of the 2014 regular season. Marciano has been a special teams coach in the NFL for 28 seasons, and had served in that capacity for the Houston Texans from the time the team began play in 2002 until this past December.
Zimmer said that Priefer will resume his full duties once his suspension has been completed.
Some thought that Priefer's assistant, Ryan Ficken, might be in line to fill in, but Zimmer had this to say about the situation:
"This was something we had talked about probably a week or so before training camp. I think it's a great idea," Priefer said. "Again, I've said that I think Ryan can handle it, there's no doubt in my mind he can. I can understand why we would bring in a veteran coach, and the fact that Joe was available was a benefit and a plus for us."
Priefer said that he was also asked for input on the team's decision.
So, the Vikings will have a new face on the sideline for the rest of the pre-season and the first three games of the regular season. I don't know a whole lot else about the guy, but hopefully there won't be any drop-off during that time period.