Mike Priefer has been the VIkings special teams coach since 2011, and he’s one of a couple holdovers Mike Zimmer kept from Leslie Frazier’s staff, after Zimmer replaced Frazier in 2014.
In that time, Priefer has been praised and vilified. He took over on an interim basis for one game when Mike Zimmer couldn’t coach due to health issues related to his eye in 2016, and by all accounts did a good job. On the flip side, he was also the center of the Chris Kluwe controversy back in 2014, and he almost lost his job over it.
He was largely responsible for the Vikings drafting Blair Walsh, and turning him into a lethal, Pro Bowl kicker early in his career. But under Priefer, Walsh also went stone cold, and ended up getting cut. In his place came Kai Forbath, who made almost every field goal he tried, but every extra point was a kicking version of Russian Roulette.
This year, the Vikings opted for rookie kicker Daniel Carlson, who promptly missed three field goal attempts against Green Bay in a week two tie. A game that had Minnesota won...well, they’d be getting ready to play Chicago in the playoffs this weekend. Carlson was promptly released...and went on to make 16 of 17 field goals as an Oak Vegas Raider.
Enter the second most accurate kicker in NFL history in Dan Bailey, who went on to miss a whopping 25% of his field goals this year. Seriously, this season, the second most accurate kicker in NFL history got the yips. Also under Mike Priefer.
Yes, in the last couple seasons the Vikings have gone through kickers faster than the Kardashian women go through men, and just like the Kardashians, when the kickers leave Minnesota they seem to be a shell of their former selves. Except Carlson, who is probably going to end up dating a Kardashian at some point now. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas and all that.
So it would seem that when Priefer, the only constant in this soap opera of missed field goals and punts shorter than Danny DeVito, is up for a contract renewal, the Vikings might look in a different direction.
Yeah, you would apparently be wrong:
Source tells me @Vikings are working to re-sign special teams coach Mike Priefer, whose contract is expiring. Team is exploring other options in case it doesn't happen.— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) January 3, 2019
I for one, will welcome my Missed Field Goal Overlord.