Minnesota Vikings ‘Want To Bring In Competition’ For Kick Return Job
By Adam Carlson
The Minnesota Vikings have quite a few people on the roster that are very good as return men on special teams. Cordarrelle Patterson has been the man to return kicks and Marcus Sherels has returned punts for the last two seasons, but there are youngsters like Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs that are hot on their heels for return duties.
While Cordarrelle Patterson is still penciled in for the kick return job, special teams coach Mike Priefer recently told the Pioneer Press that Patterson might be the best return man in the league, but that doesn’t mean that the job automatically gets handed to him for kick returns.
"“In my mind, Cordarrelle Patterson’s the best kick returner in this league, so it would be crazy for me to put someone else in that spot,” Priefer said after Thursday’s organized team activities at Winter Park. “We still want to bring in competition. There’s still things that he can’t do this year he did last year, like put the ball on the ground, those types of things.”"
Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels (35) returns a punt by the Chicago Bears in the first quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Vikings win 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Perhaps the biggest threat to Cordarrelle Patteron’s job on kick returns is rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs was an absolute monster on returns during his three years of college football at Maryland, scoring two touchdowns and averaging 25.8 yards on kick returns while adding 9.4 yards per punt return.
The one thing that is for certain with the Minnesota Vikings is that competition will help everyone get better. I don’t expect any other bodies to be brought in from the outside to fight for a return job, but watching Patterson, Sherels, Thielen, and Diggs battle it out for the two spots should be a lot of fun in training camp and during the preseason.
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