The Vikings special teams had a very bizarre preseason. They went through a holder carousel which included backup quarterbacks, the punter, and even wide receiver Chad Beebe. They also tried a handful of punt and kick returners and never seemed to settle on one until Week 1.
Minnesota then went and traded a fifth-round pick for kicker/punter Karre Vedvik. He was supposed to solve all the woes this unit has been having over the years. But instead, he just added to them. He had a very shaky preseason and he was ultimately released the day of final cuts.
To make things even more bizarre, the Vikings claimed Britton Colquitt just prior to start of the regular season. This made it the second year in a row in which Minnesota started the season with a punter who wasn’t with the team at the beginning of training camp.
Things don’t appear to be much better for the Vikings under their new special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf.
Dan Bailey is still as shaky as ever. He did appear to respond well to the pressure of having Vedvik in camp but on the season he has made just 3-of-4 field goal attempts and is 9-for-10 on extra-point tries. Vikings fans are continuing to hold their breath every time he lines up to kick a field goal.
Colquitt has been a nice addition to the team. He can boot the crap out of the football, he is averaging 46.7 yards per punt, and he has landed seven punts inside the 20. He’s also done a fine job as the holder.
As far as the return game has gone, Minnesota hasn’t done much there. It’s nice to have Marcus Sherels back, he’s a major upgrade over Beebe, who struggled to catch the football on punts. Ameer Abdullah has only had one kick return that went for 25 yards, so there is still a lot to see out of this group.
Bailey is still unreliable and can’t be trusted when the game is on the line. Maybe Sherels can spark the punt return game. But for the first four games of the season, this unit was extremely underwhelming.