Minnesota Vikings make a decision that everyone saw coming

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Vikings will not be bringing back special teams coach Marwan Maalouf in 2021.

Among the struggles experienced by the Minnesota Vikings during the 2020 season, a number of them happened on special teams.

There was an increase in missed kicks, there were numerous blocked punts (in one game), the kickoff coverage was disappointingly poor, and the Vikings found it difficult to return a punt for more than two yards for most of the year.

So when Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer announced on Tuesday that the team is not going to renew the contract of special teams coach Marwan Maalouf, almost no one was surprised by the decision. It was something that even Stevie Wonder saw coming.

What is next for the Minnesota Vikings special teams?

Now, Zimmer must find the Vikings a new special teams coach for the second time since the end of the 2018 season. Maalouf only lasted two years in Minnesota and before him, Mike Priefer had the role from 2011 to 2018.

At this point, there haven’t been any reports regarding who the Vikings might be interested in making their new special teams coach.

During their last search to fill the role, Minnesota was reportedly interested in current New Orleans Saints special teams coach Darren Rizzi. He might be someone to keep an eye on as a guy who could potentially become the Vikings’ new special teams coach.

Whoever does end up taking over as the leader of Minnesota’s special teams for 2021, they are going to have a lot of work to do this offseason.

They will have to decide if the Vikings should continue on with Dan Bailey as their kicker and Britton Colquitt as their punter for next season. They will also have to see if they can find players to successfully fill the roles as the team’s punt returner and kick returner.

Just when Minnesota thought their special teams was heading in the right direction after 2019 when Bailey had one of his most successful seasons ever, the unit took a huge step backward in 2020, and their struggles had a tremendous impact on the rest of the team.

Hopefully, the Vikings can get it right with who they hire to be their next special teams coach, and the unit won’t cause as much stress for the franchise in 2021 (heavy emphasis on the “as much”).