Controversial former Vikings assistant coach fired by the Browns
By Adam Patrick
Former Minnesota Vikings assistant Mike Priefer has been fired by the Cleveland Browns after three seasons as their special teams coach.
When Kevin Stefanski left his job as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings to become the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2020, he kept a familiar face on the team’s coaching staff in Mike Priefer.
Priefer joined the Browns a year before Stefanski arrived as their special teams coach. This came after Priefer spent eight seasons as the special teams coach for the Vikings from 2011 to 2018.
On Tuesday, Cleveland and Stefanski announced that the team is parting ways with Priefer, and they’ll be looking for someone else to run their special teams during the 2023 campaign.
Firing former Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Priefer “in the best interest” of the Cleveland Browns
After reports began to circulate about the Browns moving on from Priefer earlier in the day, the team decided to put out a statement that thanked their, now, former special teams coach for his time with the franchise.
Under Priefer in 2022, Cleveland’s special teams ranked 14th in the NFL according to Football Outsider’s DVOA metric, and they received the 18th-best special teams grade in the league from PFF. Not terrible numbers, but the Browns clearly wanted to move in a different direction with the unit.
With the Vikings from 2011 to 2018, Priefer helped with the development of some of the best returners in the history of the franchise in Marcus Sherels and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Unfortunately, Priefer will forever be known for getting suspended for three weeks by Minnesota in 2014 after he made a homophobic remark in front of his players in 2012. In addition to his suspension, the former Vikings coach also had to take part in a week of sensitivity training.