Vikings announce staff, including holdover Priefer
The Minnesota Vikings on Thursday announced the 17 assistants on new head coach Mike Zimmer's staff, including holdover and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer.
Priefer returns from the old staff after allegations by former punter Chris Kluwe that Priefer used homophobic language in Kluwe's presence during the 2012 season. Priefer has denied the allegations.
Kluwe alleges that the Vikings cut him in May 2013 because of his stance regarding gay rights. The Vikings, who hired investigators to look into the allegations, said previously Kluwe was let go only for football performance reasons.
"I am very excited about the coaching staff that we put together," Zimmer said in a statement. "(General manager) Rick Spielman and I spent a lot of time talking to numerous candidates to ensure that we found the right coaches for this organization.
"Building a team that consistently wins all starts with coaching. We have an experienced and diverse staff that will work tirelessly to get the most out of our players. This offseason will be a great chance for us to work together and prepare for the upcoming season."
Norv Turner will be the offensive coordinator with his son Scott at quarterbacks coach and Kirby Wilson coaching the running backs. They will join offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, wide receivers coach George Stewart, tight ends coach Kevin Stefanski and assistant wide receivers coach Klint Kubiak, all of whom were on the staff in 2013.
Defensive coordinator George Edwards will be joined by former Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, who will work with the defensive backs. Assistant defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon also joins the team from Tennessee. Andre Patterson returns for a second stint as the team's defensive line coach and Adam Zimmer, the son of the head coach, will coach the linebackers.
Assistant defensive line coach Robb Akey and coaching assistant Drew Petzing are also new additions to the staff. Assistant special teams coach Ryan Ficken and defensive assistant Jeff Howard both return to the staff.