Vikings: Priefer still loves dad’s advice
Mike Priefer has been able to find a lot of success as the Minnesota Vikings’ special teams coordinator.
Since he joined the Vikings in 2011, his unit is tied with the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles for the most special teams touchdowns with eight. He attributes a lot of his success to the teachings of his dad, Chuck Priefer.
Chuck had 29 years of coaching experience at the college and professional levels on his résumé, but is most well-known for his time with the Detroit Lions (1997-2006). Nowadays, however, you can often find him on the sidelines of the Vikings training camp helping out his son.
“I like to work him. If he’s coming here he’s not going to eat for free,” Mike Priefer said about his dad. “He’s going to make sure we’re working him. He does a great job. Obviously his experience is invaluable to me; obviously he’s my father, he was the best man at my wedding, we’re very close and just his experience and his knowledge – I tease him all the time that he’s forgotten more football than I know, and a lot of times that’s true. He helps us with the specialists, we watch tape together and different ideas we swap back and forth and he’s a great mentor for me.”
The two Priefers have a very close relationship with one another and often work together breaking down tape of film and scheming for different games. This communication has gone back all the way to when they were both coaching in the NFL at the same time.
They would talk once a week after breaking down each other’s game tape and give their opinion on what they did well and where they need to improve. Even now, Chuck will break down the Vikings film on his own and let his son know what he needs to improve on and how he can do that.
“We’ll chat every now and then. He understands our schedule,” Mike said. “I think the best time, he was actually coaching in Detroit and it was my first coordinator job in Kansas City, we would actually talk for about an hour every Tuesday. We’d be swapping ideas, he’d have a chance to watch my tape and I’d watch his tape and we’d swap ideas and talk about different teams and personnel. But even now he’s the biggest Vikings fan out there so he’ll watch our games and critique us a little bit and try to help me out.”
Mike is glad that he has his dad there to help him out whenever he needs it, especially since it means he is retired and he does not have to worry about facing him. The two had to go against one another once and it did not go well for the Vikings special teams coordinator.
Later he even said that the lead-up to the game was rough because his own mother had taken sides with his dad instead of him.
“(We played each other) one time. I was the assistant special teams coach of the New York Giants and he was the special teams coordinator for the Lions,” Mike said. “It was in Giants Stadium and I don’t want to tell you who won.”
It was Chuck and the Lions, 28-13.
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