Mike Tice clearly has considerable respect for kicker Gary Anderson. When Mitch Berger was released, Tice asked Anderson to help overview the massive kicking tryout the team conducted. When the Vikings failed to land kicker/punter Travis Dorsch in the draft to handle both punting and kicking duties and were forced to sign punter-only Kyle Richardson, Tice called Anderson to ask for a meeting.
The intent was clear. Without Berger to handle the punting, kicking and holding duties, the Vikings have two choices -- finding a position player to be the long snapper or end their relationship with Anderson.
Tice told VU last weekend that there can only be three spots available for the five special teams duties -- kickoff specialist, field goal kicker, punter, holder and long snapper. In the past, with Berger handling three of those jobs himself, the Vikings were able to have Anderson simply handle field goals and extra points and Brody Heffner-Liddiard simply handling long-snap duties.
That has to change and the options have been reduced to just two -- find a kicker that can do both kickoffs and field goals or find a position player on the roster to handle long-snapping duties.
Tice is using this week's developmental camp to handle the latter. Tuesday, he had special assistant Mike Morris work with Matt Birk, Cory Withrow, Everett Lindsay and even LB Jim Nelson with long snapping technique. The hope is that one of them will emerge to handle the job, which would allow the Vikings to bring in a kickoff specialist and not have to release Anderson.
"We only have three spots on the roster for those positions and Gary knows that," Tice told VU. "He's a future Hall of Famer, so we want him in on this process. He knows that we want him here, but he also knows that if we have to use two roster spots on two other positions, we'll have to find a kicker to do all the kicking for us."
The Vikings will continue to try to get a frontrunner for the snapping duties, but, if that fails, it will likely end the Vikings career of Anderson.
* The Vikings signed Jim Nelson to a one-year tendered offer of $563,000 Tuesday.
* The Cleveland Browns did in fact want to jump into the Vikings spot at No. 7, but changed their offer from the two No. 1 picks and the player reported here last weekend. Apparently the final offer was their first-round pick this year and the Vikings choice of two of the following four players -- LB's Jamir Miller and Wali Rainer, WR Dennis Northcutt and DT Orpheus Roye. Seeing more value in taking Bryant McKinnie and ending the team's weakness at OLT, the Vikings summarily denied the trade offer.
* Cornerback Carey Scott has been moved to safety during the developmental camp. There is currently a log-jam at corner, with Corey Chavous and Kenny Wright in the starting roles and Robert Tate, Eric Kelly and rookie Brian Williams working out at corner.
* Former University of Minnesota RB Tellis Redmond was a player many thought the Vikings might bring in after he went undrafted, but Redmond signed on with Baltimore Tuesday.
Tice Trying to Save Anderson?
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