On Monday, the Vikings officially announced two additions to their 2021 coaching staff: special teams coordinator Ryan Ficken and strength and conditioning coach Josh Hingst.
Both of these hires were reported last week, along with new wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell, but now they've officially been confirmed by the team. An announcement for McCardell should be coming in the near future as well.
Ficken, the Vikings' longest-tenured coach, has a major task ahead of him in turning around what was a disastrously bad special teams unit last season. He earned this promotion through 14 seasons of work as an assistant coach, first with running backs and receivers and then as the assistant special teams coordinator for the past eight years.
Judging from the reaction on social media of current and former Vikings, Ficken appears to be highly respected by players. Here are some of the endorsements and notes of congratulations given to coach "Fick" following the team's announcement:
It seems like Ficken should have no problem getting players to buy in to what he's teaching. But that wasn't necessarily an issue for Marwan Maalouf, either. The Vikings' special teams woes were all about execution. They need to get better in every single area: the return game, the kicking game, and punt and kick coverage.
The Vikings also confirmed the hire of Hingst to replace Mark Uyeyama as their head strength and conditioning coach. Hingst made stops with Florida State, the Falcons, Nebraska, and the Jaguars before spending the last eight seasons with the Eagles. He specializes in nutrition as well as strength and conditioning.
Here's everything we know right know about the Vikings' 2021 coaching staff. The only remaining vacancies are at offensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, although the Vikings could potentially look to create new roles by hiring a passing game coordinator or an advisor on either side of the ball.
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