Former Pro Bowler John Carney reached out to Vikings about kicking-coach job
EAGAN, Minn. -- The fifth-leading scorer in NFL history has offered to serve as a part-time kicking coach for the Minnesota Vikings, but they apparently want a full-time guy.
John Carney was an NFL kicker from 1988-2010 with seven teams and scored 2,062 points while making two Pro Bowls. In recent years, he has served as a consultant for five NFL teams while also running a training center for kickers and punters in Carlsbad, Calif.
“I did offer my services on a part-time basis," Carney said about talking to Minnesota special-teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf. “I do run a business in California, so I couldn’t do a full-time deal … It would be difficult to close (the Carney Training Facility) down for five months."
And what was the Vikings’ response to Carney’s offer?
“I think they’re looking for a guy full time," Carney said.
Head coach Mike Zimmer, whose Vikings have had all sorts of kicking issues in recent years, said at the NFL scouting combine in February he was considering hiring a kicking coach. Early this month at the team’s rookie minicamp, Zimmer said the Vikings were still “working on it."
With organized team activities getting underway Tuesday, May 21, the Vikings have made no announcement of any possible hire.
Since Zimmer arrived in 2014, Minnesota has used four kickers and three punters in the regular season. There are issues with current kicker Dan Bailey and punter Matt Wile.
Bailey was re-signed despite missing 4 of 9 field goals between 40 and 49 yards last season. A source said the Vikings are considering bringing in competition for Bailey for training camp.
Wile was steady as a punter last season, averaging 42.0 yards net. However, Zimmer said at the combine he is considering replacing Wile as the holder for kicks.
Carney, who also has expertise with punting skills, has worked with Wile, a San Diego native, since he was in high school a decade ago. Carney said Wile looked good earlier this year at his training facility.
“I think he’s a really good holder right now," Carney said. “I’d say over the last several years he has really put a lot of time and effort into his holding. I know when he’s here and holding for many of our NFL pros, they’re very happy and pleased with his skill and consistency as a holder."
Still, sources said the Vikings are considering bringing in punter Shane Tripucka, who was at the team’s rookie minicamp, as competition for Wile.
As for a coach, Carney has a good idea of what Minnesota needs.
“I hope for the Vikings’ sake, they look for someone who has had quite a bit of experience on the NFL level of coaching kickers and punters," he said.
CUTTING STILL WAITING
Long snapper Austin Cutting, a seventh-round draft pick out of Air Force, is scheduled to take part in OTAs this week, but there is still no clarity on whether he will be able to play in 2019.
Cutting has a two-year service commitment. Air Force associate athletics director for communications Troy Garnhart said Monday there has been no update from academy officials on Cutting’s status.
The Vikings will have 10 voluntary OTAs sessions over the next three weeks, then a June 11-13 mandatory minicamp. Cutting is expected to take part in all workouts with the exception of OTA sessions on May 29 and 30 he will miss because of Air Force’s May 30 graduation.
If Cutting is unable to play in 2019, he likely would be placed on the reserve/military list. He then would not count against the roster limit, and the Vikings would retain his rights.