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Bleacher Report – Vikings

First-round pick Sharrif Floyd prepared to contribute on special teams

MANKATO, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd will pay his dues on special teams before fulfilling his perceived destiny as veteran Kevin Williams’ replacement.

As the University of Florida’s premier defensive tackle for the past two years, Floyd didn’t play a big role on the Gators’ special teams, but said he has been preparing for the day he would.

“I was really in tune with the special teams at Florida, I always stayed in on the meetings,” Floyd said. “I’m just here to do whatever they need me to do and want me to do.”

Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams said Floyd isn’t necessarily the immediate answer for taking snaps from Williams, whom coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday would be limited to 30 to 40 snaps per game this season.

“I think people forget about Christian Ballard,” Williams said. “All the guys are going to compete and all the guys are expected to play special teams. We look at special teams as an extension of the defense.”

The Vikings topped the NFL in special teams, according to the Dallas Morning News’ yearly rankings, by converting the most field goals and allowing the fewest turnovers and points to opponents.

Floyd, selected No. 23 overall in April’s draft, has lined up with the Vikings kick return and field goal protection teams in the four days of training camp.

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer praised Floyd on Saturday for his agility and quick feet on a 305-pound body.

“I think we can play [Floyd] on kickoff return, in the wedge,” Priefer said. “He can be a guy who can help on field goal protection and field goal block, maybe on punt return depending on who we match up against.”

Floyd said he welcomes the additional responsibilities simply to prove himself, even if special teams snaps were piled on top of a potential 20 to 25 snaps on defense in place of Williams.

“There is no ‘Hey, this is your role’ type thing,” Floyd said. “No one is entitled to anything.”
by Andrew Krammer

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