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Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


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270204211

Retire? Not this Marciano; 'I'll be back.'

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated August 11th at 7:39pm 270809091

Joe Marciano got a taste of what it feels like to be retired. He couldn’t spit it out fast enough.

“When you retire, what I’ve learned is you aren’t in a hurry to do anything,” said the 60-year-old Marciano, making it clear that’s not a feeling he prefers after coaching football every fall since his career began at Wyoming Area (Pa.) High School in 1976.

That explains why the longtime NFL special teams coach jumped on a plane to Minnesota when Vikings coach Mike Zimmer offered him the interim special teams coordinator position that will end in mid-September. Marciano, who arrived with the team on Sunday, will work with current special teams coordinator Mike Priefer and assistant special teams coordinator Ryan Ficken throughout the rest of the preseason and then take over for two or three weeks as Priefer serves his team-imposed suspension for making an anti-gay remark to former punter Chris Kluwe in 2012. Priefer can reduce the suspension from three games to two if he completes sensitivity training.

“First of all, to be honest with you, I’m not here to replace Mike Priefer,” Marciano said. “You don’t replace Mike Priefer. I’ve known him a long time. He’s as fine a coach and fine an individual as there is.

“He has such command in that room. The players respect him. When Coach Zim called me and asked if I was interested, I mean, no doubt, I would be interested. Can I retire? Yeah. Do I want to retire? No.”

Marciano spent six seasons in the college ranks, working his way up from East Stroudsburg State to Rhode Island, Villanova, Penn State and Temple. In 1983, he joined the USFL, winning a couple of league titles with the Philadelphia Stars.

In 1986, Marciano joined the Saints as special teams and tight ends coach. For nine seasons, he coached special teams and tight ends in New Orleans. In his 10th and final season with the Saints, he focused only on special teams.

From there, Marciano coached special teams for six years at Tampa Bay and the past 12 with Houston.

“I think I’ll be coaching somewhere next year, whether it’s in the pros or in college,” Marciano said. “There’s a lot of good coaches out of work. I’m not the first coach to be out of work. I’ve been fortunate for 27 years to choose where I wanted to work. That’s awfully, awfully fortunate.

“I believe I’m a good coach. [Former Texans defensive coordinator] Wade Phillips is a good coach. He belongs somewhere. When your numbers aren’t good and you go 2-14, that’s what happens.”

Marciano said he’ll lean on Ficken during his brief stint without Priefer.

“Mike’s way works,” Marciano said. “There are many ways to skin a cat. I’m not here to invent the wheel. For the short period of time that Mike’s going to be out, coach Ficken and I are going to be shoulder pad to shoulder pad, side by side and continue to build on what he has set here.”

Marciano said he decided to become a special teams coach long ago as a way of standing out in an area that was just evolving.

“In a nutshell, when I was coaching in college, my college coach went to some NFL camps,” Marciano said. “He said that special teams coaches are in there just to get their foot in the door. But they really want to be the defensive backs coach. They don’t want to be the special teams coach. You master special teams, you can be in this thing for a long time. And he was right. He was right.”

Marciano was asked if accepting this job is his way of letting the NFL know that this 60-year-old isn’t quite finished.

“I don’t know if I’m necessarily telling the league that,” he said. “I’m probably telling the other coaches. Yeah, I’ll be back. I’ll be back either in the NFL or in college. I’m not opposed to going to college, especially if it’s home to Houston. But the right college. Hopefully, I’ll be back. And I’ll be back with a vengeance. I guarantee you that.”

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New England 5:30 PM
Seattle
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 3 3rd Prd 8:30
Vancouver 0
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 37 2nd Half 14:49
Vanderbilt 27
(20) Iowa 48 2nd Half 17:05
(5) Maryland 51
(1) South Carolina 20 1st Half 3:37
Ole Miss 24

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