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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.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


270204211

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

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated August 11th at 6:39pm 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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Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
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Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Cleveland 11/6/14 7:25 PM
Cincinnati
Memphis 97 FINAL
Indiana 89
Cleveland 114 FINAL
Chicago 108
Philadelphia 81 FINAL
Milwaukee 93
Portland 94 FINAL
Sacramento 103
San Antonio 89 FINAL
Phoenix 94
LA Clippers 114 4th Qtr 0:21
LA Lakers 111
Toronto 4 FINAL
Columbus 1
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Detroit 5
Anaheim 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 1
Nashville 3 FINAL
Calgary 4
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 38 FINAL
Tulane 14
Tulsa 20 FINAL
Memphis 40
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
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Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
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Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
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Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
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Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
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Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
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Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
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Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
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Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Memphis 11/7/14 6:30 PM
Temple
Utah State 11/7/14 7:00 PM
Wyoming
(12) Baylor 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(19) Oklahoma
(11) Kansas State 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(10) TCU
Hamilton 34 FINAL
Ottawa 25
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan

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