Vikings rookie long snapper now must focus on improving

Published 8:17 am Friday, August 16, 2019

By Mark Craig

Star Tribune

Whether it’s placekicks or punts, consistency is one thing rookie long snapper Austin Cutting has not possessed this training camp.

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“He had one bad one here [Thursday] that I saw,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “But he’s been pretty solid. In the game, they were pretty good. And we had that long session whatever day it was and he was pretty good.”

Four days after veteran long snapper Kevin McDermott was released, special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf was asked to weigh in on that particular transaction. Asked if Cutting actually “won” the job or the Vikings just decided it was time to end the charade of an open competition with a rookie draft pick, Maalouf said in no uncertain terms that Cutting “definitely won the job.”

Thursday, Cutting had one particularly high snap on a placekick and one particularly low snap on a punt. Asked if the rookie was experiencing the understandable nervousness of becoming “the guy,” Zimmer smiled and referred to Cutting’s military background.

“He’s probably been yelled at a little bit in the military, Air Force, I’m guessing,” Zimmer said. “I don’t know if he’s flown jets or not, but I’m sure they prepared him for being shot at.”

In other words, the Vikings, at least at this point, are not concerned that the pressure is too big for Cutting to cope with.

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