1. Priefer coached special teams for eight seasons in Minnesota, and the Vikings trusted him enough to name him head coach for a week in 2016 when Mike Zimmer missed a game because of emergency eye surgery. Priefer is entering his 25th season coaching and his 17th as an NFL coach. Eight of his 10 jobs have involved coaching special teams.
2. As John Dorsey alluded to Monday, Priefer is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He played football and flew helicopter missions for the military from 1990-94, specializing in quarterback and wide receiver on the field, anti-submarine warfare and search-and-rescue missions off it. Priefer spent so much time overseas that his wedding was delayed multiple times. His wife and family worried about him constantly, but he returned home safely and embarked on a successful coaching career. He still carries his military pride with him to this day. Priefer felt exceptionally proud after Navy Seals carried out the Osama Bin Laden mission in 2015. "We had an objective, we achieved an objective and nobody was injured — that's the mission," Priefer told the Pioneer Press at the time. "I'm very proud of them, top to bottom. This whole country has to be proud of what our guys accomplished over there. It's a great moment to be an American."
3. Priefer followed in his father's footsteps by coaching special teams. Chuck Priefer coached special teams in the NFL for 15 years with the Packers, Chargers and Lions, most recently in 2006. In 1994, Chuck coached Andre Coleman, who became the first Charger to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a season and also ran a kickoff for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXIX.
4. Mike Priefer was born in Cleveland in 1966. His family first moved to follow his dad's coaching career in 1977, and there's nothing on record about Priefer growing up a Browns fan. But his dad is from Parma, attended John Carroll and the Browns posted a winning record for eight seasons between 1966 and 1977. The circumstantial evidence exists.
5. The Vikings' kicking history under Priefer is checkered. Everyone remembers Blair Walsh's fall from Pro Bowler to goat. But Daniel Carlson was released after two games in 2018 and Dan Bailey tied his career-low lowest accuracy percentage after he replaced Carlson. Priefer gave explanations for Walsh and Carlson's shortcomings at a press conference leading up to Minnesota's Week 15 matchup with the Dolphins. Carlson had one bad game (he missed three kicks in Week 2) and lost confidence. Walsh lost weight, which caused him to lose power, which caused him to change his technique -- all of which Prefer tried to prevent. The Browns have a young, moldable kicker in Greg Joseph. "I don't think I'm doing anything different than a lot of other coaches," Prefer said during the same press conference. "In fact, I think I understand the craft of kicking better than most coaches."