Kevin Stefanski isn’t the only notable Cleveland coach returning to Minnesota on Sunday after a long stint with the Vikings.
Special teams coordinator Mike Prefer will return after holding the same position with the Vikings from 2011–18. Prefer moved to the Browns under head coach Freddie Kitchen in 2018 and was retained in 2019 when Stefanski replaced Kitchen. Stefanski was assistant coach of the Vikings from 2006–19, ending up as offensive coordinator, and would coach against Minnesota for the first time. Game at US Bank Stadium.
“The Minnesota Vikings were a great organization, from ownership to personnel to coaching staff, players and front office, and there were some really good people out there,” Prefer said. “I enjoyed my time there, and it would be fun to go back there.”
Prefer was with the Vikings when they played home games at three different stadiums. He was on hand for games at the Metrodome from 2011–13, at the then TCF Bank Stadium from 2014–15, and again in 2016 after the opening of US Bank Stadium.
“I think it was louder,” Prefer said, comparing US Bank Stadium, which seats 66,860, to the Metrodome, which seats 64,121. “The Metrodome was extremely loud. … Maybe it’s more people. … I think the way it’s structured, (US Bank Stadium) is a beautiful building. … Very loud on Sunday There will be sound, I know.”
The Browns have not played in Minnesota since 2013, when they won 31-27 at the Metrodome.
Richardson VS. brown
If defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is upset by Brown’s release last April, he has a chance to pull it out on Sunday.
After letting Richardson end his $12 million contract from the books, Brown sought to re-sign him for a lesser amount, but he turned down a deal that reportedly amounted to a year from the Vikings. was over 3.56 million.
Richardson declined an interview request to discuss his Cleveland tenure. With Minnesota, he became a reserve for the first time in his nine-year career, averaging only 23.7 snaps in the first three games.
“He didn’t say a word to me,” co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson said of Richardson’s role. “He goes out every day and works. …I don’t think his role is an issue for him.”
In Week 2, the Vikings put Arizona’s Chandler Jones without a sack when he had five last week, and allowed the Cardinals to sack Kirk Cousins just once. They hope to repeat that formula on Sunday.
Cleveland had nine sacks in last Sunday’s 26-6 win over Chicago. Miles Garrett had four and a half and Jadevon Clooney had two.
“I think our offensive line is playing very well,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “Obviously the guys that they have, Clooney and Garrett are both great players. We won’t be able to single block them all day. We have to give them some help sometimes, but we’ve done a good job in the last few weeks, So we hope we can. It will be a good test.”