Vikings to bring back Gary Anderson

Sept. 16, 2002 at 10:51 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Vikings, who basically lost to Buffalo because of failures in the kicking game, Monday made a contract offer to former placekicker Gary Anderson.

Head coach Mike Tice told reporters Monday that he has spoken with Anderson about coming out of retirement, but would only say that the team is "trying to get that situation worked out."

Tice also intimated that Anderson would be brought back for placekicking chores, which includes field goals and points after touchdown. Last season, the team's coaching staff felt Anderson no longer had the leg for effective kickoffs.

"If Gary comes back, he comes back for good," Tice said. "Gary Anderson is certainly no stop gap."

The Vikings' regular placekicker, Doug Brien, who replaced Anderson after former punter Mitch Berger, refused to take a pay cut, missed a pair of extra points in the 45-39 overtime loss to the Bills that proved to be costly.

"High school kids make those," Brien said after the game. "I'm so disgusted with myself."

"You can't miss PATs in this league and we missed two," said Tice. That shouldn't happen to anybody."

Tice said that if Anderson comes back, Brien would continue to handle kickoff chores, even though others have been given tryouts.

"Anytime you have to carry two kickers you have to release somebody and that's the nature of the business," Tice said. "We could keep both kickers, we could go out and get another kickoff guy. We brought everybody in two weeks ago that was on the street, (but) we didn't find a guy that could kickoff better than Doug Brien at that point. Unless somebody cuts somebody or unless something drops out of the ceiling, I don't know that there is a better guy right now then Doug for kicking off. If Gary Anderson is on this team, I will carry two kickers unless one of the guys in the team meeting tells me that they can kickoff and I don't think that's going to happen."

The Vikings also found out Monday that tight ends Jim Kleinsasser and Byron Chamberlin will be out for some time. Both players suffered knee injuries in the Buffalo game.

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