Matt Daniels Has a Spicy Take on Vikings Special Teamer
Matt Daniels stood at the podium prior to the Vikings Thursday practice mainly to discuss the gameplan heading into Minnesota’s game versus the Buffalo Bills. A large component of that game will revolve around the special teams, and Minnesota’s ability to kick/punt the ball consistently despite the notorious swirling winds at that stadium.
However, Matt Daniels also delivered a spicy take regarding Vikings special teamer, Dan Chisena.
Apparently, Chisena has earned the nickname “Hot Sauce” in the locker room because of his play on the field. Here’s how Daniels described the Vikings veteran on Wednesday:
The reason Dan Chisena is called “Hot Sauce is because he has the combination of speed, but he can also sauce you up at the line of scrimmage.Matt Daniels on Dan Chisena
Chisena has been a staple on the Vikings special teams since he entered the league in 2020. He was signed by the Vikings as a UDFA following the 2020 NFL Draft after a collegiate career at Penn State. Chisena played above 60% of the Vikings special teams snaps in both 2020 and 2021, and he has played 47% of them so far in 2022.
Throughout his NFL career, the Vikings have often used Chisena as a “gunner” on the punt coverage team, and in that role he’s recorded 11 tackles over his career. He also played 11 snaps on offense during 2021, but he is yet to be targeted on a pass.
Over the past couple seasons, the Vikings special teams has been a bit of a weakness for the team, especially during the 2020 season. However, with Daniels as coordinator in 2022, the unit has often shined.
This is especially so with the punting group. Ryan Wright has been one of the more consistent punters in the entire league during his rookie season. The Vikings are holding opponents to an average starting field position of their own 25.4 yard-line. This is second in the NFL, behind only the Philadelphia Eagles.
Chisena has played a role in that group’s success this season, and they will once again need to perform well in order for the Vikings to beat Buffalo. Daniels mentioned in his press conference that it will be key, especially on punts, to not let the wind impact snaps. This will require concentration from the rookie punter as well as his long snapper, Andrew DePaola.
We shall see how this unit responds to what could be some harsh conditions in Buffalo, as cold, windy weather is typical for November in that area of the country. Perhaps Mr. “Hot Sauce” can bring the heat on Sunday as well.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.