Chargers hire Ryan Ficken as special teams coordinator

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Ficken has been hired by the Los Angeles Chargers as special teams coordinator after he spent the past 15 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

Ficken was Minnesota’s special teams coordinator this season after spending the previous eight years as the assistant special teams coach. He replaces Darius Swinton, who was fired after one season.

The Vikings led the NFC and were second in kickoff return average in 2021 after Kene Nwangwu ran back two kickoffs for touchdowns. Kicker Greg Joseph also led the NFC and was fifth in the league with 33 field goals.

Ficken will be tasked with trying to improve an inconsistent Chargers special teams unit. Los Angeles improved as the season went along because of the midseason signings of returner Andre Roberts and kicker Dustin Hopkins. Roberts led the league with a 32.8-yard kick return average while Hopkins was 18 of 20 on field goals after joining the Chargers.

However, the Chargers were last in the league in net punting and struggled with their coverage units.

Before coaching special teams, Ficken was Minnesota’s assistant wide receivers coach from 2009-12 and was the assistant running backs coach in 2007-08.


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