Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Monthly Archives: July 2012

Chris Cook’s felony charges from last year prevented him from playing any games, or participating at all with team activities, following his initial arrest.  Now, he is eager to get back to the field of play.

“I’m more excited than I ever have been to come back to Mankato,” Cook said.

Cook apparently recognized how serious the charges were and how poor behavior off the field could impact his career.

“I definitely had doubts that I would even be playing football again,” Cook said on Thursday. “I’m just blessed to be in this position and very thankful for the position that I’m in and to be able to play football again.”

Cook also talked about how hard it was for him to not be on the field with his teammates, after recognizing in previous interviews that he made things difficult on his teammates by landing himself behind bars.

The Vikings showed incredible patience and generosity in sending Cook home with pay following the incident with his girlfriend, and the best possible outcome of the way they handled that situation is for Cook to truly be a changed man moving forward.

Another off-field issue that continues his pattern of finding himself in trouble, however, will almost certainly end his career as a Minnesota Viking.

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Two posts recently written here at VT have turned out to be related.

First, I mentioned that Ben Leber has rejoined the Vikings to provide preseason commentary for Vikings Entertainment Network, and I also mentioned that Brett Favre recently made remarks indicating that money was a main reason he returned to the Vikings for a disappointing 2010 season.

Now, appearing on KFAN and transcribed by PFT, Leber sounded off on Favre’s effort and attitude during a season that turned out to be on the worst, and most chaotic, in team history.

“He clearly wasn’t mentally and emotionally into it, and that’s the thing that kind of bugged me,” Leber said in the segment. “I get it, you’ve got to make the money when you can make it, even though he has made hundreds of millions of dollars. When he says it’s about the money, it just means that he wasn’t committed to us. So that irritated me a little bit, not for him taking the money, but for what it really meant.”

“You know, I’ll kind of stagger back in here,” said Leber in describing Favre’s approach, “And I’ll give you guys what I’ve got, but I just know wholeheartedly I don’t have it in me, and the money’s too good to pass up.”

“If that’s the case, move on,” Leber continued. “I’d rather go with somebody that’s maybe less talented, that’s 100 percent committed to us winning. It bugged me a little bit. I’m not going to say I lost sleep over it, but it bugged me.”

That “somebody” that was “maybe less talented” in 2010 was presumably Tarvaris Jackson.  Perhaps some of those reports about the infamous “schism” back in the day were more accurate than they were ever given credit for.

One thing I know for sure, as I ride around in my truck with a Packers fan turned Vikings fan turned Packers fan that is replacing me in my current job, I now have Leber’s comments to back me up in my persistent comments that Favre set this franchise back by four or five seasons.

As Brett mentioned in the post below this one, Matt Kalil will report on time to training camp after signing his rookie deal on Thursday morning, effectively ending any chance for unneeded drama during the preseason.

The deal was able to get done because the Vikings caved on language in the rookie deal that allows Kalil to collect payment from two different teams should he be cut by the Vikings and subsequently signed by someone else.

While the Vikings caved in the end, there is absolutely no reason for them not to attempt to get the best deal for the organization as long as there are negative impacts on the team as a result.  Negative impacts, such as a holdout, would have started to shown up tomorrow so there was no reason to flinch in this game of chicken until today.

Kalil’s contract, according to PFT, is for four years and worth $19,770,598.

The deal is completely guaranteed and included a signing bonus of $12,818,620.

The place where he was selected combined with the contract he was given suggests that the team plans on Kalil being their starting left tackle for a decade or more, so I am betting this is the last we hear about this offset language in relation to Kalil… unless he busts.

Which he won’t.

Matt Kalil Signing Rookie Contract

Despite Adam’s reassurance that the Vikings just “…always seem to be behind the rest of the league when it comes to signing their own… draft classes,” it was hard to not get a little concerned when it looked like Kalil may not have a contract at the start of training camp.

Well, worry no longer. As of this morning, Kalil has officially signed his rookie contract and will be reporting to training camp on time.

The delay, which was believed to be due to the offset language in rookie contracts, is no longer an issue and all of the Vikings draft picks have been signed.

Now let’s get this season started.

Today, the Minnesota Vikings officially will open training camp in Mankato, and there will be plenty of storylines to follow on offense as chronicled here.

The defense provides even more intrigue and drama for us to follow, however, as there is a surplus of jobs up for grabs across the board.  Here is my look at the top five storylines to follow on the defensive side of the football in the coming weeks:

5.  The Alan Williams Show

“Hey, Alan, I have a job for you.  I want you to come to Minnesota and coach up the defense that, outside of Jared Allen, was atrocious last year.  Oh, by the way, I want you to supervise the guy you are replacing and also try to get Singletary to keep his pants on.  Thanks, see you soon.”

New defensive coordinator Alan Williams inherited a mess, to be frank, and the unique arrangement of the coaching staff could prove to be a point of drama moving forward.  It will be mighty interesting to see how he responds to the challenge and how his players respond to him.

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