Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Monthly Archives: June 2013

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Recently released ex-Packers linebacker has signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings according to 1500 ESPN’s Tom Pelissero.

The 28-year-old linebacker missed all of last season to a hamstring injury. Bishop is expected to compete for a spot at middle or outside linebacker position and will assumedly start at one of the two.

Desmond Bishop is the second former Packers player the Vikings have signed this offseason at a position of need after the Vikings signed Greg Jennings earlier this offseason.

Due to my unexpected time off, I have yet to really weigh in on the Vikings interest in former Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop, who was a surprising offseason cut after he missed all of 2012 with a torn hamstring.

Bishop had been with the Packers since 2007 and started as an inside linebacker both in 2010 and 2011.  As a member of their 3-4 defense, Bishop really began to make a name for himself, but his hamstring injury derailed an entire season and now he is looking for work.  With reports swirling that he has offers from the Vikings, Chiefs, and Giants it is hard to imagine he’ll be unemployed very much longer.

The Vikings claim Bishop had a good workout with the team, which hopefully means trainer Eric Sugarman came away unconcerned about his health, and this speculation is another sign that Erin Henderson is destined to move back to his native position on the weakside.  Henderson, as we all know, is the current guy with his paws on the starting Mike job.  At a minimum, Bishop represents very significant competition at the position.

Of course, as Kevin Seifert wisely notes, assuming they aren’t looking to him as an outside linebacker might be a mistake.

Bishop turns 29 in about a month and his official profile says he stands at 6′ 2″ and weighs 238 pounds.  In five seasons he has started a total of 16 games, only once playing in every game of the season, and had a career high 115 combined tackles in 2011.  Over his career he has nine sacks, nine deflected passes, eight forced fumbles, and one interception (which he returned for a score).

Changing to a 4-3 scheme, as well as the injury concerns, could be a reason to have only cautious optimism that things will work out between the Vikings and Bishop.  Also, while he might represent an upgrade over some current options at the middle linebacker spot, Bishop isn’t exactly a game-changer in any facet of the game.  He is more your solid and dependable guy that does a decent job with gap discipline and sound fundamentals.

On the other hand, Spielman may look like a genius for waiting so long to find a middle linebacker, as he is arguably the best one to be available in free agency this offseason.  Karlos Dansby’s decline, Larry Grant’s suspension, and Rolando McClain’s bizarre personal life are all reasons to call Bishop the guy with the highest ceiling of this offseason’s choices.

The Vikings are thought to have about $7.13 million in current cap space.  That should be plenty to sign all three of their first round draft picks (the rest of their draft class is already signed) and also bring in a veteran or two, such as Bishop.

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The final minicamp practice on Thursday signaled the beginning of the darkest period of the NFL offseason, with more than a month’s time between now and the start of training camp, and Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier wants his players to stay on the right track.

It has been almost a full year since I was visiting reader Fran the Man at his Alaskan lodge and we simultaneously dropped our jaws in disbelief upon hearing the news of Adrian Peterson’s arrest in a Houston club.  The good news is those charges seemed bogus and were eventually dropped, and the better news is that it is the last time a Vikings player is known to have been in trouble.

“Just reminded them about the things they’ve got to get done in this time away,” Frazier said of his send off speech, “and remember that they represent us in their hometowns or wherever they travel at, that we all represent one another, and take care of their bodies.”

Frazier and G.M. Rick Spielman seem to be putting together a squad of high character guys that are focused on becoming champions.  Time and again we have heard Frazier preach to his players that none of them want to be “that guy.”

Provided the circus-like atmosphere surrounding New England right now, thanks to their star tight end getting himself embroiled in a murder case, it is refreshing to have an offseason where the biggest controversy involves an activist punter.

Stay out of trouble, Vikings.  We are all looking forward to seeing you play on Sundays this year.

I really, really, really apologize for having been so absent of late.  Life kept me from updating VT at the rate you’ve grown accustomed to and I am sorry for that, but I am back now and ready to get back into the groove.  The Vikings minicamp is underway and the best way to get caught up is our weekly links feature.  Enjoy!

  • The Vikings have parted ways with a number of players this offseason and it is always interesting to keep tabs on how they are doing in their new surroundings.
  • Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton could see an expanded role in his second season in Minnesota.
  • Greg Childs is packing on the pounds and waiting patiently for his chance to prove himself.
  • It didn’t take more than one measly season for Harrison Smith to establish himself as one of the NFL’s most feared tacklers.
  • Chad Greenway underwent a minor operation on his knee but says he’ll be ready for training camp.
  • Terrell Owens thinks he could be a good fit in Minnesota… by which I assume he means as a season ticket holder.
  • We look forward to speed and athleticism being the source of numerous Cordarrelle Patterson highlights, but Greg Jennings says he possesses another unique trait that will separate him from other rookie wide outs.
  • When he took the nameplate off his locker, Antoine Winfield knew he wouldn’t be returning to the Vikings.
  • An extensive look into what Jared Allen did in 2012 and what we can expect in 2013.
  • Adam Thielen, Josh Robinson, and John Carlson were among the standouts from the first minicamp practice.
  • Mike Priefer spoke to reporters about the respect he has for Chris Kluwe and the decision to cut him.
  • Despite the Vikings kicking the tires on linebacker Desmond Bishop, Erin Henderson won’t accept the notion that he isn’t the guy to man the Mike position this year.
  • It is nice to see Kenechi Udeze back as a member of the Vikings once again.
  • Linebacker Michael Mauti is nearly ready to start competing for a roster spot.
  • While the Vikings posted ten wins in 2012, some are expecting disappointment during the coming season.
  • Let this page load to get a little glimpse at the minicamp action.
  • Adrian Peterson and Mistral Raymond are two guys not practicing during minicamp.
  • The Vikings might visit London three seasons in a row while their new stadium is being built.
  • Coordinator Alan Williams says Desmond Bishop had a good workout with the Vikings.

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[NOTE FROM ADAM:  I am thrilled that Branden Lemke has once again agreed to lend us his talents here at VT, this time he will be providing us with ten “bold predictions” for you all to mull over as the season fast approaches.  This is his first installment.  I know I’ve been way too absent this week, but I promise I’ll be back to normal in just a few short days.  Thanks for hanging in there.]

Hey everybody! If you’re like me, right now you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2013 NFL season. For the first time since 2009, Vikings fans have a lot of reason for hope this time of year (Last year at this time nobody thought we’d finish 10-6, and if you did you’re a football genius). Leading up to the start of the season, I’m going to give you 10 bold predictions of what you will hopefully see over the course of the 2013 season. Some of you may remember me doing this a couple years ago when I worked with Adam at Vikings Gab. I looked up my bold predictions from 2011 and it turns out I was right about half of them! I’m shooting for a better ratio this time around.

There’s no question the Vikings struck gold in 2012 by trading up in the first round to select safety Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame. Many were skeptical at first because the 2012 safety class was viewed as a fairly weak class, and some fans and experts thought it might have just been a desperation shot by the Vikings, trying to fill a glaring need in the secondary. It didn’t take Smith long to show everyone that despite a weak safety class, he was for real.

We saw his talent on display throughout the entire 2012 season. He delivered one hard hitting tackle after another, and finished with 3 interceptions on the year, 2 of them for touchdowns. I was honestly surprised Smith wasn’t more highly considered for Defensive Rookie Of The Year, and I felt he could have been a pro bowler this year. In 2013, I think Smith is poised for a breakout year. He’s already become one of the main leaders in our secondary, and his play will be huge for the Vikings. I think Smith will finish in the area of 80 tackles, 4-5 interceptions, and a couple forced fumbles. Hopefully we can see more defensive touchdowns from him as well.  I think the Pro Bowl is a place he’ll belong after the season is said and done, hopefully voters feel the same way when the Pro Bowl ballots are out.

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