Thursday, September 3, 2015

Monthly Archives: August 2013

by -
4

It was a major disappointment when we had to leave our previous live chat host due to a… difference in opinion? In our opinion, it should have been free. In there opinion? Not so much… It was great getting to chat with everyone during the games. Ever since we left our previous chat provider, we’ve been searching diligently for a suitable alternative.

Finally, we have found one.

Better yet? This live chat will not just be during games. We’ve decided to make the chat room 24/7/365. That’s right! Anytime you have even the smallest inkling to talk it up with fellow Vikings fans and readers here at VT you can just visit the live chat.

Obviously, we expect everyone to be on their best behavior. Over time, we will likely incorporate additional “moderators” to keep everything PG-13 and respectable. But, we know that our readers are model-citizen Vikings fans and do not expect any issues.

The LIVE CHAT can be found by clicking that link. So, check it out, enjoy and let us know your thoughts. Also, I will hosting a live viewing of tomorrow’s preseason game at the Buffalo Bills (6 PM Central) in the chat room so make sure to stop by!

by -
3

Jerome Felton underwent an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday, according to numerous sources, but the recovery time is typically quick and he is expected to return to action in time for the Vikings regular season opener.

The combination of Felton’s absence, and Adrian Peterson’s extremely limited (if any) live-action reps, brings the battles for backup halfback and fullback spots to the forefront. With two starters mostly sidelined, it opens the door for others to get more reps and give the Vikings more reasons to keep them around in September, or allows the team to build a case that supports their release.

A guy like Zach Line, who scampered for a 61 yard touchdown last week after catching a Matt Cassel pass, seems in line for extra work during these three remaining preseason games.  If he can continue to make big contributions, and shows that he can be a versatile blocker and special teams player, the Vikings may have a very tough time trying to sneak him onto the practice squad.

In short, I’m looking forward to getting an extended look at the guys who play behind two Pro Bowl starters.  Who knows, if enough of the step up and have big-time showings, then maybe we start to hear a little more chatter about the possibility of Toby Gerhart being on the trading block.

One of the key fundamentals of sharp quarterback play is precise footwook. Christian Ponder and Matt Casell on the surface may have similar stats and appear to play the same typical West Coast game-manager style, however, it is their footwork that separates the two and consequently paints a picture of inconsistent play.

 Cassel is a technician when it comes to his 5 step drops. The former Pro Bowl QB has sharp quick strides and he is able to consistently make his reads and release the ball a bit quicker than Ponder. I also think Cassel gets the hand off to the running backs slightly sooner as well. Now, with that said, after 5 steps all bets are off. Ponder is much better at stepping up in the pocket, throwing on the run or making a play when things break down.

by -
13

Before Fridays preseason opener against Houston, we took time to check up on how the Vikings three first round selections were fairing in training camp.  Wide out Cordarrelle Patterson impressed on offense and special teams during the contest, while defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd made a pair of splash plays before exiting with what is believed to be a minor knee injury.  Cornerback Xavier Rhodes was held out of the action for precautionary reasons, but the expectation is that he will play this week.

So, as we get a week deeper into the preseason, I wanted to move a little farther down our draft board and see how the next three rookies are doing thus far in their very young careers.

GERALD HODGES, LB

After spending a fourth round selection on the fairly celebrated Penn State linebacker, many Vikings fans were excited about seeing him compete for a starting job on the weakside.  Deals with Marvin Mitchell and Desmond Bishop might just delay that from being a year-one reality.  On Friday, Hodges was a part of a third string unit that didn’t hold up very well, but both Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman went out of their way to praise him following the contest.  Spielman, however, stressed that both Hodges and Michael Mauti had put things on tape that weren’t so great and that they needed to learn from.  Hodges ended the game with three tackles, including one for a loss, and appears to be on the fast track to a special teams role and backup linebacker duties.

The Vikings took on the Texans Friday night, and after having watched it twice (while also celebrating my daughter’s first birthday) I have come to the table with a look at some of the key takeaways from the contest.  The Vikings lost by a score of 27-13, but it is preseason so the final score is as inconsequential as a training camp scrimmage.  Instead, we try to dissect certain aspects of what happened in an effort to predict things to come.

GRADE A

  • The Vikings are believed to have finished their first week of the preseason without any additional injuries, at least no super serious ones, which is probably the most important thing about the game.  Rookie Sharrif Floyd had a good debut, with a couple of flashy plays (batted pass and tackle for a loss), but gave us all a scare when he hit the ground with a knee injury and was unable to return.  While he will have an MRI today, he is expected to be okay.  Often times, the best teams in any given NFL season are the ones that can stay the healthiest, so it was nice to see them come out of this relatively unscathed.
  • By all appearances, the Vikings got exactly what they expected when they signed veteran quarterback Matt Cassel.  Cassel looked exactly like Cassel has looked almost his whole career, which is to say he looked decent but unspectacular, which is an improvement over Joe Webb’s postseason performance that is still fresh in our memory.  Cassel had some very poor play on the line in front of him, but he still managed a decent outing completing 12 of 19 passes for 212 yards, a touchdown, and one interception.
  • The combination of Zach Line (1 catch, 61 yards, 1 TD) and Bradley Randle (3 rushes, 16 yards) has me excited, I must admit.  I have thought all along that Toby Gerhart would finish out his rookie contract as a Viking, and still consider it likely, but if Line and Randle can continue to make things happen in the preseason then the Vikings might feel tempted to explore trade options for Gerhart.  Line’s rumbling touchdown was quite impressive and Randle pass blocked as good as any Vikings running back since the days of Chester Taylor.
  • One penalty.  10 yards.  The entire game.  That’s the type of discipline that wins football games!

Get Social

2,740FansLike
5,774FollowersFollow