Thursday, January 29, 2015
Blog Page 127

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Hey, everybody! Time for the final, and definitely most exciting, preseason game of the year. The Tennessee Titans travel to Minnesota in the battle of the backups.

I know the fourth preseason game isn’t the greatest thing to watch… But personally, I enjoy getting to see young guys fighting for the final few roster spots on a team.

Either way, join us in the Live Chat to discuss and analyze the action. As you know by now, the chat is open 24/7 but things definitely pick up steam at game time.

Enjoy!

One of my finer pleasures in life is listening to KFAN’s Paul Allen call the play-by-play for a Minnesota Vikings football game. Sunday night’s preseason game against the 49ers was nationally televised, so I thought I would multi-task by keeping one eye on the TV, one eye on the VT live chat, and an ear on the voice of the Vikings, Mr. Paul Allen. More is better right? In this case that turned out to be true. The big hits by Jerome Simpson and Joe Webb to my knowledge were not captured by the national TV cameras, but the action didn’t go unnoticed by the Vikings’ radio coverage personalities.

 You won’t find Simpson’s tackle as part of the official game stats, but as a crazy fan was running around on the field untouched by the security guards; Simpson stepped up and knocked him to the turf. Ok, so the big hit was more like a trip or a push, but that non-play play in the closing minutes of the game was surely worth the price of admission.

 Joe Webb might be listed as a 3rd string wide receiver at the moment, but he is also trying to land a starting job on the kickoff return team. Yes, he has one NFL kickoff return for 30 yards to his credit, but this preseason he is getting reps and showing value as a front line blocker on the return unit. That’s right, Joe Webb a  front line blocker.  According to Paul Allen, Webb the QB turned WR, absolutely leveled Perrish Cox on a block during one of the Vikings first half kickoff returns.

 

Yesterday I referenced a report that the Vikings had roster exemptions for Jerome Felton (suspended) and Christian Ballard (left team) which allowed them to only cut 13 players.  I also wondered why the didn’t get an exemption for the suspension of DeMarcus Love.

Viking Update was kind enough to respond to a message I sent them requesting a clarification of their report, and they turned around and got the answer directly from the NFL, according to their response.

As of right now, and Monday when the Vikings made their cuts, the Vikings have two roster exemptions.  One is for Ballard and the other is for wide out Greg Childs who has been placed on the PUP list and won’t be eligible for action until week seven.

The Vikings will indeed get two exemptions for the Felton and Love suspensions, but the suspensions will not go into effect until Saturday, thus there are no exemptions until Saturday.

Essentially, this means that the Vikings get to keep four bubble players around until/unless these guys are able to report for duty.  At the time of their return the Vikings will have to choose between having them back and cutting someone else, or simply letting them go.  In Felton’s case the answer is simple, as he will be brought back, but the other three each present unique situations and the Vikings could simply choose to release them in favor of guys already on the roster.

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Kevin Williams took a cheap, low block from Niners guard Joe Looney on Sunday evening and things looked really bad for him as he laid on the turf.  Then they looked a lot better as he left the field under his own power and reportedly told teammates he was fine.

On Monday, after an MRI, the news was somewhere in the middle.

Williams hyperextended and bruised his right knee during the game, or more accurately Joe Looney hyperextended his knee on a cheap shot, and his availability for the season opener is now in question.  The good news, however, is that the injury will not require surgery and Williams should not be out of action for long.

Still, following a minor knee surgery to Sharrif Floyd and Christian Ballard’s bizarre departure from the team, the team cannot afford to take many more hits to the middle of their defensive line.  This will certainly be a situation to monitor as the season opener in Detroit draws nearer.

By the way, the injury occurred on what was really a B.S. cheap shot from Niners guard Joe Looney.

According to John Holler of Viking Update, the Vikings have two roster exemptions that allowed them to only cut 13 players today, which gets them down to their 75 player limit by tomorrow’s deadline.  Holler says the exemptions came as a result of Jerome Felton’s suspension and Christian Ballard being placed on the “left team” list.  I’m confused as to why the Vikings don’t have an exemption for DeMarcus Love’s suspension, but that stuff will clear itself up soon.

So, the Vikings made 13 cuts today, and I have to admit I was surprised by a few of them.  Here is a look at the cuts along with some quick analysis.

QB James Vandenberg:  The undrafted rookie was clearly a step or five behind McLeod Bethel-Thompson and so there was little reason to have the undrafted Vandenberg take any snaps in the preseason finale.

RB Bradley Randle and RB Jerodis Williams:  This one stings.  I was really hoping the Vikings would finally have a firecracker scat back at their disposal, and was impressed with Randle’s special teams abilities.  I hope they can sneak him through to the practice squad.  Williams failed to really show up or climb the depth chart in any way.

WR Lamark Brown and WR Erik Highsmith and WR Chris Summers:  I have to think the Vikings are planning on keeping six wide outs this year.  Just a hunch.  Based on these two cuts I think the competition is truly between Joe Webb, Stephen Burton, and Rodney Smith.  Adam Thielen has survived the first round of cuts, however, and could be a dark horse to keep an eye on after an impressive training camp.

G Tyler Holmes and C Camden Wentz:  I’m not 100% sure that any of our offensive line deserves to make this team after three weeks of preseason, and these two were no exceptions.  Failed to shine in a sea of mediocrity (at best), so nothing is surprising here.

DE Lawrence Jackson and DE Marquis Jackson:  Lawrence Jackson is the surprise here, at least to me, as I thought he was a quality low-risk signing this offseason.  To see him cut in the first round is pretty shocking actually, but is again a vote of confidence in D’Aundre Reed who seems to be a coaches favorite that never dresses on game day.

LB Stanford Keglar:  I thought he was already cut a few weeks back.  Shows what I know… and why he’s being cut.

DB Roderick Williams and DB Greg McCoy:  Williams had a little bit of support from some of the fanbase, but there was no way he was making this roster, even if the first five corners on the depth chart got injured.  He and McCoy could both be interesting practice squad possibilities, though.

 

 

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