Friday, June 23, 2017

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In less than a week the Minnesota Vikings will be suiting up for an actual game! Well okay, not quite since it is just a preseason game.

But still, some sort of actual, organized football is going to be played by the Vikings on Friday when they face-off against the Cincinnati Bengals. The team’s preparation for the Bengals begins today with their walk-thru and that begins..

Now!

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Photo courtesy of vikings.com

After returning to Mankato to cover training camp for my fourth consecutive year, I have started to notice a few consistencies. No more notable, maybe, than the amount of fans who will drive in from all over to watch their Vikings practice under the hot sun of southern Minnesota.

More than 10,000 fans attended the annual evening practice Saturday night, making it clear that faith in the organization is at an all time high.

This comes as no surprise to many, I am sure. There has always been that pocket of the fan base that believes their team can be a Super Bowl contender, no matter what the four letter network is projecting. What seems to be different this year however, is the amount of faith fans have in head coach Mike Zimmer and the front office led by general manager Rick Spielman.

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Minnesota Vikings Mankato Training Camp
Photo Courtesy of Luke Inman

The annual dead period between the Saturday morning walk-through and the famous Night Practice is upon us. No worries though as we’ve set up at Boulder Tap House again with Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom), Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman), and Eric Thompson (@Eric_J_Thompson) to talk a little Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings and what we’ve seen from the squad as they round out their final weekend in Mankato this season. (Note: Eric’s audio kicked out about 3/4 of the way through the show. Ah well.)

All that and other “THIS. IS. NIGHT PRACTICE.” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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The Vikings defensive secondary is conjuring plenty of buzz in Mankato this year with many eyes evaluating the performances of youngsters Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. How the Vikings end up stacking their depth chart will be of great interest at the onset of the 2016 NFL season, but the final cuts could also present some interesting decisions, and those decisions might be further complicated by the fact that Tre Roberson is a relatively unknown player that is turning heads in Mankato.

The Vikings signed Roberson as an undrafted free agent on May 9th after a three-day tryout with the Vikings at the cornerback position, a position at which he appears surprisingly fluent given he was a college quarterback.

Despite the position change, which Roberson talks about to Josh Zimmer in the VikeFans video above, Roberson is an early contender for the “Mr. Mankato” honors of 2016.

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