Saturday, August 29, 2015

by -
9

UPDATE: Teddy Bridgewater won’t play, according to Ian Rapaport

And a separate report from Mike Garafolo:

Original story below:

The Minnesota Vikings have announced that quarterback Chandler Harnish has been signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad and they have waived wide receiver Rodney Smith. This very likely means that Christian Ponder will start for the Vikings tonight against the Green Bay Packers while Teddy Bridgewater is inactive.

Two things of note: McLeod Bethel-Thompson was the other quarterback on the practice squad and had been in the Norv Turner system for that much longer. Regardless, neither Bethel-Thompson nor Chandler Harnish spent an entire season with a Coryell system. Bethel-Thompson has been with Erhardt-Perkins systems and a West Coast system in San Francisco under Greg Roman. Harnish has been in Pep Hamilton’s West Coast Offense. There’s a good argument that neither of them are truly familiar with the terminology—Harnish was in a spread system in college, as was Bethel-Thompson (though opposite kinds of spread offenses).

The second thing that is worth noting is that receiver Charles Johnson stuck on the roster more than Rodney Smith, a preseason favorite. He will likely sign to the practice squad after the game, then be promoted to the roster after Sunday while Harnish finds himself on the practice squad.

According to Tom Pelissero, there have been no plea negotiations and Adrian Peterson will not agree to any plea deal. Lawyer Rusty Hardin is still believed to be attempting to expedite the trial, but from the sounds of things will not be able to get everything resolved by the time the season ends. Further details:

Pelissero believes the Vikings have not ruled out Peterson playing for him again, based on his conversations with his sources. Again, this comes as another angle on the Vikings-Peterson “will they or won’t they” saga, with Jason Cole and Chris Mortenson reporting opposite things on whether or not the Vikings believe they are finished with Peterson. Pelissero’s take is not definitive about which direction the Vikings are leaning (as opposed to the contrary takes from Cole and Mortenson), but does say the Vikings haven’t made a final decision.

He also says “there will definitely be some teams calling” should the Vikings choose to shop Adrian Peterson on the trade market.

by -
8
HarrisonSmithPic
Photo courtesy of vikings.com

On the 2nd defensive play of the 2014 season, safety Harrison Smith blitzed off the left side of the St. Louis Rams offensive line. With his athleticism, Smith was able to force Rams quarterback Shaun Hill to check down to Tavon Austin behind the line of scrimmage.

Although Early into the season, this play was indicative to the  style of defense Mike Zimmer was going to run. A defense that, at times, will show exotic formations and different coverage and blitzing schemes. Zimmer is able to run such a defense due in part to Smith, who’s versatility and nose for the football allows the Vikings to be creative and dare I say, fun to watch?

As a heads up, this is pretty video heavy, but oh so worth it.

by -
2
(photo provided and used with permission)
(photo provided and used with permission)

 

“Hey—are you ready to play some football?”

This was the phone call quarterback Chandler Harnish received from his agent Sunday night. By Monday morning, he was in Minnesota to join the Vikings practice squad.

Harnish does have one Minnesota connection–he played under current Gophers coach Jerry Kill at Northern Illinois–but he has spent his NFL career in Indianapolis. The Colts drafted Harnish with the last overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. While he played the first five games of his career on the active roster, he spent a majority of his time on the practice squad. On Aug. 30 of this year, Indy released Harnish.

The 26-year-old is not the type to get discouraged, however. Rather, being perceived as the underdog motivates Harnish to work even harder, and he is grateful for each and every opportunity he gets.

“Some people make light of the practice squad, but ultimately I’m just very proud to be part of a team,” Harnish expressed. “There are not many guys out there who can say that. [The NFL] is hard. You can’t take this for granted. Whether you’re part of the active roster or the practice squad, it’s something you can hang your hat on.”

Harnish gained invaluable experience while in Indianapolis, specifically mentioning a strong coaching staff and working under the mentorship of veterans such as Matt Hasselbeck and Reggie Wayne. Harnish also spent the last few seasons with starting QB Andrew Luck. These specific scenarios and teammates taught Harnish not only on-field strategies for the game of football, but also how to approach preparing for a game and keeping himself healthy and ready to go—both mentally and physically.

Harnish gladly accepted this transition. Despite joining the Vikings only two days ago, he feels confident in his ability to strengthen their roster in whatever way needed.

“The nice thing about football is that a lot of it overlaps,” he said. “A lot of offenses overlap; there are very similar types of plays—you just have different words for them. Everyone has different systems, but I think I have experience with a lot of the types of throws we’re trying to make in Minnesota. I’m just excited to take on this opportunity.”

The Vikings may not have planned to need an additional passing arm, but they are happy to sign Harnish. With original starter Matt Cassel out for the season and rookie Teddy Bridgewater recovering from an ankle sprain, the QB situation for Thursday’s matchup against Green Bay remains questionable. If Bridgewater is unable to play, third-string Christian Ponder will be called upon. Harnish and McLeod Bethel-Thompson are on the practice squad.

Bridgewater started his first game as a rookie last week, when he led his team to a 41-28 victory over Atlanta. Harnish already has nothing but positive things to say about his new teammate:

“Teddy is just a really cool kid. He’s young […] he has already proven that he can play at this level. He came out and had a phenomenal game [against Atlanta]. He has a ton of upside; everyone is excited about him […] He takes notes, he learns, and he knows what’s going on. He has an incredibly bright future.”

In addition to Bridgewater, Harnish expressed enthusiasm for working with the entire Vikings coaching system and roster. “I can already tell it’s a tight-knit group of guys,” he said. “I’m just excited to move forward and get to know these guys better, to continue to work with them.

Regardless of in a game or in practice, the QB is ready to fill his role in the purple and gold.

 

The Vikings are short-handed thanks to Adrian Peterson’s legal issues and a sudden injury invasion.  However, through a quarter of the season now, they have performed almost exactly how Brett, Arif, and myself predicted prior to the start of the season.  This leaves us with plenty of optimism, thanks in large part to Teddy Bridgewater, and lots to discuss. Here is a look around the web at what is being said about our beloved Vikings with the Packers on deck:

 

Get Social

2,737FansLike
5,749FollowersFollow