Monday, August 29, 2016

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The Duke Blue Devils are in the midst of the greatest four-season run in the program’s modern history. Head Coach David Cutcliffe has done a great job turning things around and building a winning program over the last eight seasons.

“You want to build a system,” Cutcliffe said. “You teach a whole, and then you use parts. To me that’s how any system operates best, whether it’s a business or a football team or a side of a ball.’’

It certainly helps having a player with NFL quality talent, and that is exactly what he has in strong safety Jeremy Cash.

Cash, coming out of high school, originally signed with the Ohio State Buckeyes for one reason: Head coach Jim Tressel. After Tressel’s resignation in 2011, the coach suggested Cash go play for Duke, praising David Cutcliffe.

Prior to Cash’s arrival in 2012, Duke hadn’t reached a bowl game or posted a winning season since 1994. However, during the past three seasons, the Blue Devils have reached three bowl games, and captured an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship.

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As Jamaal Charles thrashed and clutched at his right knee late into the Chiefs’ loss to the Chicago Bears yesterday, I was immediately reminded of Adrian Peterson’s devastating knee injury in 2011. Two All-Pro running backs, two torn ACLs, and two long roads to recovery.  Peterson defied the odds, making an improbable comeback to win the rushing title and MVP award behind a 2,000-yard season in 2012. Charles, meanwhile, will try to return from his second torn ligament in four years — a rare feat in the increasingly-violent, physical world of the NFL.

When the Vikings and Chiefs meet this Sunday, Peterson will be on the field, while Charles will be forced to watch from the sidelines, making this game much more about the quarterbacks and defenses than a meeting of the league’s best running backs. Head coach Mike Zimmer spoke to the media this morning, and when asked about the Chiefs, praised Kansas City’s talent at a number of different roster positions:

“Offensively they’re – wide open would be a good way to describe them. Quarterback scrambles, he can be very, very accurate. They’ve got a tight end that’s very dangerous, wide receiver that’s excellent. Obviously I don’t know about [Jamaal] Charles – I know he’s good.”

The VT Staff and a couple guests get together to discuss a number of Vikings talkers.

Vikings 2015 Huddle
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With the Vikings a quarter of the way through the 2015 season and not having any recent game to discuss due to the bye week, I thought this would be a perfect time to have a round table discussion here at Vikings Territory. I reached out to our awesome staff and a couple of other quality Vikings minds and sent them a list of questions to weigh in on. The questions cover a bevy of Vikings talkers and the group knocked it out of the park with some really thoughtful answers. Mike Wobschall, Entertainment Network Content Manager, and Adam Patrick, Vikings Featured Analysis for Pro Football Spot, were nice enough to join us and donate some of their valuable time to participate.

You’ll find all of the questions after the break. Click the toggle buttons to expand the answers for each question. We’d love for you all to join in on the conversation. In the comments, try and respond to at least one of these questions on your own. (But by all means, feel free to tackle them all!)

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Watching T.J. Ward sack Teddy Bridgewater and hand the Vikings their second loss of the season last week, I couldn’t help but wonder — “Why don’t the Vikings have an impact strong safety on their roster?”.

There’s Harrison Smith, but he can’t be in two spots at once. The Vikings’ free safety is already making plays against the run and in coverage, most notably when he intercepted Peyton Manning last week and tackled Danny Woodhead with one arm the week before. Since the start of the 2014 season, he’s been Minnesota’s most impressive defender, and he’s close to taking the title of the league’s best safety.

But every Batman needs his Robin, and Smith is operating a one-man show through four games this season. Veteran special teams ace and muscle-bound defensive back Andrew Sendejo opened Week 1 as the starter opposite Smith, but was replaced by Robert Blanton halfway into the Vikings’ embarrassing loss in San Fran…er, Santa Clara.

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings continue their Bye Bye Bye Week as we fans Drive Ourselves Crazy.

THEE Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) swings by to talk a little Purple. Whether he liked the Gerald Hodges trade or Wants Him Back, if new center Nick Easton can help the offensive line get N*SYNC, why Norv needs to spend A Little More Time worrying about Teddy Dave Bridgewater, and we cast Vikings: The Sitcom.

Editors Note: The episode will not be full of N*SYNC puns. This I Promise You.

All that and other “Harrison is JT” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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