Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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This is an exciting season for the Vikings and also for us here at Vikings Territory. This site has grown a lot since last season and we are excited about a few other things to come.

Still, I don’t want to lose our “little guy” atmosphere and thought I’d re-introduce myself to the masses.

I am Adam Warwas.  I’m 29.  I live near Bowling Green, Ohio and have for the last two years.  Prior to that, I lived and played in Valdez, Alaska for nine years.  I grew up in Monticello, Minnesota and have always been a Vikings fan.  I design power lines for a living and do my best to manage VT, and provide the occasional post, in my free time.  Previously, I spent a few years as the editor of Vikings Gab where I penned over 2,000 articles.

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When the Vikings selected Jerick McKinnon in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL draft, I don’t think there were many fans who knew what kind of player they were getting in a former quarterback from Georgia Southern.

Word of McKinnon’s speed and athletic ability quickly spread, as did comparisons to Darren Sproles, a former component of Norv Turner’s offense when in San Diego.

There is little doubt the Vikings saw tremendous potential in McKinnon when selecting him 96th overall, choosing to select a little known running back over filling other positions on a team full of needs.

Going into the draft, McKinnon was thought to have excellent speed coupled with tremendous strength and versatility. However, everyone assumed the Vikings drafted McKinnon because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, a skillset often heavily used in Turner’s offense. With only 10 receptions in college, though, McKinnon’s ability to be a receiving threat is still relatively unknown.

The Minnesota Vikings announced yesterday that they would partner with TRIA Orthopedic Center to provide certified athletic training coverage for all high school football programs within the Minneapolis and St. Paul School districts this season. As you can imagine, Hazleton Area Sports Hall of Famer and HydroWorx Award Winner Eric Sugarman will be involved.

The Vikings and the NFL will provide $50,000 for proper care of the 600 football players in the two districts. The nature of that coverage, quoted below:

The high school football programs will receive certified athletic training coverage from TRIA for camps, practices and competitions. TRIA will also conduct neurocognitive baseline testing as a tool for concussion management, offer ACL injury prevention programs and coordinate physician coverage for varsity football games. Additionally, Total Luxury Limousine has joined the partnership to provide medical transportation for athletes of need that require a physician’s visit.

In addition to that, there will be injury transportation services provided.

Ben Goessling at ESPN has more:

“I think that’s a really big deal,” Sugarman said. “We are not only going to cover varsity football games — we are going to cover JV games, ninth grade games, we are going to cover preseason practices and practices during the season. (It’s) care that these kids have never had. We hope that this is care that they are going to expect to get and it will be very beneficial. Nearly 50 percent of high schools in our country do not have a fulltime certified athletic trainer. This is a very, very big task and a very important thing that we are doing.”

The Vikings recently announced a commitment to youth football and player safety among younger football participants in Minnesota with the hiring of E.J. Henderson as their youth football director of development. This looks like one of those initiatives, and it’s great news.

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Over at Vikings Journal, I’ve posted a 53-man roster and an explanation for some of the picks, as well as a practice squad. In order to prevent this from being pure insufferable clickbait, the roster is below:

53-Man Roster Prediction

Be sure to check out the explanations and struggles at Vikings Journal.

UPDATE: of course, hours after I publish, my boldest pick to make the 53 gets cut. Mike Higgins is no more.

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