Tuesday, May 3, 2016

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(Photo Courtesy of Vikings.com)

I had the good fortune to sit in with The Wake Up Call with Cold Omaha on 105 The Ticket Sunday. We talked a ton about Vikings Training Camp, the upcoming NFL season, and I even gave my own STONE COLD HOT TAKE. Big thanks to Sam Ekstrom, Tom Schreier, and Zach Wright. Those guys work their butts off at 105 to give Minnesota sports talk fans some diversity. AND they put up with me for an hour, so they should be in line for sainthood.

Show them some love every Sunday from 8-11am by tuning in on 105.7/105.3/105.1 FM or hit their live player.

[Audio used with permission]

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings’ decision to trade into the first round to draft Teddy Bridgewater in 2014 was an all-in play — a commitment to a young, talented, and underrated football player whose stock had fallen in the weeks prior to the draft. As training camp continues in Mankato, Minnesota, it’s clear that their investment, and continued development of the second-year quarterback, is paying off for the organization.

Virtual Reality Revolutionizes Film Study

On Sunday, during the team’s first practice at training camp, virtual reality cameras followed Bridgewater as he broke the huddle and ran through plays. As the official website states, the Vikings are the fourth NFL team reported to have a partnership with STRIVR Labs, Inc., a provider of virtual reality instructional technology.

Through the use of virtual reality headsets, cameras, and powerful software, STRIVR and the Vikings can take footage from the perspective of players like Chad Greenway and Teddy Bridgewater and make it available for film sessions and team meetings — giving coaches and players new perspective while breaking down games or understanding specific assignments.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to help our players prepare and improve on the field,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said. “This is just another example of the Wilf family’s commitment to helping our team compete for championships.”

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(Photo Courtesy of Luke Inman)

Training Camp is a time to figure things out. I have a laundry list of things I want to shake out in Mankato and I’ll rattle a few off on the podcast. We’ll also talk about our production schedule for this week (at least one episode a day!), as well as rough outline of our Mankato adventure this weekend, and us singing the praises of Boulder Tap House. A place ya’ll should come swarm us after each Vikings practice. Do it.

A Few of the 37 Things I Want to Figure Out in Mankato Include
• Nothing about Adrian
• “How does Teddy look?”
• How much does Chad Greenway have left?
• That Zimmer Hellfire Defense in year two.
• Who wins at right guard? Harris – Berger/Yankey/Thompson/Shepherd/ FUSCO?
• With Clemmings staying at tackle, could he be the eventual replacement for Loadholt/Kalil?
• What’s Stefon Diggs gonna be?
• What’s the deal with Spielman’s arms?
• Will Trae Waynes even start as a rookie?
• Cordarelle has one strike left. Will he strike out?
• Tune in for the other 27!

All that and other “Love Me Some Mankato” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Tom Farniok wants to establish a legacy.

It doesn’t have to be the kind that puts his name into the Hall of Fame or anything, but the former Iowa State center puts it upon himself to lead the way for his brothers, all offensive linemen like himself.

There’s Derek, an offensive lineman for Oklahoma who is entering his redshirt senior year. There’s Matt, a four-star recruit from Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the highest-ranked player in the state—fielding offers from 18 different teams—including Florida, Florida State, Michigan State and Stanford. And there’s high school sophomore Will, who Tom says should find his time in the spotlight after he can grow out of Matt’s shadow.

Being the older brother to all of them is the kind of pressure that Farniok enjoys—he enjoys coming from a football family, even if it’s not the same kind of advantage you’d normally associate with that kind of upbringing.

“I’m the oldest, so I didn’t really get the advantage in that regard,” he clarified in our interview. “They got the advantage because they got to learn. But it’s just cool, it’s pressure but it’s good pressure because I don’t want to let my brothers down.”

Pressure is not unusual to Tom. Of course, there’s the natural pressure that comes with entering training camp with no clear hold on a roster spot, and naturally there’s the pressure that follows the journey up the depth chart at the only FBS school to provide him a scholarship.

How about designing the offense?

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Tonight, I hop on a plane headed for the Twin Cities, and it’ll be my first trip to Minnesota in nearly 14 years. In that time, plenty has changed — I won’t be touring the Metrodome, visiting the Mall of America, or checking out my dad’s family home. Instead, I’ll be representing Vikings Territory at U.S. Bank Stadium and Vikings training camp as part of U.S. Bank’s Biggest Fan Sweepstakes.

On Wednesday, I’ll join 40 lucky Vikings fan for the opportunity of a lifetime. We’ll start the day at U.S. Bank Stadium, where we’ll take a hard hat tour of the Vikings’ new home before visiting the stadium preview center. Later in the day, we’ll take a bus up to Mankato and spend the afternoon with a sideline view of training camp practices.

In working with U.S. Bank and the Vikings Biggest Fan event, Vikings Territory will be able to bring you an inside look at the new stadium and some extra coverage from training camp in Mankato.

Here’s the fun part — we want everyone to experience this exciting day of activities.

To start, I’ll be conducting a scavenger hunt of sorts, taking the best photos and videos possible while asking unique questions to coaches, players, and tour guides. But, I need your help. The Vikings Territory staff has already started a list for the hunt, but we need more suggestions! Below, the running list:

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