Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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I had a ton of fun hanging out in Mankato for the weekend at Vikings Training Camp. It was great to meet some previous guests on the show, record a few live podcasts at the Boulder Tap House, and take in our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings squad from the sidelines. Mentioned this before, but even the more butt-hurt/pessimistic Vikings fans should have reason to believe this year. We have a talented young squad lead by a platoon of teachers and leaders, which is a great combination for sustained success. It was a great experience and big props to Vikings Territory and Vikings PR for helping make it happen. I prattle on about 40 of my observations at Vikings Training Camp.

“Asiata bumped into me and got one yard after contact” Talking Points Include
• Adrian is ready.
• Teddy is a smooth operator, but overly cautious at times.
• Left tackle is the main issue with this team.
• Matt Kalil is a super nice guy. Not sure if he loves football.
• The jury’s gonna be out on Trae Waynes for a while.
• Offensive Line shakeups not over yet.
• An “unconditioned” Anthony Barr is still nuts.
• Right guard may not be decided anytime soon.
• Stefon Diggs is special. Poor man’s Antonio Brown?
• Charles Johnson & Xavier Rhodes have greatly benefited from going at each other every practice.
• Tune in for the other 30 Andy Observations!

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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Image courtesy of vikings.com

Today is notably the last Sunday without football as teams began to report to training camp across the league. The Vikings, however, are a full week into their 2015 season.

Playing Pittsburgh a week from today, the Vikings held a crisp practice the day after hosting 10,300 people for their evening practice/scrimmage. The Vikings worked so efficiently, that head coach Mike Zimmer called practice roughly 30 minutes early.

In his time with reporters after practice, Zimmer showed appreciation for the fanfare last night and noted the team had practiced well for the second consecutive day. Always the perfectionist, Zimmer did later say that everyone still needed to get better.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Ross Cooper “Rip” Hawkins was the second player ever to be drafted into the Minnesota Vikings organization. In 1961, he was their second round pick (15th overall) out of Sewanee Military Academy and North Carolina as a middle linebacker.

According to The Tennessean, Hawkins has passed away at the age of 76.

Coach Norm Van Brocklin named Hawkins the captain of the defense and quarterback Fran Tarkenton (the third draft pick that year) the captain on offense. Hawkins played five NFL seasons and was sent to the Pro Bowl after one of those seasons.

He is credited with twelve career interceptions, returning three of those for scores, and four fumble recoveries.

Hawkins retired after Lonnie Warwick took his place on the depth chart.

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NFL Officials will show a video to players later tonight that will clarify, provide points of emphasis or establish new rules for the 2015 season, including a clarification on the infamous “Dez Bryant catch” in the NFC Divisional Game against the Green Bay Packers. Gathered media attended a meeting with officials and asked questions.

After an opening montage where officials paraded coaches and players in support of the new rules, including Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden and St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, vice president of Dean Blandino emphasized that all the rule changes are designed to increase player safety and clarity, with four of the rules directly impacting safety.

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PLEASE DONATE TODAY

Please do not miss out on your chance to win a Vikings jersey of your choosing by donating $10 or more to the “More Than Words” campaign. As Chad Greenway discussed with Tom Moore in the video above (check out other awesome training camp interviews here), this fundraising campaign is all about something much bigger than us here at Vikings Territory and we are aiming to make a big impact for a very worthwhile cause.

I can only speak to the importance of the “Chad’s Locker” program so much, but the folks at Lead the Way have gathered a few testimonials from people actually impacted by the generosity of Chad and Jenni Greenway. Those comments are below.

I hope this testimony helps to fund the lockers! My son was born very early, at 28 weeks, and spent most of his first year in and out of the University of Minnesota Amplatz, now the Masonic Children’s Hospital. He was very little, and was always attached to IV’s and tube feedings, and wasn’t very mobile. We used the locker for the portable DVD players so he could still watch Thomas while lying in bed. It kept him distracted from the pain and sickness. He met several Vikings players while there, as we always seemed to be there for a holiday like Thanksgiving! The generosity of this team, and of Chad, is simply overwhelmingly wonderful to the parents who are isolated within the hospital rooms with a sick child. And the TendHerHeart Luncheon I attended was also amazing. Thanks for all that you do to help our kids through their toughest times. God bless you!

-Tina

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