Friday, July 29, 2016

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

As football fans, it’s easy to forget that our favorite Minnesota Vikings, like Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater, are just like you and me — human. They laugh, they cry, they smile, and they live everyday lives off the field that aren’t much different than our own.

This simple fact made it that much harder to watch Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer choke up when addressing the media yesterday. He wasn’t holding back tears remembering a defeat or lamenting an injury; he was mourning the loss of his father, Bill Zimmer, who died suddenly Tuesday night in Naples, Florida.

Bill has struggled with his health in recent years, and was unable to travel for his son’s first season with the Vikings in 2014. Last week, Zimmer left Vikings training camp to visit his father in Naples, and the two watched the team’s afternoon practice together on a tablet.

“It’s been rough. My dad was a heck of a mentor,” Zimmer said. “I got some letters from people saying what influence he had on a lot of people’s lives. He had been sick but we didn’t expect it.”

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Carl: Defensive Line
I try not to get overly excited about preseason games, but the Vikings’ defensive front certainly impressed me the most in the Hall of Fame Game. Andre Patterson is entering his second season as the defensive line coach for the Vikings, and he just might have all the pieces in place to consistently control the line of scrimmage on any given Sunday. Last season, the Vikings front four featured three new starters in Everson Griffen, Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph. After one preseason game this year, I’m beginning to believe the sky might be the limit for this talented unit. Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen, Justin Trattou and Danielle Hunter are also playing very solid football, which will tempt Mike Zimmer to actively rotate guys during the regular season. Like I said, it’s only a preseason game, but I liked seeing the quickness off the snap, active hands, and the physicality to collapse the pocket and close running lanes.

Brent: Jabari Price
I’m not sure I’d use the word “impressed,” but the player who flashed for me was Jabari Price. Going into training camp, I was unsure of Price’s fit with the team – especially with a two-game suspension looming. However, Price’s play against Pittsburgh caught my eye mostly because he seemed to play faster and with more physicality than I remember last year. Now that Price is on the radar, I am interested to see how far he can push Captain Munnerlyn. We know Zimmer likes Price’s versatility, but can he be trusted enough to play full time in the slot? Munnerlyn seems to be in an odd spot with this team, and thoughts about him being an early-season cut linger.

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Image courtesy of Chris Price

The Mike Zimmer lead Vikings have never lost a preseason game and that streak continues into 2015 with four exhibition games left to play. With football making life feel normal again, I’m bringing back an old favorite in “Links of the Week” where I try to bring you the best of the best from our friends around the internet.

Before we get to it, though, I want to remind everyone to please consider donating to our #MoreThanWords campaign benefitting Chad Greenway’s Lead The Way Foundation and, more specifically, his “Chad’s Locker” program. Remember, by donating on behalf of Vikings Territory you can win one of our awesome giveaway prizes (read this for details).

Also, it isn’t too late to follow the lead of Echidna, Inc. and SH Architecture and become a business sponsor of #MoreThanWords. Please click here for details on what a business sponsorship entails. Helping a great cause and getting some excellent exposure? Of course you should!

Okay, time to set the hard sell aside and get to those links!

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Despite a slight scare in yesterday’s practice, Adrian Peterson says he’s doing just fine.

Peterson left practice yesterday after being stopped on a run play. Slow to get up initially, he did return to the field for one play before retreating to the locker room with medical staff.

“He got tangled up,” Jerick McKinnon said. “A defender fell on him, but he said he was all right. Everybody knows Adrian’s got a cape on. He’ll be back out here. I don’t think anybody’s worried about him.”

Peterson was later reported as having a thigh injury that wasn’t considered to be serious.

Today, head coach Mike Zimmer told media that he has “a little bruise” and although Peterson is being cautious at camp, it’s nothing to be concerned about.

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The Vikings announced Wednesday afternoon that they have reached an agreement with Minnesota State University, Mankato to hold training camp on campus for at least another three years.

It seems appropriate that the extension would come about in the 50th anniversary of holding camp in Mankato.

“It’s been wonderful to celebrate 50 years of Vikings training camp on our campus this summer,” said the University’s president, Dr. Richard Davenport. “We look forward to the Vikings being here during the University’s 150th year anniversary celebration.”

Minnesota State University original began as Mankato Normal School in 1868. The school changed its name to Mankato State University in 1975, and in 1995 it took on its current namesake when the seven state universities were transferred to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system by the state legislature.

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