Sunday, April 19, 2015
Blog Page 165

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The Vikings’ Week 3 match against the Browns on Sunday isn’t necessarily a “must win,” but another loss would be devastating.

Especially now, with news that Cleveland will be without starting quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has been ruled out with a sprained right thumb.

The Browns announced via twitter that head coach Rob Chudzinski has informed third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer that he will start against Minnesota.

Chudzinski’s decision to go with Hoyer over the veteran and supposed second-string quarterback Jason Campbell is quite interesting. Hoyer is a fifth-year player and has one career start. Campbell is a eighth-year player and has 71 career starts.

Update: Later in the day, the Browns traded running back Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first round pick. The Vikings will be facing a third-string quarterback and a backup running back Sunday.

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When Christian Ballard suddenly left the team the timing felt odd, as did the mystery surrounding the circumstances.  He left the squad on August 18th, so an entire month passed before he finally decided to speak with the media about his decision, and it was Tom Pelissero of USA Today that got the scoop (we miss ya, Tom).

Ballard claims his decision to leave Minnesota, and the Vikings, was simply his attempt at escaping a lifestyle that wasn’t working for him.  I won’t recap all of the quotes, as you can read them in the article, but this just sounds like one of those cases where a young man decided to sacrifice a lot of money and notoriety in exchange for some new scenery.

It is hard to tell whether this decision of his will turn out to wise or foolish, but things haven’t been perfect for him back in Kansas.  On Thursday, he was reportedly arrested for domestic battery, and spent time behind bars despite not being charged with anything.

The Vikings hold Ballard’s rights for another two years and he has not ruled out an eventual return to the NFL.  With that being said, I’m not sure how welcoming the Vikings locker room would be towards a guy that abandoned his post just weeks before the regular season, and I suspect we have seen the last of him in purple.

The Vikings used a fourth round pick on Ballard in 2011.

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Vikings safety Harrison Smith is the hardest hitting safety in the NFL.

At least, according to Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

On Monday, free agent safety Hamza Abdullah (brother of former Vikings safety Husain Abdullah) posed the question, “Who’s the hardest hitting safety in the #NFL?” via twitter. Marshall responded “Minnesota’s 22.”

Smith, of course, wears No. 22 for the Vikings.

Chicago defeated Minnesota 31-30 on Sunday.

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Following the Vikings’ 31-30 loss to the Bears Sunday, head coach Leslie Frazier was quick to take blame for not stepping in to adjust the defensive schemes on the final drive, which resulted in a game-winning touchdown pass for Chicago.

During Monday’s press conference, Frazier clarified on it.

“We’re talking about a sequence that was a very important sequence during the course of the game,” Frazier said. “You can’t take away all the good things our defensive did yesterday. There are just some things from my standpoint that I have to manage better. That’s all.”

The last defensive play is apparently not an isolated incident where a bad call or communication issue was the problem. Andrew Krammer of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities recalls multiples times where it “seemed to be multiple plays where communication broke down and defenders seemed to be playing different calls.”

Frazier was also not too pleased that Cordarrelle Patterson only had six snaps, saying that issue would be “rectified” next week. This comes a week after Frazier told reporters following Week 1 that Patterson getting limited reps was a “coaches decision”—not necessarily his decision—and that Patterson is fully caught up with the whole offensive playbook.

Nothing Frazier have said suggests offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and defensive coordinator Alan Williams are in jeopardy of losing their jobs, but his latest presser suggests he is not happy with some of the decisions made by his staff.

Keep in mind that Frazier is fighting to keep his job, as he is only under contract through the 2014 season. Head coaches very rarely play out the final year of their contract so he is looking for a contract extension by season’s end.

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After an ugly performance in Week 1’s 34-24 loss against the Lions, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder may see himself on the bench if he doesn’t improve soon.

Like—very, very soon.

According to Jay Glazer of FOX SportsPonder is on a short leash as the team’s starting quarterback.

“He’s on a much shorter leash than anybody has any idea about,” Glazer reported on the FOX NFL Sunday show. “Matt Cassel is in there doing all the right things. I think fans look at it and say this is Ponder’s team. No.

“From a lot of what I’m hearing inside that locker room, he’s on a much shorter leash than anybody has any idea about.”

Entering his third year as the starter, Ponder has 32 touchdowns and 36 turnovers (28 interceptions and 8 fumble losses) in that span.

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