Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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Top Vikings Plays of 2015
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The beauty of football is that it’s a subjective sport. Two people may watch the same exact play and find two completely different things they enjoyed about it. On a long punt return, one person may notice the devastating block that sprung the returner free. Another may cheer for the returner’s quick feet and dizzying jukes.

Think of everything that happens from the snap to the whistle; a period of time that lasts just four seconds. Linemen crash into each other, creating a violent collision of helmets and facemasks. Wide receivers sprint, cut, plant, and fly through their breaks down the field. Shoulder pads pop, footballs whistle out of quarterbacks’ hands, and fans cheer wildly from the stands. It’s an explosion for the senses and a spectacle to behold each Sunday.

Now think back on the Vikings’ 2015 campaign. They ran 973 offensive plays, defended another 1,076, and used their special teams units on 439 more. That’s 2,488 total plays, per Sporting Charts. It’d be nearly impossible to narrow down the best play of the season, but that’s exactly what the poll of the week is for. Many of you will share your own choices in the comments, but I’ve tried to narrow down five of the most memorable, noteworthy plays from a wild 2015. After the jump, we’ll run through my choices.

Who will coach Adrian Peterson next season?

running backs coach Kirby Wilson
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In his first full season under running backs coach Kirby Wilson, Adrian Peterson put together one of his most successful campaigns. Last year, he rushed for 1,485 yards and won the league’s rushing title at 30 years-old. Unfortunately, he’ll be without Wilson on the sidelines in 2016. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Wilson signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns to become their running game coordinator next season.

Earlier this week, the Vikings blocked the Browns’ request to interview Wilson prior to his contract expiring on Tuesday, per ESPN 1500. While addressing the media last week, Zimmer refused to speculate on Wilson’s future in Minnesota. “Kirby is under contract. Period,” he told reporters. Once Wilson’s contract expired, the Browns were free to negotiate. They offered the 17-year coaching veteran an upgraded title, making it impossible for the Vikings to retain Wilson.

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[This Michael Thomas scouting report, with a Vikings slant, has been provided to Vikings Territory by Draft Season. Be sure to check back for more and also be sure to visit Draft Season to quench your NFL Draft thirst.]

Michael Thomas | Wide Receiver, Ohio St.

Measurements

Height – 6’3
Weight – 212 Lbs.
Age – 21

At First Glance

2015 All-Big Ten 3rd Team, Nephew of former #1 choice Keyshawn Johnson

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Earlier today the Vikings announced that they have officially purchased land in Eagan, Minnesota. The land consists of 185 acres and is thought to be where the franchise’s next corporate headquarters will be located.

Along with a new headquarters, the new land could also mean the site of a brand new practice facility and eventually the new home for the team’s training camp. With a brand new stadium set to open later this year, an update to the rest of their facilities would not come as a surprise.

New facilities and a new stadium could make potential free agents forget about the sub-zero Minnesota temperatures and become a member of the Vikings. The Wilfs may have made Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman’s job a whole lot easier.

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PFWA All-Rookie Team
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

General manager Rick Spielman’s reign at the head of the Vikings’ draft room began in 2012, when he famously selected Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th pick in the first round. Though that decision was an ultimate failure, Spielman has been largely successful in acquiring college talent. Three of his latest draft picks — Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, and Stefon Diggs — were named to the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) All-Rookie Team on Tuesday morning.

Spielman’s rookie classes have produced eight players on the annual list. Kendricks, Hunter, and Diggs became the first trio to make the team since Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, and Blair Walsh did so in 2012. In 2013, Cordarrelle Patterson was added to the roster as a kick returner. The following year, Teddy Bridgewater was honored for his solid rookie campaign as the Vikings’ starting quarterback.

Before the 2015 season began, ESPN’s Ben Goessling reported that 39 of the team’s 53 players had “seen all of their NFL snaps for the Vikings.” The continuity illustrates Spielman’s reliance on the draft and conservative approach in free agency. If the Vikings are going to build a roster, they’re going to do it from within Winter Park.

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