Saturday, March 28, 2015
Blog Page 170

I really, really, really apologize for having been so absent of late.  Life kept me from updating VT at the rate you’ve grown accustomed to and I am sorry for that, but I am back now and ready to get back into the groove.  The Vikings minicamp is underway and the best way to get caught up is our weekly links feature.  Enjoy!

  • The Vikings have parted ways with a number of players this offseason and it is always interesting to keep tabs on how they are doing in their new surroundings.
  • Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton could see an expanded role in his second season in Minnesota.
  • Greg Childs is packing on the pounds and waiting patiently for his chance to prove himself.
  • It didn’t take more than one measly season for Harrison Smith to establish himself as one of the NFL’s most feared tacklers.
  • Chad Greenway underwent a minor operation on his knee but says he’ll be ready for training camp.
  • Terrell Owens thinks he could be a good fit in Minnesota… by which I assume he means as a season ticket holder.
  • We look forward to speed and athleticism being the source of numerous Cordarrelle Patterson highlights, but Greg Jennings says he possesses another unique trait that will separate him from other rookie wide outs.
  • When he took the nameplate off his locker, Antoine Winfield knew he wouldn’t be returning to the Vikings.
  • An extensive look into what Jared Allen did in 2012 and what we can expect in 2013.
  • Adam Thielen, Josh Robinson, and John Carlson were among the standouts from the first minicamp practice.
  • Mike Priefer spoke to reporters about the respect he has for Chris Kluwe and the decision to cut him.
  • Despite the Vikings kicking the tires on linebacker Desmond Bishop, Erin Henderson won’t accept the notion that he isn’t the guy to man the Mike position this year.
  • It is nice to see Kenechi Udeze back as a member of the Vikings once again.
  • Linebacker Michael Mauti is nearly ready to start competing for a roster spot.
  • While the Vikings posted ten wins in 2012, some are expecting disappointment during the coming season.
  • Let this page load to get a little glimpse at the minicamp action.
  • Adrian Peterson and Mistral Raymond are two guys not practicing during minicamp.
  • The Vikings might visit London three seasons in a row while their new stadium is being built.
  • Coordinator Alan Williams says Desmond Bishop had a good workout with the Vikings.

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[NOTE FROM ADAM:  I am thrilled that Branden Lemke has once again agreed to lend us his talents here at VT, this time he will be providing us with ten “bold predictions” for you all to mull over as the season fast approaches.  This is his first installment.  I know I’ve been way too absent this week, but I promise I’ll be back to normal in just a few short days.  Thanks for hanging in there.]

Hey everybody! If you’re like me, right now you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2013 NFL season. For the first time since 2009, Vikings fans have a lot of reason for hope this time of year (Last year at this time nobody thought we’d finish 10-6, and if you did you’re a football genius). Leading up to the start of the season, I’m going to give you 10 bold predictions of what you will hopefully see over the course of the 2013 season. Some of you may remember me doing this a couple years ago when I worked with Adam at Vikings Gab. I looked up my bold predictions from 2011 and it turns out I was right about half of them! I’m shooting for a better ratio this time around.

There’s no question the Vikings struck gold in 2012 by trading up in the first round to select safety Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame. Many were skeptical at first because the 2012 safety class was viewed as a fairly weak class, and some fans and experts thought it might have just been a desperation shot by the Vikings, trying to fill a glaring need in the secondary. It didn’t take Smith long to show everyone that despite a weak safety class, he was for real.

We saw his talent on display throughout the entire 2012 season. He delivered one hard hitting tackle after another, and finished with 3 interceptions on the year, 2 of them for touchdowns. I was honestly surprised Smith wasn’t more highly considered for Defensive Rookie Of The Year, and I felt he could have been a pro bowler this year. In 2013, I think Smith is poised for a breakout year. He’s already become one of the main leaders in our secondary, and his play will be huge for the Vikings. I think Smith will finish in the area of 80 tackles, 4-5 interceptions, and a couple forced fumbles. Hopefully we can see more defensive touchdowns from him as well.  I think the Pro Bowl is a place he’ll belong after the season is said and done, hopefully voters feel the same way when the Pro Bowl ballots are out.

I don’t think I have ever admitted this on these pages, but ever since 1500 ESPN came online, I have wondered at times why I even continue to cover the Vikings.  They took long-time and trustworthy veteran beat writer Judd Zulgad and combined him with the fresh, uber-ambitious style of Tom Pelissero to create a truly dominant source of Vikings information.

Unfortunately for 1500 ESPN, however, they also decided to bring Patrick Reusse into the fold, as well.  The phrase “better to release a guy a year too early than a year too late” comes to mind in this situation.  He might have some sort of radio following, but the station should do everything they can to keep him away from a typewriter.

In my assessment, a gradual decline in Reusse’s work began years ago, but really came to a head when he made the ridiculous declaration that it was a “100 percent certainty” that Manti Te’o would end up being drafted by the Vikings.  Of course, declaring anything a 100% certainty in the NFL is a risky proposition, and it is downright stupid when talking about one of the most divisive college prospects to enter the Draft in history.  If the Vikings coveted Te’o, which it now seems obvious they didn’t, there were still 31 other teams that could have thrown a wrench into those plans.  A veteran in covering sports should know better than to make such lofty and brainless predictions using such definite terms.

There really is no harm in a reporter crying for attention by making such a stupid declaration, though, and nobody has felt the need to hold Reusse responsible for it now that the Draft has come and gone with Te’o now sporting a Chargers jersey.  Yesterday, Reusse decided to make the leap from harmless to damaging in one of the most atrocious pieces of “journalism” I have seen come from 1500 ESPN since their inception, and readers should find the article to be downright insulting to their intelligence.

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OTAs have not produced, knock on wood, any devastating injuries for the Minnesota Vikings.  Still, there are two guys that will not be practicing until training camp rolls around.

Jared Allen joined his teammates this week, but Leslie Frazier gave Vikings.com an update on the situation and has made it clear we shouldn’t expect to see him in action until the team goes to Mankato.

“We probably won’t see him until we get to training camp, but from everything that Eric Sugarman and our staff has told me medically, he is doing great,” said Frazier. “There won’t be any problem when we get to training camp and we’re looking forward to having him when the time comes. But the fact that he’s in town, he’s doing his rehab here, coming out to our practices, that’s a good thing. It’s good to have him in our meetings as well.”

Frazier also clarified that the staff is being cautious because of Allen’s shoulder and that his knee rehabilitation is more of a secondary issue.

Jacob Lacey signed as a free agent this offseason, and seemed like a guy with a solid chance at being a key reserve, but he will have to wait until training camp to try and earn his spot on the roster.  Lacey suffered a thumb injury during Tuesday’s practice and underwent surgery on Wednesday, according to Access Vikings.

Lacey was the nickel corner with the second team prior to the injury, with Josh Robinson playing that role with the first team, so the injury really seems to open the door for Bobby Felder to make a case for himself.

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Brian Robison didn’t have a bad year in 2012 by any means, but he is looking forward to getting healthy and contributing even more during his contract year.  His shoulder injury did not require surgery, but he says it did bother him particularly during the playoff game in Green Bay, and he is a permanent reminder of the injury in the form of a quarter-sized bump on his shoulder.

“I’ve still got a little deformity there with the bone popping up. It’s still there and it’s going to be there,” Robison told Viking Update.  “They say it’s pretty permanent. It’s been good. I’ve been getting strong in the weight room and been feeling good on the field so far, so it’s been going well.”

“Pretty well” might be a bit of an understatement for Robison after Wednesday’s practice session where he intercepted quarterback Christian Ponder not once, but twice.  On one occasion, rookie corner Xavier Rhodes tipped the pass back towards the line and Robison was able to make the heads up play.  On the other, he was simply able to get into the air and snatch Ponder’s pass before walking into the endzone.  While that isn’t exactly the news we want to be hearing about our quarterback, it is always good to hear that our defensive line is making some splash plays at the line.

Robison ended up with an arm harness last season and a brace for his elbow, which was a separate injury which he admits also impacted his game.

“A lot. It really did. There was some times out there where that, paired along with the elbow brace that I was wearing, I felt like a lot of times I was playing with no arms out there and it was kind of a weird deal,” he said .  “You can really see in the playoff game when I came back and then six days later we had to play another game, it was one of those deals where it just wasn’t ready to go, but the competitor in me didn’t want to sit out.”

Robison has never reached double digit sacks, with 8.5 last season being his career high, but he is a burst type of player that seldom seems to be a goat and has made his share of big plays from the left end position.  Like Jared Allen, Robison faces a contract year in 2013, and he will be expected to take a step or two towards improving even more.

 

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