Monday, August 29, 2016

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

As announced on the team’s official website this morning, the Minnesota Vikings have signed free agent defensive tackle Greg Hickman and waived wide receiver Gavin Lutman with an injury settlement, adding depth to an already talented defensive line.

Hickman, a 24-year-old free agent in the 2014 NFL Draft, played college football at Florida International before signing with the Detroit Lions, and finished his collegiate career with 116 total tackles, 13 sacks, three interceptions, four pass breakups, and seven forced fumbles. He joins his former college teammate Isame Faciane in Minnesota after spending seven months in 2014 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.

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Image Courtesy of Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman)

Training Camp is over. REAL football is inching closer and our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are gearing up to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night at The Bank in our 2nd preseason game of the season. Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) joins us for the first of his weekly Friday Football FTW! appearances this season. He’ll drop some knowledge on us about Mankato wrapping up, Hall of Fame Game analysis, as well as if Tom Brady’s uuuuugly courtroom drawing will knock him and Garoppolo from their perch as the best looking quarterback depth chart in the league.

Other “Stop Freaking Out About Trae Waynes” Talkers Include
• RIP Bill Zimmer
• Arif Hasan in the house!
• Eddie Lacy is fat
• Airport Chilis to-go breakdown in 3..2..1..
• Hall of Fame Game Takeaways
• Eric Kendricks is legit
• Audie Cole is the all-time preseason MVP
• Slow the roll on Trae Waynes
• Stefon Diggs looked good, but….
• …Marcus Sherels ain’t dead yet
• Isame Faciane should make the practice squad as an OG
• Mike Harris is solidifying that starting right guard spot
• Offensive line clarity
• Why was Thursday practice so bad?
• Who won jobs this week?
• Why can’t Antone Exum beat out Robert Blanton?
• Jabari Price love. Arif gloats. Andy cries.
• What to look for vs Tampa Bay
• Gerald McCoy vs Harris will be the REAL test
• Teddy *should* see more playing time on Saturday
• Andy’s Matt Kalil Confidence Conspiracy
• Who’s the backup left tackle? Tyrus Thompson? David Yankey?

All that and other “I guess we’re not getting sponsored by the airport Chilis to-go” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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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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