Thursday, December 14, 2017

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At the onset of the 2015 season, reports emerged that human mascot “Ragnar” had priced himself out of employment with the Minnesota Vikings organization after he caused a stir by posting a picture of himself watching Minnesota’s first home game from his own house.

Those reports indicated that Ragnar was asking for a 10 year contract at $20,000 per game, which was a million and a half dollars (actually more) that the Vikings apparently were not willing to commit to.

The last time we heard from Ragnar was just prior to the Vikings January matchup with Green Bay where he was the focus of a silly televised skit that ended with him replacing his horns with a cheesehead.

Joseph Juranitch, the real life man behind the the Ragnar persona, was recently the subject of a Vikings Journal two part interview (Part One Link & Part Two Link) with Joe Johnson. What he says suggests that his demands were perhaps not as greedy as last year’s reports would have us believe, and that poor communication from Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren may be to blame for the way things played out in public.

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image courtesy of Tom Moore

It’s no real surprise that a triple-option quarterback from Georgia Southern has been overshadowed in his first two seasons in the NFL by future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson. Last season, Jerick McKinnon was limited to just 73 touches for the Minnesota Vikings as Peterson went on to win his third career rushing title while toting the rock a league leading 327 times. Peterson is ninth all-time in rushing touchdowns (97) and 17th all-time in rushing yards (11,675) and his quest to climb the NFL leader board could fleece more snaps away from McKinnon again this season.

It’s true McKinnon’s opportunities were slighted in 2015, yet the 5’9” 205 pound speedster was anything but lost in the shadows of an icon. A lack of playing time hasn’t stopped McKinnon from flashing his unbelievable athletic ability. For a smaller running back known for his breakaway speed, McKinnon has shown some surprising power as well. He is recognized as a freak in the weight room who can bench press twice his weight and squat three times his weight. His incredible work ethic is beginning to translating to the gridiron as he continues to develop strength as a pass blocker and improved power as a runner.

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First Preseason Game
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings came out of their first preseason game in Cincinnati as victors, but that isn’t a title that should go to their heads considering the exhibition game circumstances that included a late two-point conversion attempt that would almost certainly not happen in a real contest.

Regardless, Vikings football was played last night and we can gradually start to trade in our speculative statements for on-field facts.

Here are six quick thoughts about last night’s action against the Bengals:

6. Teddy Looks Pretty Good

Teddy Bridgewater’s deep bomb to Charles Johnson should not be discounted because of the preseason circumstances. He adjusted properly to significant pressure, stepped forward and reset his feet, kept his eyes down field, and hit Johnson in stride for the score. Between that play and the Geno Atkins stiff arm, Teddy impressed me last night, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that he showed enough to consider him an improved quarterback. We’ll be keeping a close eye on that front all year and for a more complete analysis of Bridgewater’s evening don’t miss Austin Belisle’s feature breaking down every snap he took.

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Minnesota Vikings Bengals

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings got their first free skate of the year out of the way Friday night in Cincinnati getting a win 17-16. There was some good, bad, and ugly to go around and we talk about it all in tonight’s recap as we also get in some preseason reps. Also order Purple FTW! SWAG here!

Preseason Feeling Talking Points Include:
• The “Teddy Can’t Throw the Deep Ball” Party is OVER
• Trae Waynes is Your Starting LCB
• 1st Team Offensive Line is Still a Concern
• John Sullivan is Not the Same Player. Accept That.
• We Don’t Really Know about the 1st Team Defense
• Who’s Going to Start at Safety?
• Laquon Treadwell Update (UPDATE)
• JAYRON
• Kentrell Brothers is Going to Be Good
• CJ Ham is an NFL RB
• The Backup QB Situation is _____…..
• Two Minute Drill

All that and other “On to Seattle” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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How's Teddy Look
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

It’s a question at the top of every fan’s mind — “How’s Teddy look?” That would be Teddy Bridgewater, third-year quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings. He’s the emerging face of the franchise after leading the Vikings to an NFC North title last season. He’s the center of attention, a budding star expected to take “the next step” in 2016.

Every snap and throw from Bridgewater is viewed under a microscope. Release points and deep ball trajectories find their way onto the lens, where fans and analysts do their best to explain his game. Opinions vary; some see Bridgewater as an average, top-15 quarterback, while others think Bridgewater is on the cusp of greatness.

Breaking Bridgewater down is a worthwhile endeavor, regardless of opinions; he plays the most important position in the country’s most visible sport. That’s why we’re taking the question literally; and over the course of the preseason and regular season, we’ll try our best to answer it.

At halftime and at the conclusion of every game, we’ll provide in-depth stats and insights on Bridgewater and the Vikings’ offense. We’re tracking every snap and passing play to bring you exclusive, real-time analysis on Minnesota’s quarterback, starting tonight against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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