Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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The folks over at Bleeding Green Nation (and specifically, Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation) have been putting together their Eagles Almanac and in the process, discovered something interesting: the Minnesota Vikings have the second-tallest team in the NFL!

Well, for them it was relevant that they found out their own team was the tallest, but that’s neither here nor there. The full rankings are over there, as is a weight chart (the Vikings rank 17th in weight).

An interesting piece of data:


* The difference between the tallest team (Eagles) and shortest team (Washington) is less than a full inch: 0.82.

* The difference between the heaviest team (Colts) and the lightest team (Rams) is 8.44 pounds.

* None of the bottom five teams in height or weight had a winning record last season. In fact, some of them were among the worst teams.

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Image courtesy of
Teddy Bridgewater, QB – Minnesota Vikings

I’m going to take a page out of Teddy Bridgewater’s book and cool the hype on Minnesota’s favorite quarterback. While I believe Bridgewater will improve his game in 2015— both on the stat sheet and on film — he’s not going to light up fantasy football leagues week-in and week-out. If anything, Bridgewater is a solid choice as your backup quarterback, and a safety net if QB1 is injured or cannot play.

Earlier today, Brett joked he’d take Bridgewater first overall in his league, no matter what I wrote tonight. Though it’s not necessarily true, Brett’s joke is a sign of the optimism surrounding Bridgewater as training camp nears. After a Week 13-17 stretch that saw the rookie quarterback complete 72.1 percent of his passes and throw six touchdowns, that positive feeling is warranted.

Though Bridgewater’s the center of attention in Minnesota, he’s not letting the spotlight skew his opinion of the team, per USA Today’s Tom Pelissero:

“Right now, we’re not as good as what we think,” he said. “We know that the ceiling is very high and the expectation level is very high — not only for the players, but from a coaching staff also. We know what’s being asked of us, but we have a long way to go.”

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Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jabari Price has been suspended two games for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, per a statement from the Vikings.

He had pled guilty earlier in the year to a reduced charge of careless driving after being arrested for driving while under the influence.

While legitimately competing for a serious role on the team, Price is a valuable backup even if he doesn’t earn a major role. With Josh Robinson out for most of the year (or at best, half) because of a partially torn pectoral muscle, the Vikings cornerback group will start off the season even thinner.

Behind the presumed starters of Terence Newman, Xavier Rhodes and Captain Munnerlyn, that leaves rookie first-round pick Trae Waynes, punt returner Marcus Sherels, undrafted free agent rookie Justin Coleman, former CFL cornerback Jalil Carter and former Raiders third-round pick DeMarcus Van Dyke.

Last year, Price took 47 snaps from scrimmage, per Pro Football Focus, and was a significant contributor on special teams.

Jabari Price released the following statement:

“I sincerely apologize to my family, my teammates, the Vikings organization and Vikings fans for the mistake I made last winter. I can assure you that it will never happen again. I look forward to returning to helping my team on the field in week 3.”

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According to Matt Vensel at the Star Tribune, Cordarrelle Patterson didn’t think it was important to work out with the former NFL receiver that head coach Mike Zimmer set up for him, something Patterson says Mike Zimmer didn’t mind (h/t to @VikingsLifer for pointing it out to me).

He didn’t feel it was necessary to work out with the mystery former NFL wide receiver that coach Mike Zimmer set him up with, though he said he did chat with him at the Super Bowl and that Zimmer seemed cool with that.

“I feel like this is the best spring I’ve had all throughout my years,” Patterson said. “I’m just working hard, man. I’ve been talking in the past about my work ethic and just trying to get better in my routes. I feel like I’ve improved a lot.”

So long as it’s not a big deal, it’s not a big deal. If Patterson’s right about Zimmer’s reaction, that’s probably fine—but it’s still a little frustrating to hear as a fan who saw the team make a big investment into a receiver we knew was raw coming out of Tennessee.

The trainer he worked with in the offseason is someone who is evidently very good at instilling a mental conditioning program that gives athletes the mental fortitude they need to push through a season. I’m sure Patterson needed that, and I don’t think that’s a bad investment, especially if it makes him feel more prepared for the season.

He’s also not a receivers coach with extensive experience teaching route-running. Per Vensel again, but much earlier in the year:

Matrisciano, the one-time University of Memphis basketball team’s strength and conditioning coach, is a rogue figure in the billion-dollar fitness industry. He doesn’t own a gym. He doesn’t recruit, so no website, either. Getting his phone number isn’t easy. And if you actually come out to San Francisco, he isn’t going to beg you to stay.

He has been profiled by many publications, but he has refused to be photographed, either turning his back on the camera or wearing what looks like a ninja mask.

Matrisciano has trained everyone from boxers and triathletes to SWAT teams and special ops military personnel. But he is probably best known for his work with NBA All-Stars Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph, helping to take those two to the next level on the hard court by breaking them down and then building them back up in the soft sand.

Men’s Health’s profile of him reiterates much of the same thing: it’s not designed to improve a particular skill, but evoke a specific mental state.

To me, that’s no issue—I don’t doubt Patterson could use that kind of training. The point is that it’s not the whole of what he needs to do, and his offseason training so far hasn’t mentioned much outside work with a coach to improve his route-running, his biggest problem during the season. Which is to say that mental conditioning may be necessary, but it’s not sufficient.

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