Friday, June 23, 2017

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Loadholt's return to the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings need help along the offensive line. And rather than look to free agency or the NFL Draft, general manager Rick Spielman has his sights set on the current roster.

Phil Loadholt, the team’s former starting right tackle, missed the entire 2015 season with a torn achilles. After a season spent recovering on Injured Reserve, Loadholt’s quietly made enough progress to warrant a return in 2016. Despite the speculation about his contract situation and age, all signs point to Loadholt taking the field as a starter next season:

Wolfson’s report comes as offensive linemen and running backs begin workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine. There’s plenty of talent to be had in this year’s class of prospects, but Loadholt is “right on track” with his recovery and could make a full return to the field by the start of Organized Team Activities (OTAs). And given the question marks surrounding T.J. Clemmings, a healthy, 30 year-old Loadholt is possibly the safest option at right tackle moving forward.

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Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

There were no pads put on this week, but Vikings fans did get to hear from their team’s head coach and general manager for the first time in almost two months. Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer gave the Minnesota media plenty of topics to explore this week after speaking to the press at the NFL Combine.

Zimmer and Spielman are also at the combine to do a job and find the best players to help their team in the near future. The Vikings and their staff finally get a chance to see potential draft selections up close and in person.

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Vikings NFL Draft Sleepers
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Every Sunday during Draft Season, Carl and the team at Vikings Territory release scouting reports on sleeper prospects. They’re players many may not recognize, but should get to know as the 2016 NFL Draft approaches. This time of the year, the biggest names dominate the headlines, but other players taken in the later rounds can often have more of an impact than the top-32 picks.

Players like Danielle Hunter (3rd-round) and Stefon Diggs (5th-round) were more important to the Minnesota Vikings in 2015 than Trae Waynes, the team’s 11th-overall selection. Each made significant contributions on defense and offense, while Waynes was relegated to a role as the punt team’s gunner. He played well in spot duty, especially against the Seattle Seahawks, but to say he outperformed his teammates would be lying.

Sometimes, it’s the players we least expect who have the most immediate success in the NFL. That’s why I’ve asked the team here to name their favorite under-the-radar prospects; the players they love that no one’s talking about.

Who is one draft prospect you love that no one is talking about?

VT Offseason Plan, Free Agency

Introduction

[In part two of this three-part series, Austin Belisle and Brett Anderson team up to put together an in-depth free agency plan for the Minnesota Vikings. Part 1.]

Rick Spielman’s job with the Minnesota Vikings isn’t easy. In reality, any general manager’s job is a challenge. As the highest-ranking member of the team’s personnel department, Spielman is not only responsible for hiring coaches and staff members, but for building and tweaking a competitive roster each season.

His duties require year-round coordination and planning, all of which come to a head between February and April. It’s then that Spielman and his front office must finalize their college scouting, address the mad-dash that is free agency, and find new talent through the annual NFL Draft. And he does all this with a clear vision in mind, one he’s continued to develop in his five years as general manager.

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vikings spielman

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings look to reload and take another step forward in the 2016 season. To do so, Rick Spielman will have to work his magic once again and supplement the already young and talented roster with players who will help push Mike Zimmer and his crew over the hump. Grab a coffee and come on in. Let’s talk some Vikings!

The 11 Talkers Include
• NFL Combine Under Way
• Ricky Spielman Spoke at the Combine
• Rick Spielman Sat Down with Beat Writers Last Week
• Spielman Says Height Not Determining Factor in Drafting Next Vikings WR
• Norv Might Be In Trouble
• Adrian Showing Signs of Wear?
• One Free Agent to Watch….
• James Laurinaitis Cut By Rams. Fit for Vikings?
• Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah LOVE the Vikes
• Will the Vikings Re-Sign Chad Greenway?
• Andy’s Free Agency and Draft Wishlist

All that and other “There is No Vikings Offseason” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

Check out my latest project The Andy Carlson Show! Available on iTunes and Stitcher.

 

Listen to the Episode Below (47:47)

[Download the Podcast. NOW!!!]

 

Purple FTW! – The Podcast dedicated to the Pain AND Pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings.

Subscribe to the Purple FTW! Podcast on iTunes & our Youtube Channel!

Subscribe on FTWAndy Carlson (Podcast Producer) is life-long Vikings fan with a sense of humor to help dull the pain of that existence. Sports are fun. They’re meant to be be enjoyed and not taken too seriously. He lives that mantra over at the Purple FTW! Podcast: Dedicated to the Pain AND Pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings. Check out his shenanigans there and on Twitter @AndyCarlsonShow and @PurpleForTheWin.

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