Friday, August 28, 2015

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On August 15, Part I of a documentary mini-series about the new Vikings stadium debuted. The documentary is titled “Building a Legacy: U.S. Bank Stadium” and aired on KMSP FOX-9.

According to Scout.com, the first episode will run in addition to upcoming episodes on Fox Sports North “at varying times.”

The series will include interviews with front office personnel as well as players and coaches.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Veteran writer Brian Hall (@MNBrianHall) recently joined the Vikings Terriory team, so now is the perfect time to get him on the podcast. Brian stops in to talk about his backstory and the #HireBrian movement as well as the recent happenings with the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings.

How will the Loadholt injury affect things on the offensive line, how Christian Ponder will be greeted upon his return to Minnesota Saturday, will Adrian buck the trend of 30-year running backs hitting the wall, why Vikings fans should pump the brakes on Trae Waynes, and “How’s Teddy Look?”.

All that and other “I’m as crazy as Everson” fun on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to a report from the Star Tribune’s Matt Vensel, Minnesota Vikings rookie tight end MyCole Pruitt missed Monday’s practice with a sprained left ankle:

The fifth-round draft pick out of Southern Illinois has been an important player for the Vikings this offseason, and looks to be a weapon for Teddy Bridgewater in the team’s passing attack in 2015. His potential in Norv Turner’s offense became clear during the Hall of Fame Game, when Pruitt led the team with 51 receiving yards on four catches.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Antone Exum is learning the hard way that Mike Zimmer’s expectations are higher than most. After Saturday night’s preseason victory over the Buccaneers, Zimmer vowed to continue “pushing” and “grinding” his players because he believes the group has “a chance to be a good football team.”

His comments come days after the Vikings head coach cut practice short and criticized his players for their sloppy performance, which seemed to find its way onto the field Saturday night — the Vikings turned the ball over three times and committed seven penalties for 60 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Exum has shined through two preseason games. Against the Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game, he recovered a fumble and returned it into Pittsburgh territory. And against the Buccaneers on Saturday, he intercepted Jameis Winston en route to a 32-yard return.

However, two highlight plays aren’t enough to vault Exum into a starting role, and Zimmer wants to see cleaner play from his second-year safety moving forward:

“He’s active, he’s active. He obviously made a nice play on the interception. He got down in there one time on a run, he was in good position,he didn’t finish the tackle. Those are things he’s going to have to improve on. Safeties have to be able to tackle. But he’s a very good athlete and we just have to get him disciplined.”

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Image courtesy of Chris Price

Every once in a while, one’s cynicism can mix with reality to create a sense of optimism during a turbulent time.

Following the news of Phil Loadholt’s torn Achilles that will almost certainly sideline him for the entirety of the 2015 season, my initial feelings were those of sadness for Loadholt as an individual, and also increased worries about an offensive line that was already this offense’s biggest liability.

For Loadholt individually, the situation downright sucks and he has a long road to recovery for the second season in a row. Next season is his last under his current contract and he will be set to make a salary of $7.75 million and, if no adjustments are made, the Vikings would only eat $1.75 million of that if they parted ways with him.

The idea that Loadholt has possibly played his last game as a Vikings might provide some readers with a shock, but the numbers suggest it is possible. Combine that with the fact that he’ll be thirty next year, with injuries continuing to wear on that large frame of his, and it might be closer to “likely” than “possible.”

At the very least, the silver lining in this situation is that Loadholt’s injury provides clarity in that a replacement is needed immediately. If one wants to be a true optimist, you may even go so far as to say the team can now potentially trade in some run blocking dominance for an improved pass blocker.

Of course, all of that optimism is totally contingent on finding an adequate replacement for Loadholt, and that is easier said than done. The Vikings brass are surely going to have their thinking caps on over the next couple of days, but what options exactly do they have to consider?

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