Saturday, July 4, 2015

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This week, we decided to go with a more league-wide, open-ended question. All the VT writers had a fun time with this one, and we hope you do too! Please share your own thoughts in the comments and take our poll! 


Adam:
Seattle Seahawks
Two seasons ago the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. Last season they came insanely close. Having the ultra-cheap franchise quarterback for one more offseason certainly won’t hurt their odds of making another championship run. Beast Mode is back, and perhaps no team added a more talented player this offseason than Seattle got in Jimmy Graham. Their Draft wasn’t perfect by personal estimations, but they invested in their offensive line and I think Towson corner Tye Smith could establish himself in the Legion of Boom.

Their offseason was pretty good, but why I think they are the biggest “winner” for 2015 has to do with their biggest nemesis completely imploding. San Francisco’s offseason looks like it was written by George R. R. Martin, and Seattle seemingly has a much easier path to the NFC West throne as a result.

Brent: Miami Dolphins
There a couple of teams who jump to mind with the Vikings, Dolphins and Bills having great offseasons in my opinion. Ultimately, I think the Dolphins have had the best. They signed Ryan Tannehill and Maurkice Pouncey to contract extensions, ensuring some consistency with a young team. They also signed one of the better defenders in the game in Ndamukong Suh in free agency and added promising young receiver Kenny Stills. Within the draft, the Fins added DeVante Parker and Jordan Phillips in the first two rounds and running back Jay Ajayi late. The Dolphins were on the cusp last year, and I think their strong offseason positioned them well for the long term.

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On Saturday (D-Day and an hour before American Pharoah secured his future in stud farming), The Wife and I welcomed the Newest Little Vikings fan, future Gopher All-American (Academic, Basketball, Hockey), future mechanical engineering doctor, and future President of the United States Margaret (Mugsy) Elaine Carlson to the world.

In true Purple FTW! fashion, I did up a mini-scouting report on the mini-me. Because: of course. Full episode after the jump!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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According to the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson, Vikings rookie cornerback Trae Waynes is hoping to gain some insight from Arizona’s CB Patrick Peterson. Tomasson reports that the two plan to meet later this month.

Peterson, who will be entering his fifth NFL season, has been a standout defensive back since his debut year. In 2014 he tallied 43 tackles, three interceptions, a touchdown and even a sack. The CB possesses a high level of talent, and Waynes looks up to him as a role model in the position.

“[Peterson] follows me on Twitter, so that was a pretty big deal,” Waynes said.

Waynes plans to work out with Peterson in Boca Raton, Fla., between mandatory mini camp (June 16-18) and reporting to main training camp (July 25).

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Arif: Harrison Smith
Mike Zimmer is not too concerned about cornerbacks getting interceptions and the design of the defense makes it more difficult for them to, so the safeties who always have their eyes on the quarterback are the best bets. In this case, it’ll be one of the top safeties in the NFL, Harrison Smith, who has shown not just a talent for grabbing interceptions, but returning them, too.

Andy: Harrison Smith
Smith had 5 of the Vikings’ 13 interceptions in 2014, leading the team. He’s a ballhawk who could benefit greatly by a physical safety like Taylor Mays or Antone Exum stepping up and letting him roam more instead of spending time in the box (although Smith is equally as effective there, if not more so). I think Smith busts out with a career high 7 INTs in 2015, makes his first Pro Bowl, is in the All-Pro discussion, and is rewarded with a lucrative long-term extension. (Hopefully before the whole blowing up part. That way he’ll be cheaper).

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Adrian Peterson’s return dominated headlines this week, and rightfully so, but the Minnesota Vikings are a team of 89 players — giving fans plenty to read , watch, and listen to as we inch closer to Training Camp. I’m excited that Peterson is back in purple and gold, but I can’t wait to see how T.J. Clemmings develops at right guard, how Scott Crichton has grown in his second year with the Vikings, and how a slew of other players perform come July 24 — the start of training camp in Mankato.

Before I jump into some of the week’s best stories from around the Internet, I want to give a quick shoutout to Lindsey Young. I only started writing for Vikings Territory in February, but in four short months, I’ve come to appreciate the effort, enthusiasm, and excellence that Lindsey pours into every post. That comment goes for everyone at Vikings Territory — this is an absolutely awesome group of people — but you don’t have to look further than Lindsey’s two most recent stories to see what I’m talking about. Give her profile of Bud Grant and this morning’s piece on “Babs” a read when you get the chance; it’s definitely worth your time!

And now, a collection of some of this week’s Vikings work from our community of writers, bloggers, and reporters:

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