Friday, July 29, 2016

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are officially slotted into the 23rd overall pick of the upcoming NFL Draft. There are a couple of glaring needs (offensive line, wide receiver, second safety, punter), but it is nice to be looking to supplement an already young and solid team instead of looking for a savior.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) joins us to walk through his FULL 7-round Vikings mock draft as the Purple look to reload and take care of unfinished business in 2016.

With the 23rd overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select….. You’ll have to tune in!

An Andy Carlson Joint

Hit up all of Luke’s stuff at eDraft and Cold Omaha.

Vikings Jeff Davidson Offensive Line
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In his final press conference of the 2015 season, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer thanked the University of Minnesota, revealed his players’ offseason surgeries, and announced the release of one of the team’s coaches.

According to Zimmer, the team has parted ways with offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. When asked why he chose not to retain Davidson’s contract, Zimmer told reporters, “I didn’t want to.”

Davidson spent five years with the Vikings. He was a holdover from Leslie Frazier’s coaching staff and led a unit that struggled over the past two seasons. In 2014, the line allowed 51 sacks. In 2015, the banged-up group allowed 45 more sacks. Second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the victim of 44 of those — far too many in Norv Turner’s Air Coryell offense.

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Vikings Dan Campbell coach
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In the NFL, no coaching staff remains completely the same from year to year. Often times, assistants find better opportunities elsewhere or are promoted from within. That was the case for former Miami Dolphins head coach Dan Campbell, who replaced Joe Philbin and went 5-7 in the interim role. According to reports from the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, the Minnesota Vikings recently inquired about Campbell, who was granted his release after the team hired Adam Gase as its next head coach.

The Vikings were one of three (Cowboys, Chargers) teams to express interest in Campbell, a former NFL tight end and tight ends coach with the Miami Dolphins. He took over head coaching duties in Week 5, going 5-7 in 12 games at the helm. His stint started with a bang, as Campbell led the team to two straight blowout victories over the Titans and Texans. But the Dolphins struggled down the stretch, losing seven of their last 10 games to finish the year 6-10.

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Everson Griffen
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

With the dust frost finally settling on the latest heartbreaking loss, Vikings fans are left with little else to do other than nickname their latest addition to the lore, and reflect back on the season that was. Some might even speculate on what could have been.

We’re going to have plenty of time for reflecting on the season as a whole, but right now we are narrowing our gaze to the playoff loss at TCF Bank Stadium at the hands of the defending NFC Champs.

As you can probably expect, given the complete void of touchdowns produced by the Vikings, this final batch of nominees is a tad defense-heavy. This is the final time, until September, that you’ll use your collective votes to bestow this heralded (by me) award upon one lucky Minnesota Viking.

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Cold Viking Fan
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[NOTE FROM ADAM: This is a guest post from Sam Neumann. He is the author of three books, including the New York Times Bestseller Memoirs of a Gas Station: A Delightfully Awkward Journey Across the Alaskan Tundra. He is a lifelong Vikings fan who currently resides in Denver. You can follow him on Twitter @NeumSamN.]

Why Do I Do This?

By Sam Neumann

I’m sitting here a day after the Vikings astonishing, embarrassing, and all-too-Vikings playoff loss to the Seahawks, and try as I might, I really cannot get the visual of a 27-yard field goal going wide left out of my head. Just make the kick, Blair. You’ve been crushing the ball all day in temperatures that are wholly unreasonable for a kicker to do his job. You drilled a 47-yarder with the laces squarely pointed toward you. You’re responsible for the team’s only points. This one’s for the win. It’s a chip shot. Just make the kick.

But he didn’t, and as I watched that kick sail wide, I’m thinking “unbelievable” and “of course” at the same time. Unbelievable because, heck, that’s a 99% kick right there, and this is one of the (statistically) best kickers in the NFL. Of course, because this is the Vikings we’re talking about, and that’s what they do. They don’t just lose. They lose spectacularly. They crush your soul.

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