Wednesday, October 18, 2017

the cornerbacks
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Our second installment of our Vikings Free Agency Primer series: The cornerbacks

LAST SEASON

No viable NFL franchise can afford to remain complacent. Even if said team has, for example, the league’s best quarterback, contingency plans must always be a part of the front office’s long-term outlook. For the Minnesota Vikings, assessing and evaluating the cornerback position falls under this category of thinking.

Any measure would label the unit’s collective 2016 efforts a success. Most notably, Pro Football Focus ranked Minnesota’s secondary seventh-best last season. The highly-regarded site graded Terence Newman as a top-10 cornerback in the league, and his ageless performance was nearly matched by that of Xavier Rhodes.

Patrick Gamble — DT, Georgia Tech

Measurements

Height – 6’5″
Weight – 277 lbs.
Age – 23

At First Glance

Like our previous prospect, Aaron Cooper, Gamble stayed in his home state to play college football. The three-star recruit was born in Lagrange, Georgia but eventually moved to nearby Carrollton, where he grew up and enjoyed success on the basketball court and football field.

Before committing to Georgia Tech in 2011, Gamble fielded offers from Boston College, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and other Power 5 programs. But the hybrid defensive end/defensive tackle stayed true to his original commitment and enrolled with the Yellow Jackets in 2012.

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Meet the Vikings' new wide receivers coach

The Minnesota Vikings have added another former head coach to the staff; only this time, it’s the former head coach of a college program. According to reports from Alex Marvez and Sporting News, Darrell Hazel will serve as the team’s wide receivers coach starting in 2017.

News broke late Thursday afternoon, but offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur confirmed the news on Friday. As Matt Vensel pointed out, Shurmur discussed the hire in an interview with Paul Allen at WinterFest.

“His background is really in receiver play,” Shurmur said. “He went on to become the head coach at Kent State and Purdue. But when we sat down and visited with him, we just felt like he’s a guy who can come in and teach our receivers extremely well.”

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Kyle Rudolph
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Our first installment of our Vikings Free Agency Primer series: The Tight Ends

It’s the time of year to start speculating (and gently trying to nudge Rick Spielman in the right direction) about the fixes for a roster that lost as many games as it won in 2016. Obviously, health is a major part of their past failures and future (hopefully) successes, but the 2017 version of the Minnesota Vikings will not be turnover-free.

Thus, the Vikings Territory team is taking a position-by-position look at the current talent, contract situations, and potential moves that could make some sense heading into next season. We may even plant our flags with a prediction or two along the way.

First up, I’ve decided to take on one of my favorite positions to watch in the modern NFL. Tight ends can be such a factor in the run game, in pass protection, and as an attacking target that they seem to be becoming more and more important to today’s offenses.

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Minnesota Vikings - Roll Safe

Think about it. We roll call through some Minnesota Vikings offseason talking points with friends of the show Luke Inman (Cold Omaha) and Eric Eager (Pro Football Focus). Luke popped in to talk about five draft prospects Vikings should keep an eye on (including three offensive linemen). Plus we added an excerpt from my new project BULL with Andy Carlson, Eric and I had a spirited discussion about potential Vikings free agency targets.

All that and more “Andrew Whitworth: No Matter What” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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