Monday, October 23, 2017

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VT QOTW

Mistakes Could Cost the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Until Rick Spielman’s press conference earlier this afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings news cycle was rather quiet. Sure, rumors and speculation dominated the Twitter landscape, but nothing concrete had yet to hit the Internet or the airwaves this offseason. And even with Spielman’s latest public comments, there isn’t much to glean from the general manager.

I tweeted earlier that most of Spielman’s comments were either “GM speak” or tidbits of info we’d been waiting to hear on record from the front office. Fifty-five minutes of media availability revealed little of Spielman’s current mindset, but here’s what we do know:

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Our next installment of our Vikings Free Agency Primer series: The Defensive Ends

At first glance, defensive end is the least of the Vikings’ concerns heading into 2017. Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, and Brian Robison are all under contract through next season, and the team’s only unrestricted free agent at the position—Justin Trattou—can likely be signed for the veteran’s minimum or replaced by another bargain player (Trattou appeared in all 16 games last season, but did not record a tackle).

The other Viking who could be a factor at defensive end is Stephen Weatherly. Weatherly appeared in just two games as a rookie, and it’s difficult to gauge if/how he’ll factor into the conversation in 2017.

From the outset, the Vikings look set at end; the rotation is comprised of three of the better players not just on the defense, but the entire team. But at closer examination, Robison’s contract and age, plus the emergence of Hunter, raise the question of whether the team will make a move to clear cap space and move the third-year phenom into the starting lineup.

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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