Sunday, March 29, 2015
Blog Page 89

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The Vikings have made a number of exciting additions this offseason.  The changes to the coaching staff might make the biggest overall impact, and the free agent signings might see more playing time, but I want to know which of the Vikings draft selections (and maybe even UDFA’s) might make the biggest impact as a rookie.

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Adam Thielen is, without a doubt, one of the most talked-about guys in Mankato this year. He impressed early on in training camp, and after Friday’s first preseason game, the buzz only increased.

“[Adam]’s a guy that has a lot of toughness, a lot of heart,” head coach Mike Zimmer said during Sunday’s press conference. “He wants to make the football team, and he’s giving his best effort to do it. Guys like him—you can win a lot of football games with guys like him.”

Thielen entered his second year ready to make an impression, and he certainly has. His explosiveness, agility and reception accuracy spoke for itself on the practice field, but the receiver stepped onto TCF Field and proved he is ready for the real stuff.

The Vikings mic’d Thielen for the game, so television viewers could listen in on bits and pieces of the game experience. He laughed, admitting he occasionally forgot that he was wired up. “It was a really different experience, but it was great.” *

Special teams coach Mike Priefer utilized Thielen for punt coverage and returns, and the WR hit the ground running—literally. After Oakland went three and out on its first possession, Thielen fielded Marquette King’s punt and ran for three yards before being tackled at the 30. He immediately jumped up, pumping his arms in a gesture of equal excitement and frustration.

Finishing up a road trip combined with hosting the in-laws meant I was a little delayed in my watching of the Vikings first preseason game of the Mike Zimmer era.  I’ll try to make up for the delay by hosting a real-time live chat for the next game.

Overall, what we saw from the Vikings in their preseason debut against Oakland was encouraging.  Tomorrow, I’ll turn around and focus on the “Five Things I Hate About You,” but I first want to ride the optimism and give you five positive takeaways.

5.  Adam Thielen Looks Legit

The Vikings have invested a lot into their wide out position over the last couple of years and it is showing.  Quality depth is still a concern, especially with Jerome Simpson facing a suspension this season, but Adam Thielen is looking like a reliable backup option with special teams value.  He caught a pass for 15 yards, made a hell of a coverage play, and averaged over 17 yards on three punt returns.  He looks fragile to me, and that very well could be my imagination,  but I otherwise can’t think of a single reason he shouldn’t be on this roster in Week One of the regular season.  He made plays all over the field this week.

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As of the moment, the Vikings haven’t confirmed anything, but the Vikings seemingly signed confirmed the signing of tight end Kory Sperry, alum of Colorado State. He went undrafted in 2009.

Kory was signed by the San Diego Chargers, but was a camp casualty. Midway through the 2009 season, the Miami Dolphins signed him.

In 2010, he was one again a camp casualty for the team, but this time the Broncos picked him up. He was waived shortly after season start.

The team that originally signed him, the Chargers, picked him up and kept him throughout the 2010 and 2011 seasons. When he was waived in 2012 after camp, he wasn’t picked up again until December, when the Cardinals signed him. He was on the roster until the end of the 2013 season.

He has been active for 40 games, starting eight. He has nine receptions for 152 yards. Vikings statement:

“Kory Sperry joins the Vikings as a free agent signing. A six-year NFL veteran, Sperry played the 2013 season with the Arizona Cardinals. In 40 career games, he has caught 9 passes for 152 receiving yards and one touchdown. Sperry played under Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner in San Diego from 2010-2012 and spent time on the team’s practice squad in 2009. Sperry entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State in 2009.”

He is not practice squad eligible.

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