Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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Wondering Why Laquon Treadwell Has Yet To See The Field

Laquon Treadwell
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Fans often talk about the Vikings bringing rookies along slowly like it is a habit, but something rang untrue about that to me…



Mike Zimmer was the defensive backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys from 1994 to 1999. During that time, his team never drafted a cornerback or safety earlier than the third round.

Zimmer was then promoted to defensive coordinator through the 2006 season. In back-to-back seasons (2002 and 2003), the Cowboys selected first round defensive backs Roy Williams (8th overall) and Terence Newman (5th overall).

Williams not only played in every game of rookie season, but he started every game of the first five seasons of his career. He got some votes for defensive rookie of the year and then played in five consecutive Pro Bowls from 2003 to 2007.

Williams’ career then took a three-year dive, starting with the introduction of the horse collar rule following his own aggressive tackle It also included a reunion with Zimmer in Cincinnati before Williams was out of the league following the 2010 season.

Similarly, Newman started in every game for the Cowboys through his first four years in the league. Newman has played in two Pro Bowls and is now one of the league’s oldest players as he plays in his 14th season with the Minnesota Vikings (still making interceptions, by the way).

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Wow, four games and four wins for the Minnesota Vikings so far in this 2016 NFL season. Not many thought this was possible even before their starting quarterback’s leg fell off and their elderly running back crumbled to the ground.

But the Vikings are taking the lead of head coach Mike Zimmer and not worrying for a second about what could possibly prevent them from accomplishing their goals this year.

The game plan has varied in each of their four games, but each strategy shared one common nucleus.


Most of Minnesota’s fans who are younger than 40 have not seen a Vikings defense ever play the way in which they are doing so in 2016. Minnesota’s current strategy is working for them so far, but that still does not mean that a few improvements cannot be made heading into their game on Sunday against the Houston Texans.

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Minnesota Vikings

Life-long Cubs fan and local media personality Phil Mackey joins Purple FTW! at Blue Door Pub to talk parallels between The Lovable Losers and the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings. We also delve into if Sam Bradford is really playing at MVP levels, if we’d rather have a dominant offense or a dominant defense, and if the Vikings would have won any of those Super Bowls in ’98, 2000, or ’09. I also went on a minor jag about PFF, broke down the offensive line by position, and discussed if Norv Turner or Brad Childress would be the better head coaching candidate in the offseason.

All that and other “The Cubs Will Blow This Like the Vikings” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

Listen to Phil weekdays from 9-1 on Mackey & Judd as well as the Touch ‘Em All Podcast (it’s about baseball).

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Bradford MVP
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You’ve surely heard by now. On Wednesday, Peter King named Sam Bradford his MVP through the first quarter of the season. This elicited a wide range of responses, many of which amounted to boundless outrage —just look at the replies to this tweet for a sample. The idea was strongly opposed. And those in in opposition generally did one of the following: they offered a different candidate they found more worthy—Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson were named the most, and both are understandable choices—or, more frequently, they said something to the effect of “the Vikings defense is so good! How could Bradford be the MVP?!?!?!”

For his part, I thought King’s explanation made a lot of sense:

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Eric Kendricks
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The Minnesota Vikings advanced another week and remained undefeated, and with a 4-0 record they have two more wins to their name than any other NFC North opponent, and the early success gives even the most reasonable expectation of a post-season appearance.

They still have to square off against their NFC North foes in five more contests, however, and considering three of those games will be away from the home-field hospitality of U.S. Bank Stadium it is certainly worth keeping a watchful eye on our closest enemies.

The Vikings have a +10 turnover differential so far in 2016. The defense is fearsome at their worst and downright devastating at their best. The offense continues to play efficiently enough to win and take care of the football, while signs of progression give us hope that things can get better in the near-enough future.

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