Thursday, July 28, 2016

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Too many cooks in the kitchen?

The Offensive Triangle
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This 10-part series focuses on the biggest questions facing the Vikings as they head into Mankato for their training camp festivities. The second question that comes to mind is how the crowded, experienced coaching staff will coexist and and impact the offense in 2016. If you missed the first question, you can read and respond HERE.

Time is running out for Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Since joining Minnesota’s coaching staff in 2014, he’s failed to turn his lengthy pedigree into on-field results. His offenses have finished 27th and 29th in total yards, respectively,  despite having one of the league’s best young quarterbacks and an All-Pro at running back in Adrian Peterson.

When the 2015 season concluded and head coach Mike Zimmer addressed the media, he made it clear that Turner’s future in Minnesota wasn’t a sure thing. “I anticipate, yes,” he said, when asked if Turner would return the following year. For a coach who campaigned to bring Turner in, Zimmer’s answer wasn’t exactly an endorsement of his second-in-command.

And neither were Zimmer’s subsequent moves — the hiring of Tony Sparano as offensive line coach and Pat Shurmur as the team’s tight ends coach. Both have extensive experience coaching in the NFL, and both have coordinated West Coast offenses — a system many believe would benefit Teddy Bridgewater. They’ll start the year hyper-focused on their respective positional groups, but what happens if the offense doesn’t score or fails to move the football? Will Sparano gain more influence on the running game? Will Shurmur take over play calling duties from Turner?

With two new voices at the table and a contract that expires at the end of 2016, the pressure is on Turner to turn Minnesota’s offense around. If he doesn’t, fans may see a new coordinator (or two) up in the booth for the Vikings.

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Top 30 - 20 to 11 - Jerick McKinnon
Photos used courtesy of Andy Kunitis

The Minnesota Vikings have one of the NFL’s most talented rosters, making it difficult to narrow down the team’s top players. But we at Vikings Territory decided to tackle the task anyway, wrangling up some of the best Vikings writers around to help us name the the Top 30. If you missed the first entry of this series, check it out HERE.

Follow the jump for selections 20-11!

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This part of one of our ten part series focusing on the biggest questions facing the Vikings as they head into Mankato for their training camp festivities. The first question that comes to mind, one that will certainly impact the makeup of this roster greatly, is the health of three veteran Vikings that ended last season too injured to play.

PHIL LOADHOLT

He’s bravely faced the task of recovering from the torn Achilles tendon that caused him to miss all of 2015. He has already taken a significant pay cut for the chance to be a Viking in 2016. Still, Rick Spielman and company landed themselves a rather large contingency plan when they signed free agent tackle Andre Smith to a one-year deal. Not only is Smith a “Plan B” in the event that Loadholt isn’t healthy, but he is decent competition for a fully healthy Loadholt to contend with.

During OTAs, Loadholt declared himself 100% recovered and was eager to participate.

“I feel like I’m moving pretty well,” said Loadholt at the time. “I got some things I’ve got to get better at obviously, but I’m working hard to get better and those things and be ready to roll.”

The season before last, Loadholt also missed the final five games with a shoulder injury, meaning the Vikings have had to make due without him for quite some time now and a player that can’t stay on the field loses their value to a team very quickly.

Soon we will find out just how “ready to roll” Loadholt is and, despite all of the positive signs of late, one setback that keeps him away from practice could prematurely end his career with the team that drafted him.

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Laquon Treadwell Madison Pitch
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

A couple weeks ago, our team here at Vikings Territory worked diligently to provide you with in-depth breakdowns and extended introductions to the Vikings’ newest players added through the 2016 draft. The 2016 iteration of the “Welcome to the Big Show” series, which has become an annual tradition, concludes today with the Vikings first selection, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. Links to the other players featured can be found here: Stephen Weatherly, Willie Beavers, David Morgan II, Jayron Kearse, Mackensie Alexander, Kentrell Brothers and Moritz Böhringer.

ATTRIBUTES

HEIGHT: 6′ 2″

WEIGHT: 221 pounds

ARM LENGTH: 33.5 inches

HANDS: 9.5 inches

PRO DAY RESULTS

40-YARD DASH: 4.63 seconds (did not run at the NFL Combine)

BENCH PRESS: 12 repetitions (of 225 pounds)

VERTICAL JUMP: 33 inches

BROAD JUMP: 117 inches

20-YARD SHORT SHUTTLE: 4.29 seconds

3-CONE: 7.05 seconds

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Mike Zimmer At MZF Event

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND DONATE TODAY

The #MoreThanWords campaign is 80% of the way to the $10,000 goal established at the onset and that is awesome! Even more awesome is the level of participation we are getting from The Mike Zimmer Foundation, including Corri and Mike  Zimmer themselves.

Their willingness to connect with the fan base has resulted in some awesome giveaway prizes (tickets and autographs!), an up close and personal autograph event at Fan HQ (a few tickets still available), and now a sit-down interview with one of our participating sites in which Coach Zimmer gets personal about the tragic loss of his wife and about how football is family in the Zimmer household.

Daniel House of Vikings Corner did an amazing job with this opportunity to interview Coach Zimmer himself.

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