Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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Three More Vikings Rookies Sign Contracts

The Minnesota Vikings signed three of their 2017 draftees this morning: Tight end Bucky Hodges, center Pat Elflein, and linebacker Elijah Lee. With the additions, the Vikings have now signed all but three of their remaining selections.

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Episode 69 — Nice

Graphic designed by Brett Anderson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald touch on the Minnesota Vikings’ Day 3 rookie signings, debate how both the quarterback and running back positions rank in the NFC North and recap a handful of their favorite moments in team history on Episode 69 (nice) of About the Labor.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Intro: Episode 69 (0:00-1:21)
  • Rookie Signings (1:21-4:07)
  • NFC North Rankings: Quarterback (4:08-15:05)
  • NFC North Rankings: Running Back (15:06-30:14)
  • Take 5: Vikings Moments (30:15-54:54)
  • Twitter Questions (54:55-57:34)
  • Sign-Out (57:35-58:18)

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Mike Zimmer Targets June 4 Return to Minnesota
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who is missing OTAs as he recovers from an eighth eye surgery, dismissed talk of his retirement on a Friday conference call with Twin Cities media. ““I’ll be back shortly with one eye or two,” he said, per Brian Murphy. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll be back either way.”

According to Murphy, Zimmer is recovering in his home outside of Cincinnati, where he’s reviewing practice tape and staying in constant communication with the organization. “The players are probably tired of me texting them when I see things on tape,” he said. “The coaches have done real good job relaying messages.”

If all goes according to Zimmer’s plan, the Vikings will have their head coach back on the field on June 5. He’s scheduled to return to Minnesota on June 4 and could be conceivably cleared as early as the fifth. The team’s first week of OTAs went off without a hitch, but Zimmer’s presence would only serve to boost the morale at Winter Park.

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Vikings Done To Fix Their Offense
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This post was guest-written by Luke Braun, who is a writer for Purple PTSD and co-host of the Purple Journal Podcast. Since before he can remember, he was immersed in the ups and crippling downs of Vikings fandom. In adulthood, he’s taken an analytical approach to evaluation, but the compelling stories of each NFL player are not lost on him. Outside of football, Luke works in digital media and the film industry, giving him a unique perspective on the characters and story of the NFL.

It’s fairly clear that the 2016 Minnesota Vikings were held back by their offense more than their defense or special teams. By DVOA, the Vikings ranked 26th on offense, while turning in the ninth-best defense. They experienced a post-bye streak of seven games where they only topped 21 points once, losing all six of the other games.

In response to the general failure of the offense, Mike Zimmer set the bar at 21 points per game for 2017, establishing a clear goal to improve. The first step to fixing a problem, however, is diagnosing it. Where did we go wrong?

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