Saturday, February 6, 2016

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Carl: Josh Thomas, CB
When the Vikings agreed to terms with Josh Thomas on July 24, I didn’t think he had much of a chance to make the 53-man roster. After a strong camp and a great showing against the Raiders (six tackles, a tackle for loss and an interception), Thomas is making a case that he belongs on this football team. With Josh Robinson on the PUP, Jabari Price looking at a two-game suspension and Stefon Diggs flashing as the real deal for punt returner (sorry Marcus Sherels), Thomas might be earning more than just a short-term look. With 10 starts under his belt with the Carolina Panthers, the 2011 fifth-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys may not be a “major” surprise at this point, but he is peaking at the right time and earns my pick to make the cut.

Brent: Chase Ford, TE
Going out on an absolute limb here. I realize it seems crazy to carry four tight ends — but I wonder if the Vikings choose to carry an extra tight end in place of a fullback. As I’ve noted in my piece projecting the final 53-man roster, I would value Ford’s receiving abilities more than I would Line’s lead blocking. There are a variety of reasons for this, but I like the opportunity to run the offense in more 3 WR sets without a lead blocker, and Rudolph’s injury history leaves me wanting another receiving tight end.  Additionally, Ellison’s and Pruitt’s ability to fill in as a lead blocker if needed ensures the Vikings don’t need to be forced to carry a fullback.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Kicking in the NFL is a lot like putting in golf. The slightest hitch, increase in speed, or head movement can throw off a kick or putt. Sometimes, it’s as simple as getting inside your own head. For golfers, the “yips” can devastate what was once a solid short game. And for Blair Walsh, the “yips” are playing a nasty game on the Vikings’ star kicker, who is struggling mightily through three preseason games.

When the Vikings extended Walsh’s contract in July —  a four-year deal worth up to $14 million, with $5.25 million in guarantees — it appeared to be a vote of confidence from Rick Spielman and the front office. Walsh had, in only his rookie season, earned a trip to the 2012 Pro Bowl after connecting on 92.1 percent of his field goals. More impressive was the fact that Walsh attempted 10 field goals of 50 or more yards, and connected on all of them that year.

He showed off the impressive leg that had made him a sixth-round pick out of Georgia, and converted more field goals than any other kicker in 2012. “After I saw the combine workout and then I went down to Georgia (where Walsh went to college) to work him out, I knew he had the leg strength to do that kind of damage as a field-goal kicker,” special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said before the 2012 NFL Draft, per the Pioneer Press.

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Cris Carter spits some honest truth, Blair Walsh continues to be the problem no one wants to talk about, and I teach Di Murphy the origin of “Bye Felicia” on this Wednesday edition of Purple FTW! Also, the episode turned into a Night Ranger tribute episode…

Other “Adrian’s Wilt Chamberlain, Not Lebron” Talkers Include
• Cris Carter’s “Have a fall guy” advice is… Good?
• Blair Walsh needs to get his stuff together
• Debut: The Gerald Hodges Factor
• Adrian is not LeBron
• Teddy to Charles Johnson is an important connection
• Chase Ford balled in MyCole’s absence (Rekindling my love for him)
• Cordarrelle is worthless at this point
• Booing Ponder is like talking smack about your ex when you’re dating Kate Upton
• Trading down in 2012 from 3 to 4 netted us: Jarius Wright and…. BLANTON
• Teddy wants to complete 70% of his passes
• Shorter preseason? Nah
• Randy Moss comeback?
• Why wide receivers never know when to hang em up.
• Di and I breakdown my Vikings 53-man Roster Projection
• If Captain doesn’t listen to Jerry Gray & Mike Zimmer… No
• It’s over, Mike Mauti
• I like Brian Robison again…
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All that and other “Forever All Over Again, Chase Ford” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image Courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are days away from trimming the 90-man roster down to 75 after the Dallas preseason game and then the final 53 — after the fifth and final exhibition at Tennessee — as the 2015 campaign begins.

Since my mock draft skills are itching to get out, I did a mock 53-man roster and practice squad prediction/projection/forecast. Enjoy! (Also please be quick to tell me where I’m wrong, suck, and am terrible.)

QUARTERBACK (2)
5 Teddy Bridgewater
13 Shaun Hill
I think this makes the most sense to keep 2 QBs on the roster & toss the kid Heinicke (who has shown some promise in spurts) on the practice squad. Also I think Teddy’s done enough to stay off the 53-man bubble…

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Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

With rookie Eric Kendricks drawing the starting assignment at middle linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings in Saturday’s third preseason game, the second-round draft pick seemed to be inching closer to securing to the starting spot many believed he would fill.

After several weeks of playing behind Audie Cole, Kendricks was getting his chance. Then Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Monday the team had decided on a starter for this week, who could potentially keep the job. Zimmer withheld names because he hadn’t told the team yet.

“I’m just trying to get through this week,” Zimmer said, indicating he knew who would start Saturday’s preseason game at Dallas. “We’ll see, if it goes good this week, then maybe we will go with it the rest of the way. If guys are playing good, they’ll keep playing and if they’re not…I just haven’t told the players yet so I don’t want to tell you.”

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