Tuesday, October 6, 2015

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The Minnesota Vikings announced that they have agreed to terms with former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Casey Matthews.

Matthews was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft and was forced into action last season when the Eagles were hit with injuries at the Inside linebacker position. Casey Matthews (brother of Packers All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews), has been a bit of a disappointment in Philly, but is eager for a fresh start in Minnesota.

Matthews has played inside and outside linebacker during his four seasons with the Eagles, registering 109 tackles and 2.5 sacks on defense to go along with his 39 additional stops on special teams. The former Oregon Ducks linebacker has appeared in 64 games in his NFL career.

Matthew is only 26 and started 11 games last season for the Eagles splitting time with Emmanuel Acho.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer met Matthews at the Senior Bowl in 2011 when Zimmer was a defensive coach for Matthews’ North squad.

That familiarity is reassuring, and I think having extra depth at the linebacker position is certainly welcomed. My fingers are crossed that Zimmer has the know how to turn Matthews’ NFL fortunes around in Minnesota. However, my eyes are still on some of the talented edge rushers and linebackers in this years draft.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Former Viking left tackle Todd Steussie joined the show to talk about life, football, and his latest venture into the analytics business. We chatted about memories of the 98 Vikings, stories of the late-great Kory Stringer, his thoughts on Adrian Peterson, and the value of players educating themselves for their inevitable post-football career.

Steussie — a 14-year NFL veteran who spent the bulk of his career with the Minnesota Vikings and also the Panthers, Buccaneers, and Rams — was the 19th overall pick of the 1994 Draft and went on to become a two-time Pro Bowler (1997, 1998) and started Super Bowl XXXVIII for the Panthers.

Since retiring from the game, Steussie has become the co-founder & Executive Vice-President of PotentiaMetrics as well as President of PotentiaPro, a developer of next-gen NFL outcomes and information systems. Bringing a “Moneyball” approach to pro football like has already become widely accepted by franchises in the NBA and MLB.

Their free app ScoutSight is a powerful comparative analytics tool designed to bring high level stats & insight to the everyday fan (for free!) and will be available by the NFL Draft.


Interview Links
• Todd’s Twitter (@ToddSteussie)
PotentiaPro on Facebook
The ScoutSight App – Launching mid-April

An Andy Carlson joint.



Listen to the Episode Below (40:57)

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to Josina Anderson at ESPN, Taylor Mays has agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings. The team has not announced the deal yet, but Matt Vensel at the Star Tribune confirms the agreement.

Taylor Mays never made our list of the top 55 free agents for the Vikings to pursue, but is a natural fit for the Vikings given his previous history with Mike Zimmer and his defense. If nothing else, Mays could be a standout special-teamer and has the kind of body and athleticism Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman love to have on the ST unit, to go along with athletic undersized linebackers like Larry Dean and Brandon Watts.

Mays is best known for his outstanding measureables and can translate his speed and strength onto the field, but has never been a very good player for the Cincinnati Bengals, his previous team.

Though demoted more than once at the safety position on a team that often struggled with addressing the need, Mays is still young (he will be 27 throughout the season) and could grow into a much better player so long as he learns how to use his tools.

His on-field play improved significantly in a different role as a subpackage nickel linebacker, which may be how the Vikings are planning on using him, alongside other linebacker/safety types like Brian Peters, Dom DeCicco and possibly Justin Anderson, Antone Exum or Brandon Watts.

A one-year deal provides a low risk for the Vikings as they continue to figure out what to do at the other safety spot. Even if he can’t be a starter, he provides reasonable depth if he makes the roster and has tantalizing upside. Don’t expect him to definitively solve any problems (players on one-year deals are never considered long-term fixes), but something may click for him, either at a new position or because he’s figured out how to play safety.

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Adrian Peterson is quickly running out of options

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Ben Dogra had nowhere to turn — the market for free agent running backs had dried up, and a deep draft class of talented ballcarriers weighed heavily on his mind.

His star client, Adrian Peterson, was busy riding camels and celebrating his 30th-birthday, a-la Disney’s famous Arabian prince, Aladdin. And suddenly, he was surrounded by a horde of fed-up reporters in Phoenix, Arizona, this week’s home to the league’s 32 most powerful men – the owners.

Powerless and backed into a corner, Dogra uttered five desperate words:

“We want out of Minnesota”

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"With those skinny knees, Teddy's probably susceptible to bilateral weakness too."

Your bracket is toast, time to get back to Vikings football! Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) of Cold Omaha and 105 The Ticket joins the show to talk about the latest Minnesota Vikings news, what big things are going down at the Twin Cities newest sports radio station on the rise, as well as Tom’s path in the world of sports journalism at the co-founding of CO.

The Vikings continue to show that they’re truly a year round spectacle as there’s always news/drama brewing as we saw last week with Mike Wallace & the Pounceys, the latest stare-down between Spielman and Adrian’s camp, as well as Adrian birthday camel. Because why not. If AP doesn’t want to be a Viking, at least he can be Aladdin.

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