Sunday, February 14, 2016

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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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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When Teddy Bridgewater needed a third down conversion on Saturday night, he looked to Charles Johnson. When the pocket collapsed and Bridgewater needed to get rid of the football, he looked to Charles Johnson. And when the Vikings needed a touchdown in the red zone, who did Bridgewater throw the ball to?

Charles Johnson

If reports out of training camp and comments from Norv Turner weren’t enough to convince you this offseason, the Vikings’ third preseason game was the icing on the “Charles Johnson is the team’s No. 1 receiver” cake.  After the game, Bridgewater spoke to the strong chemistry he has developed with Johnson:

“Charles, he came up big for us tonight. You talk about that touchdown catch he had today with the defensive back all over his shoulders. Charles, he’s a big, physical guy. He helps out in the run game with his blocking for the running backs and it showed tonight in the passing game in just the first half – not even the entire first half, but the first quarter. He showed that he’s going to be big for us this year.”

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Cullen Loeffler has played 171 snaps at long snapper for the Vikings, the most in franchise history and a testament to his staying power in Minnesota. Today, the organization says goodbye to their most-tenured player, releasing Loeffler after 12 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

“These types of decisions are the hardest part of our jobs,” said GM Rick Spielman in a statement released on the team’s official website. “Cullen was outstanding in the community and on the field for the Vikings. He handled his business with class and his impact in the locker room and on the franchise were second to none. We wish him the best in the future.”

Loeffler, who joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2004, signed a one-year, $1.05 million contract extension with an $80,000 signing bonus this offseason. The slight pay cut from his 2014 salary indicated the front office was prepared to release Loeffler if expectations weren’t met or bring in competition to raise his level of play.

In a video that’s recently [and quickly] making the rounds on social media, Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter is seen leading a session for NFL rookies. In case you had any doubt about his status, Carter is—of course—wearing the yellow jacket.

At this specific point, Carter brings up the concept of NFL athletes designating a “fall guy.” Coincidentally, Carter calls up Teddy Bridgewater to use as an example in his hypothetical scene. Carter says the following:

If ya’ll have a crew, you have to have a ‘fall guy’ in the crew. […] I let my homeboys know. Ya’ll want to keep rolling like this, then I need to know who’s gonna be the ‘fall guy’—who’s going to be driving—because you’re not all gonna be doing the right stuff, all right? So I have to teach you how to get around all this stuff, too. If you’re going to have a crew, one of those fools has to know he’s going to jail. We’ll get him out.

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