Monday, February 27, 2017

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

On Monday morning, it was announced that longtime Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Phil Loadholt had decided to retire. With his retirement, Loadholt’s spot on the Vikings roster is presumably vacant.

Minnesota now has three openings on their roster before their total number reaches the NFL’s 90-man limit. The Vikings can decide to leave those spots empty before they start training camp later this week, but that would not be any fun would it?

Surprisingly enough, there are still plenty of talented free-agents available that could produce for Minnesota during the 2016 season.

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The time of year where NFL executives hold their breathes and pray that the next offseason headline doesn’t involve one of their players is almost over. The news of suspensions and accusations and allegations and social media revelations will soon give way to some actual between-the-hashes updates. For that reason, it is time to reboot our weekly glance at the nemeses (yes, that’s the plural version of “nemesis,” I looked it up!) of the Minnesota Vikings: The NFC North competition.

NFC NORTH COMPETITION: Chicago Bears

The biggest news out of Chicago this week involved an utility pole getting blown to bits during an epic lightning storm (hence the video above) and I’m leading with that for no other reason than that I was there for the storm, my tidbit on the Bears is much less exciting than the two listed below it, and the video is pretty freaking cool.

Former Bears defensive end Corey Wootton has decided to retire after six NFL seasons which ended in the preseason last preseason when he suffered a torn pectoral and ended up on Detroit’s injured reserve. Wootton, as you will likely recall, played for the 2013 season with the Vikings.

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Chris Tomasson

I got Chris Tomasson (@ChrisTomasson) of the Pioneer Press to sit still for a conversation about his extensive world travels and the upcoming season of Minnesota Fightin’ Viking football.

We chatted about his memories of the late-Denny Green (Chris was a student at Northwestern when Denny became their head coach), what Phil Loadholt’s retirement means for the embattled Vikings offensive line, how he met Adrian’s dad, why he thinks Mortiz Boehringer has a legit shot of making the 53-man roster, his favorite story he’s ever written, and “How’s Teddy look?”

All that and other “You actually crossed into North Korea?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Play it again, Cordarrelle
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Cordarrelle Patterson can hardly hear the beautiful music he made in 2013. Returning kickoffs and riding the bench makes it difficult for Patterson to remember the melody; spins, jukes, and improbable catches compose what was the fourth-year pro’s lone symphony.

Drowned out by his own inability to master the playbook and his coach’s refusal to take a chance, Patterson is doing all he can to overcome the outside noise. Workouts in Los Angeles, throwing sessions with Teddy Bridgewater, and a renewed focus on football give hope that Patterson can ‘play it again’ in 2016. General manager Rick Spielman believes he’s ready to shine.

“Where Cordarrelle has made tremendous strides this year is on his route running ability and becoming a better receiver,” he said, per Vikings.com. “He is very tuned in and very focused trying to prove to everybody, including himself, that he’s going to be not just a great athlete with the football in his hands, but a true receiver in the NFL.”

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