Friday, May 6, 2016

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

According to Vikings.com, nose tackle Linval Joseph has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after his role in Minnesota’s 21-18 OT win against St. Louis Sunday.

During the game, Joseph recorded 10 total tackles (7 solo), 0.5 sacks, 3 TFLs and 2 pressures. This season, New Orleans’ John Jenkins is the only other defensive tackle to notch 10 combined tackles.

Joseph finished the 2014 season with 29 solo tackles. After just eight games, Joseph already has 26 and leads all defensive tackles in the NFL. Earlier this season, head coach Mike Zimmer said the following of Joseph:

“One thing about [Linval] that I’m very impressed with—and I hope that our whole football team gets this mentality—is that he does an awful lot of dirty work that doesn’t show up in the stat book.”

Joseph continues to do that grunt work to maintain a solid defensive line, but he is now garnering plenty of attention for his efforts.

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Key injuries to John Sullivan, Phil Loadholt, Sharrif Floyd and others have hit the Vikings this season, but head coach Mike Zimmer won’t dwell on it or let it change his focus.

“We will be fine.” Zimmer said after being asked recently about the injuries. “We’re not going to cry just because we have injuries. We’ll get the next guy in there and we’ll go fight.”

Zimmer has had success in the past preaching the next man up philosophy, and this season center Joe Berger is carrying the torch as an unsung hero getting the job done in Sullivan’s spot.

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The war of words between Mike Zimmer and Jeff Fisher has spilled over into the following week. I say they just settle this the old school way… Street Fighter II: Turbo Edition battle. But that’s just me…

MOVING ON! The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings (6-2) are tied for the 5th best record in the NFL and have a share of the NFC North lead as we roll into Oakland to take on the suddenly not terribad Oakland Raiders and fellow sophomore quarterback phenom Derek Carr.

We welcome Di Murphy (@DiMurphyMN) of The Daily Norseman back in to talk about the Lamarcus Joyner cheap shot on Teddy, the reputation of Gregg Williams and Jeff Fisher, how we can get a win Sunday in The Black Hole, and the absurdity of Stan Kroenke vs The Media’s #Bathroomgate.

All that and other “Belichick is M. Bison” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The revolving door at linebacker continues for the Minnesota Vikings, who just placed Audie Cole on Injured Reserve and signed free agent Jason Trusnik to the active roster. Cole, who broke his ankle against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, will miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

Trusnik comes to Minnesota after stints with the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, and New York Jets. The former Ohio Northern Klondike was an undrafted free agent following the 2007 NFL Draft and has played in 109 career games (24 starts), tallying 146 total tackles, 4 PDs, 4 FRs and 1 FF in eight seasons.

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

Now that the Vikings have eight of their 16 games behind them and boast a 6-2 record, I have an equal number of takeaways to share regarding the first half of the season…

1. Mike Zimmer is what the Vikings needed.
I know I’m echoing the masses when I say that Zimmer has been absolutely necessary for Minnesota. Although it’s only his second year as a head coach, most probably wouldn’t guess that when observing his demeanor and confidence on the sidelines. Zimmer’s years of experience with defensive backs and as a defensive coordinator primed him to transition smoothly into running the Vikings ship. The difference that Zimmer has made on Minnesota’s defense in just a season and a half is significant, and his style of leadership is invaluable. Zimmer is the type of coach who will not take less than 110 percent, and he simultaneously cares about his players and earns every bit of their respect. He’s a man of conviction, and I appreciate him more and more every week.

2. Adrian Peterson is still good. 
Adrian Peterson has had a couple great games and a couple mediocre games, but he’s still averaging just under 95 rushing yards per game, good enough for No. 1 in the NFL. It may be argued that the veteran running back’s stats are a tad misleading, because he often gets several carries only adding up to a couple of yards before launching a huge 50+-yard play. That being said, however, Peterson continues to impress, putting up numbers superior to those much younger than him. The biggest frustration in regards to No. 28 has been the fumbling issue; luckily for Peterson, three of his four dropped balls were recovered. Despite missing all but one game of the 2014 season, AP doesn’t look like he’s skipped a beat.

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