Wednesday, August 16, 2017

adrian peterson

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Cook Gives Vikings Offensive Flexibility
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

There’s no need to harp on Adrian Peterson‘s lack of versatility. Minnesota Vikings fans know, after years of watching him barrel through opposing defenses, that Peterson’s most valuable attribute was just that — his ability as a pure, north-to-south runner.

As Father Time gains ground and offensive philosophies shift to more wide-open, dynamic attacks, patience wears thin for players of Peterson’s unique, if limited skill set. While still a major draw on Sunday afternoons, the proof is on the paper; the Vikings’ all-time leading rusher sits behind Mark Ingram — and potentially rookie Alvin Kamara — on the New Orleans Saints’ depth chart.

Back in Minnesota, it’s clear Peterson’s replacement, second-round pick Dalvin Cook, brings a welcome, refreshing dynamic to the Vikings’ backfield. Though not the workhorse of his predecessor, it was clear from the start of training camp that Cook’s ceiling — in all other facets of a running back’s repertoire — is much higher than Peterson’s was from 2012 on.

Last Thursday’s preseason opener gave the organization a glimpse of the offensive flexibility Cook brings to Pat Shurmur’s scheme. Against the Buffalo Bills, he enjoyed a lion’s share of touches — almost all manufactured to put the ball in his hands — and reminded the Vikings of the possibilities created by having a do-it-all player in the backfield.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to the team website, Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform List Monday. He practiced with the team but did not take part in contact drills.

It was the first time Murray officially practiced as a Viking. The team acquired the back knowing he needed offseason ankle surgery. He was placed on the PUP list when the team reported to training camp.

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Episode 85

Graphic designed by Brett Anderson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald give their thoughts on training camp and the heralded Mr. Mankato award with discussions on Eric Kendricks, Chunky Clements and slow golfers as well.

Episode 85 is sponsored by BlackStack Brewing, SoCom Creative and local stand-up comic Brendan Gay.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  1. Intro: The Agenda (0:00)
  2. Advertising: BlackStack Brewing & SoCom Creative, LLC (1:20)
  3. Rookies Report: Initial Takeaways & Thoughts (2:22)
  4. Excited About AP: Eric Kendricks Can’t Wait to Face Adrian Peterson (5:55)
  5. Final Roster Fix: Vikings Sign Chunky Clements, Release Caleb Kidder (11:55)
  6. Advertising: See Brendan Gay LIVE August 10th (17:15)
  7. Mr. Mankato: Odds Report, Predictions (17:45)
  8. Training Camp Preview: Most Important “Stuff” to Keep an Eye on (25:15)
  9. Twitter Takes: How Many Rookies Will Start in 2017? (34:30)
  10. Take 5: Emojis (39:06)
  11. Advertising: Beer Pong Tournament on August 5th at BlackStack Brewing (46:35)
  12. Drew’s Final Take: Slow Golfers (47:09)
  13. Sign-Out: Football is Back! (48:50)

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Running Backs
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Welcome to the latest installment of the Vikings Territory Training Camp Primer series focusing on Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray, and the Minnesota Vikings’ running back position.

It’s an odd thing to say, but the Vikings are arguably better off at running back without Adrian Peterson in the backfield. With Peterson, Minnesota tied itself to a player stuck in the past, a player too stubborn to advance his game where the team needed it to go.

Thus, the Vikings moved forward without him this offseason, allowing the future Hall-of-Fame running back to take his immense (if limited) talents to New Orleans. And when the Saints come to U.S. Bank Stadium Week 1, the Vikings know exactly what they’ll see in Peterson — a square peg in the round hole that is New Orleans’ pass-happy offense.

But in Minnesota, the backfield situation is one of fluidity. Any of the three players at the top of the depth chart — Murray, Cook, and Jerick McKinnon — can line up from the shotgun or under center. Not only that, they can catch out of the backfield and split carries when asked — elements Peterson didn’t seem to grasp in his final years as the Vikings’ lead back.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Training Camp Preview

In just 11 days, the Minnesota Vikings open training camp on the Minnesota State, Mankato campus. Rookie practices begin on Monday, July 24th and full team practices start Thursday, July 27th.

As usual, this time of year has brought optimism to the Vikings and their fans. But this year, things seem different. There’s good reason to be excited, as the offseason resulted in refreshing roster replacements, an influx of young talent, and a promising outlook on lovable quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

To recap the offseason moves, Minnesota added free agents Latavius Murray, Riley Reiff, Datone Jones, Michael Floyd, and Mike Remmers.

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