Friday, March 27, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "adrian peterson"

adrian peterson

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Photo provided courtesy of Vikings.com

There have been numerous discussions around Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy’s comments crowing himself as the best running back in the league.  Although there were plenty of immediate scoffs echoing from the state of Minnesota, it is hard to argue that McCoy does not have somewhat of a case for such a bold claim.

McCoy is coming off a highly productive season in which the he served as a legitimate mainstay of the high octane Chip Kelly offense.  With so many online polls taking opinions about the topic, I wanted to take a deeper look into the facts to settle the score once and for all.  As we move forward, Vikings fans, try to stay unbiased.

No homers allowed here.

Joe Berger has been a veteran presence on the Minnesota Vikings offensive line for 3 seasons. He joined the Vikings in week 2 of the 2011 season after originally being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the 6th round of the 2005 NFL draft. He has appeared in 83 regular season games with 29 starts in his 10 year career with Carolina, Dallas, Miami and Minnesota.

Berger has been a solid reserve contributor for the Vikings playing in 45 games and starting 9 times. Berger is a versatile player who can contribute on special teams and has starting experience at center and both guard positions.

In 2013 Berger saw action in all 16 games with starts against Washington in week 10 and Philadelphia in week 15.

Joe Berger just signed a one year deal in March for $920,000. His cap hit is only $635,000 so from a dollars-and-cents stand point he is probably not in any danger of being cut. Berger’s performance is also at a satisfactory enough level to safely project him onto the 53 man roster again this season. The only question is his age. Berger celebrates his 32nd birthday on May 25th… wait, that’s today.

Happy Birthday Joe!

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The NFL’s reigning rushing leader LeSean McCoy is making headlines for two reasons this week.  First, he is claiming to be the best running back in the NFL, even better than Adrian Peterson.  Second, it is kind of a slow news week and these things happen this time of year.

Peterson has since stated that he doesn’t think McCoy believes what he said.

“(Laughing) It was funny because when Stephen A. (Smith) asked him the question, he kind of hesitated,” Peterson said this week. “And he didn’t believe it when he said it. I tell the youngsters, ‘Say it with your chest, like you mean it.'”

If I take my purple sunglasses off I can actually see where the case can be made for McCoy.  It is fairly easy to argue that he is the more complete running back in terms of pass catching and blocking.  Still… it’s Adrian Peterson and there has arguably never been a more feared ball carrier in the history of the sport.

So, what do you all think?  Does McCoy have a point or does his assertion seem a little shady?

By most accounts, the 2014 offseason has been fulfilling for the Minnesota Vikings franchise and fans, and the NFL Draft was some Rick Spielman brilliance if general approval ratings are considered a fair unit of measurement.

Still, the offseason isn’t over, and most of us can scan this roster and find places we would like to see strengthened even further by Week One.  Additionally, with a new coaching regime and new schemes in place, it is especially difficult to pinpoint exactly where talent voids exist.  Even the most confident of analysts are lying if they tell you they know how this team will perform in 2014, and we can’t expect to get a great gauge for just how good (or bad) they are until week eight or possibly later.

Still, it would be very out of character for Rick Spielman to stop making moves at this point, and there is (say it with me) always room for improvement… or at least additional competition.

Here is a quick glance at a few guys that are currently looking for work that I think could make interesting additions to this roster in an attempt to elevate the position battles in training camp.  If these four guys don’t excite you, trust me, I understand.  There is a whole other wave of free agency that will flood the market just prior to the regular season, but for now we can really only speculate on the guys we know are available.  Here you go:

1.  La’Rod Stephens-Howling, RB, Age 27

Behind Adrian Peterson, the Vikings running back depth chart seems wide open, and those roster spots will be much debated when training camp and preseason rolls around.  With a new regime in place, it remains to be seen if Jerome Felton can even be considered a sure things this year.  The Vikings currently have five running backs and two fullbacks listed on the roster and I think there is room for another addition or two, especially given the likelihood of a preseason injury impacting at least one of these guys.

La’Rod Stephens-Howling is a guy the Vikings reportedly showed some interest in prior to the draft.  I’m not sure if that included an evaluation of his health or not, as he injured his ACL in the regular season opener last year, but his skillset is exactly what you want to have out of a second or third string running back.  He’s a versatile guy, capable of pass protection and catching passes, while also being able to contribute on special teams if need be.

If he can participate in training camp drills, I see no reason not to give this guy a chance to compete for a spot on the final 53.

Mark Craig of the Startribune doesn’t seem to think the Vikings need to rush things at the running back position. But, with Toby Gerhart gone and Matt Asiata as the next man up, I’m just a dainty bit concerned. My curiosity as to what GM Rick Spielman might have up his sleeve pertaining to the backup tailback position has got the best of me. In Craig’s recent article, he shares an interesting quote from Spielman about the possibility of adding another ball carrier.

“I know you can’t go into the season with just two running backs,” Spielman said. “So that’s an area that we’ve talked about a couple of running backs that are currently out on the market. But we’ve also honed in on a couple of backs in the draft as well.”

 

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