Friday, July 31, 2015

adrian peterson

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to Tom Pelissero, the Vikings have selected a new head team physician in Dr. Chris Larson.

Larson is associated with Twin Cities Orthopedics, as are additional new hires Dr. Chris Coetzee and Dr. Greg Lervick. Pelissero reported that the Vikings’ previous contract with Tria Orthopedics expired, and the team has now decided to transition to the new brand.

It seems Minnesota is intentionally employing specialists, as each of the three additions focus on a specific area. Coetzee works with foot/ankle, and Lervick’s focus is shoulder/elbow. Larson is well-established as one of the nation’s leading hip surgeons, and he also specializes in knees.

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Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) of the Star Tribune joins the show to talk about our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings as we count down the days until we’re back in the hood in Mankato ready to launch this 2015 season into orbit. This year’s version of 4th of July has come and gone (without any Vikings pulling a JPP, FTW), so grab some leftover BBQ, toss some aloe on the sunburns, and listen to some Purple FTW! goodness!

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Please rank the players in the order you think they will finish. 

Adam: 
1. Adrian Peterson
Here’s a homer pick for you, and I’m okay with that. The last time I doubted Peterson, he shocked us all with his improbable return from injury and put up one historic performance after another. This year, after sitting out for a season by force and wanting to prove himself worthy of another contract extension, I would be terrified to be lined up across from him.

2. Eddie Lacy
This guy is a monster within an offense that isn’t even the primary threat within his own offense. Lacy’s talent and style of play, combined with a potent offense that can give him endless opportunities, makes him very dangerous at any point in any game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him score twenty touchdowns in 2015.

3. Jamaal Charles
With the ability to be the most productive running back in the NFL, both as a rusher and pass catcher, Charles only has his team and coaches to worry about holding him back. That may end up happening, but I wouldn’t bet against Charles as an individual performer no matter which team he’s playing for.

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#InZimWeTrust

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Firing a head coach in the NFL is like wielding a double-edged sword. With one swing, you can eliminate problems like poor game management or outdated defensive schemes. Or, you can catch the wrong side of the blade and fracture team chemistry, as the Vikings did when they parted ways with Leslie Frazier after the 2013 season.

Fans of the team rejoiced, but one player — Adrian Peterson — was reportedly frustrated with the team’s decision to fire Frazier. According to ESPN’s Ben Goessling, Peterson contemplated leaving the Vikings near the end of the season:

“I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t feeling good about being here in Minnesota at the end of last season,” Peterson said in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN. “Coaches change, but everything was shaken up.

General manager Rick Spielman made sure to right the ship quickly, hiring Mike Zimmer as the Vikings’ newest head coach less than a month later. The move to bring in Zimmer — a no-nonsense, football-first mind — stabilized the franchise and rallied a young team to aim higher in 2015.

Under Zimmer’s leadership in 2014, the Vikings went 7-9 and succeeded in the face of multiple obstacles, including Adrian Peterson’s absence, Teddy Bridgewater’s rookie growing pains, and the implementation of a new defensive scheme. Unlike Tice, Childress, or Frazier before him, Zimmer has won over his players and quickly navigated the trials and tribulations that come with being a head coach in the National Football League.

While there’s room for improvement in year two, its safe to say Zimmer has established himself as the captain of the Vikings ship, and its time everybody climb aboard.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In an ESPN article posted Monday, NFL senior writer John Clayton said the Vikings are in the running for a 2015 playoff team.

In the article, Clayton cites a few factors in his analysis. Teddy Bridgewater certainly shoulders much of the responsibility moving forwardClayton did offer praise for Bridgewater’s rookie seasonbut it’s more than just the quarterback at this point…

It’s adding Adrian Peterson back into the equation and seeing how much better Peterson makes Bridgewater. Clayton reminded us of the following:

Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton were success stories early in their careers because of their talent — and because they had the benefit of running attacks that typically produced 130 yards or more. (Yes, you can pile up added rushing yardage late in wins, but all three of these teams built around the run.) Look what Peterson did for Christian Ponder. In 2012, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards coming off knee surgery. Ponder averaged 23.7 points per game and the Vikings made the playoffs. After four years, Minnesota determined Ponder wasn’t good enough and moved on to Bridgewater.

I like Clayton’s take on this. Granted, the team needs both AP and TB to play well; there’s no doubt about that. But individually, neither player is as strong as the way they can feed off each other. Bridgewater had a solid debut season (averaging 22.1 points per game) without Peterson on the field, and having the star RB back in the lineup will take a bit of the pressure off Bridgewater’s shoulders.

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