Monday, March 27, 2017

Anthony Barr

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Where Do the Vikings Head From Here
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[In part one of this three-part series, Austin Belisle and Brett Anderson team up to put together an in-depth offseason plan for the Minnesota Vikings.]

Football, more than any other sport, is an unpredictable game. A loose ball, a tipped pass, a broken tackle; the slightest shift in momentum or circumstance can flip competition on its head. Franchises prepare for the random nature of the game, but often fall victim to factors they can’t control.

Such was the case for the Minnesota Vikings in 2016. From Teddy Bridgewater’s knee injury to the merry-go-round at offensive line, the team struggled to bounce back in the face of adversity. Players on the defensive side of the ball underperformed, turmoil forced a turnover on the coaching staff, and Mike Zimmer’s eye blurred Minnesota’s season outlook.

Combined, the weekly distractions and diversions were too much for the Vikings to overcome. They stalled to an 8-8 finish after starting the season 5-0; missing the playoffs just one year removed from winning the NFC North. Like any team in the NFL, the Vikings had one end-goal in mind: the Super Bowl. But dreaming of a Lombardi Trophy and winning the actual game are two different things.

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Feat. Jordan Reid (Viking Age) & Myles Gorham (Vikings Digital Diaries) — Episode 45

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald welcome aboard guest stars Jordan Reid (The Viking Age) and Myles Gorham (Vikings Digital Diaries) to discuss the Minnesota Vikings’ most expendable assets, defensive tackle prospects, linebacker prospects and plenty more on Episode 45 of About the Labor.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Vikings Analysis: Determining expendable assets with value on the open market
  • Vikings Analysis: Is exploring a trade a good idea?
  • Vikings Hypothetical: How much would you trade to acquire Dallas Cowboys’ Tyron Smith?
  • Draft: Larry Ogunjobi and 2017 defensive tackle prospects the Vikings may be reviewing
  • Draft: Sharrif Floyd’s status determines what round the Vikings look defensive tackle during
  • Draft: Deion Jones and the new wave of linebackers in the NFL
  • Draft: Duke Riley and 2017 linebacker prospects the Vikings may be reviewing
  • Draft: Determining Eric Kendricks’ role impacts what type of linebacker the Vikings target
  • Draft: Sleeper picks in the 2017 draft class
  • Skol Spin: Jordan Reid steps into the Skol Spin hot seat

OLB Aaron Cooper
Image courtesy of Kentucky Christian Football

Welcome back to Vikings Territory’s annual series, Sleeper SundayIn addition to the team’s regularly scheduled scouting reports, we plan to bring you quick profiles of a few lesser-known players; the prospects who could be a good fit for the Minnesota Vikings on Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft.

While this series is meant to highlight college’s under-the-radar names, it’s also an experiment of sorts. Mike Zimmer enters his fourth year as head coach of the Vikings having established a clear-cut, defense-first identity. Above him, Rick Spielman serves as general manager, picking and choosing the players Zimmer adds to the initial 90-man roster.

Together, they’ve concocted one of the league’s deepest, most talented rosters. And in doing so, they’ve established patterns in the way they approach the NFL Draft. A friend of the site, Ryan Boser, identified these trends two years ago, giving readers a peek into Minnesota’s war room.

What he found helps to inform the players we choose as part of Sleeper Sunday. Knowing Spielman likes to end the draft with defense and has used a Round 7 selection on linebackers in five straight drafts, it’s reasonable to assume the Vikings are targeting a defender in the later rounds. Hence, my first choice for a Sleeper Sunday profile, Kentucky Christian linebacker Aaron Cooper.

Follow along these next few months, and hopefully, in April, we’ll hit the mark on one or two names.

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Minnesota Vikings 1500 ESPN KSTP Chris Long

The great Chris Long (@ChrisLongKSTP) swung by to join us for a spirited chat about the Vikings, the upcoming Super Bowl, and Sid Hartman apparently was part owner of the Minneapolis Lakers… We talked about if this was Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford’s team going forward (from the player’s perspective), where and how much Adrian Peterson makes next year, how the evolution of college offenses have come at the expense of NFL offensive line play, why Laquon Treadwell may have struggled this season, and a whole lot more.

All that and more “Chad Greenway 2017?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

Wondering what to eat for the Super Bowl? Blue Door Pub has you covered with Super Bock IV!

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About the Labor: A Minnesota Vikings Podcast — Episode 37

Logo designed by Steve Danielson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald review the Minnesota Vikings’ outstanding defensive season, sift through specific areas in need of improvement, evaluate the year-long performance of the unit’s greatest contributors and speculate both on if the defense will be better next year and how to assure improvement in 2017.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Gaudy statistical rankings
  • Spectacular defensive line and pass-rush
  • Regression of linebacker Anthony Barr
  • Mike Zimmer’s ability to develop an outstanding defensive secondary
  • Specific areas in need of improvement
  • Speculation regarding impending free agents and potential hole-fillers

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