Saturday, May 23, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "brandon fusco"

brandon fusco

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In the inaugural edition of the Purple FTW! Mailbag, I answer some of your questions tossed in through Twitter, Facebook, and the Purple FTW! Voicemail.

Talkers include:
• Did the Vikings do a good job filling needs in the offseason?
• Trades that could still be made in 2015
• Would I do ____ for a Vikings Super Bowl?
• The affects of Fusco moving to left guard
• Why I got into podcasting
• Why I refuse to watch “The Avengers”

A fun little bite sized morsel to get your through the midweek hunger pains on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Go back and watch any Vikings game from 2014. What did you see? A promising rookie quarterback who struggled early and blossomed late in the year? A defensive end who thrived as a pass rusher and run stopper? A safety who asserted himself as one of the league’s best?

You probably saw all three, but nothing was more apparent than the struggles of the offensive line. Right tackle Phil Loadholt tore his pectoral muscle early in the year, landing on Injured Reserve and missing almost the entire season. Left guard Charlie Johnson, who was released this offseason, struggled in both the run game and in pass protection. However, success is almost impossible when lined up next to a player like 2014 Matt Kalil:

Hopefully, Vikings fans won’t have to watch more of this in the coming season. In a recent interview with the Star Tribune’s Sid Hartman, Mike Zimmer explored the idea of shifting the team’s offensive line in 2015 and replacing Johnson with one of three in-house options:

“We are looking at a few guys right now,” he said. “Obviously [veteran] Joe Berger has a chance to fit in with the mix. We have actually been looking at Brandon Fusco moving over to left guard and T.J. Clemmings playing right guard. Also the kid [tackle] Carter Bykowski] that we took off of San Francisco’s practice squad has looked good as well.”

In the same interview, Zimmer shared that Matt Kalil “feels great” and will play with “a chip on his shoulder” in 2015. After the team picked up his fifth-year option, Kalil will need to bounce back from a horrendous 2014 campaign. With two healthy knees, he may have a chance to do just that. On the other side of the line, fourth-round pick Clemmings may see time at right guard; he practiced primarily on the right side, at both guard and tackle, during rookie minicamp.

After the jump, a look at the latest developments around the NFC North:

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Week 17 Chicago 2014 by Matt Engstrom
Image courtesy of Matt Engstrom

In the past two weeks, Vikings fans have had the pleasure (or pain) of welcoming players like Mike Wallace and Shaun Hill to the team, hoping their additions will lead to continued improvement in 2015. But, the greetings aren’t always so simple — fans were forced to say goodbye to veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings this offseason, and may soon see Adrian Peterson out the door.

The Vikings, however, aren’t the only team making these types of moves — our NFC North neighbors in Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago have been busy tinkering and fine-tuning their rosters.

A look at the latest news out of the “Black and Blue” division, AFTER THE JUMP!:

I’ll admit it.  I’m viewing things through purple-colored sunglasses these days, with Mike Zimmer making me an optimistic fan yet again, and finding five things I loved about our first preseason victory was much easier than this post.

Afterall, “hate” is a mighty strong word.

So, it might be best to consider this more of a list of things that annoy me.

5.  Kluwe Shadow Still Looms Large

As I stated, I’m loving this new regime and all of the excitement that comes with it. Paul Allen, a homeristic homer, navigated away from the harsh truths of the Chris Kluwe versus Mike Priefer saga during his broadcast, but the national guys will not be so kind to the Vikings organization.  During those first few weeks, when Priefer is serving his suspension, the new coaching staff will have their debut games tainted by this distracting drama and the talking points that are sure to follow.

16 games of football, and maybe even a post-season appearance, can change the way we look at the makeup of a roster and the value of an individual player.  With that being said, as I glance towards what drama might be in store for next offseason, Rick Spielman doesn’t appear to have many paramount decisions waiting for him on the horizon.

Most of the current players that are set to see their contracts expire after this season were signed (or re-signed) this offseason to one year deals.  The hope is that they will produce quite nicely and be worthy of another contract next offseason, but they really won’t be priorities until that production actually happens.

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