Friday, August 28, 2015

brian robison

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Before the start of the 2014 season, Rick Spielman rewarded defensive end Everson Griffen with a five-year, $42.5 million contract. Looking back at the deal, “rewarded” may be the wrong word; Griffen had started just one game in his four years with the team, recording just 17.5 sacks in spot duty behind Jared Allen.

But, Griffen showed flashes of a potentially bright future — an interception return for a touchdown against the Rams in 2012, 5.5 sacks in just 699 snaps throughout 2013. Spielman gambled on that future, letting Jared Allen walk in free agency and trusting his roster talent. His commitment to Griffen was more than trust; it was a ringing, $20 million guaranteed endorsement.

Simply put, Griffen delivered in 2014, recording 12 sacks through 16 starts (993 snaps). To the media outside of Winter Park, Griffen’s meteoric rise was unexpected. He earned national recognition, most recently from Pro Football Focus, who listed Griffen as the 98th-best player in all of football. According to the website, Griffen’s 59 quarterback disruptions while lined up on the right side of the line were second most of all 4-3 defensive ends.

That statistic is the perfect opportunity to move down the defensive line and focus on Griffen’s counterpart; Brian Robison. Griffen is a lock to man the right edge for years to come, but Robison’s days may soon be numbered. He’s 32-years-old and played in 932 of the defense’s snaps last year, but saw his production dwindle.

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Living in Sebeka, MN, Mike Arthur proves to be another storied Vikings fan, his childhood filled with memories surrounding the purple and gold. When Arthur was in kindergarten, he played football with his friends, and they each picked players to act as. Arthur always chose Anthony Carter or Tommy Kramer.

Things really picked up for Arthur when Hall of Fame WR Cris Carter entered the picture.”I became a super fan when Warren Moon and Carter started connecting for all those touchdowns,” he remembers.

There has been plenty of disappointment between “the good ol’ days” and now, and Arthur has endured the pain and heartache with the rest of us. However, he’s ready and excited for a season that will hopefully go a little more according to plan.

The offseason is in full swing, and the Vikings have made plenty of moves praised by the fans, including Arthur. Drafting CB Trae Waynes and LB Eric Kendricks will prove significant for Minnesota. Arthur weighs in on the selections:

“Waynes will be a huge upgrade in our secondary and should help this defense turn the corner from being good to great. I think of all the trouble the Vikings had getting off the field on third down last season, and he should be the key to that puzzle.” 

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Just days after missing out on free agent Michael Johnson, the Minnesota Vikings may be in the market for another veteran defensive end — former Dallas Cowboy George Selvie.

Per ESPN’s Ben Goessling, Selvie is set to visit the Vikings later this week:

Selvie started 13 games for the Cowboys in 2014, finishing the season with 3 sacks and 23 tackles. The Cowboys need edge rushers, but Selvie likely won’t return in 2015 — Mike Fisher of 105.3 THE FAN reported early Monday morning that the Cowboys are negotiating a contract with defensive end Greg Hardy’s agent.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press is bringing Minnesota Vikings beat writers back to their roots. By that, I mean he was at the airport this morning hoping to catch a glimpse and get a quote out of potential free agent acquisition Michael Johnson.

The level of detail in the story is actually pretty cool.

Johnson revealed to Tomasson at the airport that the Vikings have extended him a lucrative offer to join a defensive line that currently features pass rushers Everson Griffen and Brian Robison.

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(photo used with permission)

Whether you’re a fellow Vikings fan at autograph signings, games, the tailgate lot, or just the wonderful world of social media, you are probably familiar with Erin Darsow, aka “Panda.”

Darsow is by far one of the most dedicated Vikings fans I have ever met. And she wears her fandom on her sleeve—literally. From decked-out team spirit outfits to tattoos of Vikings players’ autographs on her arm, she leaves no question marks about her allegiance to the purple and gold.

She has an interesting story, too. Unlike most of our featured fans, who were born into Vikings fandom, Darsow didn’t have that same experience.

“I had to learn about [the Vikings] on my own,” she said.”

Darsow first became a fan in 1998; although she was only in middle school at the time, she started attending football games at the local high school and “begged the guys to explain the basics” to her. She soon realized she had to choose a team, and there was no question for this Minnesota girl: the Vikings it was.

“I think that, the fact that my first football season was our traumatic 1998 year, and I still stuck with it, meant it was to be for life,” Darsow said, smiling. 

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