Wednesday, July 1, 2015

chris cook

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Mike Wobschall from Vikings.com makes some observations from OTA #7. In one note, “Wobby” describes plays where both Christian Ponder and Joe Webb are scrambling to the right. Don’t like to hear that our QBs are still fleeing from pressure but glad that they’re able to if their hand is forced. There are also some great notes for OTAs #4-6.

Jared Allen is awesome. Watch Allen’s latest charitable event “Night Ops Golf” here on Youtube.

Stop the press. Everyone’s favorite hip-hop entrepreneur Bryant McKinnie showed up to camp phat. (See what I did there?) Will he even make the Raven’s roster this year?

I missed this one over the course of the week. Apparently, NFL Comissioner, Roger Goodell, sent out a memo to all teams addressing recent DUIs and reminding team players and personnel to “be responsible.”

The folks over at Pro Football Focus have been looking at each NFL team and determining that team’s “Secret Superstar.” Who was their selection for the Vikings? Go check it out. Who should we look out for on the Packers, Bears and Lions according to PFT? Linebacker D.J. Smith, cornerback Tim Jennings and defensive end Willie Young, respectively.

I really can’t stand this idea that the NFL is strictly a passing game and running the ball has lost its importance in the NFL. Adam and I will have to take the topic up in our next “Coin Toss.” Nevertheless, National Football Post has a good article up discussing the topic, using the Vikings lack of success even with Adrian Peterson as a prime example.

Although ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski expects Christian Ponder to “improve significantly this season” he still has Ponder ranked 28th out of 30 on his “Top QBs” list. Kevin Seifert from ESPN’s NFL North blog further inspects Jaworski’s analysis.

Vikings.com has some great OTA videos. Definitely check those out.

Our buddy Gil over at The Vikings Den landed a writing gig with Rant Sports. He’ll continue writing for TVD though and we wish him the best of luck. In this particular post, TVD looks at if the Vikings missed out by not signing linebacker Rocky McIntosh.

While the Vikings run play-action more than almost every team in the NFL, it turns out they’re not very good at it. (This is always something that has bothered me. With such an incredible running back, you think our play-action would be much more effective. I absolutely hate it when a quarterback doesn’t know how to sell the play-action. I think a good “just kidding” hand-off can really screw up a defense. Hopefully this is something Vikings QB Christian Ponder has been working on this offseason. Okay, rant over.)

Today is Father’s Day. And despite the fact that Chad Greenway’s father was recently diagnosed with leukemia and is now receiving hospice care, the Vikings linebacker still decided to host a Father’s Day fundraising 5k run. Please keep Chad and the Greenway family in your thoughts through these trying times for them.

Cornerback Chris Cook has been making some Twitter followers angry because some of his tweets would suggest he is not fully focused on football, which is not something fans want to see or hear after Cook’s health and legal troubles have resulted in what can best be described as an “absence” during his first two NFL seasons.

Cook concludes that those fans that don’t like his tweets should simply refrain from reading them, or unfollow him all together.  I’m no Twitter expert (Brett, you should weigh in) but getting upset about people’s tweets expressing how upset they are about your tweets seems a little tweet-diculous.  Can Cook not unfollow or ban those posting things that are making him angry, the same as he suggests those people should do?

Anyways, Bob Sansevere recently interviewed Cook and I feel like he blew a golden opportunity to ask some good, tough questions.

Sansevere asks Cook about his sleep habits, his twitter accounts, threw him a softy or two about being “misunderstood,” and attempts to lead Cook towards saying he is a Pro Bowl talent.

Here is my favorite Cook quote from the piece:  “I feel like I’ll be better. A good thing about being away from the game is I got to rest a lot. I got my legs up under me. I got to study more. I studied myself a lot on tape from games I have played and from practices. I feel like I’ll be better.”

So, that is the good thing about being suspended?  Geesh, just imagine how good he could be in 2013 if he slips up and gets suspended for all of 2012!

Ugh.

When Leslie Frazier was promoted to head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, fans of the organization thought they would at least be getting a leader capable of keeping a group of young men out of trouble.

With Chris Cook, Caleb King, Rhett Bomar, Tyrell Johnson, and Everson Griffen all having gotten into trouble under Frazier’s watch it is now fullback Jerome Felton that continues the trend.

Felton, a free agent signing this offseason, was arrested on a second degree DWI charge after refusing to submit to a chemical test.  Felton landed in Hennepin County Jail early on Saturday morning, but was released later in the day after making a $12,000 bond.

“We are aware of the situation and working to gather more information,” a Vikings statement read. “We’ll have no further comment at this time.”  Felton’s agent also declined to comment.

Felton has no prior known incidents with the law and will likely escape punishment from the NFL, but to Vikings fans this is just another case of a completely preventable embarrassment occuring when it shouldn’t have.

According to Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN, the Vikings offer a car service to their players to utilize in instances that they should not be driving.  Apparently, Felton had a reason (a good one or otherwise) for not utilizing the service and is now on the hook for embarrassing himself and the team.

Felton was penciled in by many, including myself, as the presumed starting fullback this upcoming season and it remains to be seen if this incident impacts his chances in any way.

All I know is that these guys have to get their act together.

There is not enough talent on this team, or any NFL team for that matter, to have starters sitting in jail cells on Sundays, or sitting at home on suspensions.

Oh, and as if my disgust isn’t making itself known enough:  Driving drunk is a selfish, dangerous, and idiotic thing to do… no matter who you are.

Just one week ago, the Vikings commenced in weaving their way through seven rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft, and seemingly placing a great emphasis on leadership and character in their selecting their next generation of football players.

In the same week, however, the Vikings welcomed two players of concern back into their building for offseason workouts.

Cornerback Chris Cook was found not guilty in March of charges that he assaulted his girlfriend and tried to strangle her and has now rejoined the team for the first time since the October incident landed him in jail.

“I definitely appreciate it a lot more than I have in the past,” Cook said of being back with his teammates. “This is what I love to do, even though this isn’t the really fun part, it’s kind of hard, but I love doing this. This is the part of the year when you get better.”

“I feel like I have to earn their trust again. I definitely let them down last year by being in the situation I was in and missing the 10 games. I’m really looking forward to earning their trust and being a contributing factor to the team,” he said.

Cook said that he and Leslie Frazier kept in contact during the cornerbacks lengthy legal issues took place.

“It was positive. He’s a very encouraging man, and I respect him a lot. He’s not really been down on me. He’s very supportive of me,” Cook said.

Time will tell if Frazier’s willingness to not come down hard on Cook will pay off.  If Cook turns his life around, then Frazier could be credited with some sort of second-chance mentorship role being the turning point.  If Cook stumbles again, however, then Frazier will likely be blamed for coddling the young cornerback because of his talent on the field.

The other player who has a bit of proving to do is newly acquired receiver Jerome Simpson.  Simpson will begin his tenure with the Vikings by serving a three game suspension for a September incident that landed him in jail on drug trafficking charges.

Simpson was sentenced after he plead not guilty and admitted to his “mistake” and appeared willing to acknowledge his wrong doing, accept the consequences, and move on.

“Everybody knows that (incident) wasn’t my character, what happened, and it’s basically just prove it. You can talk all you want to, but if you don’t prove it, it really doesn’t mean a hill of beans,” Simpson said.

“That wasn’t my characteristics,” Simpson continued in his first meeting with the Minnesota media.  “I’m a good guy, love the community, love kids and everything, and I just made a poor decision.”

Simpson, while grateful for the opportunity, knows full well that he needs to produce positive results on and off the field for the Vikings or else this one year contract could be the last one he ever gets.

“It’s absolutely a ‘prove it’ (season) just because the nature of that I did get in trouble last year and I have to prove to the league, myself and everybody else out there that I deserve to be in this league,” Simpson said.  “(The Vikings) believed in me and I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to come back and play football again.”

Both of these players have the tools and the talent to help the Vikings improve upon their dismal results from 2011, but each will be on a short leash and needs to understand the importance that will be placed on their actions moving forward… not their words.

Chris Cook appears to be trying to turn his image around following a season that saw his name in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Cook recently visited Heritage Elementary School in Lynchburg, Virginia where he spoke to the students about the relationship between educations and their futures ran drills and shuttles, and played basketball and volleyball.

“I just wanted the students to know that school is the most important thing, especially today as far as them achieving their dreams and being what they want to be,” he said.

Cook missed his entire 2008 season at Virginia after being declared academically ineligible.

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