Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eric Wilson

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Skol Scale
image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Territory staffer Drew Mahowald presents the third edition of his brand new segment for the 2017 season, the Skol Scale.

The preseason is finally here. Full uniforms are on and pads are clashing and stadiums are filling with fans.

But preseason football isn’t always the best. In fact, most preseason games are downright ugly because offenses are still disorganized and not yet established. This calls for low-scoring games and defensive struggles.

It was no different for the Vikings in their first preseason game of 2017 at Buffalo. The offense sputtered for the most part and both defenses had their way. Ultimately, Minnesota came away with a 17-10 win.

The fan base nonetheless reacted as if the Earth itself was caving in after a mere three series for the first-team offense netted zero points. WELP, THE OFFENSIVE LINE IS STILL BURNING GARBAGE, MIGHT AS WELL GIVE UP ON THE SEASON. OH, AND BRADFORD CHECKED DOWN THAT ONE TIME. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THIS DUDE IS TRASH.

Hey, you, person reading this: calm down. It’s preseason. The 0-16 Lions went 4-0 in the preseason.

In this edition of the Skol Scale, I won’t even mention the first time on either side of the ball (other than who earned first-team reps at various unresolved spots). It’s not worth it after literally one quarter. (If you want dramatic overreactions, read Sam’s post from a couple of days ago. WARNING: THE SATIRE READING GLASSES ARE REQUIRED. Just check the comments for proof).

I will instead mention a few individual performances that stuck out for better or for worse. A number of bubble players helped their cause for a roster spot, while a few others struggled.

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Purple FTW! Podcast: Vikings-Bills Recap - As Coley as the Other Side of the Pillow (ep. 393)

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings prevailed on the field of battle Thursday night vanquishing the Bills of Buffalo in a contest that means nothing. But plenty of story lines from the game! We react (and over react) to a number of them in the first Purple FTW game recap of the season.

Today’s Talkers Include
• The 1st Team Offense Was…..
• The 1st Team Defense Was…..
• Dalvin Cook is Apparently #Good
• Stacy Coley Shined
• Rodney Adams Rollercoaster
• Tashawn Bower Earned Himself Some Money
• The Backup Quarterback Report
• I Really Liked How Eric Wilson Played
• Other Winners and Losers
• Twitter Questions

All that and more “…I Still Believe in Fruechte, Dammit” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

A Carlson Digital Joint

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Vikings
image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Territory #content maker Drew Mahowald recaps the Minnesota Vikings’ Preseason Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Football. Is. Back.

We made it through the offseason and we made it through training camp. It’s finally time to see the squad in full uniform battle players other than their own teammates.

The 2017 Vikings’ first preseason action went about as expected in a general sense — offensive execution was sloppy, and the defense took advantage to create opportunities for turnovers and 3-and-outs.

After a scoreless first quarter, the teams each tallied field goals in the second quarter to go into halftime at a 3-3 score. Minnesota’s offense found a spark in the third quarter when second-string quarterback Case Keenum led a seven-play, 69-yard drive that culminated with a CJ Ham two-yard rushing touchdown.

Shortly after, third-string quarterback Taylor Heinicke found Rodney Adams in the flat for a two-yard touchdown via a funky goal line play design by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to push the lead to 17-3.

Buffalo cut the lead in half after a one-yard touchdown reception by Dezmin Lewis on a pinpoint fade route pass from Nathan Peterman. Minnesota then played keep-away the rest of the game, and a botched snap on a fourth-down play during Buffalo’s final drive effectively ended the game.

The game featured several bubble players taking advantage of opportunities presented to stabilize themselves as favorites for the 53-man roster. Others saw themselves slip farther and farther away from that status.

And for some, their position group is in such flux that nobody really knows what to think (yes, this line is about the offensive line).

See the key takeaways from preseason game No. 1, below:

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Welcome to the latest installment of the Vikings Territory Training Camp Primer series focusing on Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and the linebackers.

Since he arrived in Minnesota, head coach Mike Zimmer has transformed the Vikings defense from laughingstock to nationally regarded as one of the best in the NFL.

Much of this is due to the talent he has acquired at linebacker.

With the ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman selected athletic freak Anthony Barr out of UCLA. In just three seasons, Barr has already been selected to two Pro Bowls.

A year later, the Vikings used a second round pick on Barr’s former UCLA teammate, Eric Kendricks. While Kendricks doesn’t have a Pro Bowl appearance to his name, he played on par or better than several Pro Bowl selections in 2016.

Chad Greenway‘s retirement after an illustrious career in purple and gold leaves behind a hole at the starting weak linebacker spot. The battle for that starting gig will likely headline the linebackers during the last Vikings training camp in Mankato.

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Vikings Coach "Not Opposed" to a Young Replacement for Greenway

Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has officially announced an open tryout for the third and final starting linebacker position. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks not-so-secretly compose two-thirds of the Vikings’ starting rotation — but the third and final spot is officially up for grabs.

Veterans Emmanuel Lamur and Edmond Robinson both have starting experience, but neither has been recognized as a strong candidate to win the job.

When asked which of the two former role players would ultimately receive a promotion to the weak-side linebacker position vacated by Chad Greenway’s retirement this offseason, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer responded with a noncommittal answer, effectively leaving the job up for grabs this summer:

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