Monday, April 24, 2017

harrison smith

Minnesota Vikings Fanspeak Mock Draft
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I took to Twitter on Tuesday night to pose a vital question to my followers.

I thought, “Hey, only nine percent said no, so why not give it a shot?”

Fanspeak’s On The Clock feature allows fans to simulate the 2017 NFL Draft by acting as general manager of any team. It brings together several different variables that NFL front offices consider when selecting — and it allows the user to choose which reputable big board to use for the simulation.

For this simulation, I used the Dan Brugler big board from CBS Sports. And, I stuck with Fanspeak’s free On The Clock feature instead of paying for the Premium feature, which allows users to make trades in the draft.

You can view the full results of my simulation HERE.

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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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the safeties

This is our next installment of our FREE AGENCY PRIMER series. Be sure to check out previous articles focusing on the defensive ends, the cornerbacks, and the tight ends.

Harrison Smith is essentially Han Solo. He roams the universe of Minnesota’s secondary like a scoundrel looking to blast his way into the action, capable of some very sly thievery, and is the most popular cast member when it comes to the female fanatics.

Han Solo is one of the most iconic characters in film history, but that wouldn’t be so if he were regularly sharing the screen with some random rebel trooper in every battle. Instead, it is the chemistry that Han shares with a Wookie that makes for pure movie magic.

And that is why many Vikings fans are interested in the options that exist at the safety position this offseason. They know that Andrew Sendejo was improved last season, they know there are a couple of promising young players behind him, but they also know that they’d love to see the Vikings finally cast an authentic Chewbacca next to their Han Solo to take the Vikings defense into hyperdrive.

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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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Defense Reigns Supreme

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

“You are what your record says you are…”

…Bill Parcells said back in 1994 during his four-year tenure at the helm of the New England Patriots. The two-time Super Bowl champion coach may have been responding candidly with a simple knee-jerk reaction to deflect a difficult question posed by the media, but his eight-word phrase has since been immortalized, as it is still commonly said today by players, coaches and front-office personnel from each level of every sport.

In fact, Buffalo Bills general manager — or so he is titled — Doug Whaley recently verbalized his best Parcells impression on multiple occasions during a rather peculiar season-ending press conference:

Simply put, this quote, “You are what your record says you are,” which has since been attributed to Parcells despite reportedly first appearing in an issue of the San Diego Union back in 1978, has not only become a popular response to media questions revolving around team performance, the statement’s premise also lends credibility to the simple evaluative method of utilizing win-loss record to make a final determination on the quality of a given team.

Mike Zimmer, who has noted his close relationship with Parcells on several occasions throughout his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, has never invoked the one-liner coined by his mentor on the record, but it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t, at some level, believe in its mystique.

His team finished 8-8 in 2016, which, as Parcells’ quote would argue, reflects an “average” football team. As a result, the 2016 Vikings represent the perfect example of why record merely reflects wins and losses, not the overall quality of a team. If the four previous rankings lists have failed to sell this point — potentially because they are a reflection of moments or games as opposed to 2016 in its entirety — the following “Top-5 Individual Seasons in 2016” rankings should fulfill the role of “closing argument” well enough.

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