Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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    Minnesota Vikings safety Jayron Kearse has been fighting an uphill battle since the moment he was drafted during the seventh round of the 2016 NFL draft.

    Kearse, a former standout safety at Clemson University, entered camp last season with greater expectations than most late-round draft selections due to his incredible size-athleticism combination. He delivered to some extent, making the 53-man roster out of training camp last season and contributing a total of 77 snaps on defense — second to only first-round pick Laquon Treadwell among Vikings rookies.

    The results were not always there for Kearse, however, as he often appeared to struggle with his positioning and overall understanding of Mike Zimmer’s complex defensive scheme. Entering his second training camp in Minnesota following a full offseason with the Vikings, Kearse is feeling considerably more comfortable both with the training camp process and his understanding of his role on defense.

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    Welcome to the latest installment of the Vikings Territory Training Camp Primer series focusing on Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo, and the safeties.

    Amidst all of the turnover throughout the Vikings roster from 2016 to 2017, the safety position has changed very little from where it was a year ago. The five men who will compete at training camp in 2017 were all in the same position a year ago.

    However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be camp battles or important roles that need to be filled. The safety position’s significance is listed right there in its name — these players are the safety valve for the defense. If they screw up, it’s likely six points for the opposition.

    We know what Harrison Smith brings to the table. We know what Andrew Sendejo brings to the table. But who will emerge as a reliable depth filler behind them?

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    Vikings Training Camp Preview

    In just 11 days, the Minnesota Vikings open training camp on the Minnesota State, Mankato campus. Rookie practices begin on Monday, July 24th and full team practices start Thursday, July 27th.

    As usual, this time of year has brought optimism to the Vikings and their fans. But this year, things seem different. There’s good reason to be excited, as the offseason resulted in refreshing roster replacements, an influx of young talent, and a promising outlook on lovable quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

    To recap the offseason moves, Minnesota added free agents Latavius Murray, Riley Reiff, Datone Jones, Michael Floyd, and Mike Remmers.

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    Three More Vikings Rookies Sign Contracts

    The Minnesota Vikings signed three of their 2017 draftees this morning: Tight end Bucky Hodges, center Pat Elflein, and linebacker Elijah Lee. With the additions, the Vikings have now signed all but three of their remaining selections.

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