Monday, October 5, 2015

jarius wright

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And much, more more

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The rhetoric around quarterbacks, especially young quarterbacks, is that they need to make every “NFL throw.” From the 10-yard out to the end zone fade, a quarterback in today’s league has to be able to “thread the needle” and hit their target with near-perfect accuracy. Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater understands this — he’s aiming to complete more than 70 percent of his passes this season.

If Saturday’s preseason game against the Cowboys was any indication, Bridgewater is well on his way to exceeding his lofty goal. He was 7-of-7 passing for 76 yards, and despite his “struggles” throwing deep, connected with Mike Wallace for a beautiful 39-yard reception down the right sideline. It was the duo’s first “wow” play of the preseason, and an overdue step in the right direction for the Vikings’ deep threat receiver.

For Bridgewater, it was a proverbial “hush” to those who doubted his ability to throw the ball deep. And for head coach Mike Zimmer, it was just one of Bridgewater’s impressive plays from the night:

“It was a great throw,” Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. “It’s important for us, I know everybody wants to see Wallace get a bunch of deep throws and so do I, but it’s important for us to go through our progressions and make the reads, make the correct throws. That’s why his completion percentage was 100 percent, because he continues to do those things. It’s not always about throwing the ball to one guy. It’s about making the reads, making the correct throws and taking a 4-yard gain as opposed to throwing incompletions.”

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Minnesota has some depth at wide receiver this season, and six main guys are standing out as major competitors for the final 53-man roster: veteran Mike Wallace, Cordarrelle Patterson, Adam Thielen, Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson and rookie Stefon Diggs. Although the general belief is that the Vikings will end up hanging onto all six guys, we decided to have a discussion. If Minnesota only keeps five receivers, which player doesn’t make the cut? 

Adam: Cordarrelle Patterson
Wallace and Johnson are totally safe. Wright is too good to consider, despite the fact that he may not be a Viking after his contract year. Diggs is a recent investment that has no chance of going anywhere, especially with the proficiency he has displayed so far in training camp and preseason. The decision really comes down to Patterson and Thielen, which is an incredibly difficult decision to make.

I loved Patterson coming out of college and thought he displayed a lot of traits of a first-round receiver, despite being raw. However, I’m losing patience with the “raw” label he has been given and feel like he has even regressed under the current coaching staff. I don’t see the “those legs never stop churning” efforts that I noticed on his college tape anymore and have to wonder if he’ll even get a chance to prove his worth as a true receiver before his rookie contract has expired. He is a wild card at this point, and sticking with him over a guy like Thielen could be a gamble.

Thielen, on the other hand, has greatly exceeded expectations and has a knack for being exactly in the right spot at exactly the right time. He is speedy, displays dependable catching abilities, and has tremendous value on special teams.

If I had to cut one of these guys right here and right now, Adam Thielen is the better football player. I would rather cut Patterson and have him make that decision look stupid by succeeding elsewhere than keep him and have me look stupid right here in Minnesota.

Either way, a bursting depth chart at this position is a nice problem to have and I hope they decide to carry six. If not, then Rick Spielman has a dandy of a decision on his hands that carries real-life ramifications unlike this little experiment of ours.

Brian: Adam Thielen
When all is said and done, I believe the Vikings keep 6 WRs and they all stay. I say, if any of them get cut, it’s Thielen. He’s a valuable player given his ability to play several roles but he probably has limited upside as well. The first three are set. Diggs is a rookie they won’t take a chance on cutting and, as frustrating as he can be, they can’t give up on Patterson’s potential yet.

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The Minnesota Vikings topped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-16 Saturday at The Sauna… I mean The Bank. Mike Zimmer extends his career head coaching preseason record to a robust 6-0, but it came at a price as veteran road-grading right tackle Phil Loadholt was lost for the season with a torn achilles. The much maligned offensive line now has a new set of obstacles. Who’s gonna step up? TJ Clemmings? Austin Shepherd? Babs? (Not Babs)

We dig into the NEW problematic offensive tackle position for the Vikings as well as touch on other “Not-so Famous Jameis” talking points on today’s recap show.

Other “Get well soon, Uncle Phil” Talkers Include
• The Dogra Bowl – Welcome back Leslie Frazier
• Phil Loadholt done for the year, career as a Viking?
• Will TJ Clemmings step up?
• Matt Kalil said football is fun again
• Teddy looked sharp & in command
• Was it Zach Line’s birthday?
• WTF, Cordarrelle?
• Stefon Diggs is a lot of fun to watch
• Blanton is going to start, but it’s close
• Marcus Sherels is under-appreciated. We don’t deserve him.
• We are very lucky to have Tom Johnson
• Long snapper: No one cares. Just pick one.
• Taylor Heinicke. Me likey.
• Good things happen when Gerald Hodges is on the field
• Don’t bet against Adam Thielen (You can bet against Fruechte though)
• Eric Kendricks is an animal
• Give me Brian Peters over Mike Mauti & Brandon Watts #SorryNotSorry
Amazon – Bookmark us & show some love!

All that and other “Next Man Up” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

A "Flash" in the pan?

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When Cordarrelle Patterson steps foot on the practice field at training camp, he turns heads. At 6’2″, 216 pounds, he’s one of the more physically imposing receivers on the team, with powerful legs and a stocky upper body reminiscent of a running back. Coupled with his 4.42 speed, Patterson has all of the physical traits to be an excellent wide receiver.

But something’s missing.

Maybe Patterson enjoys the attention he’s receiving, or maybe, he enjoys the fanfare that comes with being a first-round draft pick in the NFL. Whatever the case may be, he hasn’t lived up to the hype created by his phenomenal rookie season, when he caught four touchdown passes, rushed for another three, and led the league in yards per kickoff return. That Pro Bowl performance set the stage for what’s been a disappointing two years since, but Patterson has it in his power to turn his short career around.

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(Photo Courtesy of Luke Inman)

Training Camp is a time to figure things out. I have a laundry list of things I want to shake out in Mankato and I’ll rattle a few off on the podcast. We’ll also talk about our production schedule for this week (at least one episode a day!), as well as rough outline of our Mankato adventure this weekend, and us singing the praises of Boulder Tap House. A place ya’ll should come swarm us after each Vikings practice. Do it.

A Few of the 37 Things I Want to Figure Out in Mankato Include
• Nothing about Adrian
• “How does Teddy look?”
• How much does Chad Greenway have left?
• That Zimmer Hellfire Defense in year two.
• Who wins at right guard? Harris – Berger/Yankey/Thompson/Shepherd/ FUSCO?
• With Clemmings staying at tackle, could he be the eventual replacement for Loadholt/Kalil?
• What’s Stefon Diggs gonna be?
• What’s the deal with Spielman’s arms?
• Will Trae Waynes even start as a rookie?
• Cordarelle has one strike left. Will he strike out?
• Tune in for the other 27!

All that and other “Love Me Some Mankato” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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