Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "jeff locke"

jeff locke

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[NOTE FROM ADAM: In case you missed it, last week we introduced “Sleeper Sunday” where a few of us here at VT take a look at some under-the-radar prospects prior to May’s NFL Draft. I took a look at a strong safety candidate, Austin highlighted a cornerback, and Carl found a developmental quarterback he likes. Check it out and enjoy today’s fresh batch of sleepers.]

I’m not sure that a punter can qualify as a true “sleeper” since they aren’t really expected to be selected early on during Draft Weekend, but I have one guy in mind that I’d really like to see competing with Jeff Locke for the team’s punter spot.

That punter that I’d most like to see the Vikings chase in the latest rounds of the draft, or as an undrafted free agent, is Kansas Jayhawk Trevor Pardula.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[Note:  This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period.  This is the fifth article, focusing on the specialists.  In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterbacksrunning backs, tight ends, and the fullbacks are here.]

The Vikings are likely to see some movement this offseason when it comes to their key player on special teams.

To start, however, we should look at the one guy who seems about 99% safe in terms of job security. Kicker Blair Walsh is coming off of a down year in terms of consistency, but his body of work as a whole makes him more likely to get an extension this year than get replaced, by a long shot.  Walsh is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to have a cap hit of only $689,483.

At age 25, it would take a huge fall from grace for the strong-legged Walsh to be considered anything other than our guy in the present, and well into the future.

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If you happen to be a professional-caliber offensive tackle, the Minnesota Vikings are currently hiring.

The team waived tackle J’Marcus Webb on Tuesday, presumably due to the role he played in Sunday’s blocked field goal from 26 yards out.  Webb was beaten badly by Detroit’s Jason Jones in the first quarter which contributed to a dreadful day from that particular special teams unit.

Webb was signed after the Vikings placed Phil Loadholt on injured reserve earlier this season.  He previously played in eight games for the Vikings, starting one, during the 2013 season.

For those worried about Blair Walsh after the three missed field goals on Sunday, don’t forget to look at the big picture.  Webb’s miscue resulted in a block, a Jeff Locke hold was identified as the issue on another miss by the broadcast crew, and the other miss was from 109 yards out (or something like that).  It is natural to be worried, but it is also premature to think Blair Walsh can’t return to his rookie year in terms of production and dependability.

The Vikings have not yet filled Webb’s spot on the roster.

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Sorry for the delay on getting this out.  My Adrian Peterson hangover combined with my Thursday Night Football hangover has suddenly made other things feel like a higher priority… like raking leaves, taking naps, and finally watching Draft Day (dreadful).  My excuses have run out, however, so here we are.

After plenty of time to digest the debacle against the Packers I have determined that the Vikings looked exactly like something that has been fully digested.  It is a struggle to point to any individual performances from that game that are “Player of the Game” worthy.  Even in bad losses that is an unusual occurrence, but this game was an extra special flavor of bad.  That is why “none” is actually a legitimate option in this week’s poll.

Past Winners:

WEEK ONE:  Cordarrelle Patterson

WEEK TWO: Harrison Smith

WEEK THREE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Teddy Bridgewater

This week’s nominations are…

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That headline feels like it should end with a question mark, doesn’t it?

As we all know, the Minnesota Vikings put up their first stinker on Sunday, in front of the TCF Bank Stadium.  They had no answers for Julian Edelman, were prone to stupid penalties, and suffered from very poor quarterback play after the first drive of the game.

Finding “Player of the Game” nominations has been an interesting task, but I really want to do this every week.  Here they are:

CORDARRELLE PATTERSON:  I was perplexed as to why Patterson was so under-utilized in this game (he got no carries), but he did lead the Vikings in receiving yards (56), including a 26 yarder that was the longest play from scrimmage the Vikings had all day.  He also returned one kick for 23 yards.

JASPER BRINKLEY:  As is his style, Brinkley made a few quality downhill plays against the Patriots on Sunday, and he ended up leading the team in solo tackles (8) and total tackles (11).

HARRISON SMITH:  This guy should probably win, and probably will, as he was the only player that looked the exact opposite of “sluggish” all game long.  Smith played like the firecracker we’ve learned to expect out of him on his way to seven solo tackles (eight total).

JEFF LOCKE:  He couldn’t bring down Chandler Jones to avoid the score on the blocked field goal at the end of the first half, but he seemed to at least try.  Locke averaged 45.6 yards on five punting attempts.

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