Wednesday, July 26, 2017

jeremiah sirles

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Vikings Sign Tackle Arturo Uzdavinis

The Minnesota Vikings signed offensive tackle Arturo Uzdavinis Monday. Uzdavinis (ooz-duh-VENICE) is listed at 6-foot-7, 305 pounds. The 24 year-old played college football at Tulane, where he earned academic honors. Uzdavinis signed with the Houston Texans after going undrafted in the 2016 NFL draft. He did not make the team and spent the 2016 season on the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars practice squads. The Detroit Lions signed him this spring and then released him a month later.

In Minnesota Uzdavinis will compete against the likes of Rashod Hill, Reid Fragel, Austin Shepherd, Jeremiah Sirles, and Aviante Collins for a spot on the team. The Vikings roster now stands at 90 players heading into training camp.

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Welcome to the latest installment of the Vikings Territory Training Camp Primer series focusing on Riley Reiff, Mike Remmers and the Minnesota Vikings’ Offensive Tackle position.

Minnesota entered the offseason following a disappointing 2016 campaign with one blatantly obvious and critically important goal in mind: Improve its offensive line. The Vikings’ offensive line issues began before this past season began, as veteran right tackle Phil Loadholt opted to retire after struggling to fully recover from a torn Achilles’ injury.

This was only the beginning of Minnesota’s misery, as injuries to Matt Kalil, Andre Smith and Jake Long pressed both TJ Clemmings and Jeremiah Sirles into duty — and the results were… suspect, to say the least.

General manager Rick Spielman took action following arguably the worst collective offensive line performance over the duration of an entire season in franchise history. And while his free-agent signings of former Detroit Lions left tackle Riley Reiff and former Carolina Panthers swing tackle Mike Remmers were not universally well-received, the Vikings project to field a more consistent and durable front-five in 2017 — much of which hinges on the performances of the aforementioned pair of newly-acquired bookends.

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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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Vikings OTAs: 7 Positions Up For Grabs

The Minnesota Vikings’ organized team activities, or OTAs, began Tuesday. OTAs are offseason training sessions run with the purpose of developing players; or, simply put, practices without tackling. There are no 1-on-1 drills, only team drills.

OTAs can be a good barometer of how the team’s roster is going to shape up come the regular season. Generally, the players who practice together play together. Certainly, there are exceptions.

Lets take a look at several key position battles that will unfold during the Vikings preseason.

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Mike Zimmer met with reporters for an hour Wednesday, touching on a number of topics, but one that stood out was an offhand comment about the analytics website Pro Football Focus. Zimmer can be guarded in his answers at times, but is candid when he wants to be, and much of what was he said Wednesday fell on the side of the latter, including his assessment of PFF after a question about Jeremiah Sirles:

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