Saturday, May 23, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "joe berger"

joe berger

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Go back and watch any Vikings game from 2014. What did you see? A promising rookie quarterback who struggled early and blossomed late in the year? A defensive end who thrived as a pass rusher and run stopper? A safety who asserted himself as one of the league’s best?

You probably saw all three, but nothing was more apparent than the struggles of the offensive line. Right tackle Phil Loadholt tore his pectoral muscle early in the year, landing on Injured Reserve and missing almost the entire season. Left guard Charlie Johnson, who was released this offseason, struggled in both the run game and in pass protection. However, success is almost impossible when lined up next to a player like 2014 Matt Kalil:

Hopefully, Vikings fans won’t have to watch more of this in the coming season. In a recent interview with the Star Tribune’s Sid Hartman, Mike Zimmer explored the idea of shifting the team’s offensive line in 2015 and replacing Johnson with one of three in-house options:

“We are looking at a few guys right now,” he said. “Obviously [veteran] Joe Berger has a chance to fit in with the mix. We have actually been looking at Brandon Fusco moving over to left guard and T.J. Clemmings playing right guard. Also the kid [tackle] Carter Bykowski] that we took off of San Francisco’s practice squad has looked good as well.”

In the same interview, Zimmer shared that Matt Kalil “feels great” and will play with “a chip on his shoulder” in 2015. After the team picked up his fifth-year option, Kalil will need to bounce back from a horrendous 2014 campaign. With two healthy knees, he may have a chance to do just that. On the other side of the line, fourth-round pick Clemmings may see time at right guard; he practiced primarily on the right side, at both guard and tackle, during rookie minicamp.

After the jump, a look at the latest developments around the NFC North:

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Week 17 Chicago 2014 by Matt Engstrom
Image courtesy of Matt Engstrom

In the past two weeks, Vikings fans have had the pleasure (or pain) of welcoming players like Mike Wallace and Shaun Hill to the team, hoping their additions will lead to continued improvement in 2015. But, the greetings aren’t always so simple — fans were forced to say goodbye to veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings this offseason, and may soon see Adrian Peterson out the door.

The Vikings, however, aren’t the only team making these types of moves — our NFC North neighbors in Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago have been busy tinkering and fine-tuning their rosters.

A look at the latest news out of the “Black and Blue” division, AFTER THE JUMP!:

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Although the Minnesota Vikings have been relatively quiet in free agency, they’ve made a few moves that could have lasting impacts heading into the 2015 season.

Splashy trades, surprising releases, and expensive free agent signings usually dominate headlines, but sometimes, the smaller, less-publicized transactions make or break a team’s season.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings signed offensive lineman Joe Berger to a two year deal on Tuesday and, at the moment, it appears possible he could be penciled in as the starting left guard.

Berger did not exactly get paid like a starter, with David Yankey as his primary in-house competition, but we can scratch one potential free agency solution off the list. The Cincinatti Bengals, according to reports, have retained free agent guard Clint Boling.

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According to ESPN’s Ben Goessling, the Vikings have re-signed offensive lineman Joe Berger to a two-year deal. The news came through Berger’s agent, Tom Tafelski.

Berger was listed in a USA Today article regarding NFL free agency Monday morning, and there was some question as to whether or not he would remain with the Vikings.

Earlier this year, Chris Tomasson wrote the following about Berger’s unlikely NFL career:

[Berger] was a skinny walk-on in 2000 at Division II Michigan Tech, which he attended to get an engineering degree.

After a redshirt season and two years on the team, nobody regarded Berger as a pro prospect. When the school announced it would drop football in 2003, Berger decided he would continue classes in Houghton, Mich., rather than transfer to another school to play football.

Two weeks later, the school decided to keep the football program, and Berger closed his college career with two solid seasons. The native of Newaygo, Mich., only can wonder where he might now be had that not happened.

“I’d be happily working as an engineer somewhere,” Berger said. “I’d be in west Michigan enjoying life, not knowing any different.”

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