Monday, September 26, 2016

joe berger

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Is there one?

A Prescription for the Vikings Offensive Line
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The luster of an undefeated record masks the blemishes below the surface. For the Minnesota Vikings, that blemish is the offensive line. Through two games this season, the unit is Pro Football Focus’s 31st-ranked group and has struggled in every facet of play.

With Matt Kalil likely out for the season and T.J. Clemmings moving to left tackle, the prospects aren’t any better. Such overturn — and a sudden lack of depth — means offensive coordinator Norv Turner will have to adjust Minnesota’s scheme to compensate.

Shorter drops, shotgun looks, and a quick-hitting passing game could become the norm for the Vikings, who relied so heavily on a ground-and-pound attack in 2015. Even with those changes, there’s no guarantee the line improves. Right now, there’s no knowing how they can improve.

It’s the worry of every fan, and it’s the focus of this week’s Vikings Territory “Question of the Week:”

“What do you think is wrong with the OL, and how can it be fixed?”

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Joe Berger’s battle to start at center for the Minnesota Vikings concluded weeks ago with the release of John Sullivan, but ended on a high note today with an unexpected contract extension. According to a press release from the team, Berger has been signed to a one-year contract extension with the Vikings.

The 12-year veteran has 54 starts in 115 career games and 34 starts in 77 games in Minnesota. He started all 16 games for the Vikings at center last year and beat out John Sullivan to remain there in 2016. Berger’s extension keeps him in purple and gold through 2017, as the veteran center was set to become a free agent following the season.

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Terence Newman Wants to Re-Sign
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Following the cutdown to a (somewhat) finalized 53-man roster, it is an annual tradition that somebody out there less lazy than myself calculate the average age of NFL teams and create a whole bunch of headlines from all 32 markets that allude to where each franchise sits in the stack.

This year, Philly Voice did the dirty work, and Vikings fans will be interested to hear that the team has gone from one the league’s youngest rosters to the second oldest. They have an average age of 26.58 years and only the Atlanta Falcons are older.

One school of thought would suggest that an already talented playoff team is now that much more experienced across the board and prepared to make a serious run. Another angle, however, is that this roster has some veterans that will soon be in need of a replacement.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the Vikings are currently attempting to trade John Sullivan, their veteran center that is now thought to be fully healthy.

Minnesota is in the process of cutting their roster down to 75 players, and we’ll have updates up on that shortly, but the Sullivan move is certainly interesting from a number of angles.

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