Tuesday, September 26, 2017

joe berger

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The 2017 Minnesota Vikings Offensive Line

After toying with many different combinations throughout the preseason, the Vikings offensive line starters have finally been settled — at least for now.

The revamped group features new starters across the board, a new blocking scheme, and some rookie talent to develop.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Wow, what a fun day! Lots of action. With roster cuts already in progress, here’s a last-minute Vikings 53-man roster projection, which includes Friday’s trade for cornerback Tramaine Brock:

  • Sam Bradford
  • Case Keenum
  • Teddy Bridgewater (PUP)

The Vikings rolled with two quarterbacks last year and I don’t see that changing this year. Taylor Heinicke is practice squad eligible and I don’t see teams lining up to snag him off waivers. Plus, there’s always Mitch Leidner.

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The Long View on Vikings Rookies
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I’m an impatient person, always have been. Few things bother me more than arriving late, missing a deadline, or procrastinating to the last minute. Not only do I want to get things done well, but I want to finish them now.

Time, if you couldn’t tell, is a valuable, if limited resource in my life. I like to say there are never enough hours in the day, and most days, that old adage rings true. Between sleep, work, the Vikings, and my attempts at a regular social life, I’m constantly fighting the revolving hands on my wristwatch.

I think these stressors apply to most people, and in the context of Vikings Territory, to the Minnesota Vikings. When analyzing the Vikings, we often talk about championship windows and the likelihood that “this is the year” they win their first Super Bowl.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Bookends Need To Stay Off The Shelf

Under head coach Mike Zimmer, the Minnesota Vikings have quietly become one of the best NFL teams on paper. In reality, the defense is legitimate. Last season the Vikings ranked third in the NFL in total defense.

Today, three of the team’s best defenders are the beneficiaries of contract extensions, making them Vikings for life. Furthermore, the Vikings offense, which sputtered last season, now has the personnel to establish a refreshing new identity, post Adrian Peterson.

So, what could keep this ‘great’ team from reaching the playoffs and making a run at Super Bowl 52 in their home state? The Vikings’ Achilles heel…the offensive line.

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Interior Offensive Line
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Welcome to the last installment of the Vikings Territory Training Camp Primer series focusing on Alex Boone, Pat Elflein, Joe Berger, and the Minnesota Vikings interior offensive line.

It’s no secret the Vikings’ offensive line had a rough 2016 season. Multiple players who were expected to make an impact up front were lost for a variety of reasons; Mike Harris didn’t play a snap all year due to an undisclosed illness or injury, Phil Loadholt retired before the season, and tackles Matt Kalil, Andre Smith and Jake Long all suffered season-ending injures.

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