Friday, August 18, 2017

kyle rudolph

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Cook Gives Vikings Offensive Flexibility
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

There’s no need to harp on Adrian Peterson‘s lack of versatility. Minnesota Vikings fans know, after years of watching him barrel through opposing defenses, that Peterson’s most valuable attribute was just that — his ability as a pure, north-to-south runner.

As Father Time gains ground and offensive philosophies shift to more wide-open, dynamic attacks, patience wears thin for players of Peterson’s unique, if limited skill set. While still a major draw on Sunday afternoons, the proof is on the paper; the Vikings’ all-time leading rusher sits behind Mark Ingram — and potentially rookie Alvin Kamara — on the New Orleans Saints’ depth chart.

Back in Minnesota, it’s clear Peterson’s replacement, second-round pick Dalvin Cook, brings a welcome, refreshing dynamic to the Vikings’ backfield. Though not the workhorse of his predecessor, it was clear from the start of training camp that Cook’s ceiling — in all other facets of a running back’s repertoire — is much higher than Peterson’s was from 2012 on.

Last Thursday’s preseason opener gave the organization a glimpse of the offensive flexibility Cook brings to Pat Shurmur’s scheme. Against the Buffalo Bills, he enjoyed a lion’s share of touches — almost all manufactured to put the ball in his hands — and reminded the Vikings of the possibilities created by having a do-it-all player in the backfield.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Territory staffer Drew Mahowald spoke with David Morgan about his role increasing as he approaches his second season.

For nearly 20 years now, the Minnesota Vikings have boasted a blue-chip, jack-of-all-trades tight end in their offense.

This role features a player who can line up in several different formations and fulfill many blocking roles and still be effective as a receiver.

Jim Kleinsasser first occupied this role when he was drafted in 1999. As his 13-year career concluded, Rhett Ellison gained control of the role for the next five seasons before signing with the New York Giants this offseason.

That role is now open for the taking, but second-year man David Morgan and his luxurious locks have the inside track on the role in 2017, both via his skill set and his experience. Morgan has a lot of respect for what Ellison brought to the table for the Vikings.

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Episode 82

Graphic designed by Brett Anderson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald react to Michael Floyd’s four-game suspension, continue their training camp preview segment with tight ends and the offensive line and finish up with a Take 5 on their favorite television shows.

Episode 82 is sponsored by local stand-up comic Brendan Gay — Catch the LIVE recording of his first comedy special at the Joke Joint Comedy Club (Lilydale, Minn.) on August 10th! Use to the promo code “BRENDAN” to get 40% off your ticket on the Joke Joint Comedy Club official website!

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  1. Intro: The Agenda (0:00)
  2. Advertising: See Local Comic Brendan Gay Perform LIVE August 10th (1:08)
  3. Floyd Focus: Reaction to Mike Floyd’s Four-Game Suspension (1:45)
  4. Training Camp Preview: Tight Ends (7:45)
  5. Training Camp Preview: Offensive Line (20:25)
  6. Twitter Questions: Would You Rather… and a Mini Cornerbacks Preview (39:30)
  7. Take 5: Best Television Shows (45:36)
  8. Drew’s Final Take: Use Your Blinker! (53:47)
  9. Sign-Out: New Posting Schedule — Monday-Wednesday-Friday (55:35)

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Episode 75

Graphic designed by Brett Anderson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald dive into the fallout of Michael Floyd’s positive alcohol test and revisit their “Retire No. 84” discussion following news that wide receivers Randy Moss and Ahmad Rashad will be enshrined in the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor ahead of discussing a deep, versatile and smoldering hot group of Twitter Takes. The guys also touch on the latest quotes canonizing Teddy Bridgewater, rank the NFC North’s cornerback groups and give their opinion on the worst consumable beverages available in 2017.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  1. Intro: The Agenda (0:00)
  2. Advertising: Comic Brendan Gay to Record 1st Special at St. Paul’s Joke Joint Comedy Club (1:42)
  3. Floyd’s Fall: The Situation, Dynamic & Impending Fallout (3:00)
  4. Randy’s Rise: Randy Moss & Ahmad Rashad Enshrined in Vikings Lore (10:09)
  5. Saint Teddy: Kyle Rudolph & Laquon Treadwell Latest to Chime in (16:07)
  6. NFC North Rankings: Cornerbacks (23:22)
  7. Twitter Mailbag: Courtesy of @PurplePTSD, @SIEMONSMA99, @SkolSees & @SwedSkol (34:35)
  8. Take 5: Worst Beverages (59:06)
  9. Sign-Out: You Know the Drill (1:04:06)

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Surmising the Starters
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

They’re in every front office; sprawling white boards checkered with placards and magnets. On these tags are player names, positions, and a smattering of notes, all meant to make sense of the jumble inside a general manager’s mind.

The job of an NFL franchise’s personnel department is no easy task; outside of scouting the future, they must develop the players within, slotting each into the correct position and role. Everyday tasks appear black-and-white, but most decisions made behind closed doors come amidst the gray.

Outside of a pure talent evaluation, there are the issues of locker room chemistry, salaries, tenure, and above all else, market value. The pressure to start a high-profile rookie, for example, may force the more talented, less exciting veteran out of a long-occupied place on the field.

RELATED: VIKINGS SHOULD CONSIDER ADDING COLIN KAEPERNICK

Fortunately, not all front offices function this way. The Minnesota Vikings—specifically, general manager Rick Spielman—operate in a more judicious manner. Rookies don’t automatically see the field in their first year, veterans are rarely released out of the blue, and the 22 available positions in the starting lineup are never “on lock.”

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