Saturday, August 29, 2015

kyle rudolph

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If Matt Kalil can play halfway decent like he did last night, and if the team can stay healthy like they did last night, then I dare say that this Vikings offense has the ingredients to be as good (if not better) than what we all witnessed in 2009.

One thing that stuck out to me during the Hall of Fame Game in Canton was just how talented and deep we look to be at the tight end position. Somewhat int he shadow of Adrian Peterson’s return and the acquisition of some speedy receivers, I’m thinking Teddy Bridgewater’s “safety blankets” could be some of our best weapons throughout the 2015 season.

Of all the starters, albeit in very limited action, it was tight end Kyle Rudolph that impressed me the most. Bridgewater targeted him twice on the opening drive. Both passes were caught, both went for first downs, and Rudolph showed some tenacity as he shed three tackles to gain his 22 yards of production.

As fantasy football players everywhere will be quick to point out, the problem with Rudolph isn’t his potential and talent, it always seems to be his ability to come out of a game unscathed. He’s missed 15 games over the last two seasons and, according to a recent Pioneer Press article, he knows something needs to change.

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I had a ton of fun hanging out in Mankato for the weekend at Vikings Training Camp. It was great to meet some previous guests on the show, record a few live podcasts at the Boulder Tap House, and take in our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings squad from the sidelines. Mentioned this before, but even the more butt-hurt/pessimistic Vikings fans should have reason to believe this year. We have a talented young squad lead by a platoon of teachers and leaders, which is a great combination for sustained success. It was a great experience and big props to Vikings Territory and Vikings PR for helping make it happen. I prattle on about 40 of my observations at Vikings Training Camp.

“Asiata bumped into me and got one yard after contact” Talking Points Include
• Adrian is ready.
• Teddy is a smooth operator, but overly cautious at times.
• Left tackle is the main issue with this team.
• Matt Kalil is a super nice guy. Not sure if he loves football.
• The jury’s gonna be out on Trae Waynes for a while.
• Offensive Line shakeups not over yet.
• An “unconditioned” Anthony Barr is still nuts.
• Right guard may not be decided anytime soon.
• Stefon Diggs is special. Poor man’s Antonio Brown?
• Charles Johnson & Xavier Rhodes have greatly benefited from going at each other every practice.
• Tune in for the other 30 Andy Observations!

All that and other “Love Me Some Mankato” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Teddy Bridgewater, QB – Minnesota Vikings

I’m going to take a page out of Teddy Bridgewater’s book and cool the hype on Minnesota’s favorite quarterback. While I believe Bridgewater will improve his game in 2015— both on the stat sheet and on film — he’s not going to light up fantasy football leagues week-in and week-out. If anything, Bridgewater is a solid choice as your backup quarterback, and a safety net if QB1 is injured or cannot play.

Earlier today, Brett joked he’d take Bridgewater first overall in his league, no matter what I wrote tonight. Though it’s not necessarily true, Brett’s joke is a sign of the optimism surrounding Bridgewater as training camp nears. After a Week 13-17 stretch that saw the rookie quarterback complete 72.1 percent of his passes and throw six touchdowns, that positive feeling is warranted.

Though Bridgewater’s the center of attention in Minnesota, he’s not letting the spotlight skew his opinion of the team, per USA Today’s Tom Pelissero:

“Right now, we’re not as good as what we think,” he said. “We know that the ceiling is very high and the expectation level is very high — not only for the players, but from a coaching staff also. We know what’s being asked of us, but we have a long way to go.”

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In this four-part series leading up to training camp, I’ll be profiling the Vikings you should target in your fantasy football leagues this year. Look for new additions every Thursday and Friday the next few weeks and stay tuned for a bonus selection at the end!

Kyle Rudolph, TE — Minnesota Vikings

If there were ever a year for Kyle Rudolph to break out, it would be 2015. He enters his fifth season as the clear-cut starter in one of the league’s most tight-end friendly offenses. Like Adrian Peterson, Rudolph should benefit from playing under Norv Turner — if, that is, he can stay healthy.

That’s always been Rudolph’s major concern, and I addressed it in an article I wrote defending him in April. In the two seasons since making the Pro Bowl, Rudolph has missed a combined 15 games because of injuries, from torn abdominal muscles to an MCL strain in his knee. This offseason, he revamped his personal offseason training program and is hopeful he can start every game in 2015, per Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune:

“You see what my position is capable of in this offense. I’ve proven that throughout the course of a 16-game season, when I’m out there every week, I’m one of the best players at my position.”

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Image Courtesy of Vikings.com - Modified

It’s time! It is time for the only camping that Andy actually likes to do. The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings report to Mankato on Saturday to begin the hopefully fruitful 2015 campaign. Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) – Vikings writer at 1500 ESPN as well as BAWS on their Purple Podcast – joins the show to drop some knowledge on us before the Vikings Nation descends on the Jewel of South Central Minnesota that is Mankato.

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