Saturday, May 27, 2017

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings OTAs: 7 Positions Up For Grabs

The Minnesota Vikings’ organized team activities, or OTAs, began Tuesday. OTAs are offseason training sessions run with the purpose of developing players; or, simply put, practices without tackling. There are no 1-on-1 drills, only team drills.

OTAs can be a good barometer of how the team’s roster is going to shape up come the regular season. Generally, the players who practice together play together. Certainly, there are exceptions.

Lets take a look at several key position battles that will unfold during the Vikings preseason.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Happy start to the week everyone. It’s a beautiful day in Minnesota. In Monday’s ICYMI: Big news on Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, OTA storylines to follow and more. 

VT’s “In Case You Missed It” intends to funnel every news report, the most general of informational notes and a handful of the best analysis articles pertaining to the Minnesota Vikings into one all-encompassing write-up. If you don’t have the time to follow the Purple and Gold as much as you may like, allow Vikings Territory to do the dirty work for you with our catch-all Vikings recap of everything you may have missed.

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Where Do the Vikings Head From Here
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[In part one of this three-part series, Austin Belisle and Brett Anderson team up to put together an in-depth offseason plan for the Minnesota Vikings.]

Football, more than any other sport, is an unpredictable game. A loose ball, a tipped pass, a broken tackle; the slightest shift in momentum or circumstance can flip competition on its head. Franchises prepare for the random nature of the game, but often fall victim to factors they can’t control.

Such was the case for the Minnesota Vikings in 2016. From Teddy Bridgewater’s knee injury to the merry-go-round at offensive line, the team struggled to bounce back in the face of adversity. Players on the defensive side of the ball underperformed, turmoil forced a turnover on the coaching staff, and Mike Zimmer’s eye blurred Minnesota’s season outlook.

Combined, the weekly distractions and diversions were too much for the Vikings to overcome. They stalled to an 8-8 finish after starting the season 5-0; missing the playoffs just one year removed from winning the NFC North. Like any team in the NFL, the Vikings had one end-goal in mind: the Super Bowl. But dreaming of a Lombardi Trophy and winning the actual game are two different things.

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the future of the Minnesota Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer still can’t see out of his right eye, but an offseason surgery should fix his ailing vision. Despite the impairment, Zimmer missed just one game during the regular season and coached the Vikings to an 8-8 record.

While he recovers from the impending surgery, general manager Rick Spielman will have his hands full with another arduous task; mending a depleted offensive line and restocking a talented, if underperforming 2016 roster.

Difficult as it may be, Spielman has the salary cap flexibility to make wholesale changes in free agency and the proven craftiness to recoup draft picks lost in the Sam Bradford trade. How he does that, though, remains to be seen. And how he implements those changes in 2017 is a question no one can answer until at least August.

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Minnesota Vikings 1500 ESPN KSTP Chris Long

The great Chris Long (@ChrisLongKSTP) swung by to join us for a spirited chat about the Vikings, the upcoming Super Bowl, and Sid Hartman apparently was part owner of the Minneapolis Lakers… We talked about if this was Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford’s team going forward (from the player’s perspective), where and how much Adrian Peterson makes next year, how the evolution of college offenses have come at the expense of NFL offensive line play, why Laquon Treadwell may have struggled this season, and a whole lot more.

All that and more “Chad Greenway 2017?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

Wondering what to eat for the Super Bowl? Blue Door Pub has you covered with Super Bock IV!

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