Friday, November 17, 2017

marcus sherels

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Next Man Up

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Special teams has always been the odd-phase out.

Extra-point bathroom breaks are a weekly routine for many fans, and others even have had the audacity to challenge whether or not kickers and punters qualify as “football players”. It is understandable that special teams phases are typically viewed similarly to a third wheel, as offense and defense provide the vast majority of explosive, highlight-reel plays while the tug-of-war between the two “primary” game phases is perpetually tracked on scoreboards, statistical websites and, of course, social media.

This perception is rooted in a very simple, elementary-level dynamic: Six points will always be more than three, and, correspondingly, field goals will always finish second to touchdowns. Furthermore, attempting field goals, regardless of result, is the football-equivalent of settling for a consolation prize.

The scoreboard may not always directly reflect superior special teams play, but over the course of an entire season, teams that perform well in these phases of the game tend to finish much higher in the standings. The Minnesota Vikings are well aware of this truth and, as a result, have demonstrated that special teams excellence is not just an annual objective but a formal expectation every single season.

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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:

Quarterback
  • 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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Mankato Lovin' LIVE from the Boulder Tap House [PODCAST] - 1500 ESPN Twin Cities

The Purple FTW! Podcast has descended upon Mankato for Minnesota Vikings Training Camp. We set up shop at Boulder Tap House, our home away from home, and Andy and Producer Allie welcomed in Eric Thompson (The Daily Norseman) and Arif Hasan (Zone Coverage) to recap some random Purple tidbits. The crew chatted about Sam Bradford and Mike Zimmer’s dap fail, Laquon Treadwell’s hamstring injury (which may or may not have been caused by Antone Exum), Riley Reiff’s back “twinge”, Dalvin Cook living up to the hype, and the Michael Floyd Redemption Tour. Plus who would prevail in a Twin Cities sports media Anchorman-style rumble.

All that and more “Hi, Megyn Kelly” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

A Carlson Digital Joint

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Purple FTW! Podcast: 9 Under the Radar Vikings Training Camp Questions (ep. 381)

Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings Training Camp is less than two weeks away and all of the main storylines have already been beaten to death. Will Laquon Treadwell rebound in year 2? Will Teddy Bridgewater start the year on the PUP? Can Anthony Barr earn his 5th year option? Can the offensive line not be garbage this season? Blah blah blah. So today we decided to take a deeper dive into 9 under the radar training camp questions that I’m interested in.

Today’s Talkers Include:
• What if Trae Waynes or Mackensie Alexander are bad?
• What’s gonna happen with Taylor Heinicke?
• Is Joe Berger still #Good?
• What’s B-Rob’s role in 2017?
• Is this finally the year for Marcus Sherels?
• Does Tre Roberson crack the 53-man roster?
• Is this it for Antone Exum?
• Which UDFA will make the roster?
• Who’s the punter/kicker gonna be?

All that and more “How’s Teddy Look?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

A Carlson Digital Joint

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

It is officially time to begin the countdown.

Eighty-nine days separate fans from an epic, Monday Night Football showdown between a potentially historic Mike Zimmer defense and Sean Payton’s New Orleans Saints offense, which, once again, projects to be extremely dangerous behind stalwart signal-caller Drew Brees, 2016 breakout receiver Michael Thomas and, of course, the game-breaking talent of recently-acquired running back Alvin Kamara.

New Orleans’ other running back acquisition this offseason, Adrian Peterson, is indeed scheduled to attend his 11th-consecutive Vikings home opener. But, instead of donning his trademark purple and gold No. 28 jersey, Minnesota’s all-time leading rusher will take the field “funded” by his success in a down-right abhorrent and equally vile black and gold uniform — a color scheme eternally linked to the organization most individually responsible for his lack of a diamond-plated finger weight.

Peterson, of course, was canonized as a Saint following a late-February decision by the Vikings to move forward without their 10-year franchise icon. The opportunity to test his value on the free-agent market for the first (and potentially only) instance during his career was widely expected, but Peterson was never forced to play through the inherent pressure of an expiring deal — contract year.

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