Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Matt Kalil

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Image courtesy of YouTube | Modified

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings savored a tasty curb stomping of the San Diego Super Chargers 31-14 Sunday afternoon at The Bank. The Purple sealed the win in the second half with a solid running game and dominant defense that completely shut down Philip Rivers and the Bolts. We recap the action in our usual “Not too high/not too low” fashion!

Other “Manti Te’o isn’t real” Talkers Include
• Adrian is Adrian
• Vikings Fans Want The D
• Trae Waynes First Action
• Teddy Bridgewater Concerns
• Wide Receiver Rotation
• The Mandatory Offensive Line Talking Point
• Chad Greenway Lifetime Achievement Pick-6
• Kyle Rudolph: The Master of Getting 4 on 3rd & 6
• Everson > Jared in His Prime?
• Vikings fans had a right to boo because…
• Blair Walsh didn’t miss!
• We woulda won by fitty if Ragnar had been there…
• Visit our new sponsor Stars Draft for Daily Fantasy Sports!
• Bookmark us on Amazon & show some love!

All that and other “Start Over” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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photo courtesy of Vikings.com

Earlier today, we discussed the biggest negatives from Monday’s loss to San Francisco in Part I of our QOTW segment. This time around, we’re weighing in on the silver linings we saw in Week 1. Feel free to take the poll and leave us comments with your own thoughts on the game!

Brent: Anthony Barr
I’d say the biggest positive was Anthony Barr, who led the defense with 12 total tackles, 10 of which were solo. Barr, who was limited the majority of the preseason, looked like the explosiveness from his rookie season was back in full.

Lindsey: Xavier Rhodes
As rough as the defense looked in general, I thought Xavier Rhodes had a great game. The CB looked strong against San Francisco, offering tight coverage and finishing the evening with seven tackles, all of them solo. Entering his third year in the NFL, Rhodes has big goals ahead of him, and I have no doubt he’ll have a solid 2015 season.

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After an evening of reflection, and copious amounts of chicken wings and beer, I’ve decided that I prefer Monday night’s Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings massive fail as opposed to a close game. I’ll explain my flawless logic as Di Murphy (@DiMurphyMN) joins the show for her weekly spot.

We chat about Adrian Peterson’s usage, our confidence in Teddy Bridgewater bouncing back after a poor showing, and how Mike Zimmer not putting any of the blame on himself or the coaching staff is concerning and worth nothing.

All that and other “blow in the bottom of the cartridge and hit reset” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings started out the 2015 season with a turd in the punch bowl Monday night/Tuesday morning in Santa Clara, falling to the San Francisco 49ers 20-3 in a game that wasn’t even that close. We recap the grease fire that was on today’s show and promise not to be ALL doom and gloom!

Also Mugsy threw up in my mouth towards the end of the show. So there’s that…

Other “The Vikings Had 6 Preseason Games” Talkers Include
• Why I like watching games alone
• The WORST kinds of Vikings fans
• Blown Opportunities
• Calling Out Mike Zimmer
• Where Was Adrian?
• Teddy Looked Like a Rookie Quarterback
• The Offensive Line is as Advertised
• Wide Receiver Corps Was Grounded
• The Defense Didn’t Arrive in California
• Anthony Barr – Lone Bright Spot
• Sendejo Starting over Blanton. Mixed Bag
• Special Teams Shined, But Opportunites Squandered
• Blair Walsh……
• Visit our new sponsor Stars Draft for Daily Fantasy Sports!
Bookmark us on Amazon & show some love!

All that and other “Start Over” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Who is this Matt Kalil, and where has he been? I’ve watched the Vikings’ three preseason games, and the No. 75 stepping onto the field isn’t the same player I watched in 2014. We all know the story — Kalil allowed a league-high 12 sacks last season while playing every offensive snap through chronic knee pain. More often than not, Kalil looked slow, unsure of himself, and passive in pass protection, giving some of the league’s best edge rushers free shots on first-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

It wasn’t all his fault, though. Kalil’s knees became such an issue last season that he required arthroscopic surgery from Dr. James Andrews — the same doctor who repaired Adrian Peterson’s ACL — and has been taking precautionary steps to improve his health since January. Midway through training camp, Kalil reflected on his injuries and the mental toll they took on him this offseason, per Andrew Krammer:

“You get to a point where everything hurts so much, you’re like, ‘OK, one more year and then there’s no way,'” Kalil said. “There’s a lot of things, too, besides football. Obviously I love football and I’m healthy, obviously I’m going to do everything I can like I am now.”

“But if you’re not [healthy], it wears on you. If you had to go to practice and feel excruciating pain every day, it wouldn’t be really fun to work with. You feel like you have to survive at practice instead of get better and work on your skills. You know what I mean? That’s what it was like last year. It’s all good now, I’m healthy.”

Given his newfound health and confidence, Kalil can finally focus on perfecting his technique. That extra practice time, from working individually on his kickstep to battling Everson Griffen in one-on-ones, means Kalil is beginning to look more and more like his 2012 self. That Matt Kalil, the fourth-overall selection in the  NFL Draft, earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and lived up to the college hype, routinely shutting down elite rushers like Aldon Smith, Robert Mathis, and Clay Matthews.

However, his road to recovery hasn’t been without bumps and bruises. As Adam wrote earlier this month, Kalil started camp as the team’s revolving door, losing one-on-one battles with Anthony Barr, Everson Griffen, and even rookie Danielle Hunter. The same issues that cropped up in 2014 — lazy footwork, high pad level, a late first punch — resurfaced throughout practices, and the worries of an ever-fearful Vikings fan base grew with every poor camp report.

But then, the Vikings traveled to Canton for the Hall of Fame Game and Kalil played…great? He did, are you sure? Yes, Kalil was solid, and surprisingly, that’s been the case in every one of the Vikings’ three exhibition games. Even Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, which ranked Kalil the third-worst tackle in 2014, has been surprised by Kalil’s performances:

Where did this turnaround come from, and how has Kalil been so efficient? Granted, it’s only the preseason, and we’re dealing with a small sample size, but the film never lies — Kalil looks healthy, motivated, and engaged thus far in 2015.

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