Monday, August 31, 2015

NFL

In a video that’s recently [and quickly] making the rounds on social media, Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter is seen leading a session for NFL rookies. In case you had any doubt about his status, Carter is—of course—wearing the yellow jacket.

At this specific point, Carter brings up the concept of NFL athletes designating a “fall guy.” Coincidentally, Carter calls up Teddy Bridgewater to use as an example in his hypothetical scene. Carter says the following:

If ya’ll have a crew, you have to have a ‘fall guy’ in the crew. […] I let my homeboys know. Ya’ll want to keep rolling like this, then I need to know who’s gonna be the ‘fall guy’—who’s going to be driving—because you’re not all gonna be doing the right stuff, all right? So I have to teach you how to get around all this stuff, too. If you’re going to have a crew, one of those fools has to know he’s going to jail. We’ll get him out.

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image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill and Taylor Heinicke efficiently connected on 27 of 33 pass attempts for 293 yards and two touchdowns to help the Vikings spoil Jameis Winston’s preseason NFL debut.

Bridgewater started the game off hot by hitting Kyle Rudolph for 18 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Two plays later he hit Jarius Wright for a 26 yard reception helping the Vikings get in position for a Blair Walsh 46 yard field goal that gave the Vikings an early 3-0 lead.

Bridgewater was 7/8 in the game for 86 yards and led the Vikings on a five play 38 yard scoring drive that ended with a Zach Line 1-yard touchdown run on the Vikings third possession.

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A couple of weeks ago we debated which team was kicking butt in the offseason and most effectively building its team. Now it’s time to look at the flip side of the coin … 

VT Question of the Week: Which NFL Team is “Losing” the Offseason?

Adam: San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco is the obvious choice here, and the right choice. That team’s offseason has been mind-boggling on a lot of levels, but perhaps no loss will prove greater than that of their head coach. A regime change and unexpected retirements of prominent players create a real problem for the NFL Spin Machine that can usually renew hope for all 32 teams on an annual basis. Given the current state of the team, and the stiff competition within their division, I don’t see much reason for optimism. Oh, and we know they’re going to start out the season with a loss, right?

Arif: San Francisco 49ers
Has to be the 49ers. Sure, they had an average draft, but they didn’t just force out a great (if crazy) coach, they had their best players retire or leave in free agency with some spotty plans for backing them up—Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Justin Smith, Anthony Davis, Frank Gore and even Chris Culliver (who is being replaced by Shareece Wright). Trading their Pro Bowl punter wasn’t a great move either, given how much they’ve relied on field position in the past, and I’m not sure players like receiver Jerome Simpson or cornerback Chris Cook can make up for the rest of their offseason. Their best acquisition, Torrey Smith, was a good grab, but even their second- and third-best free agency players (Darnell Dockett and Reggie Bush) will represent a downgrade at their positions.

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The Vikings announced Tuesday morning that the team has released safety Taylor Mays.

Mays signed with Minnesota on March 24, and he has been working with the reserves during this spring’s OTA’s. Tuesday marked the kickoff of the team’s three-day mandatory mini camp.

Mays played in Cincinnati from August 2011, and he reunited with coach Mike Zimmer when he joined the Vikings. His size (6’3″) and speed combined added to his previous experience with Zimmer looked to make him a strong candidate, but he wasn’t getting many reps at safety thus far.

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John Wolfsberger is a man of many talents and interests. I initially made his acquaintance as a fellow Vikings fan, and when I came to know more about his life outside of the football, I discovered he is a husband, a father, a firefighter and a voiceover actor.

I assumed that Wolfsberger tried one career, then transitioned to something different. I was wrong. Wolfsberger navigates the schedules and atmospheres of both jobs, and he loves each of them.

Working out of Station 7 on the East Side of St. Paul, Wolfsberger is a full-time firefighter and takes great pride in his job. He has had hundreds of calls over the years, some more memorable than others, but one day that stands out clearly in his mind happened a couple years ago.

We received a call with a report of a house fire and a person still trapped inside,” Wolfsberger recalled. He explained that crews got to the fire extremely fast and were able to save the little girl. “The paramedics stabilized her and got to the hospital quickly. After her recovery, she and her family stopped by the station [to meet us]. It was so cool to see that she was doing great!

His everyday job is often rewarding, but Wolfsberger doesn’t deny the intensity of it, either—which makes it that much more fun to have such a vastly different side gig.

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