Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pat Shurmur

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image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is a restless man during the NFL Draft. When he’s not on the clock, he’s frantically making calls with other teams to improve Minnesota’s draft position. He has operated that way since he took over full reigns as general manager in 2012.

In his first three NFL Drafts, Spielman either moved Minnesota’s place in the draft or added a selection in the first round. He swooped an extra couple of picks from Cleveland in 2012 to move down one spot and was still able to get the guy he wanted in Matt Kalil. In 2013, Spielman selected three times in the first round, making trades with Seattle (before the draft) and New England to acquire picks that turned into Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Spielman then pulled the trigger on a trade that moved the Vikings back into the last slot of the first round in 2014 to select Teddy Bridgewater.

“Slick Rick” didn’t make any such moves in the previous two drafts, but his track record indicates that type of maneuver is on his mind a week before the draft. It’s important to keep in mind that Spielman would likely need to give up the 48th overall pick and the 79th overall pick to move up into the bottom of the first. Depending on the prospects available, it might require more than that.

With all of this in mind, the question must be asked: If Spielman does pull the trigger on a trade into the first round, which prospects should he target?

The fundamental answer is easy: trade up for a guy with top-tier first round talent who has slipped through the cracks. Several candidates fit that bill in this year’s draft class.

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VT Roundtable Episode 5

Depth proves to be a difference-maker on this week’s VT Roundtable, as the guys tackle a number of Minnesota Vikings topics despite two key absences from their weekly panel.

Topics range from determining the identity of Minnesota’s rebuilding offense to a purple twist on Fantasy Football in yet another action-packed episode of polarizing opinions, unexpected tangents and a handful of hot takes.

Be sure to check it out after the jump AND subscribe to the Vikings Territory YouTube channel for more videos!

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Coaching Changes
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings made a number of high-profile coaching changes last offseason, but with the core group in place, have very few holes to fill. So far, this has been a quiet month for the Vikings, who recently added two new coaches to the staff.

According to Alex Marvez of Sporting News, Kennedy Polamalu is expected to be named the team’s new running backs coach. ESPN’s Adam Caplan later reported that Clancy Barone, former Denver Broncos offensive line coach, will become Minnesota’s tight ends coach.

With the changes, Kevin Stefanski is expected to take over as the Vikings’ quarterbacks coach in 2017. His transition from running backs coach to the new role gives Minnesota a fully-staffed sideline of coaches.

Three Questions

Tom Moore on U.S. Bank Stadium, Vikings Alumni, and the Minnesota Offense
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

A familiar face roams the pathways of Mankato each year, and his name is Tom Moore. Known best for his training camp interviews and one-on-one spots in the Minnesota Vikings locker room, Tom is a longstanding member of the Vikings media community and recognizable name at VikeFans.com.

He took some time after a busy season of videography to catch up with Adam Warwas as part of Vikings Territory’s “Three Questions” series of posts. Today, we learned plenty about Minnesota’s most famous alumni, the beauty of U.S. Bank Stadium, and the potential of the Vikings offense in 2017.

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Vikings Make Pat Shurmur Permanent Offensive Coordinator
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings removed Pat Shurmur’s interim tag, making him the team’s permanent offensive coordinator, as first reported by ESPN’s Ben Goessling.  Shurmur assumed interim duties following Norv Turner’s sudden resignation on November 2 and held the position for Minnesota’s final nine games.

During his annual season-ending press conference, head coach Mike Zimmer would not reveal Shurmur’s future with the team, but did praise his work under such unfortunate circumstances.

“I do think that Pat did a very, very good job, especially under the circumstances that he was put in. I think, offensively, we improved a lot in the passing game. You can look at the statistics from when he started going and things that we’ve done after that. I think he had a great relationship with Sam [Bradford]. I think the offensive players respect him and we’ll just figure all those things out.”

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