Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Reid Fragel

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Vikings Bookends Need To Stay Off The Shelf

Under head coach Mike Zimmer, the Minnesota Vikings have quietly become one of the best NFL teams on paper. In reality, the defense is legitimate. Last season the Vikings ranked third in the NFL in total defense.

Today, three of the team’s best defenders are the beneficiaries of contract extensions, making them Vikings for life. Furthermore, the Vikings offense, which sputtered last season, now has the personnel to establish a refreshing new identity, post Adrian Peterson.

So, what could keep this ‘great’ team from reaching the playoffs and making a run at Super Bowl 52 in their home state? The Vikings’ Achilles heel…the offensive line.

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Purple FTW! Podcast: What's Cooler Than Being Cool? (ep. 386)

The Mankato weather turned cold on Thursday, but the ambient temperature has zero effect on the heat of our takes. Daniel House (Vikings Corner) joined Andy at the Boulder Tap House Mankato to discuss Who is Up (Rashod Hill, Shamar Stephen, Michael Floyd) and Who is Down (Rodney Adams, Bucky Hodges, Trae Waynes), plus a phone-in cameo from my daughter Little Mugsy.

All that and more “Reid Fragel Does Not Rock” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

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Vikings Sign Tackle Arturo Uzdavinis

The Minnesota Vikings signed offensive tackle Arturo Uzdavinis Monday. Uzdavinis (ooz-duh-VENICE) is listed at 6-foot-7, 305 pounds. The 24 year-old played college football at Tulane, where he earned academic honors. Uzdavinis signed with the Houston Texans after going undrafted in the 2016 NFL draft. He did not make the team and spent the 2016 season on the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars practice squads. The Detroit Lions signed him this spring and then released him a month later.

In Minnesota Uzdavinis will compete against the likes of Rashod Hill, Reid Fragel, Austin Shepherd, Jeremiah Sirles, and Aviante Collins for a spot on the team. The Vikings roster now stands at 90 players heading into training camp.

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Welcome to the latest installment of the Vikings Territory Training Camp Primer series focusing on Riley Reiff, Mike Remmers and the Minnesota Vikings’ Offensive Tackle position.

Minnesota entered the offseason following a disappointing 2016 campaign with one blatantly obvious and critically important goal in mind: Improve its offensive line. The Vikings’ offensive line issues began before this past season began, as veteran right tackle Phil Loadholt opted to retire after struggling to fully recover from a torn Achilles’ injury.

This was only the beginning of Minnesota’s misery, as injuries to Matt Kalil, Andre Smith and Jake Long pressed both TJ Clemmings and Jeremiah Sirles into duty — and the results were… suspect, to say the least.

General manager Rick Spielman took action following arguably the worst collective offensive line performance over the duration of an entire season in franchise history. And while his free-agent signings of former Detroit Lions left tackle Riley Reiff and former Carolina Panthers swing tackle Mike Remmers were not universally well-received, the Vikings project to field a more consistent and durable front-five in 2017 — much of which hinges on the performances of the aforementioned pair of newly-acquired bookends.

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