Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rick Spielman

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Episode 132

Graphic designed by Brett Anderson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald discuss the Minnesota Vikings naming Case Keenum the starting quarterback against the Los Angeles Rams and Rick Spielman’s gripe with Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and Fox Sports before finishing off with a coverage chart update and some Twitter takes.

Episode 132 is proudly sponsored by SoCom Creative.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  1. Into: The Agenda (0:00)
  2. Sponsor Note: SoCom Creative (1:15)
  3. Case Closed: Rapid Reaction to Case Keenum Being Named the Starter (1:54)
  4. 3rd-Leg Greg: Rick Spielman Rattled About by Greg Olsen in the Booth this Weekend (13:58)
  5. Coverage Chart: Mackensie Alexander and Andrew Sendejo Shine (22:20)
  6. Twitter Takes: Taylor Heinicke’s Ghost Continues to Haunt BJ (30:00)
  7. Sign-Out: Subscribe and Review on iTunes and/or Stitcher! (47:15)

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At 7-2, the Vikings are among the NFC's elite, and major credit should go to Rick Spielman.

Spielman
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Sunday’s game felt especially meaningful for the Vikings; coming off a bye, with the first half of the season in the rearview mirror, Minnesota had a successful squad that hadn’t yet been greatly tested. It looked like an improved and well-rounded team, but there was no way to know if the success was due mostly to their own competence or their relatively soft, home-heavy schedule to that point.

The Redskins game looked to be a good test of this — a solid team, on the road, in a difficult environment. Many, including me, saw this as a stage for a possible letdown. A loss to Washington would have put a dent in the notion that the Vikings are legitimate NFC contenders, and probably bring on a tidal wave of concerns about another second half collapse. It was an important game, for morale as much as the standings.

With their 38-30 win at Washington, the Vikings answered a lot of questions, and solidified themselves as one of the elite teams in the NFC. And this is in large part because of the way their roster is constructed; deep, balanced, and talented. Rick Spielman has had an up and down tenure as the Vikings’ general manager, and opinions on him range widely. I’ve always been of the belief his personnel decisions have been more positive than negative, but no matter your personal feelings, it’s hard to argue that the 2017 Vikings aren’t his finest work yet.

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image courtesy of Vikings.com

Drew Mahowald presents the 12th edition of the Skol Scale following the Minnesota Vikings’ Week 8 win over the Cleveland Browns and their ensuing bye week.

When arriving at a crossroads, the options presented generally have different pros and cons. There are temptations, hints and emotional appeal that suggest which path is the better choice.

The Minnesota Vikings quarterback circus has placed the team at another crossroads as the second half of the season commences. Backup Case Keenum has filled in for an injured Sam Bradford in admirable fashion, tallying a record of 4-2 and leading the Vikings to a 6-2 record and a two-game lead in the NFC North. Keenum is playing arguably the best football of his career and it’s a big reason the Vikings are having little problems winning.

Meanwhile, Teddy Bridgewater’s reactivation onto the 53-man roster was announced on Wednesday. According to head coach Mike Zimmer, Bridgewater is ready to play now — which is truly remarkable considering his state 14 months ago. The 2014 first-round pick was drafted to be Minnesota’s franchise quarterback and, while that has been placed on hold the past season and a half, that opportunity os once again there for Bridgewater.

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Trust the process
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Success — or failure — isn’t what it always seems in the NFL. Take the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers, for example. Both remain winless, but a simple 0-6 record doesn’t reflect the full story behind each team’s mediocrity.

On the surface, it’d be easy to say they’re similar franchises; teams whose young, inexperienced head coaches are working to mesh with their respective front offices’ long-term vision. Everyone in the building, from the starting quarterback to the defensive coordinator, knows that turnarounds aren’t instantaneous.

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Waynes

In this episode of the VT Roundtable, the Vikings Territory team takes a deep dive on Vikings/Buccaneers-related talkers as well as previews this weekend’s game against the Detroit Lions. Check out the full episode below the notes!

Show notes:

2:37 – Case Keenum, the GOAT. The team discussed how confident they are with Keenum moving forward until Bradford comes back.
7:21 – Rhodes has Mike Evans shook
9:25 – Where does Teddy fit in?
12:13 – This is where we pretend to be doctors for an extended period of time and diagnose Bradford’s knee.
16:29 – Mandatory OL discussion: Is there anything the Vikings can do about Nick Easton?
22:22 – The guys discuss Trae Waynes’ latest performance and whether or not it redeems him after a poor start to the season.
32:57 – Are Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen the best WR duo in the NFL right now? Is Stefon Diggs a top-5 receiver?
45:45 – Updated record predictions (or not)
47:17 – Detroit Lions preview
57:54 – Lions win/loss predictions

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