Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rick Spielman

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Photo courtesy of vikings.com

After returning to Mankato to cover training camp for my fourth consecutive year, I have started to notice a few consistencies. No more notable, maybe, than the amount of fans who will drive in from all over to watch their Vikings practice under the hot sun of southern Minnesota.

More than 10,000 fans attended the annual evening practice Saturday night, making it clear that faith in the organization is at an all time high.

This comes as no surprise to many, I am sure. There has always been that pocket of the fan base that believes their team can be a Super Bowl contender, no matter what the four letter network is projecting. What seems to be different this year however, is the amount of faith fans have in head coach Mike Zimmer and the front office led by general manager Rick Spielman.

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Mankato Minnesota Vikings

Had time to kill on a Sunday afternoon (and I don’t golf), so I swung on down to Mankato to take in the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings afternoon practice. Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL), Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) and Daniel House (@DanielHouseNFL) joined me to recap the session, what’s been impressive (and not so impressive) so far, and I finally get a definitive answer on “HOW’S TEDDY LOOK?” (This is also the first pod where we got rained on and Arif list trying to move a patio umbrella.)

Show Topics Include:
• How’s Teddy Deep Ball Looking?
• Adam Thielen Rising?
• Jabari Price’s Place on This Team
• Mackensie Alexander is the Future Slot. Period.
• Matt Kalil’s Change in Technique
• Overall Philosophy Changes Under Tony Sparano
• Why Willie Beavers Might Prove Us All Wrong
• What is Going on with Mike Harris?
• The Defensive Line is on FIRE Early
• Roster Moves. Sign a Punter and/or Nick Foles?
• Sam Defends Jeff Locke
• Adrian Peterson’s Hamstring
• Jerick McKinnon vs Adrian Peterson?
• Cordarrelle Injury UPDATE
• Taylor Heinicke LOLs
• Standouts & Disappointments

All that and other “All that and other “If you don’t think this song is the greatest song ever, I will fight you.” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Image courtesy of Chris Price

Over the course of the last few weeks, Austin Belisle and myself have asked you to make predictions about how the Minnesota Vikings’ 2016 training camp will play out. Meanwhile, Adam Patrick compiled consensus rankings of the “Top 30” most important Vikings players of 2016, with help from 14 knowledgable Vikings writers. Below is the genesis of all that work.

We’ve used your votes, combined with the rankings, to try and assemble one of the most collaborative roster predictions you’ll be able to find anywhere.

Of course, a few questions remain despite the compilation of input, so Austin and I did our best to fill in the blanks. That leads us to our final installment of “10 Camp Questions” in which the tenth question for you, the readers of Vikings Territory, are invited to answer.

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Play it again, Cordarrelle
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Cordarrelle Patterson can hardly hear the beautiful music he made in 2013. Returning kickoffs and riding the bench makes it difficult for Patterson to remember the melody; spins, jukes, and improbable catches compose what was the fourth-year pro’s lone symphony.

Drowned out by his own inability to master the playbook and his coach’s refusal to take a chance, Patterson is doing all he can to overcome the outside noise. Workouts in Los Angeles, throwing sessions with Teddy Bridgewater, and a renewed focus on football give hope that Patterson can ‘play it again’ in 2016. General manager Rick Spielman believes he’s ready to shine.

“Where Cordarrelle has made tremendous strides this year is on his route running ability and becoming a better receiver,” he said, per Vikings.com. “He is very tuned in and very focused trying to prove to everybody, including himself, that he’s going to be not just a great athlete with the football in his hands, but a true receiver in the NFL.”

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This list began four weeks ago with 30 players on the Minnesota Vikings 2016 roster. It is now time to reveal the final five players that ranked at the very top of this illustrious countdown.

A big thanks goes out to all of the writers that participated in the creation of this list. Without everyone’s consistent contribution, this series would not have had a chance of being put together.

Before continuing to read, it is recommended to check out parts one, two, and three of this list in order to get a full perspective of how the writers featured in this series feel about the Vikings roster for the upcoming season.

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