Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "Rick Spielman"

Rick Spielman

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The final minicamp practice on Thursday signaled the beginning of the darkest period of the NFL offseason, with more than a month’s time between now and the start of training camp, and Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier wants his players to stay on the right track.

It has been almost a full year since I was visiting reader Fran the Man at his Alaskan lodge and we simultaneously dropped our jaws in disbelief upon hearing the news of Adrian Peterson’s arrest in a Houston club.  The good news is those charges seemed bogus and were eventually dropped, and the better news is that it is the last time a Vikings player is known to have been in trouble.

“Just reminded them about the things they’ve got to get done in this time away,” Frazier said of his send off speech, “and remember that they represent us in their hometowns or wherever they travel at, that we all represent one another, and take care of their bodies.”

Frazier and G.M. Rick Spielman seem to be putting together a squad of high character guys that are focused on becoming champions.  Time and again we have heard Frazier preach to his players that none of them want to be “that guy.”

Provided the circus-like atmosphere surrounding New England right now, thanks to their star tight end getting himself embroiled in a murder case, it is refreshing to have an offseason where the biggest controversy involves an activist punter.

Stay out of trouble, Vikings.  We are all looking forward to seeing you play on Sundays this year.

Jared Allen’s contract situation isn’t keeping him awake at night, and neither are any lingering injuries, and he says he is now getting the best sleep he’s had in years.  This is important because Allen is the only Viking that has yet to make an appearance at the OTA practices that took place this week.

“I’m excited to be playing ball and especially I’m excited to be healthy this year. That’s the biggest thing,” he told SiriusXM via Scout.com. “My contract has been so far out of mind because I’m finally able to train this year. My shoulder is back. I didn’t know how rehab was going to be, this being the first surgery I’ve ever had. I’m just excited that my strength is coming back; I’m sleeping again at night. Two years of not sleeping very well, it wears on you.”

Allen spent the week celebrating his anniversary and Leslie Frazier says, according to the Pioneer Press, that Allen will join his teammates after this weekend.

Earlier this offseason, Allen said he would be “out the door” if the Vikings approached him about a pay cut, and so it appears he is perfectly content entering the final year of his contract without any guarantees that extend into 2014 or beyond.

“I’m not hostile. I love the Minnesota Vikings. They got me out of a situation in Kansas City where I was very unhappy and put a lot of faith in me,” Allen said. “The whole point is I don’t worry about my contract, and I don’t. I’ve always been a person that says my play will take care of everything else. ”

“As long as I perform on the football field, you have options in front of you,” he continued. “As far as where I’ll end up, I don’t know. I’m playing this year for this year. I loved being a Viking. I love being a Viking. I want to win a Super Bowl as a Viking.”

Injuries have been cited as a contributor to Allen’s “down year” in 2012, but he still registered 12 sacks and played well enough to not yet be a candidate to be put out to the pasture that Rick Spielman has been sending plenty of veterans to lately.  Considering the young defensive end talent on this team, Allen’s potential contract demands, and the huge dip in value placed on veteran pass rushers this offseason, it is reasonable to wonder if this season will be his last as a Viking.

For now, however, a healthy Jared Allen has plenty of financial motivation to couple with his desire to win a Super Bowl and that is a pretty good formula for short-term success.

The news isn’t exactly hard to keep up with these days, because there isn’t much of it, but that didn’t stop us from digging up some good stuff to pass along this weekend:

  • The Vikings seem to have a thing for tall defensive backs these days.
  • A look at what undrafted quarterback James Vandenberg might bring to the #3 quarterback competition.
  • The Vikings finalized their agreement to play at TCF Bank Stadium and there are some interesting details regarding the situation.
  • Nick Reed may not have lasted long with the Vikings, but that hasn’t stopped him from having a bad ass career path.
  • A year after “experts” failed to give the Vikings a chance at the playoffs it appears they are now gaining some respect.
  • An old cohort of mine is now running Vikings Gab.  Congrats to Chris Boynton 0n his new gig.
  • A look at how the post-Draft depth chart is shaping up at the linebacker position.
  • Cris Carter has finally been voted into the Hall of Fame so we are now left to wonder who the next Viking to receive that honor will be.
  • Count Governor Mark Dayton as one of the clueless who think the Vikings weren’t justified, in terms of football reasons, to draft Chris Kluwe’s replacement.
  • Rick Spielman recently said Christian Ponder deserves as much credit as Adrian Peterson in the franchise making the playoffs last year.  Seriously.  He said that.  With word.  From his mouth.  And he wasn’t drunk.
  • The Vikings have 39 players on their roster right now that they drafted which ranks 7th in the NFL.
  • Linebacker Michael Mauti has a lengthy history of dealing with injury, but so does Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman.
  • The Vikings have started yet another community oriented campaign called “WE DAY.”
  • Rick Spielman is making it clear that he expects Ponder to make a big jump this season.
  • Vegas is not being kind to the Vikings when it comes to predicting their 2013 chances.
  • If the Vikings had their own “Mount Rushmore” who would you put on it?
  • And now, here it is, your moment of Zen:

With three first round picks already in the fold, and another two days of the Draft left to play out, I am dusting of the ol’ “Welcome To The Big Show” feature which will detail each of our selections.

SHARRIF FLOYD, DT, FLORIDA

Attributes

Floyd possesses a great mix of size and athleticism which will help him continue to be a versatile player as his career moves to the next level.  He possesses a nice arsenal of pass rush moves and a very quick first step that could help the Vikings move the pocket against opposing offenses.

Height:  6’3″

Weight:  297 pounds

Arm Length:  31 3/4″

Hand Size:  10 1/8″

Combine Results

Forty:  4.92 seconds

Vertical Jump:  30″

Broad Jump:  106″

3-Cone:  7.40 seconds

20-Yard Shuttle:  4.75 seconds

Pro Day Results

Floyd reportedly “tweaked” his ankle at the NFL’s Scouting Combine and he did not participate in Florida’s March 12th Pro Day.  Ten days later he drew representatives from 14 NFL teams to a rescheduled workout where he put on an impressive display.  Floyd chose to stand on his Combine numbers in regards to the timed drills, but he impressed onlookers by going through drill after drill with a certain tenaciousness.

“I wasn’t going to stop until he told me to stop,” Floyd said of the position drills. “I wasn’t going to say, ‘I’m done.'”

Floyd’s pro day was one of many positive steps in his pre-Draft regimen that had analysts believing he was a top-five prospect.

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When it comes to the NFL Draft I am pretty sure even Pinocchio would attempt to float a lie or nine if he were in charge of a war room.

Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman has been giving his obligatory pre-Draft interviews and anyone that knows anything about how this whole thing plays out knows you shouldn’t read too much into the what he says.  Heck, last year he not only convinced a good number of fans that he might pick someone other than Matt Kalil, he convinced the Browns to move up one spot in exchange for a few picks.

This year Spielman is saying that he is unlikely to move up in the first round of the draft and has received numerous calls about the possibility of moving backwards from either the #23 or #25 spots.  Some cynics (anybody know one?) might take his words to mean that he wants to move up in the first round and has received absolutely no interest from other teams about the possibility of trading back.

The thing about that, however, is this year Spielman’s comments actually make enough sense that you can’t help but believe him.  The Vikings have enough needs on the roster that sacrificing quantity in an effort to move forwards in the first round doesn’t pass the smell test, and the way the quarterback class is shaping up this year could indeed mean he has already received genuine interest in his current picks from teams drafting at the top of the second round.

One thing I certainly don’t buy is Spielman’s insistence that he would feel comfortable heading into training camp with Erin Henderson as his top choice at the middle linebacker spot.

“No, that’s flexible,” said Spielman.  “That depends on what happens in the draft. If we go outside, Erin can slide inside or if we go inside Erin can play outside. That’s what is great about this linebacker thing. We have the flexibility to go either way.”

I know Henderson provides them with some flexibility, and has some experience at the position, but the Vikings just simply cannot have him starting anywhere other than on the weakside if they want to call this offseason a success.

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