Tuesday, July 26, 2016

teddy bridgewater

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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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Madden 17 Rankings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If you’re like me, you shell out $50 or $60 each year for EA Sports’ latest and greatest Madden video game. It’s always a blast to play as the Minnesota Vikings, challenge other players online, and come out victorious. No other game allows you to control your favorite team, and with today’s systems and technology, the experience is more lifelike than ever.

According to many players, though, the ratings are a different story. Around this time each year, the developers at EA Sports begin releasing player ratings and rankings. Earlier this week, it was the rookies, the quarterbacks, and the running backs. They’ll continue this countdown until the game releases in August, and players will continue arguing their place in the virtual hierarchy.

Rookies always rank themselves higher than they fall on the list despite the fact that they’ve yet to play a down in the NFL. Veterans, on the other hand, usually end up where they should; some higher, some lower than the previous year. With the first three lists available to the sports and gaming world, it’s time to see where a couple of Vikings landed in Madden’s ratings system.

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VT QOTW

Vikings' most popular player
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

With U.S. Bank Stadium just days from opening its doors and the Minnesota Vikings less than a week from training camp, it’s clear this team is set for some major changes. The same can be said for the roster, which will surely shift in the coming months.

As the team transitions into a new era of Vikings football, so do its players, many of whom have been a part of the franchise for years. There’s Adrian Peterson, longtime face of the Vikings. There’s also Chad Greenway, Minnesota’s longest-tenured defender and hometown hero.

But in their wake lie up-and-comers, like quarterback Teddy Bridgewater or the über talented Anthony Barr. Their surge to the forefront of the franchise marks another shift for the Vikings; a changing of the (popularity) guard. After the jump, we try to determine who’s the most popular Viking — player or coach — heading into the 2016 season.

Heading into 2016, who is the Vikings’ most popular player?

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Crowning Mr. Mankato
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This 10-part series focuses on the biggest questions facing the Vikings as they head into Mankato for their training camp festivities. Be sure to answer the first eight questions HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE, HERE, and HERE.

Who will be this year’s ‘Mr. Mankato?’

The Minnesota Vikings are back on the National Football League’s map after an impressive 2015 season. They’re dark-horse contenders for the Super Bowl and a near-lock to battle for a second-straight NFC North title. On both sides of the football, the roster is loaded with up-and-coming stars, from Anthony Barr to Teddy Bridgewater.

Joining them at training camp, which begins next Thursday, are a slew of rookies, under-the-radar players, and fresh faces. Their names won’t jump off the page, but they will have a chance for recognition elsewhere — as candidates for the annual ‘Mr. Mankato’ award. Each year, ESPN 1500 bestows the honor on one deserving player who surprises and impresses at training camp. Last year, it was Stefon Diggs, and the year before, it was Adam Thielen.

This offseason, a few candidates stick out as the ‘cream of the crop.’ Who has a chance to walk away with the award at the end of training camp?

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