Sunday, October 22, 2017

Terence Newman

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Week 1: Vikings/Saints Preview

The Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints will open their 2017 regular seasons with a bang on Monday Night Football. The primetime match up is a classic top-offense versus top-defense showdown, with a little Adrian Peterson sprinkled in.

It’s a familiar story; a well-known player that spent many years with his original team signs with a new one, and then returns to where he began his career. But this homecoming is different. Peterson was the face of the Vikings franchise for a decade. Not only that, he may be one of the top-five Vikings of all time. The reception Peterson receives from the home crowd will be noteworthy.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Wow, what a fun day! Lots of action. With roster cuts already in progress, here’s a last-minute Vikings 53-man roster projection, which includes Friday’s trade for cornerback Tramaine Brock:

Quarterback
  • Sam Bradford
  • Case Keenum
  • Teddy Bridgewater (PUP)

The Vikings rolled with two quarterbacks last year and I don’t see that changing this year. Taylor Heinicke is practice squad eligible and I don’t see teams lining up to snag him off waivers. Plus, there’s always Mitch Leidner.

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Deep Ball Hurts Vikings Defense
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Despite what happened in Seattle on Friday night, Mike Zimmer’s secondary isn’t suddenly a weakness.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tore through Minnesota’s first-team unit, lighting the Vikings up to the tune of 206 yards and two touchdowns. His performance — one of midseason form — put the Seahawks ahead and kept them there, as Seattle went on to defeat Minnesota 20-13.

It was an ugly, uncharacteristic outing by the Vikings, marred by a few-too-many mental lapses early in the game. Granted, Zimmer was down two starters (Andrew Sendejo and Trae Waynes) in the secondary, but it was the players on the field making the mistakes. From the linebackers to an arguably thin group of cornerbacks, few stepped up against one of the NFL’s more dangerous quarterbacks.

“We got to do better in the coverage aspect,” Zimmer said Sunday, per Ben Goessling. “We had, I think, two or three twenty-yard or more plays, so that’s going to be a big point of emphasis for us.”

image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Territory staffer Drew Mahowald was on hand for the Aug. 3 Minnesota Vikings training camp practice and delivers his takeaways.

August in Mankato. The visual image likely popping into your head is one that includes sweat, humidity and heat.

However, such image was a completely inaccurate description of what Thursday’s practice was for the Vikings. The temperature fluttered in the mid-50s and the wind was steady around 20 miles per hour. It was a wonderful retreat from the typical uncomfortableness that comes with Vikings training camp.

Below are major takeaways from Thursday’s practice.

David Morgan dominates

Second-year tight end David Morgan turned in a dominating performance on Thursday. He was an unstoppable force as a run blocker, particularly in red zone drills. During one play, he practically de-cleated linebacker Emmanuel Lamur and drove him across the field and opened a hole for Dalvin Cook.

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Vikings Training Camp
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings first preseason game is only eight days away!

Vikings at Buffalo Bills. Thursday, August 10th @ 6pm CT

The Vikings have had six days of full team practices in Mankato. The good news is the team has avoided major injury, plus two playmakers on defense have been locked up long-term. The bad news is there have been minor, but potentially nagging injuries to report.

Let’s recap the team news that has come out of training camp since our last Loose Ends take.

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