Monday, August 3, 2015

troy kropog

Chase Baker, George Johnson and Troy Kropog were long shots to make the roster just four weeks ago, but hard work and consistent effort paid off for these young players.

 Chase Baker might have the best chance to stick. The undrafted rookie from Boise State had 11 tackles during preseason working on the inside of the defensive line. Standing at 6-1 298 pounds, Baker has just enough meat on his bones to earn a few snaps as a backup rotational depth player this season. During camp and preseason, he has been asked to learn the three-technique position while also staying focused on the nose tackle spot as well. Jared Allen said, “He has probably grown the most of all the young guys I’ve seen in camp. That is good because he just might be asked to play a role on this team. We’re hurting at D-tackle right now.” 

Lady luck has been on Baker’s side as Christian Ballard left the team for personal reasons, Sheriff Floyd and Kevin Williams have been banged up a bit which opened the door for Baker to get plenty of reps needed to win a roster spot. After spending his rookie year on the practice squad, Baker might be ready to take the next step in 2013.

George Johnson, the 6-4 265 pound 4th year DE beat out D’Aundre Reed and Lawrence Jackson to win the 4th and final DE roster spot. Johnson was promoted to the Vikings 53 man roster in late December of 2012 and has impressed the coaches enough this off-season to make the final cut in 2013. In 2010, Johnson was signed by Tampa Bay as an undrafted rookie out of Rutgers. Johnson worked his way up to playing in 2 games for the Buccaneers in 2011 before an injury put him on IR. Johnson looks to build on his 7 total career NFL tackles. Johnson’s 5 solo tackle in preseason lead all Vikings’ DEs, but in the regular season he will have a hard time taking snaps away from Jared Allen, Brian Robison or Everson Griffen.

Troy Kropog won the swing tackle position, at least for the next four weeks until DeMarcus Love comes back from his suspension. The 6-6 308 pound tackle from Tulane has been in the NFL for 4 years. Kropog was drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. The Vikings promoted Kropog from the practice squad to the 53 man roster last season when Percy Harvin was placed on IR. Kropog has played in 7 games with 0 starts in his NFL career. It will be interesting to see what the Vikings do with the backup tackle position in the next few weeks. Will Kropog stick when Love comes back, or will the Vikings look to upgrade the backup tackle position by signing a free agent? Frazier had talked about finding a swing tackle in the 2012 draft, but that did not appear to have happened. Was that just a smoke screen? Do the Vikings have confidence in Love or Kropog? Stay tuned… I don’t think this story has reached the final page.

Rick Spielman and the Minnesota Vikings has blown up the depth chart when it comes to wide receiver by releasing Michael Jenkins, letting Devin Aromashodu hit free agency, and trading Percy Harvin to Seattle.  They have allowed two of their starting linebackers, Erin Henderson and Jasper Brinkley, explore free agency.  They changed the landscape of the secondary by releasing feisty veteran Antoine Winfield.

They are also rumored to be pursuing a new backup quarterback.

One thing that is interesting, however, is that the team has opted to maintain a great deal of continuity on both the offensive line and defensive line.  Thus far, anyways.

By retaining right tackle Phil Loadholt , backup Troy Kropog, and backup center Joe Berger the Vikings have kept intact their offensive line, with the lone exception being the currently unsigned backup guard Geoff Schwartz.  Spielman declared some time ago that continuity was of value to him on the offensive line and that philosophy shows with how today has gone.  A lack of reported interest in any free agent linemen, combined with the fact that Charlie Johnson is still on the roster, shows that the Vikings don’t appear poised to make any sweeping changes in this area.

The defensive line also had potential for movement, especially in light of the shrewd move to release Winfield, as there are a number of high paid players that are on the wrong side of thirty.  Jared Allen is in the last year of his contract and Kevin Williams is not playing at the level his current salary would typically warrant.  Still, there hasn’t even been a whisper that something could be cooking in this area, and as of right now it looks like the front four will remain unchanged.

Mind you, we aren’t even half of a day into free agency and there is still potential for movement, but it is an interesting note that nothing in this area of the roster seemed to be on the checklist for Day One of free agency.

by -
2

Well, this is it.  The Vikings need to win to secure a ticket to the postseason, and here is who will not be on the field today:

VIKINGS:  QB Bethel-Thompson, WR Burton, CB Burton, S Blanton, LB Cole, OL Kropog, and DE Reed.

This means that the Vikings will have both Brian Robison and Antoine Winfield at their disposal.  Meanwhile, the Packers have put receiver Randall Cobb on the inactives list which is considerable news since he has been such a productive member of their offense this season.

by -
3

The Vikings made a flurry of moves on Saturday, the night before they face off against the Texans in Houston, and each one indicates a little a nugget of importance.

CB Chris Cook Activated:  If the Vikings are going to make the playoffs then they need all of the stars to align just right over the next two weeks.  One of those stars in already in place as Chris Cook has been removed from the Injured Reserve and activated.  Assuming he plays, at least on a part time basis, he will line up against monster receiver Andre Johnson.  Ever since Cook was injured, the Vikings have clearly struggled a lot more against top flight receivers, so his presence against the Texans could be a major boost.

DE George Johnson Activated From Practice Squad:  Johnson probably won’t be active on Sunday, but the move to add depth at the end position tells us that injured Brian Robison is highly unlikely to play.  Everson Griffen will start in Robison’s place.

G Mark Asper Waived:  Ever since signing offensive tackle Troy Kropog the Vikings have had more offensive linemen on the roster than they would normally carry.  Apparently the Vikings think Kropog offers them more than Asper, who never saw action this season, and so they opted to jettison Asper.  Asper, however, could be a very good candidate to return in the very near future.

TE Allen Reisner Waived:  Reisner comes and Reisner goes.  This has happened enough times that I wouldn’t read anything into it other than he is clearly less valued than rookie Rhett Ellison.

by -
130

As much as I was hoping to host a live chat today, it unfortunately just isn’t in the works.  Instead, I’ve created this post as an “open forum” in the comments section.  I’ll do my best to check in and leave a few comments myself.

Here are the inactives  for today’s matchup:

Vikings:  QB Bethel-Thompson, CB Burton, LB Cole, OL Kropog, OL Asper, TE Reisner, and DE Reed.

Bears:  LB Urlacher, CB Jennings, WR Bennett, QB McCown, WR Sanzenbacher, OL Spencer, and DT Paea.

Get Social

2,736FansLike
5,457FollowersFollow