Monday, July 27, 2015

Vikings Territory

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(Photo Courtesy of Luke Inman)

Training Camp is a time to figure things out. I have a laundry list of things I want to shake out in Mankato and I’ll rattle a few off on the podcast. We’ll also talk about our production schedule for this week (at least one episode a day!), as well as rough outline of our Mankato adventure this weekend, and us singing the praises of Boulder Tap House. A place ya’ll should come swarm us after each Vikings practice. Do it.

A Few of the 37 Things I Want to Figure Out in Mankato Include
• Nothing about Adrian
• “How does Teddy look?”
• How much does Chad Greenway have left?
• That Zimmer Hellfire Defense in year two.
• Who wins at right guard? Harris – Berger/Yankey/Thompson/Shepherd/ FUSCO?
• With Clemmings staying at tackle, could he be the eventual replacement for Loadholt/Kalil?
• What’s Stefon Diggs gonna be?
• What’s the deal with Spielman’s arms?
• Will Trae Waynes even start as a rookie?
• Cordarelle has one strike left. Will he strike out?
• Tune in for the other 27!

All that and other “Love Me Some Mankato” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Arguably, the most anticipated player arriving at Vikings training camp Saturday morning was running back Adrian Peterson. After missing an entire year on the field and sparking plenty of drama off the field, things seem to finally be returning to order as No. 28 will be back in purple on Sundays.

Hundreds of fans welcomed Peterson in Mankato with “MVP” chants, and he addressed the media shortly after arriving. Peterson said the following about returning to the field:

I feel pretty good. It feels good to be out here with the fellas and get back into the swing of things and open my mind back to the playbook and what Coach is asking us to do. It’s been pleasant.

Peterson referred to the happenings of the last year as “curve balls” and credited the coaching staff for helping everything come together to the point that it has.

There’s no denying Peterson’s natural athletic ability, and he assured the media and fans alike that he hasn’t taken a step back after missing the 2014 season. He said a few days of practice brought everything back, and he’s been mentally and physically preparing to be back on the field.

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Minnesota Vikings Training Camp kicked off Saturday at Minnesota State University in Mankato, and lots of interviews took place with coaches and players alike. Head coach Mike Zimmer, entering his second season at the helm of the Viking ship, addressed the media in the afternoon.

Zimmer echoed plenty of fans’ sentiments by expressing his excitement to have the players back together and getting ready for the 2015 season.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Zimmer said, with his always-business-like demeanor. “We have a tough schedule. Hopefully we can come together as a team and accomplish some things that we want to get done.”

The sophomore coach acknowledged the benefit of having one year under his belt and an increased level of comfort not only with being a head coach but also with communication and understanding between himself and general manager Rick Spielman.

Naturally, one of the first questions directed toward Zimmer surrounded running back Adrian Peterson and his feelings on being back with the team. Zimmer met the questions with a faint air of impatience, which isn’t surprising considering the drawn-out situation.

You’d have to ask [Adrian] those questions yourself,” Zimmer said, “but as far as myself, I think it’s great for both sides. I think we’ve both expressed our opinions on everything, and like I’ve said a million times, Adrian’s always been great with me, and that’s all I care about—trying to do the best for him, and I think he feels the same way about me.

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Image Courtesy of Vikings.com - Modified

It’s time! It is time for the only camping that Andy actually likes to do. The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings report to Mankato on Saturday to begin the hopefully fruitful 2015 campaign. Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) – Vikings writer at 1500 ESPN as well as BAWS on their Purple Podcast – joins the show to drop some knowledge on us before the Vikings Nation descends on the Jewel of South Central Minnesota that is Mankato.

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Training camp kicks off this weekend, and we’re just as excited as you are to see the Vikings back in action. Every season, an under-the-radar player that really stands out at training camp is dubbed “Mr. Mankato.” Last season, wide receiver Adam Thielen took home the honors. Who will earn Mr. Mankato this year? Here are our thoughts:

Adam: Babatunde Aiyegbusi, OL
With a listed frame of 6′ 9″ and 351 pounds, and the “Babs” nickname already catching on, I think it is only natural that the foreign-born lineman sticks out to fans getting a first look at him in Mankato. He is sure to stand out, there is certainly a need for offensive line depth, and potential usefulness on special teams (blocked kicks!) could be his greatest advantage. Mr. Mankato doesn’t always make the team, and Aiyegbusi certainly has his work cut out for him, but I predict he’ll be the under-the-radar newcomer that creates the most buzz throughout August.

Andy: Stefon Diggs, WR
The dude from Maryland was an under-utilized stud in college (blame Randy Edsall and those terribad uniforms), who turned some heads at OTAs and will continue to do so in Mankato. I wouldn’t be shocked if he broke a few kick or punt returns for scores in scrimmages or the Hall of Fame game versus the Steelers, just to really put pressure on Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Sherels. Offensively, Diggs should have an advantage against the third and fourth teamers, which will make him to appear to shine brightly in camp and look like the second coming of DeSean Jackson (without the attitude). If Diggs can stay healthy — he never completed a full season as a Terrapin — he could become the dynamic play maker that we expected Cordarrelle to become. Or Jarius Wright. Or [insert name here].

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