Tuesday, July 28, 2015

zach line

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Antone Exum, Jr.
It’s no secret that the Vikings don’t have a hard-and-fast guarantee at safety other than Harrison Smith. Smith has been a top roster member since joining the team, and as long as he stays healthy, you know he’ll stay put in the starting lineup. Who will play opposite, him, though?

Although it looks like Robert Blanton is currently first in line as he got plenty of reps with the first team during OTA’s, Exum, Jr. had some impressive plays last season and could definitely be in the running to play across from Smith. I have some issues with Blanton’s tackling, and I wouldn’t say that he’s a shoo-in.


Zach Line

With Jerome Felton heading to Buffalo (I still wonder if he regrets that decision now that AP will be with the Vikings), Zach Line has a huge opportunity ahead of him. Line is currently projected as the starting fullback for Minnesota, and I’m a believer that he’ll be an excellent fit there. Line impressed me last season, continuing to work hard and fulfill whatever role he was given on the team, including practice squad. The Southern Methodist alum makes an impact at practice, and the Vikings are obviously confident in his abilities to slide into that main roster spot. If Line and Peterson can work well together and build some chemistry, this could be Line’s breakout season.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[Note:  This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period.  This is the third article, focusing on the fullbacks.  In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterback preview here and the running backs are here.]

If there was any real potential for drama at the fullback position this offseason, it was pretty much erased when Jerome Felton made it clear that he would be opting out of his contract. By doing so, he will sign with a team that almost certainly will keep him on the final roster, something that could be in question with the Vikings despite his status as a Pro Bowl caliber player.

The Vikings will gain about $2.5 million in cap space with Felton choosing to leave and have Zach Line waiting in the wings to pick up the slack.  Tight end Rhett Ellison is also equipped to take some fullback snaps if needed.

The NFL playoffs are underway and the Minnesota Vikings aren’t a part of the fun (and misery) that other teams have earned this season.  As unfortunate as that is, we here at VT are stoked to begin the offseason and all of the excitement it brings.  We have a lot of plans for these coming months, including an overhaul of the site itself which will happen soon, but some segments are here to stay.

Your links of the week:

 

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If I had my way, each and every one of our writers would soon find themselves with high-paying writing jobs at large, reputable media outlets.  In my eyes, each of them deserve it.

Lindsey Young, whose work caught my eye well before Vikings Territory existed, certainly seems to be on the right path.

Lindsey recently wrote an article for KSTP Channel 5 that couldn’t have come at a better time, as the NFL world has been rocked by the Ray Rice scandal, and we could use a feel-good story or ten to remind us that it isn’t all bad.

Lindsey’s article is everything we’ve grown to expect from her:  Professional, insightful, and thorough.  She dives into the lives of three Minnesota Vikings and gives us some perspective as to how their profession impacts their family life.  The wives of Greg Jennings, Josh Robinson, and Zach Line were each featured.

Here is an excerpt of the article, but to read the rest you are going to have to CLICK HERE.

Football wives are much more than fans. Nicole Jennings explains how wives take the game so much more seriously than the rest of the world. In her mind, it is not about wins and losses or the number of receiving yards beside her husband’s name.

“My overall interest is in making sure he walks off that field the same way he walked on,” Nicole Jennings said. “In my eyes, nothing else matters.”

Of course, no one likes to see an injury, but most do not understand the family’s sideline perspective. NFL players hear more news every year regarding the risk of concussions, their side effects, and, most recently, the long-term consequences associated with an injury prevalent on the football field.

 

Well done, Lindsey, keep it up.

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(photo by Chris Price)
(photo by Chris Price)

In the second full week of training camp, Vikings players appeared energized and ready to rock during the Monday morning walk-through. The practice was a shorter one, having been adjusted last minute to a special teams’ walk-through only.

Zach Line was the first one on the field.

He appeared calm but energized, taking the field and chatting with fellow fullback Jerome Felton. When coaches sorted the group, pulling guys to participate in various drills, it appeared Line fell most closely into the second-string roster—definitely a positive position for the SMU alum.

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