You Can Watch 1 Competition Unfold Live in Vikings Preseason

Matt Daniels Is a Self-Confessed Flower Grower
Matt Daniels

Training camp is the annual time when the competitions for starting jobs and roster spots are heating up. Akayleb Evans and Mekhi Blackmon appear to be running away with the two CB positions next to Byron Murphy in nickel packages, while Camryn Bynum is still the top free safety on the roster. Special teams coordinator Matt Daniels foresees another battle.

You Can Watch 1 Competition Unfold Live in Vikings Preseason

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Jalen Reagor and Brandon Powell compete for the punt return job, guaranteeing a roster spot as the fifth wideout. But that is not the only thing Daniels is looking for. The Vikings might have found a new kicker when they signed Jack Podlesny as an undrafted rookie. Daniels spoke about his contest with incumbent kicker Greg Joseph and who will get run in the preseason.

We have a system in place to make sure that both guys are getting the amount of work they need. Greg Joseph, he’ll go ahead and take a good run of the work to start off the Seattle game and I’ll make sure that we’ll get Jack [Podlesny] involved in it as well but both guys will have an equal opportunity because it is a true competition. I want to make sure that both guys are getting that true opportunity to display their skills.

Matt Daniels
You Can Watch 1 Competition Unfold Live in the Preseason
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Joseph beat out challenging kicker Gabe Brkic pretty handily leading up to the 2022 season, but Podlesny appears to be a real danger to his spot. It is true competition and reports from training camp suggest that there isn’t much difference between the two. Of course, Joseph’s experience is advantageous, but he must show it in the preseason in-game action.

There is no timeline to decide, according to Daniels:

No timeline in mind. We’re just going to let it play out. In football, things always work themselves out, so we’ll just keep going. Right now, it’s going pretty pretty good, both guys are playing at a really elite level. I love the way Jack is hitting the ball right now, I love the way Greg is hitting the ball right now. So we’ll continue to see how they transition from the practice to the game. It’ll be Jack’s first time going out, kicking in an NFL stadium out west in Seattle.

Matt Daniels
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Podlesny fought all kinds of college battles as the Georgia Bulldogs kicker. He won back-to-back national championships and is used to kick under pressure. The kicker hit 182 of 184 career extra points and 61 of 74 field goals. He led the nation in points last season with 151 and was fifth in 2021. The undrafted rookie led the SEC in points in each of the last two seasons. He signed a deal for $15,000 guaranteed.

Joseph hit seven straight game-winning kicks and is on an absolute hot streak. One was the franchise-record 61-yarder on Christmas Eve to beat the New York Giants. However, his troubles come on extra points where he has struggled his whole career.

a new viking hero
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The veteran signed a one-year deal worth $2 million to return in free agency, and $1.7 million of that is guaranteed. Cutting Joseph for Podlesny would cost the Vikings money, so the rookie has to be better, not just equally good.

Besides the kicking competition, it will be the first exposure to NFL action for Jordan Addison and Ivan Pace, the two most hyped players in Minnesota’s training camp. Quarterback Jaren Hall will also throw his first passes in a Vikings uniform.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt