Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC
Hardest hitting safety in the NFL

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Will the Vikings take a receiver at 23 in the draft?


Sunday February 24th was a big day at the combine in Indianapolis for the receivers looking to make a big impression on NFL teams. It was said this may be one of the fastest group of receivers coming into the combine and they certainly did not disappoint.

The Vikings for now are slotted to pick numbers 23 and my hope is a receiver. A player I am very high on is Cordarelle Patterson (pronounced Core-dare-uhl) out of Tennessee. He stands at 6’2” tall weighing in at 216 and has a 37” vertical leap. If we could get a target this big would it ever be awesome. His 2- 40 yards dash times also came I at 4.37 and 4.40.

The 2 descriptive words used on this big man were freakish and physical with the word physical to compare to a Larry Fitzgerald.

The concern I have is he may be a top 10 draft choice which would knock us out unless we trade up to get a guy like this.

He did only play one year at Tennessee as he declared as an underclassman coming into the April draft so his skills may not be top notch. The thought of developing a youngster like this gets me really pumped to think what if he ends up in Purple.

I did also see a player I really like although he is not the big physical player like Patterson. Robert Woods comes out of USC I thought had an outstanding day Sunday. He stands in at 6 foot and weighs 210. He ran an official 4.51 in the 40 so he is not the speedster but his pass catching really stood out.

The Vikings already have some very talented players out of USC such as Matt Kalil, Rhett Ellison and Everson Griffen already so one more would be just fine. This school puts out such very good pro athletes.

I don’t believe the Vikings will draft one of the receivers working out, but he sure put on a good showing. Denard Robinson, former University of Michigan quarterback making an attempt to go change positions to wide receiver I was very impressed with. He turned in a 4.43 in the 40 yard dash. This will be neat story to follow as the draft approaches. In watching him in college he is definitely gifted so some NFL team will get a gift.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Next up: NFL Combine


Football is in the air and I cannot wait to the big upcoming weekend otherwise known as the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

There have been over 330 invited to this event including former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher, MarQueis Gray.

The event goes from February 23rd-26th. The actual workouts to watch are as follows with Saturday having the Tight Ends, Offensive Linemen and Special Teams. Sunday will have Quarterbacks, Running Backs and Wide Receivers. Monday will have Defensive Linemen and Linebackers and Tuesday concludes with Defensive Backs.

I believe the Vikings are in biggest need of help on the defensive line, linebackers and wide receivers so I will be watching Sunday and Monday the most. I will watch each day but concentrate the heaviest on these 2 days.

There are so many experts in the world and have have their thoughts on who should go to whom and when. The only one who really knows is the player and yes they are confident but only their play on the field will show all.

How many first round busts have we seen in our time in the NFL, or how many low drafted players have made it big? I will even go as far as saying how many players have made it big and they did not even get drafted. It is truly an exciting time for fans but we must also be patient with time. The upcoming weekend may show just what player means business in the combine.

The events these guys go through are 40 yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 3 cone drill (ability to change direction at high speed), and the shuttle run (lateral quickness and short explosion capability) These are the events but there are also several interviews sessions with different staff from the NFL teams.

The times have changed for media as each year more and more media come. This year over 800 media passes were handed out.

I really enjoy Mike Mayocks insight on TV and his columns. I have met him at Training Camp in Mankato and he has done Vikings preseason game.

I have found have found his top 5 on each position as I trust what he says. They go as follows:

Outside linebacker

1. Dion Jordan, Oregon
2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia
3. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
4. Barkevious Mingo, LSU
5. Arthur Brown, Kansas State

 

Inside linebackers

1. Alec Ogletree, Georgia
2. Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
3. Kevin Minter, LSU
4. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
5. Kiko Alonso, Oregon

Defensive End

1. Bjoern Werner, Florida State
2. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
3. Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
4. Sam Montgomery, LSU
T-5. Datone Jones, UCLA
T-5. Margus Hunt, SMU

Defensive Tackle

1. Sharrif Floyd, Florida
2. Star Lotulelei, Utah
3. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
4. Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
T-5. Kawann Short, Purdue
T-5. Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State

Wide Receiver

1. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
2. Keenan Allen, Cal
3. Terrance Williams, Baylor
4. Tavon Austin, West Virginia
5. Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech

These are the names I will follow and if I had my choice for the team I would go with 1 of 2 players for the Vikings pick at 23. I am high on Defensive Tackle, Sharriff Floyd out of Florida. The SEC conference puts out tremendous talent each year into the NFL and if Floyd would come I would welcome him.

The other player I really enjoyed watching is Wide Receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson out of Tennessee. Once again a player out of the south who had a great college season with 10 touchdowns. He is a multi-purpose player as he rushes for 3 TD’s caught 5 touchdowns, returned a punt and kickoff for a touchdown. He is 6’4” and weighs 205. The big receiver the Vikes are in need of.

If our draft is anything like 2012 we are in for another fun season as it is the last season in the dome.

Enjoy watching the combine and just see how many of these youngsters you can envision in Purple

Source: nfl.com Pre-Combine Position rankings for 2013 NFL Draft written by Mike Mayock

Thanks for treading

Purplestick

 

 

Friday, February 15, 2013

One step closer to a new Vikings home


Friday February 15th marked the next step closer to a new Vikings stadium when they gave the job to Mortenson Construction. It is nice to see Minnesota’s own get the job. They have built the Target Center, Target Field, Excel Energy, and TCF Bank Stadium.
I have had the thrill to attend a game in each of these stadiums and have nothing but thoughts of each stadium gets nicer what will this almost a billion stadium look like.
It is an exciting time to be a Vikings season ticket holder being able to transfer my tickets over when the new stadium opens in 2016. I would imagine it will be a hot ticket for the first season in it.
The projection of this season coming up will be very meaningful to me. I have a lot of memories which includes Twins games. I went to the Home Run derby in 1985 before the All Star game and remember paying 2.00 for general admission tickets.
The Twins winning 2 World Series titles in Game 7’s at the dome which I did not attend. The Vikings playing the NFC title at the dome in 1998 vs Atlanta and I was there. There have been so many memories both good and bad, but what makes them special is I was able to share them with my wife.
I wrote for my local paper for 3 Vikings seasons writing a blog from a fan perspective was a great memory. I was given a media pass and could sit in the press box with other media. I had lunch at halftime with them and then after the game I could go in the locker room and do player interviews. I did not get paid to do this rather I did a favor for the paper writing about my favorite team, the Vikings.
The roof of the dome collapse is a memory I will never forget. I took a tour when people were allowed and saw sights I hope I never see again. The damage was unforgettable as I could see Minneapolis from inside the dome.
The light rail had begun giving fans a chance to get to the games cheaper and less headaches of trying to drive on game day.
I want to make sure on this last season in Mall of America Field I get a lot of pictures and any keepsakes I will buy. I have bought a game pin every game the last 3 seasons and want to make sure I keep the streak alive.
I read 2 figures today that are mind blowing. The first is they are figuring 7500 workers will be employed to get the job done. The other thought is 4.25 million man hours to get the job done.
The time frame for now is we could be facing that one year from now in February of 2014, Mall of America Field will be taken down and the new stadium to be ready in 2016.
The thought of playing 2 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium is exciting for me. I think of playing home games in early fall will be an awesome experience. The later the season comes the cold and snow and honestly I do not know if I can excited for bad weather. I will deal with that if and when the bad weather occurs.
It will be a great experience to be a ticket holder and attend these games knowing the almost billion dollar stadium will be the team’s home the rest of my adult life.
I hope you can get excited for this new masterpiece in just a couple short years. I will not lie I am concerned about the price of tickets for the stadium. I will worry about it when the time comes.
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
Thanks for reading
Purplestick

 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Excitement starts all over


The month of February is in its early stages yet football talk is kicking up hot and heavy. It starts personally for me as the email came from the Vikings regarding renewal of season tickets. I am expecting in the mail this week the form to see the pricing. This most likely seems to be the last year at the dome and with that I need to get ready to for lots of memories and hopefully they are good ones.

The announcement that an average of 3.6 percent increase in tickets I will be facing. It is the first time in 3 years there will be an increase. The home schedule is full of exciting teams with young quarterbacks leading the way. The Packers, Bears, Lions, Browns, Eagles, Redskins, Panthers are coming to Mall of America Field. We will get to see Cam Newton and hopefully RGIII assuming he recovers from off season surgery. I see the Eagles signed Micheal Vick to a one year contract today so he too may be facing our defense and better yet our crowd that is awesome.

The one home game I am very disappointed that we will not see will be the Pittsburgh Steelers as this game is in London. The Steelers fan travel well and it would have been fun to see the terrible towels in the dome and the potential hundreds of Steelers fans.

The free agency begins on March 12th at 4:00 pm and with that the Vikings are facing decisions on which of the 10 free agents will they keep.

In my opinion the 2 most important offensive guys to keep would be right tackle, Phil Loadholt and fullback, Jerome Felton. The way the running game blew up in 2012 it would be so nice to keep the flow going.

The defensive side of the ball I believe we need to keep safety, Jamarca Sanford and the 2 linebackers, Erin Henderson and Jasper Brinkley.

These are my hopes going into free agency. The team must be under the salary cap before this date of March 12 as well.

The subject of Percy Harvin is concerning on what the team will do with him. He is so talented and his trade value I would think be high. I hate to see him leave but if he does it would be nice to get value instead of next year he would leave potentially leave via free agency and we would get nothing. My hope is no matter what I just hope the team makes a decision sooner than later which could end in a hold out of some sort.

The team made such big strides it is important that all distractions get taken care of no matter what so when Training Camp comes in late July the team can concentrate on football and not soap operas.

In other news with Cris Carter being called to the Hall of Fame he will be making an appearance at Winter Park on Thursday February 14th and face the media. I cannot wait to watch the news that night and see what he is thinking. I for one am so happy for him on a well-deserved honor.

The Combine is coming in a couple weeks with over 330 invites with one I will keep an eye on. MarQueis Gray, former Gopher quarterback got an invite. I do not know what position he will shoot for to play in the NFL but I wish him all the success in the world. Former Gopher wide out Eric Decker sure has done well in the NFL as he now catches balls from Peyton Manning. It would be nice for another Gopher to do well.

The Pro Day at the University of Minnesota is March 4th so another chance for Gray to impress.

This is an exciting time of year for college hopefuls to make the pros but also for fans who religiously follow the team 365 like I do.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 

 

Monday, February 4, 2013

2012 season, one to never forget

The Super Bowl is all over and now there is 213 days until we have football again. The 2012 season for those who love stats was one of the best. The NFL records that were broke were incredible such as our own Adrian Peterson or the Lion’s Calvin Johnson 1964 receiving yards just to name a couple.

The Vikings entered training camp in late July coming off a 3-13 record. The practice schedule had been changed for the first time so that the padded practices were in the afternoon. What would we see out of the Purple this year?

I did meet a family from the country of Denmark this camp. The son is a huge Vikings fan. It was so neat to sit down and talk about their country and the fascination of why be Vikings fans.

The shocking release of Sage Rosenfels and keeping Joe Webb and McLeod Bethel Thompson to me signified the Vikings were serious about the youth movement.
The draft class was hoping to help out and 8 out of 10 ended up making the squad.

It was time for the season to begin. The New York Giants lost the home opener to the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday night football. It was the first time since 1999 a defending champion had lost in week 1. Is this a sign we might be in for a whacky season?

The Indianapolis Colts get the first pick and take Andrew Luck and did he respond. The Colts head coach Chuck Pagano takes a leave of absence to deal with medical issues. Bruce Arians steps in and gets the job done as the Colts make the playoffs.

The Vikings 3-13 in 2011 and then this year, 2012 they go 10-6 breaking a record of best turn around in franchise history increasing in wins by 7.
The Colts and Vikes make the playoffs, who would have seen this coming except for some hopeful fans in the respective cities?

The story in Seattle is incredible as they payout big bucks to get the Packers backup quarterback, Matt Flynn to sign in hopes of him being the man. A funny thing happens as 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft; Russell Wilson beats out Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson and becomes the opening day starter. The end result was a trip for Seattle to the playoffs.

The new wave of quarterbacking was seen with the read option run by Colin Kaepernick (49ers), Russell Wilson (Seahawks), and RGIII (Redskins) There was a ton of success so this upcoming 2013 draft will be interesting to see what teams go after.

The amount of coaches that were fired after the season was crazy. This whole season was crazy. Adrian Peterson has his knee torn up in 2011 and another man, Peyton Manning goes through 4 neck surgeries and one ends up with MVP and the other comeback player of the year.

The NFL is the best sport in the world!!!

The Monday after the Super Bowl is always a tough day for me as I face the fact next week there is no football.

I know I take a lot of grief for feeling this way as I get told there is more to life than football. It is just so fun to watch and it all starts with the draft, training camp and season tickets.

The fantasy football is done along with the weekly pools picking the winners makes each week so worth waiting for. I won the Super Bowl in my league for the first time in 10 years. I had Blair Walsh on my team along with the Vikings defense helping me out.

The 2013 football season will be my 20th training camp I will attend in Mankato so I am excited for that number. A lot of hours of sitting in the heat and watching practice and then of course taking a shot at meeting the guys who I hope lead us to the big game. It is all worth it.

The game Sunday with Baltimore and San Francisco I thoroughly enjoyed. The talk all week about Randy Moss and his efforts on the field made for interesting discussions.
The story line of the Harbaugh brothers is finally put to rest along with the Ray Lewis retirement story.

The commercials were enjoyable, the game was competitive to the end and now the season is over.

I loved this football season and all the memories.

As I stated earlier only 213 days until football is here again.

Thanks for reading
Purplestick




Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl weekend super for Vikings

The Super Bowl weekend is an awesome event but this might go down as the best weekend the Vikings have ever had even though not playing in the big game.
I spent the weekend moving my mom to a new residence so I did not get to see the awards as they happened but I guarantee I was following twitter on my phone so I could see what was going on in the sports world and more importantly was if Cris Carter would finally get in an later if Adrian Peterson would get the award he deserved, the MVP or Comeback player of the year.

The Vikings have made the Super Bowl and lost all 4 so this is the criticism I take as a fan with the most often asked question, “how can you follow a team that disappoints?”
It is days like Saturday that makes it so worth being a fan of this team. The hundreds of Vikings players I have had the pleasure to meet through the years in Mankato and this list does include Cris Carter and Adrian Peterson.

I will never forget when my daughter came with me and she had her Cris Carter jersey on that Cris autographed that gave my daughter a memory of a lifetime. She still has it and now she can say she has a jersey signed by a Hall of Famer.

I can remember Cris playing catch in Training Camp with Randy Moss, Jake Reed and a certain ball boy whose name is Larry Fitzgerald Jr.

We have had such good receivers in the past and it now excites the heck out of me to see Cris Carter finally get the call to a place he so deserves.
The one handed sideline passes while staying in bounds he seemed to have perfected and almost seemed to make it look natural with not much effort.

Cris came to Minnesota on September 4, 1990 as he was claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles. I say as a fan, thank you Philadelphia for releasing him and allowing the Vikings to pick him up so cheap.

It was on November 30th he became only the second player in NFL history to reach the 1000 catch milestone which since then has been accomplished. It is still too neat to know he did it back then when it was not so common.

Cris is also is 1 of 2 receivers in history to catch 120 balls or more in two seasons in 1994 and 1995 along with Wes Welker.
Carter is number one in history with the most touchdown catches of 7 yards or less with 48. What a great red zone receiver that I hope the current Vikings team can once again find although I believe Kyle Rudolph can one day be there.

It is nice to now know after years of frustration that the Vikings now have had 2 consecutive years of getting a guy into Canton and also 6 of the last 8 years seeing a Vikings players make it.

Congrats to Cris Carter for a well-deserved honor!!!!!!!!!!!

Adrian Peterson getting the MVP all I can say and think is, Thank you to the voters for not disappointing the Vikings fans.

The streak of 5 straight quarterbacks is now over thanks to AP. The man did more for a team than anyone could have expected except for AP, he never had a doubt.
I truly believed he set a standard for all of us even if we are not in sports. If you put your mind to it you can do anything. It is belief and will that can take you to success.
It is amazing that of all the Vikings throughout the years that Adrian only becomes the 3rd player in team history to get this award. Peterson joins Fran Tarkenton (1975) and Alan Page (1971) with this award.

He was short by 9 yards which is disappointing but to walk away with the awards Saturday night he did has got to be fulfilling.
I love his attitude in life and am thrilled he will be in Purple for years to come.

The numbers he ripped off in 2012 I believe with his attitude and determination that these records will be shattered over and over.
Congrats to Adrian Peterson!!!!!!!!

I need to finish up by mentioning Coach Frazier and the fact that he finished 4th for Coach of the Year is fabulous. I know 4th is not first but to see the man survive what he has gone through and working with youth and getting the players to buy into his program. I say, Congrats Coach for a great job and keep up the good work in the future.

Thank you Coach Frazier!!!

Thank for reading
Purplestick