Thursday’s Vikings game ended the preseason schedule and on Saturday August 31st, 19 players were released to get down to the 53 man roster. This does not mean some of these players could end up on the practice squad. The roster by Monday could even change again.
I spent the afternoon Saturday reading twitter periodically watching the NFL and all things involved and if any big names got cut.
Players Waived On Saturday (19)
TE Colin Anderson, RB Joe Banyard, S Brandan Bishop, OL Travis Bond, CB Brandon Burton, WR Stephen Burton, DT Everett Dawkins, S Darius Eubanks, CB- Bobby Felder, TE Chase Ford, OL Brandon Keith, DT Anthony McCloud LB Tyrone McKenzie OL Kevin Murphy DT Spencer Nealy DE D’Aundre Reed WR- Rodney Smith WR- Adam Theilen and DE Collins Ukwu
The 19 players involved today 5 of them were former Vikings draft picks with Brandon Burton, Stephen Burton, D’Aundre Reed from past drafts and 2 of the 9 2013 picks were Everett Dawkins and Travis Bond.
In 2012 only 1 of the 10 was cut and now this 2013 draft 2 were not so fortunate so I will keep an eye to see if they get signed to the practice squad.
The surprise to me like most people I am sure was Stephen Burton and Tyrone McKenzie. I believe a fight for the final spot came down to Webb and Burton with Webb winning in the end. I really thought both would be kept. I really like the camp Burton had but Webb is a guy who was showing the staff he would do whatever it takes weather receiver or special teams.
McKenzie led the team in special teams last season. This team has drafted 3 linebackers in the last 2 years in which is going to make it harder on vets to stay with the team.
The other mild surprise to me was Bobby Felder. I am truly happy for Marcus Sharels but I still thought the team would keep both. I know they can’t keep everyone.
The draft has really helped this team immensely as I break down the positions that make up the 2013 53 man roster:
Quarterbacks (3) 1 of the 3 is a draft pick- (Ponder)
Running Backs (4) 2 of the 4 are draft picks (Peterson and Gerhart)
Wide Receiver (5) 3 of 5 are draft picks (Patterson, Wright and Webb)
Tight Ends (3) 2 of 3 are draft picks (Rudolph and Ellison)
Offensive Linemen (8) 5 of 8 are draft picks (Kalil, Sullivan, Fusco, Baca and Loadholt)
Defensive Line (9) 5 of 98 are draft picks (Robison, K.Williams, Guion, Griffen and Floyd)
Linebackers (8) 4 of 8 are draft picks (Greenway, Cole, Hodges and Mauti)
Defensive Backs (10) 7 of 10 are draft picks (Cook, Robinson, Rhodes, H.Smith, Sanford, Blanton, Raymond)
Special Teams (3) 2 of 3 are draft picks (Walsh and Locke)
53 players on the roster with 32 of them draft picks computing to 60.3 percent being draft picks.
On the flip side I congratulate guys who made it the hard way, and that was being a rookie free agent at one time and fighting to either make it for the first time or repeat come back and make the squad.
LB-Erin Henderson, QB-McLeod Bethel Thompson, RB-Matt Asiata, FB-Zach Line, DT-Chase Baker, LB-Larry Dean. CB-Marcus Sharels and S-Andrew Zendejo
It is an exciting day for football fans because now that the 53 have been announced it is one step closer to opening week.
On a note around the NFL players with Minnesota ties were released. Detroit Lions released former Vikings safety, Tyrell Johnson. San Francisco released former Gopher quarterback MarQueis Gray.
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Training Camp in Mankato is over and now Game 2 was Friday in Buffalo. The first road test of the preseason so how would the team look?
As a fan I would love a win but if that does not occur I want to see improvement of any kind as after Friday there are still 2 more game left before it counts.
It is easy to look at Ponder and Cassel stats and be concerned. It is easy to maybe say you are not happy with the line protection. It seems to be easier in life to find faults.
I like to look and tonight it was not hard to find positives in the loss to Buffalo
1-The offensive line now has film to look at and see what went wrong. Buffalo game was the first time of lengthy playing time. The missed blocks, the bad snaps are all fixable. This by no means to me is something to panic about. I will watch the game next Sunday and look to see how the O-Line prepared.
2-Blair Walsh missed one but comes right back to nail the next attempt. Walsh continues his big leg for kickoffs. The practice time with Loefffler, Jeff Locke and Walsh will come together. They still have 2 weeks to keep on practicing.
3-Jeff Locke, showed me in the game what he showed me in camp. His ability to successfully nail the opponent was extremely impressive.
4-Bobby Felder showed Special Team Coach, Mike Prieffer that he deserves a shot to make the team. How about his hustle down field to kill not 1 but 2 punts deep in Buffalo territory? In staying with the Felder theme he looked good on punt returns and may have coaches contemplating using him in the return game.
5-Stephen Burton return kick for a TD called back. The thing on this is we saw the speed. I did like the TV spotlighting Coach Prieffer in working with McKenzie on the sideline on what he did wrong. I believe we will lose Coach Prieffer to another team as a head coach. This guy is a wizard at coaching special teams. He knows what he needs to be successful in watching the results from last year.
6-Jamarca Sanford- made an unbelievable interception after the beautiful tip caused by Xavier Rhodes. It is preseason but I love the effort Sanford put to get the ball before it hit the ground. I also appreciate seeing Sanford after his night was over still standing on the sidelines and being a team player in supporting his teammates that were on the field. His smile and giving guys high fives as they were coming off was nice to see.
7-Zach Line- In Game 1 he scored the only TD of the game for the Vikes last week. Tonight he saved a touchdown on special teams as he made a great tackle of Bills return man, Robert Woods. I believed Woods may have scored without Line’s tackle.
8-Chrisitan Ponder- The line protection made his life a little tougher and his passes were no quite there. It was the first night behind his line and no AP makes it hard to tell reality. Ponder did make a great run as he was harassed and broke containment. He could have chosen to go out of bounds on the run but instead he turned up field and got 10 more yards to put Walsh into range for his field goal attempt. It was great awareness by Ponder to get the yards.
9-Kyle Rudolph- He simply does not stop amazing me. I thought Ponder threw a ball a little bit high but Rudolph made the catch look easy. This combo is a must for 2013. Christian throw it a little high a let Rudolph snatch it out of the air. If Rudolph stays healthy, well then the sky is the limit for # 82.
10- Joe Banyard, running back made the most of his time on the field. This will be a tough area to make the team but if Banyard can show more who knows.
11- McLeod Bethel-Thompson- I just can’t say enough about # 4. The man is a competitor and is willing to sacrifice his body. I am so amazed by the strength of his arm. He is also not afraid to take a hit as he exhibited in the game. The quick release is incredible. He is going to make it on the 53 man roster.
A loss does not always mean bad. A loss is something for the team to look at this week and get things tightened up. A loss in preseason is only bad in my eyes if I watch the next game and see the same problems.
I am a big fan of Coach Frazier and feel comfortable he and his staff will make adjustments to such things as blitz pickups and other areas they feel the team struggled in. I am optimistically looking for a big successful season in 2013.
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