Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday sees another busy day at Winter Park

Marqueis Gray

The 53 man roster was set at 3:00 on Saturday and now then next step occurred Sunday when teams could sign up to 10 men on their practice squad.
The Vikes also began the Sunday by scouring the waiver wire. They were 8th on the waiver wire to choose based on last year’s draft order.
The team on Saturday left themselves with 2 tight ends on the roster so Sunday the Vikings put a claim on former Gopher quarterback and Browns tight end, Marqueis Gray. I love this pick because Gray has so much versatility including being able to play quarterback. The fact the Norv Turner worked with Gray last season in Cleveland I believe was a major reason the team went after Gray.
The team also took Mike Harris off waivers. Harris can play guard or tackle and played with the San Diego Chargers in 2012. The year of familiarity with the Norv Turner system is a nice asset to have.
As with 2 moves comes the unfortunate fact that 2 of the 53 man roster must leave. The Vikes waived special teams star, Larry Dean and also Offensive Tackle, Austin Wentworth.
One fact I loved as I read was the average age of this 2014 roster. It is the 5th youngest averaging a little over 25 years of age. I would so much rather go this way then keep on signing free agents who have potentially very few years to make a difference. I am such a believer in what GM Rick Spielman is doing with the roster.
Here is the list of the Practice Squad. It will undoubtedly change during the year but it is a start.
RB Joe Banyard
WR Kain Colter
DT Isame Faciane
TE Chase Ford
WR Donte Foster
CB Kendall James
C Zac Kerin
T Mike Remmers
DE Justin Trattou
Thanks for reading
Purplestick


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vikes 53 man roster set for now

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19-Adam Thielen

Saturday August 30th was the day of the final cuts for all NFL teams. I followed twitter all day watching for names right up to 3:00CST.
The 53 man roster is finally set for the 2014 Vikings. Yes, it could change as soon as Sunday but here is the breakdown on Saturday.
It started early this morning with my biggest surprise name and that was DT, Fred Evans. It seems each year the theme of youth is pushed and once again in 2014 it is no different.  Fred will be missed as the veteran who came in when needed. I wish him well and thank him for his contributions to the team.
The roster breaks down like this with the Vikings having 33 former draft picks on the squad which is 62.2 percent. I really have enjoyed especially the last 3 years of drafts providing some true talent.
The 2014 draft saw the Vikings take 10 players and after 3:00 we see that 9 of the 10 made it. Kendall James was the only one cut but hopefully he finds himself on the practice squad.
My favorite group of players is the linebacker corps and I am proud to say not one was cut as of 3:00. I love the youth of this group.
My shock was along with Fred  Evans was the secondary as I saw the veteran names, Chris Crocker and Kurt Coleman names as part of the cuts. I was convinced that Crocker’s experience in Zimmer defense would be an asset.
The other shock came at tight end only keeping 2 and along with keeping 2 fullbacks. I can’t wait to see what Norv Turner has in mind for the offense.
The highlight of my day was seeing the name Adam Thielen, wide receiver out of Minnesota State University, Mankato making the roster.
Here is your look at the 2014 roster as of 3:00
OFFENSE
Quarterback (3)
Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater, Christian Ponder
Running back (3)
Adrian Peterson, Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon
Fullback (2)
Jerome Felton, Zach Line
Tight End (2)
Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison
Wide Receivers (5)
Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings, Adam Thielen, Rodney Smith, Jarius Wright,
Offensive Line (9)
Matt Kalil, Charlie Johnson, John Sullivan, Brandon Fusco, Phil Loadholt, Austin Wentworth, Joe Berger, David Yankey, Vlad Ducasse
DEFENSE
Defensive Line (8)
Everson Griffen, Sharrif Floyd, Linval Joseph, Brian Robison, Corey Wootton, Shamar Stephen, Tom Johnson, Scott Crichton
Linebacker (8)
Chad Greenway, Jasper Brinkley, Anthony Barr, Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges, Audie Cole, Larry Dean, Brandon Watts
Cornerback (6)
Xavier Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Robinson, Jabari Price, Marcus Sherels, Shaun Prater
Safety (4)
Harrison Smith, Robert Blanton, Andrew Sendejo, Antone Exum
SPECIAL TEAMS
Kicker (1)
Blair Walsh
Punter (1)
Jeff Locke
Long Snapper (1)
Cullen Loeffler

Friday, August 29, 2014

Excitement in the air

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The excitement is in the air regarding the 2014 Minnesota Vikings. A 4-0 record in the preseason is a nice stepping stone to building some much needed confidence.

Yes, I know the last time the team went undefeated in preseason the regular season ended with a 5-11 record.

The season begins Sunday September 7th with a clean slate with all 32 teams being 0-0. It is truly fun to sit back and only hope our favorite team wins the division. Experts have the Purple either 3rd or last.

As long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy the Packers will be the team I fear must experts feel is the class of the division. Chicago and Detroit both having veteran quarterbacks will give Minnesota true tests each team we face them.

I do know the first 5 games are as tough as they come but with that being said a good team will learn not to listen to experts and play their game and at the end of 60 minutes we will see who was on top. You cannot always say the better team wins. The bounce of the ball, the turnovers, and the team with most desire to win will win. Las Vegas each week gives odds but even that you can count on.

The difference this season will be what Coach Mike Zimmer and his staff brings each game. I watched all 4 preseason games and must say it was one of the best preseason years I have ever watched.

The last game is usually so ugly with so many different players trying to be the star and hopes to latch on to the team.

I really thought all units put out on the field Thursday night really represented themselves fairly well. Saturday will be a fun day to watch the cuts and just see who makes the team that no one thought would.

Players like Joe Banyard played his butt off but with Adrian Peterson, Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon will there be room for Banyard? One thing said about Joe I believe is even if he does get cut, he will be picked up very quickly.

One player I was concerned about 2 weeks ago was the kicker, Blair Walsh watching him kick in TCF. I have no concern anymore as I feel very confident in what he brought to the table the last 2 games. One thing very consistent is his booming kickoffs. This is a great weapon making team’s start repeatedly at the 20.

The quarterbacks coming into week 1 give me a ton of confidence with how they will play. It is such a great problem to have these 2 consistent quarterbacks with Cassel and Bridgewater.

The group of players I am most excited about is the linebacker corps. I don’t know who will be cut but whoever remains we can be assured of one thing can be said. All guys will be athletic and ball hawkers.

I just got the gut feeling we are onto something special for the season. I feel the Wilfs’ finally got the right guy in charge and his coaching staff as well.

Sunday September 7th cannot come soon enough!!!!

SKOL VIKINGS

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Ready for final chapter of the 2014 Preseason


CASSEL NAMED STARTER

The announcement by the Vikings on Monday that Matt Cassel would be Week 1 starting quarterback came as no surprise to me. I feel Matt did nothing to hurt himself value wise in preseason. I thought he looked extremely comfortable as he moved the team down the field.

The nightmare of 2013 with quarterback carousel is finally over. I could not be any happier knowing Teddy Bridgewater is extremely capable of coming in when needed. If anything would happen to Cassel we have a kid ready to roll. I can’t remember the last time the team had 2 quarterbacks of this caliber. It is time to be excited in Purple land.

FIRST CUT NAMES RELEASED

Monday also came the dreaded day for 14 players as they were released. The only player that surprised me was Mistral Raymond. I guess I am not totally shocked being he had been recently injured. I enjoyed his efforts through his Vikings career and wish him well in the future.

Brandan Bishop ................. S ...................... 1 ................. N.C. State

Pierce Burton .................... T ..................... R ................ Mississippi

Derek Cox ...................... CB ...................... 6 .......... William & Mary

Andy Cruse ................... WR ...................... 1 ............... Miami (OH)

Kamar Jorden................ WR ...................... 1 .......... Bowling Green

Erik Lora ........................ WR ..................... R .......... Eastern Illinois

Kevin Murphy .................... T ...................... 2 ..................... Harvard

Kheeston Randall ........... DT ...................... 2 ........................ Texas

Tyler Scott ...................... DE ..................... R ............ Northwestern

Jake Snyder ................... DE ..................... R ..................... Virginia

Kory Sperry ..................... TE ...................... 6 .......... Colorado State

Robert Steeples ............. CB ...................... 1 .................. Memphis

Ty Walker ...................... WR ...................... 1 .............. Illinois State

Waived/Injured

PLAYER POS. EXP. COLLEGE

Mistral Raymond ............... S ...................... 4 ............ South Florida

A LOOK AT IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS

Yes, it is preseason and records mean nothing but if you are a numbers guy like me these numbers I will show you are fascinating.

  1. Vikings Quarterbacks through 3 preseason games are 55-86 which is 64 percent. The quarterback rating is 106.3 which ranks 2nd best in the NFL
  2. The Vikings defense is giving up 15.3 per game which is good for 4th best.

ALL TIME VIKINGS PREASON NUMBERS

  1. In 242 games the Vikings are 143-96-3  which is .597 percent
  2. The Vikings up to the 2014 season have only gone undefeated 6 times prior (1964,1965,1973,1972 1998,and 2001)

 

  1. In the previous 40 seasons when the Vikings have finished above .500 that 31 times the team in the regular season has finished .500 or better
  2. In 53 seasons the Vikes have finished .500 or better 40 times
  3. In the 13 seasons the team has failed to reach .500 in previous seasons the regular season the team has failed to reach .500 seven times

VIKES OPPENENT: TENNESSEE TITANS

The Vikings face the Tennessee Titans Thursday August 28th in the 4th and final preseason game. It is the last chance for players to make their case on why they should be part of the 53 man roster. It is also important these players play their butts off because 31 other teams are watching as well.

The Vikes have played Tennessee 6 times in preseason and have gone 5-1. Let’s hope we go 6-1 and finish undefeated. The biggest thing to come out of this game will be health.

 

THINGS TO WATCH FOR

It has been a fun 3 games to watch but areas I would like to see get better is the blitz pickup. I am hoping Blair Walsh continues to be consistent after having a nice game in Kansas City. I am looking for someone to step up as middle linebacker and finally the biggest concern for me will be the secondary. I am excited thus far but in the division we are in we need guys to be consistent and tough.

Thanks for reading

PurplestickPhoto






Sunday, August 24, 2014

The 2014 season has a special feel to it

COACH MIKE ZIMMER

It’s been a while since I have written a blog and it’s time to get back to work. I had worked at a company for over 25 years and in May it ended. I decided enough of frustration and time to look for a fresh start.

This decision affected heavily my training camp times since I started over and had no vacation time. I had gone to camp the previous 20 years with the last 16 years of that only missing 5 days. In 2014 camp I made it a total of 5 days.

I still have my season tickets so that has not changed. I have been to 154 games with 150 at home and 4 road games.

TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS

I want to give you my take of the Training Camp I did take in. I only made it the 5 days so I put more of myself into it than normal. I studied hard as I watched practice and came out thoroughly impressed.

The first change I noticed was the fact the players ran some drills and then the entire team went to the middle of the 3 fields to do stretches I do not believe I have seen that since the Dennis Green days. It was refreshing to see the coaching staff implement this.

The next change I noticed was about halfway through practice the team would take a water break. It was so nice to see that once again this coaching staff believes in keeping the players hydrated.

The one observation that I really enjoyed as watching closely as coaches from the different groups really worked on fundamentals.

I really wanted to keep an eye on Coach Mike Zimmer and see just how hands he was during practice. It did not take long as I watched Zimmer get into the faces of the defensive backs in different drills.

One drill that I saw Mike really on top of things was when the offense was on the 5 yard line and some of the defensive backs were in the end zone. Zimmer abruptly stopped the play and yelled at the players to get on the 1.5 yard line instead of the end zone. How many years have we seen the Vikings defenders defending the end zone while they were in the end zone. How is this going to stop the opponents I thought to myself way to many times?
19-ADAM THIELEN



THE 53 MAN SQUAD

I do not believe or even want to attempt to guess who makes the 53 man squad except for one in particular. I will say that one player I know will make the squad and that is former Minnesota State University player, Adam Thielen. He is so good at his route running and has tremendous hands. His long punt return for a near touchdown Saturday night in Kansas City. I noticed in camp that players really support him and hang with him such as Patterson and Jennings. He works his butt off and deserves his shot at the NFL.

TCF BANK STADIUM SEATING

Friday August 1st was our first experience in our new seats. We have bench seats in the upper deck. TCF is a smaller stadium so our seats seem closer that they were at the Metrodome. We are in seats one and 2 and thus far it is great to be close but so far through 2 games fans seem to be up and down the steps every play making it difficult to watch at times.

The one big complaint I heard not once but several times as the bench seating has numbers and if the person is a little bigger they may end up squishing you a little more. In the dome each person had a seat and that was their designation.

We me an adjustment for the Arizona game and that was we orders seat back chairs. It was 55.00 dollars per seat but it was well worth it. They were extremely comfortable and we now have a seat designation. The seats are set up for us before the game and then taken down after the game for us.

TRANSPORTATION TO THE GAME

I am recommending you take the light rail. We park down by the dome for 4.00. We park about a couple blocks north of the old Metrodome and then catch the new Green Line light rail at the Metrodome stop and that drops you off right across from TCF on the back side. The cost for 2 of us was 7.00. The total for the night was 11.00 I feel it is easier and less stress that parking down by the U and sitting in traffic jam before and after the game. Yes, the light rail is busy after the game but I am still convinced this is the way to go.

THE 2014 VIKINGS

Yes, the team is 3-0 and that is exciting so I will be cautious to be predicting an undefeated season. I will go down as saying without a doubt and 110% that this team will be improved vastly over the last few years.

The coaching style, the players speaking in the media along with the excitement fans are showing at TCF leaves me with a feeling like I had in 1998.

The Arizona game watching Teddy Bridgewater lead the team to the comeback and listening to the fans chant Teddy, Teddy, Teddy the entire 4th quarter gave me sent purple chills through this 50 year old body. The fans leaving the game with the chants continuing and were really echoing down the stairs as we left TCF.



FIRST ROUND PICKS

The last 3 seasons may go down as the best in many years. Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, Sharrif Floyd, Cordarelle Patterson, Xavier Rhodes and now Teddy Bridgewater and Anthony Barr are the new cornerstone for the long future. Smith may be one of the top safeties in the game.

VIKINGS FANS, I TRULY FEEL WE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE EXCITED ABOUT THIS SEASON.

Thanks for reading

GO VIKES

Purplestick