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Lunchbreak: NFL.com Tabs Vikings Among Lea Tomas Plekanec Youth Jersey gue’s Top D-Lines

May 26th, 2018

There’s no doubt that the Vikings defensive line ranks among the best in the league.

Minnesota’s front four demonstrated its dominance in 2017, when the group helped the Vikings defense rank No. 1 overall in yards allowed and points allowed per game.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com recently assembled a list of the NFL’s top defensive lines. He tabbed the Vikings at No. 4 overall, although one could argue for a higher placement. Rosenthal wrote the following:

The Vikings starting front four fits together like a starting five in basketball. Every player has a defined role and complements the rest of the group. Everson Griffen is the leader, a premier pass rusher with a complete game who plays better after every contract extension. Danielle Hunter is his yo Tomas Plekanec Winter Classic Jersey ung apprentice, teeming with untapped athleticism. Linval Joseph is the dogged veteran who has been among the league’s best run stoppers since he came into the NFL.

Rosenthal added that Sheldon Richardson, whom the Vikings signed in free agency, is “more disruptive against the pass from the inside.”

Rosenthal’s reasoning for not ranking Minnesota higher was based on the Vikings having “less depth than usual” at the position due to a majority of the reserves – with the exception of veteran Brian Robison – being younger and less experienced.

Coming in at Nos. 1-3, respectively, on the list were the Jaguars, Eagles and Rams. Rosenthal opined the Jaguars at the top “because of the depth and diversity of their top players.”

Rudolph contributing to his alma mater’s new fitness center

Before Kyle Rudolph was a standout at Notre Dame and even longer before he donned a Purple Vikings jersey, the tight end impressed on the gridiron at Elder High School in Cincinnati.

 Men’s Authentic Reebok Montreal Canadiens 14 Tomas Plekanec 2016 Winter Classic Ice Hockey Jersey 

Now, Rudolph is giving back.

According to Cincinnati.com, Rudolph “has offered a sizeable donation” to help bring a state-of-the-art fitness center to his alma mater. Adam Baum wrote:

Elder unveiled plans Friday for the “Panther Fitness Center,” a two-story building which will sit next to the high school on the corner of Vincent Avenue and Regina Avenue, in front of the Schaeper Center. It will be the first new structure built on the main campus since 1980 when Elder’s basketball gym, the Memorial Fieldhouse, was completed. 

[…]

The first floor will be a weight room that doubles the size of the current space, and the second floor will be a 6,000-square-foot multi-purpose room.

Plans are to break ground in August or September for the 19,000-square-foot facility, which will be constructed in two phases.

According to Baum, the project first became an idea in 2014 when Rudolph signed an extension with Minnesota.

Baum quoted Rudolph, who said the following:

“The main reason I wanted to do it is I know what this place did for me. I was born a Panther. I was born to a dad that went here, grandfather that went here, uncles that went here, I went here, my brother went here and now we have cousins here. So this place is something that’s always near and dear to my heart, and I had every resource and every opportunity when I was here to become the man and the player that I am today, and I want kids that are coming here now and in the future to have every opportunity as well.”

Limited-edition Thielen bobbleheads being released

Vikings memorabilia gatherers will soon have another item to add to their collection.

According to the KVRR Local News website, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum will be releasing “limited-edition Adam Thielen bobbleheads in his Minnesota State University, Mankato and Minnesota Vikings uniforms.”

Joe Radske wrote that the officially licensed bobbleheads, which will be the first ones in Thielen’s likeness, will cost $40 apiece. Or, the set of two can be purchased for $75.

Lunchbreak: DeFilippo’s Past Experience as OC Ser Tomas Plekanec Youth Jersey ving as Preparation

May 25th, 2018

John DeFilippo spoke with confidence from the podium Wednesday.

The Vikings new offensive coordinator addressed Twin Cities media members following day two of Organized Team Activity practices. During his session, he referenced his first coordinator job – with the Browns in 2015 – as an experience that has helped prepare him for the role in Minnesota.

ESPN’s Courtney Cronin delved into the topic further in an article posted Thursday morning. She wrote:

By the end of the Vikings offseason program, the second-time coordinator aims to leave with a better feel for his players and what they do well. […] It’s a credence DeFilippo has always held in high regard, notably during his first stint as a coordinator in Cleveland.

The Browns finished 3-13 in 2015, but Cronin explained that while DeFilippo’s time as the Eagles quarterbacks coach during Philadelphia’s Super Bowl LII win is “invaluable,” it’s the “bumps and bruises he experienced along the way” in Cleveland that has helped him grow.

Cronin quoted DeFilippo, who said the following:

“What really helps is I’ve done the job before. […] Was it a great situation at the time? No. Was it perfect? No. At the same time, I think it really helped to prepare how to coach. When you do get that opportunity when you do have guys that maybe are the next step up in terms of ability, I think it helps to take some of those ideas to manufacture yards and feed the ball in their hands. I think more so the fact that I’ve done this job before helped more than anything.”

Cronin went on to emphasize that “countless differences” exist between DeFilippo’s two times as coordinator, including primary contrasts in quarterback situations between the 2015 Browns and 2018 Vikings.

For one, DeFilippo isn’t inheriting a passer in Minnesota. After he was hired in February, he was an integral voice in the organization’s decision to go after [Kirk] Cousins. This time around, DeFilippo gets to install an offense around an established quarterback who understands and has seen a variety of protections, passing concepts and scheme. He also isn’t entering the season with multiple quarterbacks competing for a starting job.

Dalvin Cook projected among ‘NFL’s Biggest 2nd-Year Breakouts’

Vikings fans saw merely a snapshot of Dalvin Cook last season.

What they witnessed from the rookie in four games before he suffered an ACL injury, however, was enough to show that Cook is a special player.

Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report recently put together a list of players whom he believes will be the NFL’s “biggest second-year breakouts” in 2018, and he highlighted Cook as the fourth of 10 total players. Davenport wrote:

Early in the season, it appeared as though Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings was going to join the parade — or perhaps even lead it. Over four games, Cook racked up 444 yards from scrimmage, 4.8 yards per carry and 8.2 yards per reception. He also torched the Saints Tomas Plekanec Youth Jersey  for 127 yards on the ground in his NFL debut.

Davenport quoted Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who said in an interview with NFL Network that Cook is “ahead of schedule” in his rehab and recovery process.

Assuming that Cook is 100 percent (or close to it) by Week 1, he could be primed for a monster year. The Vikings were seventh in the NFL in rushing last year even without Cook. With a loaded passing game spearheaded by quarterback Kirk Cousins and wideouts Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, Cook won’t be seeing a ton of eight-man fronts.

If his knee holds up, Cook could feasibly challenge for the rushing title in 2018. 

 

Ha Joe Carter Throwback Jersey rrison Smith on Year 7 of OTAs: ‘You’ve Never Seen It All’

May 24th, 2018

EAGAN, Minn. – For Harrison Smith, it’s all about learning and looking ahead.

The Vikings 2017 season fell just short of the team’s ultimate goal, and the All-Pro safety emphasized that it’s important to “put it behind you” and focus on 2018.

“Not necessarily throw it away, but learn from it – the good and the bad,” Smith told Twin Cities media members after Wednesday’s Organized Team Activity practice. “Try to improve individually and collectively.”

The Vikings will take the field at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center today for their third of 10 total OTA sessions. The practices are old hat for Smith, who is entering his seventh season in Purple, but they still hold value for the vets.

Smith said it starts with the group workouts that strengthen not only muscle but also team camaraderie.

From there, the focus is in the classroom – increasing an understanding on the playbook and expectations of the coaching staff.

“How to understand situations better, what we need to improve,” Smith said. “Things to focus on, and then take that out here [to the field]. Individually, try to get better at what you’re weak at, and then collectively come together as a unit and start taking steps.”

 Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Jersey Even for Smith, OTAs bring something new each year.

Returning players are getting to know the new additions to the team, which this year includes new faces in the locker room as well as on the coaching staff. Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo, whom the Vikings hired shortly after the 2017 season, will be installing an adjusted offensive system that Minnesota’s defensive corps will see in practice.

Smith specified, however, that they’re not quite there yet.

“Right now, we’re not focused on game planning against our own offense,” Smith said. “As a defensive player, I’m focused on getting better at what I do and helping our defense be as best as possible. You’ve never seen it all; there’s always new things that you need to learn from.”

One of the new kids on the block especially sparks excitement for his defensive teammates; the Vikings added another weapon to their interior D-line when they signed Sheldon Richardson in free agency.

True to his nature, Smith cautioned against “getting ahead of ourselves” but said bringing in Richardson is a positive move.

“On paper it obviously looks awesome. We know what all those guys can do,” Smith said of Minnesota’s defensive line. “We still have to put in the work. They’ve got to get out there and get after the quarterback. But, as a defensive back, absolutely [it’s exciting]. If they’re getting more pressure, even if they’re not sacking the quarterback, if they’re getting him off his spot and getting more pressure, that makes us look better on the back end.”

With the exception of a few small chan Justin Smoak Jersey ges here and Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey  there, the Vikings have proven one of the only teams in the league to maintain such continuity of their roster defensively. Each year starts with a blank slate, but Smith acknowledged the benefits of maintaining that core group from season to season.

“A lot of us have played together and played for these coaches for a little time now,” Smith said. “So, that helps, with each guy being a little more familiar with things. Maybe building that chemistry a little faster with one another and knowing what to expect on certain plays, where guys are going to be. So, I’d be lying if I said that didn’t help a little bit.

Added Smith: “But, at the same time, you still have to start from square one.”

So, how does a three-time Pro Bowler with 82 regular-season starts under his belt set new personal goals for the upcoming season?

For Smith, it’s never been difficult to push himself.

“Usually I kind of look at what I think I need to improve on. Sometimes it’s not statistical things, it’s just, ‘Could I help a corner a little bit more?’ or something like that. Just going through plays that I think I could do better and how could I help the team the best way possible,” Smith said. “So, I’ll look at those things, and it’s always different year-to-year.”

When asked if he could share some specifics about the benchmarks Smith set for himself prior to last season, he simply flashed a quick grin.

“You know me – I like to keep them to myself for a while.”

Presser Points: Zimmer on Facing Vikings Joe Carter Throwback Jersey New-Look Offense

May 24th, 2018

EAGAN, Minn. — Head Coach Mike Zimmer on Wednesday said the Vikings “got a little better than we were” on Tuesday.

Zimmer spoke shortly after players cleared the fields at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center and said the team’s second of 10 total Organized Team Activity practices was “good.”

“[We’re] still working on a lot of situations, a lot of technique work, installing some new offense, looking at some new things defensively,” Zimmer said.

Wednesday’s session was the first practice of the 2018 season that was open to the media, allowing a glimpse of new quarterback Kirk Cousins running new Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo’s system against Minnesota’s top-ranked defense from 2017.

Zimmer said Cousins is a “very anticipatory thrower.”

“He throws guys open. He’s very, very accurate,” Zimmer said. “I think he’s doing a good job of taking control of the offense. Like everybody he’s learning a new system, learning new people. I thought he did good today, and I thought he’s done good the whole time he’s been out here.”

Zimmer said he’s enjoyed interacting with DeFilippo so far. 

“Flip and I have a really good conversation, good talks about football, about situations, about offense,” Zimmer said. “It’s all been good.”

Here are four other topics addressed by Zimmer on Wednesday:

1. Dalvin Cook status update

Second-year running back Dalvin Cook continues to make progress from a torn ACL that stopped his rookie season.

“He’s doing individual stuff out here, and then we get to team stuff and we’re pulling him out, but he’s doing good,” said Zimmer, adding Cook’s level of participation could soon increase.

“I think probably toward the end [of OTAs], maybe by the mandatory mini-camp, he’ll probably get some work, and then he should be ready to roll for training camp,” Zimmer said.

2. The NFL’s new rule for the National Anthem

The NFL announced a new policy requiring players and league personnel on the sidelines to stand during the National Anthem but gives an option for players to remain in the locker room.

The new policy was approved by Owners at the Spring League Meeting while the Vikings were on the field. 

Zimmer was asked about the new policy.

“Number one, I didn’t know anything about this,” Zimmer said. “But I was proud of my team last year, they stood for the anthem. I think it’s important that we stand for the anthem. I think it’s important that we represent our country the right way, the flag the right way.

“I probably shouldn’t get on a tangent, but a  Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Jersey lot of people have died for that flag, and that flag represents our country and what we stand for,” Zimmer added. “I think that’s important and I’ll stop there.”

3. Meeting with Anthony Barr

Linebacker Anthony Barr was not at the voluntary OTA practice on Wednesday.

Zimmer said the 2014 first-round pick “came to me yesterday and said he wasn’t going to be here.”

Zimmer was asked if Barr’s absence had anything to do with him heading into the final year of his rookie contract. 

“I don’t know. I don’t worry about those things,” Zimmer said. “I just know that the conversation that we had, I’m going to keep it between myself and him.”

4. Stay tuned on the offensive line

The Vikings first-team offensive line was Riley Reiff at left tackle, Danny Isidora at left guard, Men’s Mitchell and Ness Vintage 1993 Joe Carter Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Throwback Jersey  Nick Easton at center, Tom Compton at right guard and Mike Remmers at right tackle.

Reiff was a mainstay at left tackle in 2017, his first season with the Vikings. Remmers opened the season at right tackle before kicking in to guard because of injuries. Easton started at left guard last season but w Joe Carter Jersey as filling in at center where Pat Elflein is rehabbing an injury he suffered in the NFC Championship Game.

Zimmer says Remmers’ role in 2017 may depend on “how everything shakes out.”

“This week, we decided to keep him at tackle; maybe next week we’ll put him at guard, but at this point Rashod Hill Joe Carter Throwback Jersey  was a little bit banged up this week, so we said, ‘Let’s keep him there and look at him again this week. We can look at Isidora at guard, Compton at guard and kind of see where we’re at there and then move forward.’ ”

Lunchbreak: ESPN Tabs Cousins as Early Choice for Vikings M Joe Carter Throwback Jersey VP

May 23rd, 2018

The Vikings kicked off Organized Team Activity practices today, which means the team is one step closer toward the 2018 season.

And while games in autumn and winter are still a handful of months away, ESPN recently rolled out early projections for each team’s likely MVP selection.

Courtney Cronin of ESPN went with Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins for her choice, although she said numerous players could be in the mix by season’s end.

Cronin wrote:

While this early designation could have been placed on a handful of players on both sides of the ball — particularly on defense, with safety Harrison Smith — if Cousins can take this team to the next level like the franch Justin Smoak Jersey ise expects, he’ll undoubtedly be the MVP by season’s end. Cousins has a host of playmakers at his disposal, and it’s his job to elevate their game. He did that not long ago in Washington with the likes of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. If he can bring that level of excellence to Minnesota, the Vikings will be in good shape for another deep playoff run.

Cousins, whom the Vikings signed as a free agent in March, threw for 13,176 yards and 81 touchdowns while compiling a passer rating of 97.6 in the past three seasons as Washington’s starter.

He has thrown for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns in each of the previous three seasons.

Cousins has started all 48 regular-season games since 2015. He is one of six quarterbacks to do so with the same team, along with Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, Matth Men’s Mitchell and Ness Vintage 1993 Joe Carter Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Throwback Jersey ew Stafford, Matt Ryan and Blake Bortles. (Tom Brady was suspended for four games but has made every other start for New England).

Each of the projected MVPs in the NFC North were quarterbacks, as Chicago’s Mitchell Tru Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Jersey bisky, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers were also tabbed for their respective teams.

More respect for Joe Carter Throwback Jersey  Rhodes

Xavier Rhodes was revealed on the NFL Top 100 List at No. 55 on Monday night, but the Vikings cornerback was much higher on a recent ranking of players at his position.

Former NFL wide receiver James Jones, now an analyst with NFL.com, earlier this week listed his top cornerbacks heading into the 2018 season.

The Vikings cornerback snagged the top spot on Jones’ list.

Jones, who played nine combined seasons for Oakland and Green Bay, wrote:

Rhodes were closed a lot in 2017, as the Vikings’ CB1 shut down top receivers weekly. It’s one thing to travel with the best receivers, but it’s another to produce, too. In coverage in 2017, Rhodes gave up just two touchdowns, a 79.0 passer rating against and a 54.7 completion percentage when targeted.

He can cover on the outside, inside or in the slot, and his size (6-foot-1, 218 pounds) and physicality at the line of scrimmage give receivers fits, making it hard for them to create separation, because he can push receivers off their routes. I’ve gone head-to-head with Rhodes, and these qualities, coupled with his Joe Carter Jersey  ability to play bump-and-run and off coverage well, make him a nightmare matchup on the island.

The former first-round pick once again proved to be one of the league’s best corners,  Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey matching up against and shutting down top receivers during the regular season that included Michael Thomas (45 yards), Antonio Brown (62 yards), Julio Jones (24 yards) and A.J. Green (30 yards). 

Rhodes started all 16 games and recorded two interceptions, one each against division foes Green Bay and at Detroit, to earn his second straight Pro Bowl nod.

6 Vikings Storylines for 2018 OTA Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey Practices

May 22nd, 2018

EAGAN, Minn. — Organized Team Activity practices have arrived. 

The Vikings on Tuesday began the first of 10 OTA practice days that will be spaced out over the next three weeks before a mandatory minicamp in June. 

The defending NFC North champs have been hard at work during the voluntary offseason program, but players and coaches can now take the preparation for the 2018 season a bit further by hitting the field for practice in helmets and spend more time in meeting rooms.

The Vikings will hold 10 practices over the next three weeks at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Here are six storylines we will be watching during OTA practices:

1. All eyes on Cousins

The Vikings made perhaps the NFL’s biggest free agent splash this past offseason by signing quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year deal.

Now, after weeks of getting to know his teammates and going through drills Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey , Cousins gets his first chance this week to lead Minnesota’s offense in an actual practice.

All eyes will be on the Vikings new franchise quarterback as he tries to establish a quick rapport with new teammates (and new Vikings Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo), while showing the skills and traits that helped him throw for 4,000-plus yards and more than 25 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

2. The return of Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook flashed plenty of potential in three-plus games as a rookie, rushing for 354 yards and two scores early on in his NFL career.

But a torn ACL cut the running back’s season short, and the former second-round pick has since been hard at work rehabbing while eying a return in 2018.

Cook’s workload during OTAs remains to be seen, but getting the dynamic playmaker back in the huddle will only give the Vikings offense an added boost.

3. Turning the page

There are plenty of fond memories from the 2017 season, whether it be a division title or deep playoff run to the NFC title game.

None of that matters now, and that’s the message Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer will likely preach to his team — if he hasn’t done so already.

The start of OTA practices means the 2018 season is drawing closer, and these sessions give Minnesota a chance to keep working as a tough schedule approaches. You can bet Zimmer won’t let the Vikings rest on their laurels from 2017.

— By Eric Smith (@Eric_L_Smith)

 

4. Richardson supercharges defensive line 

Brian Robison is back. Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen are not. The Vikings selected two defensive linemen in the draft – Jalyn Holmes in the fourth round and Ade Aruna in the sixth. Oh yeah, and they signed Sheldon Richardson to start next to Linval Joseph.

While a few staples – Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, Joseph and Robison – Blue Jays Canada Day Jersey  remain, the addition of Richardson is what stands out about this group heading into OTAs.

What’s the rotation behind Joseph and Richardson? Who are the nickel pass rushers? All of these questions and mo Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey re will begin to be answered this week.

5. Let the kicking competition begin 

The Vikings have two place kickers on the roster right now but are more than likely going to enter the regular season with one. 

Will it be veteran Kai Forbath, who has made 47 of 53 field goals since signing with the Vikings in 2016? Or will it be Daniel Carlson, who was selected in the fifth round out of Auburn?

Forbath has been here before, having defeated Marshall Koehn last summer in a kicking competition. Can he do it again? The kicking competition is now underway.

6. Offensive line – who’s playing where?

Tasked with projecting the Vikings starting offensive line for 2018, sound football minds co Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey uld easily disagree at this stage of the equation. 

The Vikings have five linemen with significant starting experience returning for 2018, but only left tackle Riley Reiff and center Pat Elflein seem like rock solid bets to be at the same spots.

Nick Easton is the incumbent left guard, but the Vikings experimented with Mike Remmers in that spot when Easton was lost to injury late last season. Plus, the Vikings have added two draft picks – Brian O’Neill in the 2nd round and Colby Gossett in the 6th round – and a free agent – Tom Compton – who could cause the right side to be shuffled.

— By Mike Wobschall (@wobby)

‘ Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey Letters to Bud’ Chapter 3: Vikings Connections

May 22nd, 2018

It’s not often in today’s NFL that a head coach spends 18 seasons with one team, but such was the case with Bud Grant and the Vikings.

The Hall of Fame coach built a strong rapport with his players over nearly 20 years in Minnesota, ea Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey rning respect even from those whose time with the team was brief.

“You made football much more meaningful to those of us who were fortunate enough to play for you,” former cornerback Bobby Bryant penned following Grant’s first retirement in 1984.

Explore the above installment of “Letters Blue Jays Canada Day Jersey  to Bud” to read messages from Bryant, along with other former Vikings – and even a dedicated young member of the team equipment staff – expressing the impacts that  Marcus Stroman Canada Day Jersey Grant made on their lives.

 

 

Monday Morning Mailbag: Start o Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey f OTA’s, Joint Practices With Jaguars, More

May 21st, 2018

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

Click here to submit a comment or question to the mailbag. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

We have selected a cornerback in the first or second round of three of the past four drafts. But offensive line has been a bigger need. Mike Zimmer’s defense is good and has a lot of talent, but the offense will struggle with no talent on the line. What do you think?
— Gerald Ruzicka

The first two rounds of the draft is not the only place you can acquire talent.  Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey Teams can acquire talented players in middle rounds, such as when the Vikings selected Pat Elflein in the 3rd round two years ago. You can find talent in free agency, which is where the Vikings acquired Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, who are both starters. You can also develop talent from the middle and late rounds and from undrafted free agency. The Vikings have done that with defensive ends such as Everson and Brian Robison (both 4th-rounders) and with receivers such as Stefon Diggs (4th round) and Adam Thielen (undrafted). The Vikings have used valuable resources on the offense lately, such as signing Kirk Cousins to a significant contract this offseason, signing La Blue Jays Canada Day Jersey tavius Murray in free agency last offseason and using a 2nd-round pick on Dalvin Cook, so it’s not as if the Vikings are leaving the offense unattended.

What and who are you most exited for in this year’s Organized Team Activities?
— Jacob
Long Beach, CA

Yes! OTAs begin on Tuesday of this week and it is an exciting time because there are 10 of them between now and June 7 and that leads into the mandatory minicamp in mid-June. OTAs and minicamp represent the closes thing to football that we see before training camp begins in late July. What I’m most excited to see is how the offense looks with new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and quarterback Kirk Cousins. Who I’m most ex Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey cited to see is Sheldon Richardson in Zimmer’s defense and Cook as he continues to come back from his knee injury.

I recall a couple of years ago, the Vikings had joint practices with the Bengals. Will the practices with the Jaguars be the same? Is the difference between a joint practice and a scrimmage that a practice just means running a bunch of plays rather than a simulation of a game?
— Gordon

Practices can feature time periods that are more compartmentalized than what you get during a scrimmage. During a scrimmage, it’s 11 versus 11 in a simulated game environment. That doesn’t yield a great on-field teaching environment. A scrimmage is still valuable experience and coaches and teach on the sidelines between possessions and then in the film room the next day. But a joint practices affords an opportunity for players to learn right there on the field and it exposes an individual player to more learning opportunities. Take Mike Hughes, for example. In a scrimmage, he might be on the field for 15-20 plays and he may only get one or two passes thrown his way. In a joint practice, though, Hughes is going to have a handful of reps in one-on-ones, another handful in seven-on-seven and several snaps in 11-on-11.

The Vikings have the best stadium in the League. But I’ve been waiting to see us play in New Orleans for an away game trip. The Saints played a regular season game in Minnesota last year and will in 2018 and 2020. What gives with the league schedule makers?
— Jacob Moon

The League’s schedule makers don’t have any discretion when it comes to who teams play and where they play them. That is all determined based on the scheduling formula. The entire process of how the NFL’s schedule is created is summarized very well right here. The Saints played in Minnesota last year because the Vikings were scheduled to play each team in the NFC South in 2017. In that rotation, it was the Vikings turn to host; in 2020 when the Vikings play the NFC South again, the game will be played in New Orleans. The Saints play in Minnesota as part of a different rotation in 2018. The Vikings and Saints will play this season because they each finished in first place in their division. The Vikings will play each team in the NFC West in 2018 as well as the same-place finishers in the other two NFC divisions – the South (New Orleans) and the East (Philadelphia). It is the Vikings turn to host when playing the Marco Estrada Canada Day Jersey  corresponding finisher in the South since the last time this rotation came around (2016) the Vikings played at Carolina.

Priefer Excited to Russell Martin Canada Day Jersey Blend Newcomers with Vets on Special Teams

May 19th, 2018


EAGAN, Minn. — There were plenty of times last season when a big day from the Vikings offense or stout performance from the defense helped deliver a win.

But there were also moments when a clutch field goal or special teams play helped swing the tide in Minnesota’s favor as well.

That’s just how Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Preifer prefers it.

“We joke around with the offensive and defensive coaches that offense scores points, defense wins games and special teams win championships,” Priefer said. “When it’s our turn to go on the stage and perform, we talk very seriously about what complementary football means to our football team.

“I know Coach Zimmer talked about complementary football a lot and how all three phases complement each other,” Priefer added. “When we’re all clicking on all cylinders, I think we have a great chance to win games.”

The 2017 season saw another strong special teams performance for the Vikings under Priefer, who is entering his eighth season in Minnesota.

The Vikings did not give up a kick return for a score but did allow a punt return for a touchdown when the Bears pulled out a trick play in Week 17 after the Vikings had already wrapped up the NFC North title.

Punter Ryan Quigley did not record a touchback in the regular season and averaged 42.2 yards per punt.

Minnesota did not score a special teams touchdown for the first time since the 2014 Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 55 Russell Martin Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey  season, but Priefer like what he saw in the return game. 

Marcus Sherels finished seventh in the league with 9.5 yards per punt return. He pu Russell Martin Canada Day Jersey shed his career punt return yards to a franchise-record 2,171.

And a host of young players became key pieces on special teams.

“I thought we had a lot of young guys step up, like they normally do and like we normally have to have happen for us,” Priefer said. “Ben Gedeon, Eric Wilson, Jayron Kearse did a good job for us. Anthony Harris continued to play well for us. Marcus Sherels, he’s not a young guy, he’s a veteran guy. I think we have a great locker room, a great group of guys that worked hard last year. 

“I thought we covered punts and kickers very, very well for the most part. We had a couple glitches in there we need to correct this year. We didn’t have any touchdowns in the return game, but we were very consistent,” Priefer said. “I think Marcus finished seventh in the league in punt return average, and I believe he broke a Vikings record for the amount of punt return yards. To me, that was a deal for us in getting those yards for our offense. And kickoff returns, I thought we did some good things, too. Overall, you know me, so we’re always looking to improve. But we’ll take the stuff we did poorly, and that will be the first thing I talk about this spring.”

Priefer will have an infusion of more young talent to work with as the 2018 season grows near.

The Vikings took Mike Hughes with the 30th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and the cornerback is expected to be a solid special teams contributor. Minnesota also selected kicker Daniel Carlson in the fifth round. Carlson will compete with veteran kicker Kai Forbath. Other rookies could also chip in on special teams. 

“I think, right off the bat, Mike Hughes can help us in the return game. I think he’d be a very good gunner, very good on kickoff coverage as well,” Priefer said. “I know he’ll be playing a lot of defense, so we have to make sure we don’t overplay and overload him too much, especially early on. But he’s a very talented young man that I had rated as the No. 1 returner coming out this year.

“Obviously our kicker, Daniel Carlson … I was a little pleasantly surprised that we moved up to get him. I was called down to the draft room in the fifth round, and I think when Rick wants a guy, he’s going to go get him. He felt like that was the right guy to get at that spot so I’m very, very pleased that we drafted Daniel. He’ll provide great competition for us at the placekicker position,” Priefer added. “And then there are other guys I’d watched on tape. Tyler Conklin, I’ve seen him on tape. Tray Matthews, a guy from Auburn who’s [an undrafted] free agent. Overall, I though Josh Donaldson Canada Day Jersey t it was a great draft, and I look forward to working with these guys in the spring.”

For Priefer, the challenge starts now of being able to help the Vikings win games in the fall.

“I’ve got the greatest job in the world, whether it’s [working with] Linval Joseph on field-goal block or Riley Reiff on field-goal protection and everybody in between,” Priefer said. “It’s a great honor to be our special teams coordinator here. We just have to continue to improve this year.”

Jan Stenerud Reconnects with D Russell Martin Canada Day Jersey eep Vikings Ties

May 19th, 2018

EAGAN, Minn. — The two Vikings years for Jan Stenerud were short in comparison to the Hall of Famer’s 19 pro seasons, but the connections were strong and remain deep.

Stenerud visited Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center on Thursday when he was in Minnesota to speak at an event in honor of Norwegian Constitution Day, an annual celebration of Norway declaring its independence at Eidsvoll on May 17, 1814.

As Stenerud toured the sparkling new Vikings headquarters, he chatted with Vikings punter Ryan Quigley, kicker Kai Forbath and equipment manager Dennis Ryan outside Minnesota’s new locker room.

Stenerud then made it up to the level where the coaches offices and personnel department are for a quick interview with Vikings.com.

The Norway native explained how he came to the United States to compete in ski jump and cross-country skiing at Montana State when fate directed him toward football. Part of Stenerud’s workout routine to prepare his legs was to run the steps of the stadium. He did so in the summers and falls of his freshman, sophomore and junior years.

“One day of my junior year in 1964, I ran the stadium steps, and the kicker was kicking field goals. He kicked with his toe like [50 Greatest Vikings member] Fred Cox,” Stenerud explained. “I went up and kicked a few like he did and noticed I could kick the ball farther than he did. After a few attempts, I said, ‘Can you kick with the side of your foot like a corner kick in soccer?’

“He says, ‘Yes, you can. There’s a guy from the Buffalo Bills. His name is Pete Gogolak. He kicks with the side of his foot,’ so I did that on my own many times the next three or four weeks,” Stenerud continued. “In late November of 1964, I’m running the stadium steps again, the football team is working out before the last home game. The football coach had gotten the word from the basketball coach, who had seen me from his office window, that this Norwegian skier was kicking the ball a long ways.

“The football coach yelled at me and said, ‘Hey, skier, get down on the field. I hear you can kick.’ I had never put the ball on the tee before, so I kicked a few from the kickoff, and my second one went through the goal posts from 40 yards and into the seats. I did that again, and the football coach … ”

Stenerud breaks from the story at the site of Vikings personnel consultant Paul Wiggin, who was Stenerud’s head coach with the Chiefs from 1975-77.

The pair quickly shift into fond memories and catch up with each other.

Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer is next to pass by. Priefer had never met Stenerud, despite working in Kansas City from 2006-08, but always enjoys the opportunity to talk football, particularly with the first pure placekicker to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

The two discuss how much more focus is placed on the kicking game in the NFL these days, from wind studies to the alignment of the ball on holds and how little nuances can make big differences.

Scott Studwell, the Vikings all-time leading tackler, then spotted his former teammate of two seasons and quickly reconnected. Studwell and Stenerud have maintained a relationship over the years, even teaming in February to raise funds to fight hung Youth Majestic Flexbase Authentic 55 Russell Martin Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey er.

Rookie Daniel Carlson, who is of Swedish descent, then enjoyed the opportunity to meet with a “fellow Scandinavian,” before Head Coach Mike Zimmer also swung by to say hello.

After all the chatting, Stenerud was kind enough to resume the interview mid-story:

“… I kicked a few and impressed him enough, so he said, ‘What are you doing tomorrow afternoon?’ I thought, ‘This is the land of America, who knows what can happen here?’ I went out for spring practice and made the team.”

Gogolak, a native of Hungary who was a rookie in 1964, and Stenerud, who joined the Chiefs in 1967, were significant in ushering in soccer-style kickers. NFL scouts turned their eyes to Europe for players with similar kicking backgrounds.

Stenerud led the NFL with 21 field goals made and 36 attempts in his rookie season and then made four consecutive Pro Bowls. He led the NFL in field goal percentage four times (75.0 in 1968 and 77.1 in 1969 with Kansas City, 91.7 in 1981 with Green Bay and 87.0 with Minnesota in 1984). He battled through a back injury in 1985 before retiring amidst significant fanfare.

“I had played soccer since I was 3 or 4 years old,” Stenerud said when asked to explain his success. “I had a knack for kicking the ball. To play soccer, you don’t know who has the strongest leg on the team.

“I was stubborn, liked to compete and just did the very best I could,” he added. “I was able to be a professional for about 20 years. For it to start off, in the beginning I didn’t know. They went all over the world to find people like me, but after a couple of years, I realized they’re not going to find anybody. I think I have a gift where I can compete with anybody.”

Stenerud said he received status as an American citizen in 1976 after a 15-year process. He lives in the Kansas City area but tries to visit Norway at least yearly.

“I’m an American citizen now, but I’m still very proud of where I came from, and I’m very proud of what I represent today here,” Stenerud said.

He’s also grateful that part of his time in the pros included the Vikings and an area with so many fans of Scandinavian heritage. 

“It was fun for me to be here, even if it was a short visit,” Stenerud said. “I was very happy to be here for a couple of years. There was a group right behind the goal post, every home game, I have no idea who made the sign,  Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 55 Russell Martin Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey it was probably 30-40 feet wide, it said, ‘Jan, han kan gjore det.’ It means ‘Jan, he can do it.’ ”

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