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Lunchbrea Jaire Alexander Packers Jersey k: ‘Sports Illustrated’ Predicts Early Pivotal Game for Vikings

June 9th, 2018

It’s never too early to envision NFL results for an upcoming slate, especially when the prediction hinges on an early-season game.

Jonathan Jones with Sports Illustrated released his predictions on Thursday and forecasted that the Vikings will do well in a crowded NFC. Jones wrote:

First thing’s first: The NFC is the dominant conference. Not only does it have several contenders to the Eagles’ throne (the Saints, Vikings, Rams and Packers with a healthy Aaron Rodgers), but it also has a solid second tier of teams that would likely make the playoffs in the AFC. That’s why, in these predictions, you’ll see more NFC teams with records closer to .500 than in the AFC, and the two NFC wild-card teams boast 12–4 records. Meanwhile, it’s tough not to go ahead and pencil in a Steelers-Patriots AFC title game.

That said, Jones is high on the Vikings stock, writing that Minnesota could go 13-3 for a second year in a row, which would match the second-highest win total in a season in franchise history.

The Vikings are about as well-built as any team in the league. Their top-ranked defense from a year ago got even better in the offseason with the addition of Sheldon Richardson and rookie corner Mike Hughes. Following a career year from Case Keenum, the offense got a quarterback in Kirk Cousins who could get them over the hump, and Minnesota returns running back Dalvin Cook from an early-season ACL tear after he dazzled in his debut. The interior of the offensive line may be the only question in Minnesota, which is looking for its third NFC North crown in four years.

Jones also identified a “pivotal game” for each team and said that Minnesota’s Week 2 game at Green Bay — the Vikings first September trip to Lambeau Field since 2008 — is “the sort of early game that eventually decides a division.”

Beating a healthy Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau would give Minnesota a leg up in NFC North before we get into October. Rodgers won’t be going down easily in this game, though, since it was against the Vikings last year where the Packers’ season was lost.

Jones predicted that nine teams who made the postseason to make a return trip this season, which would set an NFL record.

In 2017, only four teams were in the playoffs for a second consecutive season (or more). There have been at least four new playoff participants each year since after the 1990 s Men’s Nike Jaire Alexander Green Bay Packers Elite Team Color Football Jersey Sale eason when the field was expanded.

Jones’ other NFC North forecast included: the Packers going 12-4 and making the field as a Wild Card (pivotal game: New England, Week 9); the Lions finishing 8-8 (pivotal: Seattle, Week 8); and the  Jaire Alexander Jersey Bears wrapping at 4-12 (pivotal game: New York Jets, Week 8).

Elflein targeting training camp return

Second-year center Pat Elflein told Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune on Wednesday during the Minnesota Vikings Foundation golf tournament that “everything’s good” with his rehab schedule and he believes he’s on track to return to action at training camp.

Elflein garnered a spot on the 2017 All-Rookie Team by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) after starting in all 14 games he played in his first season. The third-round pick made an immediate impact in the middle for the Vikings aerial attack and ground game.

“You’d like to be training the whole offseason,” Elflein said. “But this is part of the game, just like putting on a helmet. This stuff happens. It’ll knock you back a little bit. You just have to work twice as hard to come back on top.”

Aside from getting back to “full strength,” Elflein said he’s hoping to also grow with the nuances in making protection calls at the line of scrimmage.

“Being able to see tendencies better,” Elflein said. “Just kind of work on my mental game.”

Nick Easton has moved over from guard to work at center with the first-team offense while Elflein is on the mend.

Thielen on 3rd Downs

Adam Thielen was listed in the NFL’s Top 100 for the first time in his career this offseason. Thielen landed at No. 36 in a list of 31-40 that was revealed Monday.

In addition to making multiple acrobatic catches en route to his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections, Thielen also moved the chains for Minnesota in 2017.

Pro Football Focus recently noted on Twitter that Thielen converted a third down with a reception 24 times, which ranked second among all receivers. Chargers receiver Keenan Allen led the league with 28, and Minneapolis native Larry Fitzgerald was third with 22 such catches.

‘Letters to Bud’ Chapte Jaire Alexander Packers Jersey r 5: From the Fans, With Love

June 9th, 2018

The final two chapters of “Letters to Bud” are near and dear to my heart in a whole different way than the first three installments.

We’ve spent the past three weeks showing you letters written by names that most likely were recognizable to many – from Richard Nixon and Archie Manning, to Bobby Bryant, to last week’s Minnesota Ties featuring Herb Brooks and Halsey Hall.

The next two segments, however, are dedicated to the fans. Those who may or may not have met Bud Grant but felt a connection and deep respect for the Hall of Famer.

Elizabeth Merrigan, the opening letter featured in Chapter 5, was the first individual I intera Jaire Alexander Jersey Sale cted with when I started this project in 2016.

Immediately was drawn to her handwritten letter and sassy spirit, I decided to try findin Jaire Alexander Green Bay Packers Jersey g her. After some Internet searching, I was able to track down a home address, and I figured – why no Jaire Alexander Packers Jersey t! – it would be fitting to hand write a letter of my own explaining the project. Within a week or two, Mrs. Merrigan and I were speaking over the phone, and she shared more of her story with me.

With each letter you’ll read over the next two weeks, I connected with a handful of Vikings fans who had a unique and interesting story to tell … and I’m happy to share them with you.

Click the chapter above to read more!

Thielen Drives Jaire Alexander Packers Jersey Green; Andrews’ Team Wins Vikings Foundation Golf Tourney

June 8th, 2018

PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — There were swings, smiles and sand saves Wednesday afternoon at The Meadows at Mystic Lake golf course. 

And while the Vikings held their annual golf tournament at the course with dozens of  Jaire Alexander Packers Jersey players and coaches in attendance, Wednesday’s festivities were the first under the newly branded Minnesota Vikings Foundation.

Brett Taber, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Vikings Foundation, said one of the most enjoyable days of the year features people hitting the links for a good cause.

“This is one of our biggest fundraisers that we do every single year, and it’s a great opportunity to engage the entire team in an event that raises money for the Minnesota Vikings Foundation,” Taber said. “This helps us do our philanthropic events throughout the community, so without the efforts of today’s event and these guys on the course and our great partners, we wouldn’t be able to support the programming that we do to reach the youth in our community.”

Taber s Jaire Alexander Green Bay Packers Jersey aid the golf event raised more than $100,000 for the foundation, which will then be used to make an impact for youth, health and education initiatives in various Minnesota communities.

Plenty of Vikings players showed up to support the cause, including notable names such as quarterback Kirk Cousins, wide receiver Adam Thielen, tight end Kyle Rudolph, running back Latavius Murray, linebackers Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr and safety Harrison Smith.

“It’s always interesting to out on the golf course,” Smith said. “For as athletic as we are, as a group we don’t have the best golf swings. There’s a few [solid] guys out here, but for the most part we’re pretty subpar.”

Thielen and Cousins would fall into the category of capable golfers, although the Vikings franchise quarterback deferred to his All-Pro wide receiver on who was the better player. 

“Adam Thielen is the guy … I’ve played with him, and I think his handicap right now is a 0.6,” Cousins said with a smile. “I’m about a 12 (handicap), so I’ve got a ways to go. But I’m working on it and having fun and getting out with some teammates to play, which is a good time.”

True to form, Thielen showed off his skills by driving the green on the fourth hole, a 284-yard, par 4. Thielen’s group promptly carded an eagle by making the putt.

“I played well, but my teammates made some big putts,” Thielen said.

Bragging rights aside, both Cousins and Thielen said the objective of Wednesday’s outing was to mingle with sponsors, partners and fans while supporting the foundation.

“That’s the most important thing. The Vikings do such a great job giving back to the community, so it’s great coming out here to help support the cause,” Thielen said. “It’s also great just to be around some of the fans and people that support us. We have fun and relax a little bit and try to get the mind away from football.”

Added Cousins: “It’s fun to interact with everybody. You get to hear these people’s stories and how much this team and organization means to them and to their families, it’s all the more reason to work hard, be ready to go and really be a professional this fall. But it’s fun to get out here and interact with each other with a change of scenery.”

Cousins’ playing group consisted of Vikings fans who are suite holders at U.S. Bank Stadium for home games. 

“He’s been a great guy, really humble and super nice,” Brian Manatt said of playing with Cousins. “It’s a really cool experience, and it’s neat to get to meet [players] and realize they are just real, normal people.

“They’ve all been really approachable,” Manatt said.

Vikings offensive lineman Josh Andrews was part of the winning group along with Mike Crooks, John Elsky, AJ Michaelson and Charlie Branif.

The event was sponsored by MillerCoors along with Caribou Coffee, Unilever, Pepsi, Mystic Lake and KFAN 100.3-FM.

“We try to excel on the field, but we also try to excel off the field,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman told the golfers. “By you supporting this foundation, it gives us the opportunity to make a difference in the community.”

U.S. Bank & Vikings Bring ‘Places to Play’ Grants Total to $1 Mil Jaire Alexander Packers Jersey lion

June 8th, 2018

U.S. Bank and the Minnesota Vikings today announced the third and fina Jaire Alexander Jersey l round of U.S. Bank Places to Play grant recipients, who will receive $350,000 to make possible projects that create or renovate parks, playgrounds and athletic facilities in low- to moderate-income communities in Minnesota.

Through the program, which launched alongside U.S. Bank Stadium in 2015, the bank donated $750,000 and the Minnesota Vikings $250,000 to community-based nonprofit organizations and local schools statewide over three years. The initiative aligns with U.S. Bank’s Community Possible platform, which focuses the bank’s giving and volunteerism on creating opportunities for Work, Home and Play in its communities.

“We believe in the power of play — it brings joy, helps develop problem-solving skills, creativity and relationships and builds social and emotional learning,” said Reba Dominski, Chief Social Responsibility Officer and President of the U.S. Bank Foundation. “We’re excited to announce the final U.S. Bank Places to Play grant recipients, each of which creates opportunities for kids  Men’s Nike Jaire Alexander Green Bay Packers Elite Team Color Football Jersey Sale and families to learn, grow and make memories.”

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph visite Jaire Alexander Green Bay Packers Jersey d the Duluth and Case Recreation Center on Thursday to participate in a check presentation that will support construction of the first Sepak Takraw (Kato) courts in Minnesota.

Here is a summary of the final round of recipients:

• Appleton-Milan Elementary School, New and Updated School Playground (Appleton). The grant will be used to replace the current elementary school’s playground equipment set. Not only do students use the equipment during the school day, but children who live in town use the playground as a gathering place outside of school hours.

• DinoMights Billy Lindsay Outdoor Hockey Rink (Minneapolis). The grant will be used to create an outdoor refrigerated hockey rink in the core of the Phillips West Neighborhood to increase positive recreation opportunities in a neighborhood possessing significant opportunity gaps. Refrigeration will complete the final phase of construction of the Lindsay outdoor rink and enable this recreational facility to nearly triple its hours of use.

• Itasca County Family YMCA, Outdoor Courts at the YMCA (Grand Rapids). The grant will be used to build an outdoor recreational venue at the Itasca County Family YMCA that will help meet the physical, emotional and social needs of the community. This will be accomplished by constructing a multi-generational area with four square courts, a full-sized basketball court and a six-court pickle ball venue.

• Partnership Academy, Richfield Community Band Shell (Richfield). Partnership Academy is partnering with the City of Richfield to build an outdoor performance facility, the Richfield Community Band Shell, in Veterans Memorial Park, which is Richfield’s premier community park. Partnership Academy, along with many other community groups and organizations, will be utilizing the Band Shell for outdoor performances, community events and ceremonies.

• Phillips West Neighborhood Organization, Peavey Park Picnic Shelter (Minneapolis). The construction of a picnic shelter is a key element of a plan designed to increase activity at Peavey Park and improve visibility and safety when using the park. The addition of a centrally-located picnic shelter, equipped with drinking fountains, will provide a shaded, accessible gathering space for park users of all ages.

• River Valley Education Center Sensory Playground (Jordan). The new playground will provide an outdoor space that helps meet students’ sensory, physical and social needs. Students, their families, and community members love the new playground and are learning that physical activity improves health and provides the development of lifelong skills.

• Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Conservancy, Sepak Takraw (Kato) Courts (St. Paul). Sepak takraw (Thai) or kato (Laotian) has caught the passion of the Hmong community. Permanent sepak takraw/kato outdoor courts will be constructed at the Duluth and Case Recreation Center and Marydale Park. With these new courts, St. Paul will be home to the first courts in the state, which is meaningful for the older generations and is a way for everyone to connect with and experience Hmong culture.

• Stowe Elementary School, Gary New Duluth Multi-Sport Court (Duluth). The multi-sport court will have basketball, pickle ball, four square and hop scotch to replace an existing basketball pad that is in poor condition. This project will create full access for Stowe Elementary School students to the Gary New Duluth Community Center and Recreation Area facilities, provide a safe place for active outdoor play and learning activities and expand use to community members of all ages.

• Walker Hackensack Akeley School District, Playground Rebuild (Walker). Running, jumping and physical activities related to play develop good exercise habits and a better well-being. This project will rebuild the school playground, including the use of Poured-In-Place to make it accessible for all students, which will allow students a better play system to be physically active. Local families and daycares will have access to the playground after school hours.


U.S. Bancorp, with 74,000 employees and $460 billion in assets as of March 31, 2018, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The Minneapolis-based bank blends its branch and ATM network with mobile and online tools that allow customers to bank how, when and where they prefer. U.S. Bank is committed to serving its millions of retail, business, wealth management, payment, commercial and corporate, and investment services customers across the country and around the world as a trusted financial partner, a commitment recognized by the Ethisphere Institute naming the bank a 2018 World’s Most Ethical Company. Visit U.S. Bank online or follow on social media to stay up to date with company news.

About Community Possible
Community Possible is the corporate giving and engagement platform at U.S. Bank, focused on the areas of Work, Home and Play. The company invests in programs that provide stable employment, a safe place to call home and a community connected through arts, culture, recreation and play. Philanthropic support through the U.S. Bank Foundation and corporate giving program reached $58.4 million in 2017. Visit

More information about the program is available at

Students’ Vivid Mural Brings to Life Al Blue Jays Anthony Alford Jersey an Page’s Message

June 7th, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS – The words, he was familiar with.

The messages, however, came to life in a whole new way at Justice Page Middle School.

Alan Page, Hall of Fame defensive tackle and retired Minnesota Supreme Court judge, recently visited the school named in his honor for the unveiling of a unique mural project.

Over the course of the 2017-18 school year, seventh- and eighth-grade students who elected to take the Mural Arts & Identity class poured themselves into 17 individual paintings that reflect Page’s values and social justice efforts over the years.

The paintings, which spell out J-U-S-T-I-C-E P-A-G-E S-C-H-O-O-L, each depict a meaningful Page quote that was chosen by the students to represent through art.

“It’s fun to see,” Page said as he took in the collective mural of paintings. “There are 17 panels, 17 quotes, 17 different visions – all capturing not only the words that I said but the spirit in which I said them. It’s pretty special.”

Added Page: “We started down at this end with the ‘J’ and I thought, ‘Wow.’ We went to the ‘U’ and it was ‘Wow.’ Seventeen panels later, and it’s still ‘Wow.’ Each one is unique.”

Art teacher Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl explained the creative process to

In the fall, Page came to the first semester course and was interviewed by the students, who had prepared specific questions and took note Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 30 Anthony Alford Toronto Blue Jays Scarlet Canada Day Jersey Red s on his responses. The class also referenced a pool of quotes from various past speeches or presentations. The students then voted on the 17 excerpts to include in the paintings.

Cedarleaf Dahl then tasked the middle schoolers with creating imagery to represent the words, and the art began to take shape on sheets of a lightweight parachute cloth.

“Then the second semester started, and those kids got to decide what things from the first-semester designs they would keep and what things they would add,” Cedarleaf Dahl said. “I was kind of afraid they would all-out cover up some of the aspects, but it was really interesting to see the level of respect they had for what their classmates had chosen.”

After the second-semester students finished the art pieces, they welcomed Page and his wife, Diane, to the school for a critiquing session in which they asked the Pages to offer feedback on and ultimately approve the creations.

“We’ve been here a couple times watching them actually concept it, and then we came back and saw the mural classes,” Diane Page said. “When we came and saw them all hung, it was just breathtaking.

“They all stood and presented their mural to us, and then they asked us what we liked about it, what we didn’t like about it. … They wanted our final approval. They were so nervous,” she added with a smile. “Of course we approved all of them, and it’s pretty amazing to see them up now.”

Cedarleaf Dahl emphasized the ownership and independence she allowed the students to take in designing and executing the panels, and she said the final product was incredibly meaningful.

The teacher also was struck by the rapport that students have built with Page in the year-plus since renaming the school after him.

“When he visited our class, they just centered themselves – it was like a hush came over the room,” Cedarleaf Dahl said. “The kids were so excited to learn from him, and it was an environment that I’ll always remember – how much the kids were reverent, excited, proud of what they did but nervous to present it to him.

“They have such a warm presence,” Cedarleaf Dahl continued. “It’s been an honor to work with the Pages on this project, to have worked on the renaming as well, and now to see his name embodied in his words and the kids’ designs.”

Several of the young artists were on-hand during the evening unveiling of the mural, including a trio of seventh-grade young ladies who shared pieces of their experience.

Eliana Sander said she most appreciated the teamwork aspect of the project.

“It taught me a lot about working together with people, and it’s just really cool to now see the final product,” Sander said. “I’m really happy about how it turned out.”

Marcie Slade, who worked on the “G” panel during the second semester, added, “We got to choose our quotes, and I really liked ours – ‘Treat people fairly’ – because it’s really simple, but it has a lot of meaning.”

When asked about working with the Pages throughout the process, Kate Burke smiled.

“I really hope he likes it,” Kate said. “It was really fun getting to meet him, ask him questions, and him giving us advice about our mural. That was probably one of the highlights for me – him working on the mural with us.”

Page has accomplished much in his life. But ask him about his triumphs on the football field, and Page will likely tell you they take a back seat to his passion for social justice, education and youth.

Leaving behind a legacy through the Justice Page Middle School also tops his list.

As Page observed the artwork and pointed out various features that he was especially drawn to, one thing was especially clear:

This was about so much more than art.

Page posed a hypothetical question: “It gives you hope, doesn’t it?”

Seated at a round cafeteria table, the Hall of Famer offered a sweeping gesture around the room and smiled.

“When people come together, it shows what can happen,” Page said. “It says, ‘We can come together if we allow ourselves. If we have common goals, we can work together in ways that are productive.’

“ Blue Jays Anthony Alford Jersey The bad things that happen don’t have to happen. It’s just a matter of, really, bringing people together,” Page added. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have expectations. People will generally rise to them. At the same time, with high expectations, they’ll rise to them; with low expectations, they’ll sink to them. How do we, on a larger scale, create those high expectations and then support peop Anthony Alford Jersey le in meeting them?” 

Lunchbreak: NFC North Lands at No. 2 in Division Power Ranking Blue Jays Anthony Alford Jersey s

June 7th, 2018

The NFC North division race seems every year to be a fairly tight one.

Tavarres King, whom the Vikings signed in free agency, recently expressed excitement to about joining the “Black and Blue” division.

“It’s an extremely tough division,” King said. “Great talent in this division, great coaches in this division, and a lot of games come down to two-minute situations. I’m excited about that. Excited to see what we can do.”

The NFC North’s reputation is league wide, and it recently was reflected in power rankings by’s Gregg Rosenthal. He ranked the eight divisions according to talent, placing the NFC North second on the list. For the Vikings specifically, Rosenthal highlighted the addition of Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson, along with adding depth at receiver in free agency, signing King and Kendall W Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 30 Anthony Alford Toronto Blue Jays Scarlet Canada Day Jersey Red right. Rosenthal wrote:

This is no longer the Aaron Rodgers Invitational. The Vikings kept all the best parts of their NFC title game squad while upgrading at quarterback, defensive tackle and the No. 3 receiver spot. Matthew Stafford has the perfect combination of scheme continuity, weapons and a bolstered offensive line to enjoy a career season. Rodgers is due for another MVP campaign that reminds everyone he might be the most talented ever at his position, while the Bears finally look interesting again.

According to Rosenthal, the division’s “key game” will be in Week 2, when the Vikings hit the road for the first September game at Lambeau Field since 2008.

Topping Rosenthal’s list was the NFC South – Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Buccaneers.

Great divisions are competitive from top to bottom, and the Bucs’ stirring comeback win over the Saints in Week 17 of last season was a reminder that there are no easy games here. It was also a window into Tampa’s potential, which should be more fully realized now that the Bucs have bolstered their defensive Blue Jays Anthony Alford Jersey  line this offseason.

Rosenthal opined that the NFC South is the only division where “all four teams are realistic threats for double-digit wins.”

Krammer conducts Q&A with Vikings DBs coach Jerry Gray

Vikings defensive backs coach Jerry Gray has quite the resume of talent over nearly two decades of coaching in the NFL ranks.

The former cornerback earned four Pro Bowl nods during his time with the Rams, and his accolades continued far after hanging up his helmet, having coached defensive backs that include Antoine Winfield, Troy Vincent, DeAngelo Hall and many others before joining the Vikings in 2014.

In Minnesota, Gray has worked with All-Pros Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith and has helped younger players, such as Trae Waynes, also find their strides. Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune recently published a Q&A with Gray. Below are a few excerpts.

Q: After h Danny Barnes Jersey Sale aving one of the league’s best defenses last year, you added Mike Hughes in the first round. How is he fitting into your group so far?

A: He’s fitting in. He’s learning. He’s a rookie. I think that’s a lot of times, guys forget about what happens when you go from college to pros. The NFL is a lot more demanding mentally. He’s learning that. It’s not all about talent, running the 40 and stuff like that. It’s about, ‘Can you get into the playbook? Do you make mental mistakes?’ All those things have to start taking priority right now. We give you a bunch of stuff and we’re trying to learn how much can you absorb in order to be prepared? Because right now it’s mental not so much physical.


Q: Did you get everything you wanted out of that slot position last year?

A: Yeah. We had a combination of Mackensie [Alexander] and [Terence] Newman doing  Anthony Alford Jersey it, and they did a really good job. They were able to hold down guys we needed to. ‘Do we have to put a smaller guy here? What about a Newman?’ OK, we played him against two tight ends sometimes. Now he’s really a linebacker, and he can play a tight end. When you watch our film, we did a really good job of matching guys to their ability. Getting the blessing with Mike, I think he’s going to add to what we can keep doing.

Q: Can you keep six or seven corners on this roster?

A: Hey, if they keep adding them, I’m not going to turn them away.

Transcript: Zimmer, Rudolph, Cook and Rhodes Addr Marco Estrada Blue Jays Jersey essed the Media Tuesday

June 6th, 2018

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer  

I thought today’s practice was one of the better ones that we had. Got back to being more crisp, doing things a little bit quicker and faster. Got a lot of situational work in. We have a golf tournament coming up for the Vikings Foundation tomorrow. I heard a lot of you are playing in it, so hopefully we get some good video of that. Finish up this week and then couple more practices next week and get ready to take a little break and get back ready to go.

Q: When you talk about that crispness, is there a time where you can sense things coming together?

A:  Yes, it’s still a work in progress with the offense I think. Defensively, I thought we moved around better today. I thought we covered things tighter. I told them yesterday that I thought we’d been milling around here  Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 6 Marcus Stroman Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Jersey a little bit. I realized it wasn’t their fault, it was my fault. They get the old Zim back now. 

Q: Does having Kyle Rudolph back earlier than when he’d thought reflect on the work that he’s put in to get back?

A:  Yes, he’s worked real hard. It’s good to see him out there this week. He got some reps yesterday as well. [Dalvin] Cook got some reps with the team both these last two days so that’s been good. Our trainers, Eric Sugarman is going a great job along with Mark Uyeyama with the guys in the weight room.

Q: How do you balance to still be cautious and try different things with Dalvin Cook?

A:  It’s more about getting him around a little bit of bodies flying at him a little bit. It’s not so much trying to figure out what he can do right now. It’s more about trying to get him comfortable around 11 or 22 players around him. 

Q: Did the players sing happy birthday to you this year?

A:  I think they did, yes. It was bad singing. No presents. Good practice was a good present.

Q: What are the intangibles does Brian Robison provide your defense?

A:  First of all, Brian is a great team guy. When I came in here, I obviously didn’t know much about him. The thing that he has done really well is he has bought in to what we are trying to preach about team defense and team aspect of things. He’s been a good leader. He’s always not afraid to voice his opinions on the things we are trying to get done. It’s great to have him here.

Q: Is Holton Hill somebody that you could see morphing into a number of different spots in the secondary?

A:  Right now, it’s just really corner. He is still learning that spot. He has the size and speed and athletic ability to probably play more positions. At this point in time, I think it is just going to be corner. 

Q: What is that like for the defense to see a new offensive coordinator and offense in practice?

A:  They’ve got some new other wrinkles in that they’ve been doing. In the spring, it’s always a little bit of cat and mouse game with the offense and defense. They run a couple plays that hurt the defense and the defense will come back and run something that will hurt them. It’s really about trying to get guys better at doing their job and being on the same page and getting off on the snap count. All of those things. Really, what we are trying to do as a team a lot is teach them about situational football. How games play out, how we win games at the end, things like that.

Q: What do you want to see from Danielle Hunter as his next step?

A:  I think the biggest thing from Danielle, and he’s had a great spring, I think the biggest thing with him is just cut it loose. Not think so much. A lot of these young guys they have a tendency to think so much about what they should do or what they might do. His natural reactions are good enough. He’s worked extremely hard this offseason. He’s worked really hard so far this spring. Him and [Riley] Reiff have been getting some good battles in there. So it’s been good.

Q: Was he thinking too much at times last year?

A: Yes, I think so. Danielle [Hunter] wants to be perfect all the time and at that position you can’t always be perfect. Sometimes you just have to be reckless. He’s added a few more things to his rush arsenal and I think that’s helped him some too.

Q: Do you expect Everson Griffen to get any work in this spring before training camp?

A:  I don’t know. We thought he’d get back a little bit this week, but it may be next week and it may not be. We’re really not going to push it.

Q: Is it the foot that is bothering him?

A: No. 

Q: Adam Thielen seems like the guy that is the exact same as he was when he first got here. Is that the case?

A: Pretty much. He’s doing a little bit more talking than he has when he was a college free agent. 

Q: Talking to the group?

A: Yes, just talking trashing a little bit. But that’s fine. I told him I haven’t heard him talk to so much since he’s been here. But he’s a competitive guy and that’s how he likes to be. It’s all good. He works just as hard as he’s always worked. He competes as hard as he’s always competed. He just talks a little more.

Q: Before you signed David Parry your backups on the defensive line were young. How much value does it add by adding a veteran?

A: He’s doing a good job. He played in a lot of games in Indianapolis. Andre [Patterson] does a great job of teaching those guys. Our veteran defensive linemen do a good job. The more that we can add in there, the more depth, the more competition, the more guys who have there are better for us.

Q: How much did you talk to him about the legal situation?

A: I didn’t talk to him. Rick did. I didn’t talk to him. 

Q: Do you kind of like what you’re seeing with the mismatches Coach John DeFilippo is throwing out there for the tight ends?

A: Yes. Right now they’re trying to run plays. They’re not trying to matchup against certain people or certain players, but he’s moved a lot of guys around. He’s got a lot of different things. Down inside the five yard line they had some different shifts and things like that. It’s really trying to get the players acclimated to some of the different things and then we’ll figure it out.

Q: How much do all the shifts in the offense take time for your defense to get used to?

A: Yes, it always does take some time. It’s trying to get guys out of position and that’s really what it is. It’s good for the defense to see different things and have to react quickly and make different calls.

Q: How is Trevor Siemian looked so far?

A: He’s doing a good job. A lot of this stuff is new for him too. He’s had some days better than other days, obviously. I thought today was a better day for him. He throws the ball well. He’s a smart guy, gets the ball in the right place.

Q: Do you anticipate him getting more snaps in the preseason than if he had been here for a couple years?

A: I don’t know. We haven’t talked that much about the preseason yet. I think we’ll probably keep doing it how we’ve been doing it. I haven’t thought that far ahead. I’m just trying to get better today. 

Q: What was it about Holton Hill that you liked? What do you see from him on the field?

A: Number one, he’s got good size. He’s got good speed. He’s’ tough. He’ll hit. I thought a lot of the things that we look for in corners he has. The stop and start, the breaks, and things like that. Out here he’s done a really good job with the things he’s been doing. Obviously he’s still learning a lot about technique and that. We obviously can’t press right now, so that’ll be another see where he’s at once we get to training camp.

Q: How has he done with physicality down field?

A: It’s kind of hard to be too physical now. But he’s got long arms and good length so that helps on some of the deep balls. He’s done a good job.

Q: How has Mike Remmers adjusted to playing a lot more guard?

A: He’s done good. Mike’s very instinctive player in there. He sees a lot of things. He’s got good quickness, got good power. He’s been able to get the three-technique reach a couple times, been able to sit down on some guys rushing. I think he’s been good. We’re still trying to figure it out with [Pat] Elflein hurt. Trying to figure out where we’re going to go with the rest. It’s good to have a guy that can move around.

Q: Is there a such thing as being too tall for guard? Does it matter?

A: I mean yes. You’d like them in the 6’3” or 6’4” range, 6’5” maybe. If you start getting up there too high the bend part of the run game is more important.

Vikings Cornerback Xavier Rhodes   

Q: How was practice?

A: Practice went well, one thing about OTAs and these practices is it is all about unity. Coming together as team, bringing the new guys in, teaching them how we work and building a bond to get ready for the season.

Q: Did anybody stand out today?

A: We’re all working together. Some of the rookies, all the rookies basically, are standing out. They’re trying to learn and they’re learning from us, the vets. Guys are just playing their hearts out.  

Q: What have you seen from Mike Hughes?

A: He’s willing to learn, he’s willing to learn. Some rookies have a hard time taking advice from some other players. He’s willing to learn. You can tell he’s just open to anything you tell him.  

Q: What was the hardest transition for you as a rookie cornerback?

A: Just the rules. Playing within the rules for me. When I was at Florida State, I was a real aggressive corner. I used to jam them down the field rather than within the five yards. When you come to the NFL, you have to jam within five yards and let the receiver run his route. You have to work with your technique and your footwork. In college, you can just have your hands on the receiver all the way down the field.  

Q: How do you keep evolving as a player?

A: There’s no perfect football player. There’s always room for improvement. I look at my game, look at film to this day of last season and look at the mistakes I made in certain situations and try to fix those situations and those errors I made in those games. Try to make myself better each and every year and each and every day.

Q: Do you feel you deserve to be recognized as one of the top corners in the league?

A: It’s a new year. Everybody is equal at this point. Everybody is still trying to fight to get to the top. I would say I’m known out there, people know of me. I don’t want to say, going into this year, I don’t want to say I’m the best because the year hasn’t started yet. 

Vikings Tight End Kyle Rudolph

Q: How is it looking out there early as things are coming together?

A: It is a ton of fun to be back out there competing, for me especially. The plan was for me not to be doing anything right now so to have the opportunity, thankfully I get to work with the best training staff in our game. They’re the Ed Block Courage Award winners for a reason. They are really good at their job. They got me to a point where I am able to go out there a few weeks early and it’s good. There is nothing worse, and I say this all the time when we talk, is being an athlete and not being able to be out there when the rest of your teammates are working and preparing. This offseason is unique in the fact that we have a new offense, a new system, a new quarterback. I wasn’t getting any better over there by myself so it is good to be back out there.

Q: Do you think you would push it as hard if it wasn’t all new given how long you’ve been with this organization?

A: Naturally, it’s hard to be on the side and watch everyone else compete. I am probably going to push it as hard as I can regardless of the situation. This game is special in the fact that we get ten times here in OTAs, three times in minicamp and that’s it for the entire offseason. It’s not like basketball or baseball where you can go play pickup or go in the batting cages and take some cuts whenever you want. We only have 13 times to go out there and compete against our defense, so it’s good to be out there competing against the best defense in football.


Q: Has anyone compared you to a mattress before?

A: That is a new one for me. I’m ok with it. Try to make sure that he’s always getting a good night sleep, always be there for him. That is kind of my role around here. I’ll have to find out what kind of mattress he likes, what his Sleep Number is. Hopefully it is 82 and we’re good. 

Q: How much further do you have to go in building that strong chemistry with Kirk Cousins?

A: I think it’s something that will continue to build throughout the season. It’s never something that you get to the point where you’re like, “This is where we need to be.” I think if you ever do get to that point where you think you are where you need to be, then you are going to start going backwards. For us, we are going to continue to work with every opportunity we have in the offseason. We only have two more OTAs this week and the three days of minicamp next week and then hopefully take a step forward in training camp and pick up right where we left off.

Q: Are you sensing an increased level of comfort from Kirk Cousins in the red zone as OTAs are going on?

A: I think there is an increased level of comfort from everyone as we get more comfortable in the system. When you put in an entirely new offense, at first you’re thinking more than you’re going out and playing. As we get into OTA six, seven, eight, you’re starting to see guys are letting their playmaking ability to shine through. The thought process of what you have and what you need to do is kind of on the backburner and it allows you to go out and play and play fast.

Q: What have you seen from the way Coach DeFilippo tries to use tight ends to create mismatches?

A: Being just a fan of the game, I’ve seen what he’s done in the past. What he was able to do in 2015 with Gary Barnidge, and then obviously last year [Zach] Ertz had an unbelievable year in this system. It’s not just us. Obviously, he’s had great success with tight ends. What he is able to do with all the playmakers and all of the chess pieces that we have on offense, it’s been a lot of fun to see. Obviously for me early in OTAs, that is exactly what I got to do. I got to be on the side and see it. Now I am having an opportunity to be a part of it and I like that way a lot better.

Q: How different does it feel from what you did under Pat Shurmur last year?

A: There are similarities. Obviously both guys coming from Philadelphia. It’s funny I tell people all the time offenses are like foreign language. We are saying the same thing, just in a different language. The biggest thing when you have a new coordinator and new system is learning that new language. Once you learn the language, we’re doing a lot of the same stuff that we’ve been doing here for years. Having been through the numerous coordinators that I’ve been through. Learning the numerous offenses that I’ve learned, that is one of the things that I’ve been able to take from each and every transition that I’ve gone through, is e Marcus Stroman Jersey ssentially we’re doing a lot of the same things. Each coordinator has their little nuances that they like, but you can always look at a playbook and be like, “We did this last year. We called it this.” There are similarities. 

Q: How much do you think the pre-snap motion causes pressure on defenses?

A: You can even ask our guys on defense. They hate when we are moving around and shifting in motion. One thing that Coach Zimmer preaches to us all the time is breaking the huddle with a tempo and intensity, getting lined up. From that point on, you’ve put pressure on defense because when you get lined up and you’re under ten seconds on the play clock, they know the ball has to get snapped. They don’t have to worry about anything. But if we get lined up quickly, they don’t know if we are going to motion or shift or both. That is one thing we’ve kind of emphasized over the first eight OTAs is, “Let’s break the huddle quick, let’s get lined up.” It puts a lot of pressure on defenses.

Q: Is there more of the shifts this year than the past couple years?

A: Not really. I think back a few years ago when Norv [Turner] first got here, I felt like we were doing a motion or shift on every play. One of the things that [John] DeFilippo always says is, “We’re not going to motion or shift just to motion and shift.” If it’s a benefit for us and it gives us an advantage, then we’ll do it. We’re not going to just have them to have them.

Q: Is there more anxiety as a veteran about how you will come out of ankle surgery?

A: Not really. I’ve had five surgeries in the last ten years. It’s funny when you sit there. The nurses are getting ready for pre-op, and the doctors are talking to you, I honestly feel like I’m in the dentist office getting my teeth cleaned. It’s so routine at this point I think at times, your family and friends are more worried about it than you are. At least for me, I’m pretty relaxed and thankful that I have the best foot and ankle guy in the world right here across the way to take care of me and make sure everything will be good.

Vikings Running Back Dalvin Cook

Q: How’s it going with conditioning and getting back into shape?

A: The more reps you get the more comfortable you get, especially coming off an injury like that. The more reps the more you get your feet back under you and the more you get comfortable just being on the field with the guys.

Q: With you participating in team drills now, how does your knee feel when cutting?

A:  I’ve been feeling good but this week was another milestone in rehab and getting back out there with the team a little bit. This was a milestone for me to just get back out there, get some things done and I’ve been feeling great.

Q: When did they tell you that you would get back out in some team drills? What was your reaction?

A: They kind of told me at the beginning of the week, Monday when I came in. I was excited to get back into action, get in there and get some live reps, some live bullets just to see where I’m at myself. Analyze myself. I was excited when [Eric] Sugarman broke the news to me. Like I said, it’s another milestone in the rehab process.

Q: How is it working out on your own and now with the team?

A: It’s definitely different. You go out there and you rehab and you try and get your body back in shape. You think you’re in shape until you go take four reps back to back and you be like this is a different type of shape you have to get in. Just getting back out there and just getting that feeling back out. Just getting your body back out there and take the steps. It’s a long process. I got a long way to go and I got to keep working.

Q: What did you learn throughout this process?

A: Just trust it. Put the work in, the time in, and everything I have to do to get my knee at where it needed to be at and even better. You just have to go out there and trust it and I know I put the work in and that’s what I learned about myself. I put all the time in, all the work in that I needed to put in to go out there and trust my knee. It’s where it needed to be at.

Q: Did you have any apprehension getting into full team drills?

A: No. You just got to go out there and play ball. What comes wi Marco Estrada Jersey th this game is injuries, ups and downs, wins and losses – everything is going to come with it. You just got to go out there and just live with the results. That’s my mindset. I’m motivated, ready to go, rejuvenated, and whatever happens, happens. I’m going to live with the results.

Q: What is the next step that you still have to get to in recovery?

A: I just go week-by-week, day-by-day. Whatever they bring to the table. Whatever Sugarman comes with, I know Sugarman has a great plan for me. Him, Tom [Hunkele], and the whole training staff, they have a whole plan setup for me and I back it 100%. He came and broke the news to me earlier this week that I was going to do team drills. I ju Marcus Stroman Blue Jays Jersey st went with the flow. I just go with it. Those guys know what they are doing and what to do so I just go with the flow.

Q: When the coaches and training staff say they are monitoring your reps, how do they relay that to you? How do they go about that from a structure standpoint? 

A: It’s a certain amount of reps that they give me. Certain plays that they want to see me on. Try to keep me out the mix a little bit. Try not to get banged up a lot. But a certain amount of reps I get. They just want to see me on the field. They want to see how I cut and stuff like that. I guess that’s what they’re going by.

Q: What do you think you would have done last year if you had a whole season?

A: I’m still that same guy. You just have to pick up from where I left off at. I’m just going out there and playing football. I’m still Dalvin Cook. I haven’t left. The motivation is still there. The talent is still here, just a little older – that’s it.

Q: Were there any tough days for you during the process?

A: Yes, you got to stack the good days up but the bad days are going to come. That’s when you have to push through those days and those are going to be the days that are going to make you or break you. Those are going to be the days that get you over the hump and set you apart from others. I just put it like that, in perspective like that. I put those bad days right in front of me and I go attack it everyday

Q: What does it mean to have the relationship that you’ve built with Kennedy Polamalu?

A: When you have a coach that can relate to you at different levels on and off the field, he’s coached so many great backs, you always have your ears open to a lot of stuff. Latavius [Murray], all those guys in the locker room we got that unity, but KP he sees something in a lot of us, man. He gets that itch out of all of us on the field. He knows what drives us. He know how to drive us. KP is a great coach.

Q: Are you impressed with John DeFilippo’s offense?

A: It’s an offense that I’ve always wanted to be in. He’s a great coach overall. He brings energy to the table. Him and Kirk [Cousins] they bring energy to practice period. When you have a coach like that who bring energy to the team meeting room, you’re going to come out here and do nothing but compete for him. Coach Flip brings that energy every day. His offense he wants to get the best guys the ball in their hand every time. He’s going to get the matchups he wants and that’s what we all want. We want to get the matchups and we want to make plays for our team to help us win football games. That’s just Coach Flip’s offense.

Q: What’s it like been building your chemistry?

A: This has been my first week back out there with the team, but I Marco Estrada Jersey Sale  tried to sit back. Kirk, he has a lot going on in the offense and just commanding the offense, but Kirk is social with all his guys. He talk to everybody on the team. If I want to ask a question I go straight to Kirk. He’s the captain of the ship, so I go straight to him. He answers me with all ears open and we’re just building from here. It’s just a start. OTAs was a start for this offense and we just got to keep building because the ceiling is high.

Q: What can Kirk Cousins ball fake do for the receivers?

A: If we run the ball like we’re supposed to it’s going to do a lot for our receivers. Kirk, he got a knack for the game and that play-action is something that he’s blessed with. You can’t take that from him. If we run the ball like we’re supposed to, our receivers they are going to be happy.

Q: What about the offense do you like?

A: Coach DeFilippo just wants to get his guys in space and give them the ball. Let us make plays. He just want us to run free. There’s a lot green grass for everybody on the field for us to run, so we just got to go out there and make plays and make plays for him because he’s going to call the right stuff. We just have to go make the plays for him.

Zimm Marco Estrada Blue Jays Jersey er, Vikings PR Staff Nominated for PFWA Awards

June 6th, 2018

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer has been nominated for the George Halas Award by the Pro Football Writers of America, the PFWA announced on Tuesday.

The Halas Award is presented annually to th Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 6 Marcus Stroman Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Jersey e NFL player, coach or staff member who “overcomes the most adversity to succeed.”

Zimmer previously won the Halas Award in 2009 when he persevered through the tragic death of his wife, Vikki, and helped the Bengals win the AFC North as Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator.

This time, he was nominated after leading the Vikings to their second NFC North title in four seasons under Zimmer. Minnesota finished with a 13-3 mark and advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 2009 season.

The PFWA noted that Zimmer overcame multiple surgeries on his eye to overcome a detached retina. The problem was first diagnosed in November 2016. After an eighth procedure, Zimmer forced himself to take time away from the team during its 2017 offseason program and heal. He stayed connected by watching practices on a tablet computer and by texting assistants and players.

The PFWA also nominated Chargers receiver Keenan Allen, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin and Giants newly signed tackle Nate Solder for the Halas Award, which will be announced on June 13.

Additionally, the PFWA announced that the Vikings Public Relations Staff has been nominated for the Pete Rozelle Award, which is pre Marcus Stroman Jersey sented annually to the staff tha Marco Estrada Jersey t “consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media.”

The PFWA wrote in a release: 

Under longtime executive director Bob Hagan, who heads an impressive staff of Tom West, Jeff Anderson, Jon Ekstrom and Sam Newton, the Vikings excelled in helping Twin Cities and national media cover the club. They received strong support from reporters who cover the team.

The Vikings, Dolphins, Rams, Broncos and Bills are the five nominees for this year’s Rozelle Award, which will be announced on June 18.

Click here to see the full list of award nominees.

PFWA Awards Announcement Schedule:

Tuesday, June 12: Dick McCann Award
Wednesday, June 13: George Halas Award
Thursday, June 14: Good Guy Award
Friday, June 15: Jack Horrigan Award
Monday, June 18: Pete Rozelle Award
Tuesday, June 19: Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award

NOTEBOO Marco Estrada Blue Jays Jersey K: Rudolph Excited by ‘Early’ Return to Team Drills

June 6th, 2018


EAGAN, Minn. — Kyle Rudolph hasn’t missed a start in the past three seasons.

He has opened 88 of 96 games in the NFL, is a savvy veteran, and Organized Team Activity practices are voluntary, but the tight end didn’t want to miss out on reps.

On Tuesday, Rudolph participated in full-team sessions during Minnesota’s Organized Team Activity practice, the eighth of 10 permitted get-togethers at the team facility before next week’s three-day mandatory minicamp. Tuesday’s session was the only one this week open to the media and second of four this week.

Rudolph credited the Vikings athletic training staff for helping him get ahead of the initial return date and participate for a second consecutive day.

“It is a ton of fun  Marco Estrada Jersey to be back out there competing, for me especially,” Rudolph said. “The plan was for me not to be doing anything right now, so to have the opportunity, thankfully I get to work with the best training staff in our game. They’re the Ed Block Courage Award winners for a reason. They are really good at their job. They got me to a point where I am able to go out there a few weeks early, and it’s good.

“There is nothing worse, and I say this all the time when we talk, than being an athlete and not being able to be out there when the rest of your teammates are working and preparing,” Rudolph added. “This offseason is unique in the fact that we have a new offense, a new system, a new quarterback. I wasn’t getting any better over there by myself, so it is good to be back out there.”

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who enjoyed a “good practice” on his birthday, said Rudolph has “worked real hard” to return to action.

“It’s good to see him out there this week,” Zimmer said. “He got some reps yesterday as well. [Running back Dalvin] Cook got some reps with the team both these last two days, so that’s been good. Our trainers, Eric Sugarman is going a great job, along with Mark Uyeyama with the guys in the weight room.”

It isn’t the first time that Rudolph has quickly returned to action.

Rudolph suffered an ankle injury in Week 14 at Carolina but managed to hit the field the following Week against Cincinnati. He caught one of his eight touchdowns on the season against his hometown team to help the Vikings clinch the NFC North with a 34-7 win over the Bengals.

Rudolph grinded out the remainder of the season at less-than-full strength and had surgery this offseason, his fifth operation in the past 10 years, which has made him more comfortable in an operating room.

“It’s funny when you sit there. The nurses are getting ready for pre-op, and the doctors are talking to you, I honestly feel like I’m in the dentist office getting my teeth cleaned,” Rudolph said. “It’s so routine at this point, I think at times, your family and friends are more worried about it than you are. At least for me, I’m pretty relaxed and thankful that I have the best foot and ankle guy in the world right here across the way [at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center] to take care of me and make sure everything will be good.” 

Rudolph said the 10 OTAs and three minicamp practices are particularly helpful for a Vikings offense with new Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo and quarterback Kirk Cousins.

“This game is special in the fact that we get 10 times here in OTAs, three times in minicamp, and that’s it for the entire offseason,” Rudolph said. “It’s not like basketball or baseball where you can go play pickup or go in the batting cages and take some cuts whenever you want. We only have 13 times to go out there and compete against our defense, so it’s good to be out there competing against the best defense in football.” 

Rudolph has Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 6 Marcus Stroman Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Jersey  made a quick impression on Cousins. When the quarterback was Wired last week for, he said throwing to Rudolph is like throwing to a mattress, a compliment for the way the tight end who has 322 receptions and 37 touchdowns ca Marcus Stroman Jersey tches footballs with ease. 

“That is a new one for me,” Rudolph said when asked about the comparison. “I’m OK with it. Try to make sure that he’s always getting a good night’s sleep, always be there for him. That is kind of my role around here. I’ll have to find out what kind of mattress he likes, what his Sleep Number is. Hopefully, it is 82, and we’re good.”

Robison ready for anything — almost

The Vikings lined up Cook on the back Marcus Stroman Blue Jays Jersey  of a diamond formation with receivers during one play in the red zone on Tuesday. Cousins took the snap and fired toward Cook, but Brian Robison batted the ball down at the line of scrimmage.

“You don’t look at the quarterback,” Robison said. “You play your keys. I’ve been in this league, for going on 12 years now, so I’ve kind of seen it all. It doesn’t mean I’ve learned everything I can learn, but when you see things like that, it kind of allows you to react faster.”

One sight that Robison is still adjusting to is the appearance of a few strands of gray in his hair.

“My daughter told me, ‘Your hair is turning white,’ ” Robison said with a usual good-hearted laugh. “I’m 35 years old now, and I still feel mentally that I’m about 15 or 16, so something’s either wrong with my head or my body. I don’t know.”

Robison was asked a follow-up on whether the ponytail he used to sport would have a tinge of gray.

“Yeah, but it would be luscious, though. There’s no doubt about it,” Robison said. 

Robison said the talent on the Vikings offense and new system are presenting the defense that ranked first in the NFL in yards allowed and points allowed in 2017 with fresh learning opportunities.

“We’ve got a lot of weapons on the offensive side,” Robison said. “The things that they’re doing have changed from year to year. It kind of allows us to see a broad spectrum of plays and the way the offense likes to do things, so that keeps us on our toes. It’s evolving, as far as our learning process.”

One corner on another 

Just five years ago, Xavier Rhodes was a first-round pick making the transition to the pros.

Rhodes, who has evolved into an All-Pro, on Tuesday was asked about 2018 first-round selection Mike Hughes

“He’s willing to learn,” Rhodes said. “Some rookies have a hard time taking advice from some other players. He’s willing to learn. You can tell he’s just open to anything you tell him.”

Thielen Makes 1st Appearance on NFL’s To Marco Estrada Blue Jays Jersey p 100 List at 36

June 5th, 2018

Adam Thielen has risen from an undrafted Division II football player to an All-Pro in the NFL. 

Along the way, the Vikings wide receiver has continually earned the praise and respect of his peers. 

That was evident Monday night as the Pro Bowler made his first-ever appearance on the NFL’s Top 100 list by snagging the No. 36 spot. Players’ votes determine the rankings in the annual list.

“I try to win on every play,” Thielen said on the show. “I think the biggest thing for me is consistency. Not to have one crazy play, I want to be able to do it every time … over and over and over and over and just help this team win games.”

Thielen joined the Vikings as an undrafted rookie out of Minnesota State, Mankato in the spring of 2013, and spent that season on the practice squad. 

He was a special teams standout in 2014 and 2015 before he burst onto the scene as a receiver in 2016 with 69 catches for 967 yard Marco Estrada Jersey s and five touchdowns. 

Thielen then put together an All-Pro and Pro Bowl season in 2017, setting career highs with 91 receptions for 1,276 yards, which was good for fifth in the NFL in receiving yards. He also added four scores.

“He came out of nowhere for a lot of people,” said Bro Marcus Stroman Jersey ncos (and former Vikings) quarterback Case Keenum. “For me, he’s just keeps getting open. Guys like that, you just keep looking their way.”

Players from around the league had plenty of praise Marco Estrada Jersey Sale  for the Detroit Lakes native.

“He’s a big reason why they had the season they had,” Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels said of Minnesota’s 13-3 campaign in 2017. “He’s not dropping the ball man. What else do you want to talk about?

“He’s always open, and he’s not dropping the ball,” Daniels added. “That’s a Top 100 receiver, don’t you think? I think so. I’m just calling it as I see it.”

“I call him ‘Mr. Fundamental.’ And he’s probably the best fundamental guy out there,” said Browns safety Damarious Randall. “He has perfected his craft and his routes are bar none some of the best routes you’re going to get by a wide receiver. He’s a guy that’s always open on film and is always open whenever we play them.”

Added Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans: “I think he’s one of the best receivers, period.”

Thielen was the sixth Vikings player to be on this year’s list, joining safety Harrison Smith (No. 46), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (No. 55), wide receiver Stefon Diggs (No. 65), defensive tackle Linval Joseph (No. 83) and quarterback Kirk Cousins (No. 94).

Thielen was the ninth wide receiver unveiled on the 2018 list. He ranked ahead of Doug Baldwin (Seahawks; No. 99), Michael Thomas (Saints; No. 81), Odell Beckham, Jr. (Giants; No. 77), Diggs, Jarvis Landry (Browns; No. 52), Devante Adams (Packers; No. 45), Keenan Allen (Chargers; No. 41) and Tyreek Hill (Chiefs; No. 40). 

The full grouping revealed along with Thielen this week is as follows: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (No. 31), Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (No. 32), Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (No. 33), Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (No. 34), Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye (No. 35), Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (No. 37), Rams quarterback Jared Goff (No. 38), Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (No. 39) and Hill (No. 40).

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