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Minnesota Vikings 2023 Training Camp


2022 RECAP

The Vikings showed improvement for the second consecutive season in 2022. After finishing 2-14 in 2020, Minnesota won 8 games in 2021 followed by 10 games in 2022. However, they still failed to reach the playoffs thanks to a late season let down. The Vikings were 9-3 coming into the last quarter of the season. But the team dropped 3 of 4 to miss the post-season for the third straight season.

Minnesota's defense led the way in 2022 as they were ranked in the top 5. Daniel Te'o-Neshelm finished the season with his 7th consecutive season in which he reached 8 sacks or more (every year of his career). He's now 21st all-time on the RZL sack leaders list and just turned 30-years-old. If he manages to maintain his current pace for 4 more seasons he may end up in the top 3 on this list.

Melvin Tirrell continues to prove that age is only a number. The late bloomer finished the season with 7 sacks as a DT. He now has 24 sacks in 3 years with the Vikings. He only had 20 in his first 7 seasons with San Diego. Unfortunately age may be catching up to him as he turned 33-years-old after the season.

But the biggest impact players on the defense were in the secondary. Sam Shields and Jerome Murphy have created one of the best CB tandems in the league. While the pressure up front certainly helps, it's safe to say that without these two players this defense would be dramatically different.

In fact, without either of them the Vikings likely wouldn't have finished at 10-6. The offense has still been in the middle of the pack ranking 18th in points scored, which isn't all that odd considering Joe Lawson has only 2 seasons under his belt. The Vikings really need Lawson to step it up in year 3 and they have been trying to provide him with more weapons. Darrius Heyward-Bey was acquired during the season, but he was injured shortly after and missed the remainder of the year.

While the offense was 18th in points scored, they were 30th in passing yards and 27th in passing TDs. The running game was a bit more average as it stayed in the middle of the pack. Statistically, the Vikings were actually very lucky to have scored as many points as they did. Perhaps they had great field position as a result of a stingy defense. In fact, that may be the case exactly. Only five teams forced more turnovers than Minnesota did in 2022. The Vikings were also tied for 1st in the league for defensive 3rd down percentage.

Obviously the plans for 2023 would be to improve their offensive output. If Joe Lawson makes a leap, another WR steps up on the offensive side, the team should become more balanced. With aging players like Melvin Tirrell on the defensive side, and an underwhelming group of LBs, the offense needs to make a big jump for this team to be post-season worthy.


TRANSACTION RECAP

Releases

The Vikings released: RE Bob Parker, Cliff Matthews, DT Chester Lester and FS Darrell Stuckey.

Parkers and Matthews were released due to a lack of roster space. Both players were reserve players for the Vikings and while they did not cost much against the cap, the team brought in two new players in Matthew Collins and David Veikune. With Daniel Te'o-Neshelm and Jarvis Estrada as returning starters, there was too much depth at the position.

Chester Lester was a player that the team could really use this coming season. However, due to his ridiculous contract and lack of playing time, Lester has become a distraction in the locker room. The team is short at the position and really positioned themselves to become very weak up the middle unless theyíre able to bring someone else in.

Darrell Stuckey was in a similar issue with Lester. Actually, both were signed together back in 2019 by then-GM Lincoln Ison. Neither of them played an important role on the team and became very vocal about being relegated to their backup role. It was their cap hit that kept them on the team this long. Minnesota would have liked to have released them sooner if they could have in order to free up cap space, but their hits were too expensive until now. While both are obviously talented players, Minnesota felt the team was better with other players in the lineup. Lester and Stuckey were two of the highest paid players on the team despite having a very small role on the team. If you were to compare how much they contributed based on what they received in pay, these two players would likely be at or near the tops in the league.

Isiah Pead and Milton Maxwell were able to slip into free agency despite not being released. GM Tom Collins stated that there was a contractual foul up and a grievance has been filed with Commissioner Kevin Mullendore. "Both of these players should have been restricted free agents, but we never received an opportunity to submit a tender," Collins said. "Somehow they snuck into free agency and that shouldn't have been the case. We are following up with the league on this matter. The initial reaction by the league was that it was a foul up on our end, but I can assure all of our fans we have been very active this off-season, despite not seeing a lot of moves. We have been diligent in taking care of our obligations in a timely manner, and this was not an exception. We expect to reach a favorable conclusion shortly."


Trades

Despite shopping their 1st round pick and looking for another WR, the Vikings did not make any trade this off-season. It may be the first off-season in several seasons in which the team did not reach an agreement. However, since the Vikings finished 10-6 last year, itís not at all that surprising that they arenít going to rock the boat too much. The rule for this off-season: Donít mess with success.

One trade the team did consider was moving their 1st round pick to Detroit in exchange for Allen Bailey. While Bailey is obviously very talented, the Vikings eventually declined the offer after it was learned that Detroit also wanted a future 2nd round pick as well. It was the cap price of $10.33 million that really deterred Minnesota from making the deal and the fact that by not doing the trade Detroit could conceivably miss out on the rookie they were hoping to draft. Eventually they were able to make the deal before, which, in the Vikings opinion, weakened their team anyways.


Free Agency

The Vikings signed RE David Veikune, P Thomas Morstead , and MLB Joseph Burnett this off-season.

Veikune was originally a DT but the team felt he was better served as a DE. He lacks the ideal strength for an interior defensive lineman, although the team could really use another body there. He will move to the right side and compete with Jarvis Estrada and rookie Matthew Collins for the starting spot. Morstead will immediately upgrade the Special Teams and likely means the end for Scott Kovanda. Burnett was obtained to provide greater depth. Paul Connor was injured his rookie year and the team didn't have a suitable backup. The team did acquire a backup last year in Rafael Darrington but it's better to be safe than sorry. Originally Minnesota acquired Burnett because they expected a trade to happen with the Kansas City Chiefs, which eventually fell through. The team decided Burnett was worth hanging onto anyways.

The Vikings also made an effort to bring back Isaiah Pead in free agency, even though they have filed a grievance with the league. They were unsuccessful at luring him back to the team and because of that the grievance will be pushed through.

Draft

1.20 DE Matthew Collins

Collins was a pick made for a couple of reasons. First, the team felt he was the most talented player available. Second, the team has expressed interest at upgrading the right defensive end position held by Jarvis Estrada. Collins may have an opportunity to start right away. However, newly signed David Veikune could make a play at the position. Veikune is seen as a 1 year player and will not impact the future for Collins at DE.

4.20 FS Kevin Robinson

With a weak draft, Robinson was seen as the BPA. Unfortunately for him, the team had second thoughts and didn't even sign try to sign him. Robinson became a free agent after the draft.

5.15 CB Keith Griffin

Griffin was selected in hopes that he could potentially develop into something better than what Minnesota's scouts felt he would. The chances are slim that this could happen, but it's a low risk option.

5.20 CB Kenny Wood

Similar to Griffin, Wood was a gamble later on at little to no risk. The chances of even making the team appear to be slim so it's doubtful he becomes any kind of impact player.

6.20 LOLB Gerald Lowe

Lowe is another player that may stick around as a cost efficient backup. If there were an injury to a starter, he would likely stay in the same role as the team would look at other options.


PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

WR Andre Crane is being called upon to step up in his second season with the team. With the loss of Riley Cooper this off-season, the team is looking for another receiver to step in with fellow sophomores Tra Strong and Danny Glover. The 6'2" receiver has great speed for his size and has excellent leaping ability. The team is hoping that he can make improvements in his game to become a bigger threat to opposing defenses.

LT Luke Joeckel was the team's first draft pick this off-season. He is charged with holding down Lawson's backside at the left tackle position. The team is happy with his athleticism, but the biggest area of need for Joeckel is his strength. And that is probably one of the easiest to improve, as it is extremely difficult to improve one's speed.

On the defensive side, Paul Connor is another sophomore expecting to start in 2022. Connor made the switch from outside to the inside last season, but his season was ultimately cut short due to injury. His athleticism was enough for him to dominate the collegiate level, but in professional football, he still has a lot of work to do. The team is hoping he can continue to build on that athleticism to put him in better position to make plays for the team.

CB John Clark stepped in as the second CB last season due to a lack of depth. While he didn't blow anyone away, he played well last season and showed that he has a future in this league. Clark's downfall is his lack of size. However, what he lacks in that area he makes up for in athleticism. Last season he made strides in improving his athleticism and it appears as though he is ready to continue building upon the progress he made last season.

Crane, Clark, and Connor teamed up with team strength and conditioning coach Michael Johnson. All three players spent a great deal of time running normal sprints as well as sprints with a parachute attached to their backs. They also ran uphill and often times ran full speed while the other player held onto his hips, creating resistance. None of them focused much time on the cone drills this off-season as they felt pressure to increase their speed and acceleration. Aside from the sprints they spent a great deal of time working on short, five yard bursts and working on their balance and a lower center of gravity. All three players were looking for that quickness that could kill and that is exactly what each player pushed for all off-season. It appears as though their hard work has paid off as Johnson has stated that it appears as though all four players were able to improve upon their marks set prior to the conditioning program.

Joeckel was a different story. There wasn't a lot of running with his workouts, as he was more interested in increasing his strength. After meeting with the strength and conditioning staff, Joeckel was given a list of routines to increase his upper body strength as well as his lower body strength. He utilized the bench press, inclined bench, squats and cleans. He also took advantage of many of the new equipment items in the Vikings facility that mimic real gameplay while also building strength.


PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

QB: Joe Lawson | Blaine Gabbert | Brandon Weeden
RB: Jahvid Best | Jeff Gearhart
FB: Gerald Lewis
WR: Darrius Heyward-Bey | Danny Glover | Tra Strong | Andre Crane | Henry Browning
TE: Dorin Dickerson | Shawn Boss

LT: Luke Joeckel | Rodolfo Hines
LG: Nats Luzak | James Farentz
C: Jacques McClendon | Ricky Wagner
RG: Nats Luzak | Fidel Scroggins
RT: Alan Steele | Boyd Shelton

LE: Daniel Te'o-Neshelm | Jarvis Roland
DT: Melvin Tirrell | Lynwood Christian
RE: Matthew Collins | David Veikune | Jarvis Estrada

LOLB:Kavell Conner | Gerald Lowe
MLB: Paul Connor | Joseph Burnett | Rafael Darrington
ROLB: Luis August | Kyle Bosworth

CB: Sam Shields | Jerome Murphy | John Clark | Charles McMann | Dominique Franks | Keith Griffin | Kenneth Wood
FS: George Iloka | Ahmad Maroney
SS: Russell Simmons | Conner Michaels
K: Edmundo Pace
P: Thomas Morstead | Scott Kovanda


2023 OUTLOOK

There actually weren't too many changes this off-season. After two consecutive improvement years, the Vikings should be on the cusp of reaching the post-season. There aren't many areas that really could be upgraded and therefore there weren't many blockbuster types of moves. Rather than continue to make big changes to the personnel, Minnesota felt that continuity was necessary. If your team enjoyed a winning season, you need to be careful not to tweak too many things. Itís far more likely that the team could be weakened by making the wrong move than improving much beyond a 10-6 record.

The team obviously felt that development was a priority. Rather than acquiring new personnel, they decided to focus on developing who they already had in house. Joe Lawson is the most obvious example to this philosophy. While Lawson has not disappointed the Vikings front office, thereís no question that he still needs to improve in his third year. Minnesota is still looking for a sidekick for Darrius Heyward-Bey with the hopes that improved targets will provide Lawson with more reliability.

The offensive line saw no changes this off-season, and if there is a position group that really needs continuity itís the line. That should result in better pass protection for Lawson, and hopefully improved wiggle room for Jahvid Best. Best is coming back after securing a two year deal. The dip in his performance the past two seasons has raised concerns, but the team is hoping that he will be able to achieve similar numbers before the contract dispute seemed to really play a role in his play.

The only starting position that looks to change may be the right defensive end. The team has three options in Jarvis Estrada, rookie Matthew Collins, or veteran David Veikune. The signing of Veikune and drafting of Collins in the first round is not a sign of confidence in Estrada. Despite having resigned him this off-season (before these two players were brought in), it appears as though he has lost his footing on the starting job. Whether or not Veikune wins the job over the rookie really depends on how both players look in camp, and whether the Vikings believe the defense will play just as well without the experience Veikune can offer.
Defensive tackle is becoming a weak point as the team has elected to go with athletic players over big, strong run stuffers. As the players begin to age and lose some of their athleticism, they must rely on size and strength, which is something that they really never had. Both Lynwood Christian and Melvin Tirrell are in this boat as theyíre losing some of that athleticism due to age.

2023 Expectation: 11-5 Record; 1st place finish

The team was 1 win away from a playoff berth in 2022. After starting 9-3 the team finished at only 10-6. Losing 3 of their last 4 kept them out of the playoffs. Hopefully they are able to get over the hump and reach the post-season after missing for the past three years. With some improvements by Joe Lawson, a full season with Darrius Heyward-Bey and hopefully another WR target acquired before the season, improving 1 game is not out of the question for Minnesota.
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 04/12/2014) Replies - 5 :: Views - 132
Minnesota Vikings 2022 Training Camp


2021 RECAP

2021 entailed a surprising rebound from the 2020 record of 2-14. The team started a rookie QB in Joe Lawson as well as two rookie WRs in Danny Glover and Tra Strong. The team's offense was only ranked 23rd in points scored, but that is a big improvement from the 31st offense the season before. Despite the rookies placed into starting roles, the team was able to build upon their struggles from the previous season. Lawson had one of the finest rookie seasons in league history.

The defense was what kept the team alive last season. Minnesota finished as the 8th best defense in terms of points allowed. Their pass rush was led by Daniel Te'o-Neshelm as he accumulated 13 sacks for the Vikings last year. Looking at the personnel groupings from last season, it's a surprise that their defense did so well, considering the talent that they had on the field.

An 8-8 season while starting 3 rookies on offense and coming off a 2-14 campaign was exactly what the team needed. The front office is hoping that they can build on their success last year, rather than take a step backwards, which has been the Vikings way for far too long.


RELEASES

The Vikings released: QB Tim Hiller, LE Olin Ramsey, P Chas Henry, C Mike Fladell, and WR Will Franklin this off-season to make room for many new additions.

Tim Hiller and Olin Ramsey were primarily reserves for the team in the event of an injury. The loss of these players should not see any kind of impact on the team. Both Mike Fladell and Will Franklin were on the team as a veteran presence to help develop the younger starters.

Henry was the team's starting punter last season. He was released after the team expressed displeasure with their field position this past season. While he placed the ball inside the opponent 20 yard line on 24% of his kicks (ranking 9th last season), the average yardage per kick was too low for Minnesota's likings (ranking 22nd last season).


TRADES

Minnesota traded WR Riley Cooper and their 2nd round pick to Chicago in exchange for CB Jerome Murphy and FS Ahmad Maroney. Murphy provides the team with one of the best CB duos in the league now that he is teaming up with Sam Shields. Teams will now be forced to respect their pass defense and try to grind yardage out through the run game. Maroney was acquired as a backup to George Iloka. The team plans to release Darrell Stuckey once they can afford to absorb his ridiculous cap hit.

Cooper was expendable as the team's rookie WRs from last year, Tra Strong and Danny Glover, exceeded expectations. The team is hoping that they can build upon the success they had in 2021. Cooper would have most likely been relegated to the third WR spot, which would be a waste of his talent. The team is likely to call upon one of their young WRs to fill that void.

The Vikings also shipped LOLB Rosario Garza and their 4th round pick to Carolina in exchange for QB Blaine Gabbert and their 6th round pick. Garza is now 32-years-old and reaching the end of his career. Minnesota traded him while he still had value, despite creating a hole at the linebacker position.

Gabbert was acquired as an insurance policy for Lawson. Lawson was dinged up several times throughout the season. While he did not miss any significant time, and backup QB Brandon Weeden only logged 18 pass attempts, the thought of what would happen if Lawson was seriously injured was too concerning for the Vikings. Gabbert will now provide Minnesota with an excellent backup in the event that Lawson is lost for any significant time.


FREE AGENCY

The Vikings signed OLB Luis August, DT Lynwood Christian, OLB Rafael Darrington, and OL Jared Gaither this off-season.

August will start on the right side, filling in for Kavell Conner, who has moved to the left side with the departure of Rosario Garza.

Christian will compete at DT with Vance Walker. Walker has excellent athleticism, but feel as though he could not achieve similar results to Melvin Tirrell because of his lack of speed and strength. Christian is more similar to Tirrell and may start this season.

Darrington will move inside to middle linebacker to backup sophomore Paul Connor. Connor is rebounding from an injury in his rookie season that forced Stephen Hodge to step in for the remainder of the season. With Hodge gone, Minnesota needed another insurance policy.

Gaither will shake up the offensive line. He is moving to the RG position so that Jacques McClendon can move to C. With so much youth on offense, the team needed to solidify their offensive line. It is not yet known if Andrew Willis's future is over in Minnesota.


DRAFT

1.15 LT Luke Joeckel

Joeckel was made the Vikings top draft choice this off-season. The selection was a surprise by many, but Minnesota made the pick as he was viewed as the best player available at the positions of need. Joeckel will immediately step in at LT for the team.

3.15 C Ricky Wagner

The young lineman was drafted with the hopes of pushing Andrew Willis for the starting spot. But with the signing of Jared Gaither and moving Jacques McClendon to the center spot, it doesn't appear that he will make an impact for a while.

4.32 SS Conner Michaels

The young safety has the strength of a linebacker but the size of a safety. His athleticism isn't the greatest, but he provides the team with a player who could excel on special teams.

5.15 CB Charles McMann

The 5'9" CB has decent awareness and doesn't have blazing speed. However, his agility and acceleration are excellent and may give him a chance to make the team.

6.11 LG James Farentz

Farentz doesn't have great size, athleticism or strength. He does have good awareness and blocking skills which will probably keep him on the team, but for a reserve only.

6.15 P Scott Kovanda

Minnesota thought enough of him to dump Chas Henry. However, it has yet to be seen whether or not he will land the starting job. His low awareness and kicking accuracy are a liability.

7.15 LE Jarvis Roland

If Roland had the proper size, his athleticism would allow him some playing time. However, he is too small (6'0", 265lbs) and too raw to make an impact.

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

WR Andre Crane is being called upon to step up in his second season with the team. With the loss of Riley Cooper this off-season, the team is looking for another receiver to step in with fellow sophomores Tra Strong and Danny Glover. The 6'2" receiver has great speed for his size and has excellent leaping ability. The team is hoping that he can make improvements in his game to become a bigger threat to opposing defenses.

LT Luke Joeckel was the team's first draft pick this off-season. He is charged with holding down Lawson's backside at the left tackle position. The team is happy with his athleticism, but the biggest area of need for Joeckel is his strength. And that is probably one of the easiest to improve, as it is extremely difficult to improve one's speed.

On the defensive side, Paul Connor is another sophomore expecting to start in 2022. Connor made the switch from outside to the inside last season, but his season was ultimately cut short due to injury. His athleticism was enough for him to dominate the collegiate level, but in professional football, he still has a lot of work to do. The team is hoping he can continue to build on that athleticism to put him in better position to make plays for the team.

CB John Clark stepped in as the second CB last season due to a lack of depth. While he didn't blow anyone away, he played well last season and showed that he has a future in this league. Clark's downfall is his lack of size. However, what he lacks in that area he makes up for in athleticism. Last season he made strides in improving his athleticism and it appears as though he is ready to continue building upon the progress he made last season.

Crane, Clark, and Connor teamed up with team strength and conditioning coach Michael Johnson. All three players spent a great deal of time running normal sprints as well as sprints with a parachute attached to their backs. They also ran uphill and often times ran full speed while the other player held onto his hips, creating resistance. None of them focused much time on the cone drills this off-season as they felt pressure to increase their speed and acceleration. Aside from the sprints they spent a great deal of time working on short, five yard bursts and working on their balance and a lower center of gravity. All three players were looking for that quickness that could kill and that is exactly what each player pushed for all off-season. It appears as though their hard work has paid off as Johnson has stated that it appears as though all four players were able to improve upon their marks set prior to the conditioning program.

Joeckel was a different story. There wasn't a lot of running with his workouts, as he was more interested in increasing his strength. After meeting with the strength and conditioning staff, Joeckel was given a list of routines to increase his upper body strength as well as his lower body strength. He utilized the bench press, inclined bench, squats and cleans. He also took advantage of many of the new equipment items in the Vikings facility that mimic real gameplay while also building strength.


PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

QB: Joe Lawson | Blaine Gabbert | Brandon Weeden
RB: Jahvid Best | Isiah Pead | Jeff Gearhart
FB: Gerald Lewis
WR: Danny Glover | Tra Strong | Andre Crane |Milton Maxwell | Henry Browning
TE: Dorin Dickerson | Shawn Boss

LT: Luke Joeckel | Rodolfo Hines
LG: Nats Luzak | James Farentz
C: Jacques McClendon | | Andrew Willis | Ricky Wagner
RG: Nats Luzak | Fidel Scroggins
RT: Alan Steele | Boyd Shelton

LE: Daniel Te'o-Neshelm | Cliff Matthews | Jarvis Roland
DT: Melvin Tirrell | Lynwood Christian | Vance Walker | Chester Lester
RE: Jarvis Estrada | Bob Parker

LOLB:Kavell Conner | Dillon Shouse
MLB: Paul Connor | Rafael Darrington
ROLB: Luis August | Kyle Bosworth

CB: Sam Shields | Jerome Murphy | John Clark | Romeo Hilliard | Charles McMann | Dominique Franks | Tracy Porter
FS: George Iloka | Ahmad Maroney | Darrell Stuckey
SS: Russell Simmons | Conner Michaels
K: Edmundo Pace
P: Scott Kovanda


2022 OUTLOOK

The team expected to win 4 games last year and ended up winning 8. Minnesota is hoping to put an end to the roller coaster ride from season to season. The goal is to build upon the previous season, rather than to take several steps backwards every time they experience success.

The defense looks to be as strong or stronger than last season. The only significant starter that the team lost on the defensive side was Rosario Garza. Stephen Hodge played a significant portion of time but only as a result of a season ending injury to Paul Connor (Hodge is still an unsigned free agent). The team was able to bring in Jerome Murphy to start alongside Sam Shields, putting John Clark in the much better suited nickel role. Kavell Conner moved from the right side to the left after Garza's departure, and August should step into the right side position without a hitch. The defensive line remains nearly intact and could be the exact same starters as last year if Lynwood Christian doesn't beat out Vance Walker for the starting job. The #8 defense from last year seems to have improved.

On the offensive side, the team is hoping for some more consistency amongst their younger players. Joe Lawson, Tra Strong and Danny Glover had their ups and downs last season as rookies. After experiencing what pro football was like, the team is hoping they build upon their success this season. Riley Cooper was traded to bring Jerome Murphy to the club, which opens the slot WR position. The odds are that Andre Crane will lock down that job. If so, the Vikings top three receivers will be sophomores (and it would have been one of the best draft classes Minnesota has ever had). To hopefully give these young players a greater chance at success, the team drafted a LT in Luke Joeckel in the first round and signed a veteran in Jared Gaither. Gaither will push into the LG spot, giving Joeckel a veteran presence next door. Natz Luzak will switch sides, pushing Jacques McClendon to Center. The team is hoping the moves will provide the team with greater protection.

2022 Expectation: 9-7 Record; 1st place finish

The team was 1 win away from forcing a tie-breaker with the Detroit Lions. With the improvements the team has made, building upon last year's 8-8 record with 1 more win is not out of the question. Last season a 9-7 record won the division, here's to hoping the same is the case in 2022.
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 08/27/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 35
Minnesota Vikings Training Camp


MINNESOTA VIKINGS TRAINING CAMP COVERAGE


2020 RECAP

After a surprising 2019 campaign in which the Vikings reached the playoffs, they reminded us all again in 2020 that they just aren't ready to be a contending team. Minnesota finished with just 2 wins in 2020, giving them the #2 overall pick in the 2021 draft.

The team that reached the post-season in 2019 remained mostly in tact last season. There were a handful of minor changes to the roster, but nothing that would otherwise indicate the 2-14 finish the team would ultimately seal. Brady Quinn struggled last season, to the point that Vikings management lost hope and dealt him to Miami.

The team relied on a platoon of QBs, none of which were able to impress the team. GM Tom Collins went record last season stating that "this team does not have many glaring holes. We certainly are better than our record would indicate. I believe our production at quarterback is what is preventing us from giving our fans a winning season. Unfortunately I don't see much improvement in that department throughout this season."

After the disappointing season, Minnesota once again entered into a rebuilding phase, as the team's key players were all aging and the roster was lacking the injection of youth that they sorely needed. It looks like another tough season in 2021 is on the horizon.


EARLY OFF-SEASON TRANSACTIONS

The Vikings were very active this off-season. They knew that they couldn't compete in 2021 and that if they waited any longer, their key players value would plummet. With this knowledge, Minnesota traded many cornerstones to their team and have officially entered into rebuilding mode. The Vikings traded WR Rudolph Nash, CB Julian Mawell, MLB Audie Cole, CB Brandon Ghee and a handful of their draft picks, including the second overall pick.

The team also released several players who were unhappy with the current situation in Minnesota. These players included LOLB Stevenson Sylvester, SS Danny Porch, HB Braxton Murphy, WR Austin Perkins, QB Nick Foles, TE Jimmy Turner, LG Sheldon Stevenson, WR Malcolm Sanders, DT Fletcher Cox, and HB LaRod Stephens-Howling.

After all deals were completed, Minnesota acquired starting TE Dorin Dickerson and backups WR Greg Little and HB Isiah Pead. They also entered the draft with four 1st round picks, a 2nd, four 3rds, and a 5th.


FREE AGENCY

Minnesota made a minor splash in free agency. They brought in RG Alan Steele who will immediately move to RT. They also acquired C Mike Fladell who is likely to move to LT and become a mentor, WR Will Franklin who was also signed as a mentor, and backups LOLB Kyle Bosworth and LOLB Dillon Shouse.


DRAFT

1.13 QB Joe Lawson

This was the easiest choice for the Vikings. QB was by far their biggest need before the off-season. After the off-season, it was probably CB but the team missed out on an early CB run just before this pick. Lawson was their guy all along. The only difficult choice was how far they could hold out to select him. In the end, they chose the safe route and selected him with their first of four picks in the first round. Lawson has great arm strength and awareness for a rookie. His accuracy needs some fine tuning and his healthy could be a potential question mark. The Vikings are hoping the latter won't be an issue moving forward.

1.21 WR Danny Glover

This was a difficult selection for Minnesota. They really wanted a CB in the first round, but all the talented players at the position were taken in the first 20 picks. The team was forced to adapt and decided to target the best player available with this pick. They felt Glover had top 15 potential and was a great selection at 1.21. With his size and speed, he could definitely present some matchup issues for opposing defenses, and will immediately step into the starting lineup with fellow rookie Joe Lawson.

1.24 LOLB Paul Connor

Once again, the best targeted the best player available. There were some risky choices at this point in the draft. The team toyed with the idea of going after a very athletic, yet raw player, but chose the safe route with Connor. Other analysts believed Ozzie Gomes was the better player, but the Vikings felt comfortable with Connor. The team is likely to move him to MLB and start him immediately.

1.31 CB John Clark

Minnesota finally pulled the trigger on a CB. Clark is very fast and athletic and will provide the team with their #2 CB. The only issue is that Clark is more of a Nickel CB and his size (5'10") and strength provide glaring weaknesses for the CB. He is likely to develop into a fine #3 CB, but the team is likely to rely on him to fill the starting spot opposite Sam Shields. It's likely to be a daunting task, but we've seen crazier things happen.

2.2 WR Tra Strong

The Vikings addressed the passing game once again in this draft, for the third time in five picks. The team's passing game was what many attributed to their lackluster 2020 season and Minnesota wasted no time in addressing that. Strong would have been selected in the 1st round for Minnesota, but the team was worried that the 1st round expectations may have put too much pressure on Strong to produce. The Vikings were happy he was still available early in the 2nd round and wasted no time in selecting him to be their #2 WR alongside fellow rookie Danny Glover.

3.15 HB Jeff Gearhart

After the loss of LaRod Stephens-Howling, the team was in need of a kick returner. While facing a rebuilding mode again, it's likely the Vikings defense give up a lot of points in 2021, which means plenty of kick return opportunities for whoever lands the job. Gearhart has exactly what the Vikings admire in returners, fast with the ability to break tackles, make defenders miss, and hold onto the ball. Gearhart is projected to be the team's primary returner and #3 RB.

3.16 WR Henry Browning

At this point in the draft, the team was looking for the best player available. Someone who could make an impact on the team and not just provide the team with cheap depth. Minnesota was hoping for a surprise from Browning. He has good height and athletic ability for his size and will provide the team with depth at the position. But Minnesota was hoping they could strike gold in the 3rd round. It's safe to say they didn't.

3.21 WR Andre Crane

Like Browning, the team was hoping to find value late in the draft. Crane will likely provide the team with depth at the position and provides very little value in terms of starting ability.

3.24 LG Boyd Shelton

Another late pick by Minnesota with the hopes they found someone who could eventually become a starter. Shelton could work his way into a starting role if Andrew Willis was plagued with an injury. Shelton provides the team with solid depth on the offensive line and will likely avoid losing his spot on the team whereas Browning and Shelton can't say that for themselves.

5.2 LE Olin Ramsey

The final pick by Minnesota was a depth choice. Ramsey provides the team with very little talent and is likely to find his way into free agency eventually. As for now, the team will hold onto him as a roster filler. If the team finds itself looking to cut salary or open a roster spot, Ramsey will likely be in the unemployment line.

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

QB Joe Lawson knew that a lot was going to be expected of him this year. It's difficult for a rookie QB to begin his career as a starter. With the team coming off a two win season, fans are expecting to see big strides in 2021. Much of the blame for 2020 fell on poor quarterback play. And you can be certain that they are going to be watching Lawson, the first QB taken in the 2021 draft, like a hawk. He has the ability to become Minnesota's starter for years to come, but they've been fooled before.

Likewise, another rookie player expected to start this season expects similar criticism throughout the season. WR Danny Glover is being called upon to improve the team's terrible passing game. The 6'3" speed receiver is expected to stretch the field and provide the team with the dynamic deep threat they were lacking last season. But questions still remain about how ready he is, as he was primarily a deep threat in college and is not accustomed to coming across the middle for the difficult catch.

Riley Cooper is also expecting to work on his athleticism this off-season. That is especially true after the team selected four WRs in the draft, two of which are expected to be starting in week 1. Cooper was the team's #2 WR last season and failed to impress. He is hoping he can improve his speed and combine it with his large frame to give the team another dynamic target in the passing game. It's likely he will be pushing himself to the max to beat out Strong and Glover in the pre-season.

On the defensive side, rookie CB John Clark is expected to step in as the #2 corner for the time, alongside Sam Shields. Clark possesses great athleticism, but he is lacking in size. Clark is 5'10" in a league dominated by tall receivers. While he may be in position to make a play, his height will ultimately be the key determination in whether or not Clark can succeed at this level. Expect Clark to work on increasing his already electrifying athletic abilities to hopefully compensate for what God didn't give him in terms of size.

Paul Connor is another rookie expecting to start in 2021. Another first round pick, Connor is expecting to make the switch from outside linebacker to middle linebacker for the Vikings. His athleticism was enough for him to dominate the collegiate level, but in professional football, he has a lot of work to do. The team is hoping he can continue to build on that athleticism to put him in better position to make plays for the team.

Glover, Cooper, Clark, and Connor teamed up with team strength and conditioning coach Michael Johnson. All four players spent a great deal of time running normal sprints as well as sprints with a parachute attached to their backs. They also ran uphill and often times ran full speed while the other player held onto his hips, creating resistance. None of them focused much time on the cone drills this off-season as they felt pressure to increase their speed. Aside from the sprints they spent a great deal of time working on short, five yard bursts and working on their balance and a lower center of gravity. With all three players having great size, quickness would kill and that is exactly what each player pushed for all off-season. It appears as though their hard work has paid off as Johnson has stated that it appears as though all four players were able to improve upon their marks set prior to the conditioning program.

Lawson was a different story. There wasn't a lot of running with his workouts, as he projects to be a pocket passer for the Vikings. For Lawson, he spent a lot of time reworking his mechanics to increase the velocity of his throws. Creating a throwing motion that was more smooth than what he was used to took some adjusting, but eventually began to feel comfortable. And the results were seen quite quickly as several players reported more zip on his throws. When he wasn't throwing, he learned a variety of stretches to use on his right arm to create more flexibility, making his arm movements much easier and quicker.


PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

QB: Joe Lawson | Brandon Weeden | Tim Hiller
RB: Jahvid Best | Isiah Pead | Jeff Gearhart
FB: Gerald Lewis
WR: Danny Glover | Tra Strong | Riley Cooper |Milton Maxwell | Henry Browning| Andre Crane | Greg Little
TE: Dorin Dickerson

LT: Matt Reynolds | Rodolfo Hines | Mike Fladell
LG: Andrew Willis | Boyd Shelton
C: Nats Luzak | | Donald Thomas
RG: Jacques McClendon | Fidel Scroggins
RT: Alan Steele

LE: Daniel Te'o-Neshelm | Cliff Matthews | Olin Ramsey
DT: Vance Walker| Melvin Tirrell | Chester Lester | Ra'Shon Harris
RE: Jarvis Estrada | Bob Parker

LOLB: Rosario Garza | Dillon Shouse
MLB: Paul Connor | Stephen Hodge
ROLB: Kavell Conner | Kyle Bosworth

CB: Sam Shields | John Clark| Romeo Hilliard
FS: George Iloka | Darrell Stuckey
SS: Russell Simmons | Clay Alvarado
K: Edmundo Pace
P: Chas Henry


2021 OUTLOOK

After a disappointing 2020 season, the Vikings dismantled their team once again in hopes that they could develop youth. It seemed on paper that the team had all their holes covered last year, but that wasn't the case. After removing some of their better players, and starting a large amount of raw players, it's unlikely they improve upon last year. 4 wins isn't out of reach, as it takes an extremely weak team to finish with fewer. A repeat of 2020 is possible, and the team could win 6 games at the very most; 4 is a safe bet for 2020. Look for Minnesota to hang onto their 1st round pick and take a stud player in the top 10, rather than trading back again next year.

2020 Expectation: 4-12 Record; 4th place finish
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 09/03/2012) Replies - 1 :: Views - 26
Minnesota Vikings Training Camp


MINNESOTA VIKINGS TRAINING CAMP COVERAGE


2020 RECAP

After a surprising 2019 campaign in which the Vikings reached the playoffs, they reminded us all again in 2020 that they just aren't ready to be a contending team. Minnesota finished with just 2 wins in 2020, giving them the #2 overall pick in the 2021 draft.

The team that reached the post-season in 2019 remained mostly in tact last season. There were a handful of minor changes to the roster, but nothing that would otherwise indicate the 2-14 finish the team would ultimately seal. Brady Quinn struggled last season, to the point that Vikings management lost hope and dealt him to Miami.

The team relied on a platoon of QBs, none of which were able to impress the team. GM Tom Collins went record last season stating that "this team does not have many glaring holes. We certainly are better than our record would indicate. I believe our production at quarterback is what is preventing us from giving our fans a winning season. Unfortunately I don't see much improvement in that department throughout this season."

After the disappointing season, Minnesota once again entered into a rebuilding phase, as the team's key players were all aging and the roster was lacking the injection of youth that they sorely needed. It looks like another tough season in 2021 is on the horizon.


EARLY OFF-SEASON TRANSACTIONS

The Vikings were very active this off-season. They knew that they couldn't compete in 2021 and that if they waited any longer, their key players value would plummet. With this knowledge, Minnesota traded many cornerstones to their team and have officially entered into rebuilding mode. The Vikings traded WR Rudolph Nash, CB Julian Mawell, MLB Audie Cole, CB Brandon Ghee and a handful of their draft picks, including the second overall pick.

The team also released several players who were unhappy with the current situation in Minnesota. These players included LOLB Stevenson Sylvester, SS Danny Porch, HB Braxton Murphy, WR Austin Perkins, QB Nick Foles, TE Jimmy Turner, LG Sheldon Stevenson, WR Malcolm Sanders, DT Fletcher Cox, and HB LaRod Stephens-Howling.

After all deals were completed, Minnesota acquired starting TE Dorin Dickerson and backups WR Greg Little and HB Isiah Pead. They also entered the draft with four 1st round picks, a 2nd, four 3rds, and a 5th.


FREE AGENCY

Minnesota made a minor splash in free agency. They brought in RG Alan Steele who will immediately move to RT. They also acquired C Mike Fladell who is likely to move to LT and become a mentor, WR Will Franklin who was also signed as a mentor, and backups LOLB Kyle Bosworth and LOLB Dillon Shouse.


DRAFT

1.13 QB Joe Lawson

This was the easiest choice for the Vikings. QB was by far their biggest need before the off-season. After the off-season, it was probably CB but the team missed out on an early CB run just before this pick. Lawson was their guy all along. The only difficult choice was how far they could hold out to select him. In the end, they chose the safe route and selected him with their first of four picks in the first round. Lawson has great arm strength and awareness for a rookie. His accuracy needs some fine tuning and his healthy could be a potential question mark. The Vikings are hoping the latter won't be an issue moving forward.

1.21 WR Danny Glover

This was a difficult selection for Minnesota. They really wanted a CB in the first round, but all the talented players at the position were taken in the first 20 picks. The team was forced to adapt and decided to target the best player available with this pick. They felt Glover had top 15 potential and was a great selection at 1.21. With his size and speed, he could definitely present some matchup issues for opposing defenses, and will immediately step into the starting lineup with fellow rookie Joe Lawson.

1.24 LOLB Paul Connor

Once again, the best targeted the best player available. There were some risky choices at this point in the draft. The team toyed with the idea of going after a very athletic, yet raw player, but chose the safe route with Connor. Other analysts believed Ozzie Gomes was the better player, but the Vikings felt comfortable with Connor. The team is likely to move him to MLB and start him immediately.

1.31 CB John Clark

Minnesota finally pulled the trigger on a CB. Clark is very fast and athletic and will provide the team with their #2 CB. The only issue is that Clark is more of a Nickel CB and his size (5'10") and strength provide glaring weaknesses for the CB. He is likely to develop into a fine #3 CB, but the team is likely to rely on him to fill the starting spot opposite Sam Shields. It's likely to be a daunting task, but we've seen crazier things happen.

2.2 WR Tra Strong

The Vikings addressed the passing game once again in this draft, for the third time in five picks. The team's passing game was what many attributed to their lackluster 2020 season and Minnesota wasted no time in addressing that. Strong would have been selected in the 1st round for Minnesota, but the team was worried that the 1st round expectations may have put too much pressure on Strong to produce. The Vikings were happy he was still available early in the 2nd round and wasted no time in selecting him to be their #2 WR alongside fellow rookie Danny Glover.

3.15 HB Jeff Gearhart

After the loss of LaRod Stephens-Howling, the team was in need of a kick returner. While facing a rebuilding mode again, it's likely the Vikings defense give up a lot of points in 2021, which means plenty of kick return opportunities for whoever lands the job. Gearhart has exactly what the Vikings admire in returners, fast with the ability to break tackles, make defenders miss, and hold onto the ball. Gearhart is projected to be the team's primary returner and #3 RB.

3.16 WR Henry Browning

At this point in the draft, the team was looking for the best player available. Someone who could make an impact on the team and not just provide the team with cheap depth. Minnesota was hoping for a surprise from Browning. He has good height and athletic ability for his size and will provide the team with depth at the position. But Minnesota was hoping they could strike gold in the 3rd round. It's safe to say they didn't.

3.21 WR Andre Crane

Like Browning, the team was hoping to find value late in the draft. Crane will likely provide the team with depth at the position and provides very little value in terms of starting ability.

3.24 LG Boyd Shelton

Another late pick by Minnesota with the hopes they found someone who could eventually become a starter. Shelton could work his way into a starting role if Andrew Willis was plagued with an injury. Shelton provides the team with solid depth on the offensive line and will likely avoid losing his spot on the team whereas Browning and Shelton can't say that for themselves.

5.2 LE Olin Ramsey

The final pick by Minnesota was a depth choice. Ramsey provides the team with very little talent and is likely to find his way into free agency eventually. As for now, the team will hold onto him as a roster filler. If the team finds itself looking to cut salary or open a roster spot, Ramsey will likely be in the unemployment line.

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

QB Joe Lawson knew that a lot was going to be expected of him this year. It's difficult for a rookie QB to begin his career as a starter. With the team coming off a two win season, fans are expecting to see big strides in 2021. Much of the blame for 2020 fell on poor quarterback play. And you can be certain that they are going to be watching Lawson, the first QB taken in the 2021 draft, like a hawk. He has the ability to become Minnesota's starter for years to come, but they've been fooled before.

Likewise, another rookie player expected to start this season expects similar criticism throughout the season. WR Danny Glover is being called upon to improve the team's terrible passing game. The 6'3" speed receiver is expected to stretch the field and provide the team with the dynamic deep threat they were lacking last season. But questions still remain about how ready he is, as he was primarily a deep threat in college and is not accustomed to coming across the middle for the difficult catch.

Riley Cooper is also expecting to work on his athleticism this off-season. That is especially true after the team selected four WRs in the draft, two of which are expected to be starting in week 1. Cooper was the team's #2 WR last season and failed to impress. He is hoping he can improve his speed and combine it with his large frame to give the team another dynamic target in the passing game. It's likely he will be pushing himself to the max to beat out Strong and Glover in the pre-season.

On the defensive side, rookie CB John Clark is expected to step in as the #2 corner for the time, alongside Sam Shields. Clark possesses great athleticism, but he is lacking in size. Clark is 5'10" in a league dominated by tall receivers. While he may be in position to make a play, his height will ultimately be the key determination in whether or not Clark can succeed at this level. Expect Clark to work on increasing his already electrifying athletic abilities to hopefully compensate for what God didn't give him in terms of size.

Paul Connor is another rookie expecting to start in 2021. Another first round pick, Connor is expecting to make the switch from outside linebacker to middle linebacker for the Vikings. His athleticism was enough for him to dominate the collegiate level, but in professional football, he has a lot of work to do. The team is hoping he can continue to build on that athleticism to put him in better position to make plays for the team.

Glover, Cooper, Clark, and Connor teamed up with team strength and conditioning coach Michael Johnson. All four players spent a great deal of time running normal sprints as well as sprints with a parachute attached to their backs. They also ran uphill and often times ran full speed while the other player held onto his hips, creating resistance. None of them focused much time on the cone drills this off-season as they felt pressure to increase their speed. Aside from the sprints they spent a great deal of time working on short, five yard bursts and working on their balance and a lower center of gravity. With all three players having great size, quickness would kill and that is exactly what each player pushed for all off-season. It appears as though their hard work has paid off as Johnson has stated that it appears as though all four players were able to improve upon their marks set prior to the conditioning program.

Lawson was a different story. There wasn't a lot of running with his workouts, as he projects to be a pocket passer for the Vikings. For Lawson, he spent a lot of time reworking his mechanics to increase the velocity of his throws. Creating a throwing motion that was more smooth than what he was used to took some adjusting, but eventually began to feel comfortable. And the results were seen quite quickly as several players reported more zip on his throws. When he wasn't throwing, he learned a variety of stretches to use on his right arm to create more flexibility, making his arm movements much easier and quicker.


PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

QB: Joe Lawson | Brandon Weeden | Tim Hiller
RB: Jahvid Best | Isiah Pead | Jeff Gearhart
FB: Gerald Lewis
WR: Danny Glover | Tra Strong | Riley Cooper |Milton Maxwell | Henry Browning| Andre Crane | Greg Little
TE: Dorin Dickerson

LT: Matt Reynolds | Rodolfo Hines | Mike Fladell
LG: Andrew Willis | Boyd Shelton
C: Nats Luzak | | Donald Thomas
RG: Jacques McClendon | Fidel Scroggins
RT: Alan Steele

LE: Daniel Te'o-Neshelm | Cliff Matthews | Olin Ramsey
DT: Vance Walker| Melvin Tirrell | Chester Lester | Ra'Shon Harris
RE: Jarvis Estrada | Bob Parker

LOLB: Rosario Garza | Dillon Shouse
MLB: Paul Connor | Stephen Hodge
ROLB: Kavell Conner | Kyle Bosworth

CB: Sam Shields | John Clark| Romeo Hilliard
FS: George Iloka | Darrell Stuckey
SS: Russell Simmons | Clay Alvarado
K: Edmundo Pace
P: Chas Henry


2021 OUTLOOK

After a disappointing 2020 season, the Vikings dismantled their team once again in hopes that they could develop youth. It seemed on paper that the team had all their holes covered last year, but that wasn't the case. After removing some of their better players, and starting a large amount of raw players, it's unlikely they improve upon last year. 4 wins isn't out of reach, as it takes an extremely weak team to finish with fewer. A repeat of 2020 is possible, and the team could win 6 games at the very most; 4 is a safe bet for 2020. Look for Minnesota to hang onto their 1st round pick and take a stud player in the top 10, rather than trading back again next year.

2020 Expectation: 4-12 Record; 4th place finish
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 04/03/2012) Replies - 3 :: Views - 45
Vikings win 2 in a row, make changes going into bye week
After a tough win against the Bills and an impressive victory against the Rams, the Vikings made changes to hopefully upgrade their offensive production. They had the 20th ranked offense before they put up 49 points against the Rams. Something that the need was not happy with since they had relatively small turnover on offense.

The entire offense aside from the FB position had remained the same. Thomas Tapeh was the only new starter through the first 5 weeks of the season. Tapeh was the starting FB for the Miami Dolphins last year and paved the way for Tony Hunt's spectacular season. However, with the Vikings struggling in the ground game, they felt they needed to add more than just Tapeh.

Today the team signed free agents Jeff Saturday and Flozell Adams to hopefully give them a more reliable and effective run game. Both players are savvy veterans who immediately upgrade the team. While they aren't the most athletic players anymore, they do know the game inside and out and have excellent blocking skills. The starters now consist of Levi Brown, Flozell Adams, Jeff Saturday, Kendall Simons, and Steve Hutchinson.

The AWR of these five OL are 78, 99, 96, 87, and 87. That should definitely improve the protection for Colt McCoy and open more holes for Chris Wells. However, if Wells cannot elevate his game the team may start looking for another featured back. That might be a change the team will be forced to take in the off-season though, as the team's cap situation is anything but pleasant.

They had to release several players such as Julius Wilson, Jeb Putzier, Lewis Kelly, Chris Gocong, and Larry Triplett. That resulted in several millions in cap penalties. The team can only cut less than $3 million in bonuses now and do not have much cap room to acquire a high priced running back. After the bye week the team will be hosting the Chicago Bears who are 5-0 right now.
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 11/01/2008) Replies - 3 :: Views - 31
Vikings start off on the wrong foot
The Minnesota Vikings had high hopes coming into this season after a rough season that saw them only win 4 games last year. The Vikings hired Tom Collins who had built the Miami Dolphins team that won the RZL Super Bowl last year.

Under his guidance, the Vikings had a stellar off-season. They traded the third overall pick in exchange for a combination of picks. The team used those picks to draft DE Norman Bassett who was immediately moved to DT. That trade alone made it worthwhile as Bassett is a DT that possesses athleticism, strength and size that no other DT in the league can match. They also used another pick to draft Sam Claiborne, an OLB that has the speed, strength, acceleration, and size that only 6 other OLBs in the league can match. Their final pick from that trade netted them Antwaun Molden who is a raw CB with the physical skills to be a solid #3.

They also traded DT Haloti Ngata for CB Terrell Thomas, giving them one of the best duos of CBs in the entire league. And with Bassett being drafted, the team replaced Ngata easily. They also brought in Brandon Mebane to give the team a good #2 DT, something they lacked last year. Riddick Carpenter was drafted and is starting as the RE. He is a huge 4-3 DE at 284 pounds with good speed and excellent acceleration. Jay Pharr was also drafted as a replacement for Jerod Mayo. He is raw, but is very similar to Channing Crowder of the Dolphins whom had a good season at MLB last year.

What does this all mean? It gave the team expectations this year. It excited the fan base. Collins himself guaranteed 7 wins this year. But after week 1, this is the same Vikings team as last year. They faced the Patriots in week 1, a team that is in the middle of a rebuilding age, and lost 13-7. But the boxscore doesn't show everything. They lost Colt McCoy, their franchise QB, to an injury for the game after throwing just 5 passes. They had to rely on backup Brooks Bollinger to lead them to victory, something he could not do. Bollinger only completed 40% of his passes, threw 2 INTs, and had a YPA under 5.

With McCoy back in the mix next week, the team expects the offense to do much better than only 7 points. Especially since the team has had very little turnover on offense. The only positions that have changed are FB with the additions of Thomas Tapeh, who paved the way for Tony Hunt last year, and rookie Jesse Brown. The rest of the positions remain intact since the end of last season, which should allow the team to build better chemistry.

Is this a sign of things to come for the Vikings? Not likely. If McCoy can't stay healthy then the offense will certainly be in trouble. But the offensive line is talented, as are the WRs and RB Chris Wells. It's all about the playcalling that will put them in the best position to succeed. And the way the defense played in week 1, the offense shouldn't have to win games on their own. The defense gave up 27.9 points on average last year, ranking them 30th. In week 1 they only gave up 13 points which is a big improvement by a defense that has 6 new starters this year. While it's too early to get their hopes up, it's a nice sign that the pieces are in place to put together a competitive football team this year.

The Vikings are hosting the Green Bay Packers led by the self-proclaimed "best GM in the league" James Paronne. The team wants a win against the Packers more than they do against any other team in the league and have begun preparations to fix their offensive woes and hopefully find a defensive scheme to replace CB Chris Houston who is out for 2 weeks.
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 10/03/2008) Replies - 3 :: Views - 48
Vikings finally move Ngata
After weeks of shopping around Ngata, the Vikings were almost ready to move forward with him on their roster for the remainder of the year. But at that point, Pittsburgh stepped back into the picture and expressed interest in Ngata once again. After looking through the prospects in the draft and with the amount of picks the Vikings had, they felt finding an adequate replacement for Ngata was very possible.

So the Vikings did what they felt was best for the team and traded for a young, tall cornerback who is destined to be one of the league's elite corners. That man is Terrell Thomas. Thomas will team up with Chris Houston to provide the Vikings with a strong group of corners for the first time in a while and hopefully will be able to slow down offenses.

The terms:

Vikings trade
DT Haloti Ngata
Jets 3rd round pick

Steelers trade
CB Terrell Thomas


While Ngata is a special talent, the team felt a 3rd along with Ngata was worth it to get someone of Thomas' caliber. He is already one of the best CBs in the league and he's still young. With good height, speed, leaping ability, he is a huge addition to the team. Minnesota already acquired Brandon Mebane and moved him back to the DT position. They will most likely look for another starting DT via free agency or the draft.
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 08/17/2008) Replies - 15 :: Views - 144
Vikings working on correcting cap situation
What has haunted the Vikings year after year since the beginning of the RedZone League has been their financial status. They have had many cap penalties year after year due to foolish trading. Most of which was accumulated by GM Tom Collins and some by former GM AJ Kloehn. With Collins back in charge, he's looking at fixing the mess and give the team a chance to finally compete. With more financial flexibility, the team will be able to bring in quality players. The following have been alerted that they will be released. Also included is their cap hit.

CB Tavious Polo $140K hit
ROLB Keith Ellison $540K hit
ROLB Bo Ruud $1.45M hit
MLB James Harrison $360K hit
LE Jason Hatcher $300K hit
DT Ross Kolodziej $480K hit
RE Chris Long $70K
C Marvin Philip $320K
LG Isaac Sowells $330K
LT Duane Brown $200K
WR Ernie Wheelwright $600K hit
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick $750K hit
QB Stefan LeFors $140K hit

While this leaves the Vikings with very little depth, it has to be done. The team needs to be gutted and rebuilt. While doing so will cause cap penalties, it will not be nearly as much as the team has incurred in the past. With the exception of Jerod Mayo and possibly DT Haloti Ngata and ROLB Buster Davis, the team does not foresee any trades that will give the team more cap penalties. If Ngata and Davis are traded, the team will not suffer a cap penalty since they had been traded once already.

The team is also toying with getting rid of two other players. CB Parson and FS Smoot may be on the move. But whether or not a deal is reached depends on what kind of compensation the team will receive. They are not asking much for either player. A fair offer will get them immediately without shopping the player around to the other 31 teams.

To fill the depth charts, the Vikings are likely to sign all of their late draft picks as well as sign very inexpensive free agents to 1 year deals in hopes that the starter at the position remains healthy. The team hopes to be able to manage the cap efficiently this offseason to give the team spending room in the event of a serious injury. That all depends on the price that the rookies command as the Vikings have two picks in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds.

These 13 releases saves the team $15.62M in cap room with a penalty of $5.68M. If the team gets rid of Smoot and Parson, they will have saved $25.05M in cap room and created a penalty of $8.07. Plenty of room for the team to sign picks and possibly target a starting material player or two in free agency.
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 08/09/2008) Replies - 0 :: Views - 23
Vikings Make 2 Deals With Cleveland, Trade Mayo and #3 Pick
While most teams have not begun trade discussions for next season yet, the Vikings have made their second gentlemen's agreement with the Cleveland Browns. The first trade was Jerod Mayo, who is being traded along with a 7th round pick for DE Brandon Mebane and a 3rd round pick. Mebane will immediately be moved back to defensive tackle alongside Haloti Ngata, who also is being shopped. The 3rd round pick is where Mayo was originally drafted in. So in the end the Vikings receive a 3rd & Mebane for last year's 3rd & this year's 7th.

Mayo's value increased due to his statistics, but upon rehire as General Manager, Tom Collins felt he was not the best man for the job. He originally drafted Brandon Siler who turned out to be the Rookie of the Year. He wants a playmaker at the position and felt like Mayo's statistics did not represent his actual talent. A weak overall team left the defense on the field more than most of the teams in the league. That amounted to more defensive plays for the Vikings along with poor defensive play that inflated Mayo's statistics. The team is still looking for a starter at MLB for next season and may use the draft to find him.

The second deal was struck with Cleveland after the Vikings shopped the third overall pick. The Vikings have been in financial hell for several seasons now and simply cannot afford to pay a player that amount of money the third overall pick would command. On top of that, drafting one player will not turn the team around. By trading down, the team is able to draft several players who will help rebuild the Vikings into a competitive team. And that's exactly what Collins decided to do. After fielding several offers, he decided to commit to an offer. At first Collins was hesitant to agree to a deal until the off-season, when most teams would be negotiating. But after reviewing the offer, Collins and the Vikings front office felt they wouldn't get much better. In the end they traded the 1.3 for the Browns 1st (1.15), Jets 1st and Jets 2nd.

Trade discussions for Ngata have heated up with 11 teams showing interest in the defensive tackle. The addition of Mebane does help take away from the sting of losing Ngata, but they will be looking for another good defensive tackle instead of relying on Kendrick Clancy again this coming season. The Vikings are listening to everything, from a high pick, to a combination of picks, to a playmaker at a position of need, or to a combination of picks and players. They have not set a requirement for Ngata, but would rather keep him than trade him for below market value. If a good enough offer hits Collins' desk, he will agree to it before the off-season like he did with the third overall pick. Note to all interested parties, be safe, get an official offer in now.
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 08/03/2008) Replies - 1 :: Views - 30
Vikings Moves
Released RB Michael Bennett
Released FS Otis Wiley
LG Steve Hutchinson to RT
RT Levi Jones to LT
LT Marcus Johnson to RG
Signed RG Kendall Simmons
Traded RE Alex Brown & 5th for RB Chris Wells & 7th
Signed RB DeShawn Wynn
Traded SS Kevin Eillison & 6th for SS Kevin Mitchell & 4th

Why?

After running sims and also reading the comments by Mike Ryabin about the pressure the defense puts on Colt McCoy, I figured this was the best solution to the problem. Hutchinson is a beast and our best OL. Putting him at RT only makes sense. Jones is a physical freak but at 76 AWR, he is better off switching to the left side, facing a less fierce pass rush and getting a better opportunity to progress (due to fewer sacks allowed). He also faced no AWR hit by switching sides, so it did not stunt his progression.

Some may wonder why Johnson was moved to RG and we also signed Kendall Simmons. The bottom line is we made the move before realizing such a talented player in Simmons was available in free agency. He is without a doubt an upgrade over Artis Hicks. Hicks or Johnson will most likely be moving to the left side in case Tony Brinkhaus falters. He will be stepping in as our starting LG. He is a talented young lineman but he's also raw. With the talent surrounding him we're confident he will do fine. Speiker is the only player who was a starter that will remain a starter on this offensive line.

These moves should without a doubt improve our pass protection as well as our running game. RE Alex Brown was shipped to Tennessee along with a draft pick in exchange for RB Chris Wells and a draft pick. Trent Cole, whom Collins acquired back when he first entered the league with Minnesota, had 2 sacks last week starting in place of Brown. Wells is very similar to Tony Hunt, whom Collins acquired while the GM in Miami. With an improved line, the team is expect Wells to play up to a similar level as Hunt has for the Dolphins. He is also young and gives the team a very good running back to build around for several years. The Vikings also signed free agent DeShawn Wynn to be the primary backup for Wells. While Taylor would do, the team will not be attempting to retain his services beyond this season and would like to get Wynn some game time experience this season.

I was very happy to obtain Kevin Mitchell from Arizona. I was set to release Ellison in the off-season, but figured I would add him to the block just to see if there was interest. Surprisingly teams wanted the 86 SPD safety and I was happy to get something out of him. Mitchell is only 1 year older than Ellison, which is not a big deal considering both are very young players. Mitchell is an inch shorter than Ellison, but again that isn't such a big deal considering Mitchell is still 6'0".

He is +4 SPD, +1 STR, +1 AWR, +6 AGI, +6 ACC, and +1 JMP. His tackling ability is well below Ellison's, but when it comes down to it, we have a much more athletic strong safety who will put himself in position to make plays that Ellison couldn't do. While he may miss more tackles, he should end up with more as he can cover much more ground on the field and can cover receivers much more easily.

I must say I'm much more confident with these moves as we obtained young players to start now and in the future at RB and SS. As well as a short term starter at RG. The OL as a whole will be the most beneficial as it should give McCoy more time to throw, therefore greater stats and greater progression. Will also have an effect on Williamson and Ginn as the passing game should be better. And will allow Wells with some very good running room.
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 06/28/2008) Replies - 2 :: Views - 52
Second Overall Pick Traded
The second overall pick in the 2009 RZL draft has been verbally traded. Michael Crabtree knew his stay in Minnesota wouldnt be long when GM AJ Kloehn made it known publically he was on the trading block. Kloehn had this to say, "Michael is a great talent and I would love to keep him on the team. He gives us another dynamic to our offense. He is a future pro bowler, but he was going to find a tough time getting in the lineup. Ted was our number one guy going into this season and due to a huge contract, Troy Williamson was the number two. The new team is going to love what he brings to the table."

The trade reportedly will send 2008 second round pick, DeMario Pressley, who has been largely disappointing so far in his career, and RT Tyler Luellen. In return the Vikings will be acquiring a DT, WR, and RT.

"As I stated before we would love to keep Michael around, but we felt we needed to improve the defense, instead of our passing game."

In other news the Vikings narrowly lost to the Chicago Bears 33-28. Colt McCoy passed for over 300 yards and 2 TDs. Crabtree was the leading receiver with 9 catches for 121 yards and a score. On defense, rookie Jerod Mayo had 9 tackles including 3 for a loss. Cornerback Travis Daniels had a interception and a touchdown. Offseason addition and former Bear, Alex Brown, had two sacks.
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 04/10/2008) Replies - 3 :: Views - 46
Inside look at Viking 2-a-days
Minnesota Vikings Offseason Report

The Minnesota Vikings have long been the laughing stalk of the RZL. After all, the best record they ever posted was 6-10. A team that has never been to the playoffs and has had five different Gms, with current one, AJ Kloehn, having the longest tenure. Because of this, the team has gone through many different transformations to form to the current GMís liking. Now it seems as if they have a GM that will be sticking around for awhile, they are finally starting to resemble a team.

Personnel changes

The offseason started early for the Vikings, who again we out of playoff contention early in the season. In Week Six, it was announced that Brad Childress will be fired at seasonís end. Brad had a miserable record with the Vikings and the franchise felt it needed a new man in charge. Rumors surfaced in the divisional playoffs that Bill Belichick had interviewed for the job, but Bill the team quickly dispelled those rumors. Then the first head coach move was the Vikings announcing that Hall of Fame coach Bill Belichick will be heading the team. GM AJ Kloehn felt this was absolutely a step that was needed to give this team a chance to win. Belichick was then given free reign to sign the rest of the coaching staff. Bill decided it was right to bring Gil Haskell back to man the offensive, and a newcomer to Minnesota in Jim Washburn for defensive coordinator. To coach special teams Pete Rodriguez was brought in.

Offseason Trades

Although Kloehn has been busy fielding calls about everyone from WR Ted Ginn Jr. to DE Chris Long only a single trade has been made heading into trading camp. The trade sent backup QB Brodie Croyle and a fourth round pick to the Bears for RE Alex Brown. 2007 was Brownís best season with 36 tackles, 9 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Kloehn knew the defensive line needed someone to pose a real threat to the offense, and felt Brown gave them that. Brodie was a restricted free agent this season and was considered expendable with his expiring contract. Talks involving DE Trent Cole, WR Michael Crabtree, and RT Tyler Luellen have been heating up as of the last few days and expect a trade involving one of those hot commodities soon.

Draft

The Vikings owned the number two pick in the 2009 RZL Rookie Draft. The Texans owned the number one pick and were expected to pass on MLB James Lauarinitis, who would have just happened to fill the vacancy left by Brandon Siler. Then the tables turned, the Texans shipped off the number one pick to Kansas City, where the need for a MLB wasnít apparent. Closer to draft day, media learned that the Chiefs would be selecting Lauarinitis, much to the Vikings dismay. With that in mind, the team shopped the pick around. Expecting a draft date of April 15th, the team took their time fielding offers, but when the League announced it would be moving up the draft date to April 1st, it sent the Vikings into panic mode. What would they do with the number two pick, if forced to keep it? The days went by with no trade and before you know it, the team was on the clock. WR Michael Crabtree was selected second overall. The fans booed as the pick was made, but GM Kloehn felt it was needed. As of the date of this publication, Kloehn still hasnít traded Crabtree. With the first of their two second round picks, SS Kevin Ellison out of USC was selected and his slated to start. With the 52nd pick in the draft Kloehn was extremely excited to give Jerod Mayo out of Tennessee a Minnesota jersey. Mayo has the starting spot to lose. TE DajLeon Farr was the 60th pick of the draft and selected to be the successor to Jermaine Wiggins. With the last two picks a pair of speedster corners were drafted, in 402 pound Tavious Polo and Mark Parson. Kloehn was amazed with Poloís speed for the amount of weight he was carrying around, and will be forcing Polo to a strict diet to see what he can do with a 200-230 pound loss. It will definitely take dedication on his part to reach this level.

Free Agent Signings

Minnesota has not been actively bidding on free agents, taking all their time and putting it into find a new home for Crabtree. Roster requirements will a factor and limited cap room will also weigh heavily on decisions.

Getting to Know the Lineup

QB-
Colt McCoy
Bradlee Van Pelt
Colt McCoy needs play much like he did the first couple games of his career. McCoy posted at least two touchdown passes in each of the first seven games of his career. He has been working hard this offseason and will be up to challenging Brohm for best sophomore QB. Van Pelt has never thrown a pass in the RZL and will be backing up McCoy.

RB-
Chester Taylor
Albert Young
Michael Bennett
The Vikings pursued TJ Duckett this offseason, but was outbid by the San Diego Chargers. Kloehn has made it known publicly he doesnít think Taylor can get it done alone, so we will have to see if he brings in another back to carry some of the load. Seventh round pick last year, Albert Young, will be assuming the backup role.

FB-
Andre Criswell
Andre played well last season but was overlooked due to Jacob Hesterís blocking ability. Criswell caught 11 passes last season and allowed only one sack. He will look to build on to that, and prove that he is the best sophomore fullback.

WR-
Ted Ginn Jr.
Troy Williamson
Michael Crabtree
Arnaz Battle
Larry Brackins
Ernie Wheelwright
Wide receiver was the one position the Vikings didnít need in having two of the more underrated receivers in the league. Williamson and Ginn Jr, are two of the fastest receivers in the league and are always a threat to go deep. Battle is a reliable target that is entering a contract year, he will be pushed to number four on the depth chart if Crabtree is kept around.

TE-
Jermaine Wiggins
DajLeon Farr
Randall Williams
Wiggins played extremely well last season posting almost 800 yards receiving and 50 pancakes. He is a year older and is entering the last year of his contract. DajLeon was drafted to be his successor, hopefully Wiggins will embrace the chance to mentor a young player, instead of resent it.

LT-
Marcus Johnson
Duane Brown
Marcus had his best season last year with 70 pancakes and only 5 sacks allowed. He provided adequate cover for McCoy on his blind side and will continue to do so this season.

LG-
Steve Hutchinson
Tony Brinkhaus
Isaac Sowells
Hutchinson is perhaps the leagues best guard and will anchor the offensive line yet again. Without him, this line would crumble and McCoy would be a tackling dummy. Brimkhaus is extremely raw, but with the right amount of time and effort, could become a starter in the RZL.

C-
Adam Speiker
Marvin Phillip
Longtime Viking Matt Birk was cut last season due to money issues, enter Adam Speiker. Adam had a tough time last season adjusting to the pro game, while fellow rookie center John OíSullivan thirved. This added on to Speikerís declining confidence, but he is looking forward to a new year and a chance to prove himself.

RG-
Artis Hicks
Uche Nwaneri
The majority of the opposing teams sacks last season came through Hicks Artis was absolutely garbage last season posting only a 5 pancake to sack ratio. Playing guard in the RZL requires a lot of work and if he isnít giving it his all, he may not be starting very long.

RT-
Levi Brown
Tyler Luellen
The other weak portion of the line last season was right tackle. Levi Brown was the Vikingís first round pick in 2007, but hasnít lived up to the hype he had entering the league. The Penn State Alum, allowed nine sacks last season, but isnít in danger of losing his job currently. Tyler Luellen may be on the move with the recent slew of trade offers and may need a new uniform to give him the opportunity he deserves.

RE-
Alex Brown
Trent Cole
Chris Long
The Right End position is loaded on a relatively weak team. Alex Brown was traded for this off-season and will hopefully provide the Vikings with a pass rushing attack. Trent Cole played pretty well last season with three sacks and is still only 26 years old. He should bring home a nice haul if traded. Chris Long hasnít had an opportunity to replicate his college career, but should figure into the defensive scheme more this season.

DT-
DeMario Pressley
Kendrick Clancy
Ross Kolodziej
DT was a big problem with the defense last season and was supposed to be filled during the off-season. With the lack of trades on Kloehnís part, it continues to be a problem. Clancy is back this season and has had several months to rest up after landing on the IR early last season. Pressley was impressive at times last season and downright horrible in others, which will we see this season?

LE-
Erasmus James
Jason Hatcher
James has a career total of 21 sacks in three seasons and should only continue to get better at the ripe age of 26. Alex Brown should take the double team away from him, and give him the chance to get after the quarterback this season. He should continue to be a staple of this defense for many years to come.

ROLB-
Bo Ruud
Buster Davis
Keith Ellison
Bo was drafted last season to give the Vikings a young line backing corps. In limited action Ruud had 33 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 interception. He is still a bit raw, but has time to grow and possibly blossom into a pro-bowl player. Buster Davis will be given a shot this year at ROLB with Mayo being drafted in the middle.

MLB-
Jerod Mayo
Buster Davis
Mayo lacks the speed of an elite middle linebacker, but will be using his training camp time to continue to work on his speed and acceleration. Running in a wave pool has helped the likes of Ted Ginn Jr. and hopefully will have the same effect on Mayo. Buster is too small to be a force in this league and will always have an uphill battle to become great in the RZL.

LOLB-
Dontarious Thomas
He had nine sacks in 2008 and has been pretty consistent in all three years in the league. He has all the physical tools become a top OLB in the league, but his mind still needs to be worked on. A veteran will be brought in to tutor Thomas and maybe mold him into the a consistent force for the Vikings.

CB-
Chris Houston
Travis Daniels
Fred Smoot
Mark Parson
Tavious Polo
Houston had his huge contract restructured this season and is now a little more affordable. He has slowly been developing into a top cornerback and has shut down some of the more elite receivers in the league. Travis Daniels was brought in last season from the Dolphins, and played well grabbing five interceptions last year. He also will be working with Ginn and Mayo in the wake pool, trying to improve his top speed and acceleration Smoot moves into a reduced role at corner as he will be playing Free Safety this year.

FS-
Fred Smoot
Ben Emmanuel
With the departure of Antoine Winfield due to cap problems, another cash cow, Fred Smoot, will assume responsibilities. Smoot has lost a step or two over the years, but is only 30 and still can give the Vikings a top free safety. Emmanuel was given a couple opportunities last season and played well, but is the odd man out today.

K-
Ryan Longwell
One of the best in the game will be kicking for the Vikings. Longwell came over from the Packers in free agency and hasnít looked back since. He hit nearly 90 percent of his field goals last season.

P-
Chris Kluwe
This man was perhaps the hardest working punter last season kicking the ball 68 times, which remarkably is down from his previous two seasons. His 1.71 million dollar salary is considered expendable to Kloehn and we may not see Kluwe in Minnesota for long.

What to Look Forward to?

The Vikings for the first time will have a new head coach, and a GM for two years straight. This team is headed in the right direction and looks to perform like they did early in the season last year, in the ultra competitive NFC North. Stay tuned!
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 03/13/2008) Replies - 7 :: Views - 105
Vikings Fill Head Coach Vacancy
The Vikings would like to announce the hiring of Hall of Fame Coach, Bill Belichick.

General Manager AJ Kloehn had this to say about the hire, "Bill is a tremendous move in the right direction for the team. He is perhaps the best coach ever in the game and he will be doning the purple and gold next season. We gave Brad Childress three years to see what he was made of, and he gave the franchise three losing seasons, we had to move on and fire him. I specifically told him he would be put on probation this season, and he didnt respond to the challenge. With no other coaches left on the team, Bill will get free reign to choose his own staff. The future is bright in Minnesota."

Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 02/23/2008) Replies - 2 :: Views - 24
Vikings Offseason Report
The 2008 season was a tough one for the 3-12-1 Minnesota Vikings. After starting the year 2-3-1, they were getting recognition around the league and were no longer the laughing-stalks of the RZL. That's when it all fell apart...

The team continued to lose game after game, and were the favorite to win the number one pick. That is until week 17 just edging the Tennessee Titans. Odd about this win is that GM AJ Kloehn has made it public that he very much likes this Tennessee team and will be trying to build something very similar to them.

High points of the season were wins versus playoff bound Tennessee Titans, win versus the previously undefeated Carolina Panthers, and a tie versus number three ranked Atlanta Falcons.

Second round pick, Colt McCoy was the Vikings first pick in the draft after their number one pick overall was dealt earlier in the season. The pick, owned by the Oakland Raiders, was used on Darren McFadden. The team's success depended much on his performance. Starting the year with guns ablazing, he lead the Vikings to a respectable record. As the season wore on, his performance worsened as did the Vikings record. Other second round selections, DeMario Pressley and Adam Spieker were largely disappointing. Its not known that Spieker wasn't the Viking's first choice when it comes to centers, but they panicked when John Sullivan was picked just a few picks earlier. Third round pick Andre Criswell was a success as far as the team is concerned. With Jacob Hester gathering all the hype as far as rookie fullbacks, Criswell quitely had a nice season. Andre grabbed 11 balls for 107 yards, and had 42 pancakes allowing only a single sack. Fourth round pick Bo Ruud saw limited action this season, but had a pair of sacks and a interception. No other rookies made a significant impact.

Trades this season brought in CB Travis Daniels, MLB Buster Davis, and WR Arnaz Battle. Daniels and Davis are expected to start next season. Daniels is rumored to be working on his speed and acceleration in prepration for his bigger role next season.

Brad Childress was fired earlier today, while all other coaching staff had expiring contracts and chose to leave the team.

This offseason will bring many changes to the team, whether its in the actual players or the coaching staff. Be sure to stay tuned!

In other news, rumors were that GM AJ Kloehn interviewed for the Cardinals vancancy. He has now came out publically saying that yes he was interested, but felt it was owed to his good friend, Jeff Downey. AJ said that as a friend he thought it was his obligation to try and take over the team, to assure Jeff the team would not be mishandled.
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 02/20/2008) Replies - 0 :: Views - 21
"Lack of effort" leads to changes
After starting the season 2-3-1, the Vikings cant seem to find a way to win. They were the pre-season favorites to hold the number one pick, but started the season out good...for Minnesota standards. They became a team not to laugh at, but to gameplan for, and it has been the cause of death for the team.

Colt McCoy who started out the season poised for a ROY trophy, has lost pace and cant seem to find his rhythm again. An inconsistent running game has left the passing game something to be desired. The defense has been absolutely horrendous and will undergo several changes for the rest of the season, trying to find the best combination for next season.
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 01/17/2008) Replies - 1 :: Views - 22
Childress on his way out? Croyle to get the start Thursday.
Rumors out of Minnesota are that Brad Childress' days are numbered. Owner, AJ Kloehn, has said publically he is not a fan of Brad, and his record as head coach of the Vikings has done nothing to improve his case. 12-28-1 is nothing to be proud of.

In other news, Brodie Croyle has earned the start this week versus the Jags. With Colt McCoy out with injury for another week, Croyle has gotten all of the reps in practice and for the most part "looked good". Only time will tell if he will continue to start once Colt is back from injury.
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 01/02/2008) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
ROY Brandon Siler on his way out?
According to sources, a trade sending Siler out of Minnesota has been verbally been agreed to. The undisclosed team will be sending over a second round pick and two unknown players.

Previously Siler's name has been linked to the Chargers.
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 12/13/2007) Replies - 1 :: Views - 29
Kloehn furious with loss at Dallas
"Incredible, just incredible. Just when I think we are making progress towards being a respectable franchise, we run into the stupid mistakes that costed us the game. Colt had a 27.6 qb rating, completely unacceptable for a starting quarterback. Maybe a switch to Brodie will do him some good. I have to think Colt is being pampered way too damn much. The only people who played well were the entire offensive line. The running game got going, but didnt hang on to the damn ball. A fumble by both Chester and Michael, may mean a move is in order. Talks will begin with an AFC West team to acquire a running back.

I just can not believe we let the one game where we were the favorite slip away. Pathetic."
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 12/13/2007) Replies - 1 :: Views - 39
Rivalry brewing?
The Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers have never had the best of relations, but this season, it has been brought to a whole new level.



James Paronne has taken the pleasure of sending several stabs at new and outspoken owner, AJ Kloehn. Kloehn has came into a bad situation, but is making the appropriate moves to right the ship. While doing so, Paronne has made negative remarks towards the rival team. Making this no secret to the public the second of two regular season meeting in week 10 will be an anticipated one. In week 3 this season the Packers edged the Vikings 27-20.

Kloehn had this to say about Paronne and the Packers. "Mr. Paronne has a very average team and I would expect nothing more than a third place finish in the NFC North this season. He, himself, is a little full of himself, but will eventually be put back into place. I have nothing more to say about the matter but I will be sure to put in some extra time in the game room before our next matchup. I wish them the best of luck."
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 11/17/2007) Replies - 3 :: Views - 39
Vikings get first win under Kloehn's reigns

Taylor prances into the endzone Sunday

The Minnesota Vikings clinched their first win on Sunday over the heavily favored Carolina Panthers, and rookie extraordinare, Steve Slaton.

Minnesota went into this week planning to stop Slaton. The team knew if Slaton could be stopped, the game would be close. The defense came, saw, and conquered. Steve was held to just 58 yards on 18 carries. The secondary got their first interceptions of the year. Chris Houston came down with two of them, against a top quarterback in Drew Stanton. Not to be overlooked, Antoine Winfield stepped up filling in for the injured Fred Smoot notching nine tackles and a pick. The Panthers showed great composure attempting a comeback in the fourth quarter scoring 14 points. Meanwhile the Vikings offense was rolling showed some good promise moving the ball up and down the field. The passing game for once, wasn't the focus of the offense and caught Carolina off-guard. Chester Taylor ran for 132 yards and a score. ďThe offensive line really did a good job run and pass blocking today, and Chester just had to run through the holes,Ē exclaimed Kloehn after the victory. Colt McCoy was only 7 of 15 passing with 186 yard and two touchdowns. The efficiency just was there and his two interceptions shown his rookie presence. Ted Ginn had to of been the player of the game though. Ginn has had a tough year thus far, but really showed everyone what he is capable of. Ginn had a kickoff return for a touchdown and 97 yards along with a touchdown grab.

The Vikings will look on to the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week and will hope to do more of the same.

In other news, Lamont Jordan could soon be in Vikings colors as a deal is being discussed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 11/16/2007) Replies - 11 :: Views - 93
New Vikings GM annouces future plans
After a dismal 2007 season, the Minnesota Vikings would like to announce AJ Kloehn the new General Manager of the organization. The team as a whole, came to the decision that a move of needed to continue moving forward along with the rest of the NFL. We look forward to seeing what talent Kloehn can provide for the franchise.

AJ Kloehn- ďFirst I would like to thank the team for this wonderful opportunity. I will be sure to give this team 110% effort. When I took over the General Manager reigns, I was faced with some consequences of the former GM. Our salary cap situation was tight and moves were needed to get under league regulations. Among these moves were trading Jake Delhomme to the Washington Redskins for a second round pick in this yearís draft. Jakeís salary just wasnít meeting his production and needed a change of scenery. This gives the team a better outlook for the future with Brodie Croyle and Tavaris Jackson. The two will be fighting for the starting job and will hopefully bring the best out of both of them. I would also like to mention that Matt Birk and Jim Kleinsasser were cut yesterday afternoon. Both of them have been extremely loyal to the franchise, and it saddens me to do so. We hope for only the best for them and their families. Now that we have the cap situation under control, I will take this time to annouce the future plans of the team. I feel it would be best for team to enter the process of rebuilding. With that being said, we will still go and put a competitive team on the field while we develop our team of the future.

Thanks for your time.Ē
Forum Discussion (by A_Kloehn on 09/08/2007) Replies - 6 :: Views - 58
Vikings still have playoff hopes
The Minnesota Vikings aren't out of the playoffs yet. After a so-so start to the season, the Vikings are 6-6. And what is more remarkable is that 4 of those wins come from the NFC North. The team is currently 4-0 in the division beating the Bears twice and Packers and Lions one time a piece.

The Vikings are set to square off against the Lions for the 2nd time this season on Tuesday evening. While many may not be interested in the matchup, the two teams are definitely going to give it their all. The Lions are 7-5 and are tied for the final wild card spot with the New York Giants.

There are 6 teams that could end up with that final wild card spot and the Vikings are one of them. "We aren't ready to give up yet," said new General Manager Tom Collins. "We've done extremely well in our own division and if we win this week, we're in 2nd place in the division. We feel very confident about the game this Tuesday and feel that we have what it takes to win our 4 remaining games and grab the last playoff seat."

It is unclear who will be starting for the Lions this week. The team has had 4 different starters this season alone. Brad Johnson started the year off as the starting QB. After an injury, Jared Lorenzen filled in for him and did very well. When Johnson was ready again the following week, he took back over.

When Collins came in as the new GM he signed and started Aaron Brooks which turned out to be a mistake. And last week, the team traded a 1st round pick for rookies Bradie Croyle and JD Runnels. Croyle started the game and did well before being injured. He can play this week but Collins hasn't leaked any information as to who will start the game as the quarterback.

Collins stated that he didn't want to tip his hand to Lions GM Mike Ryabin. "We talk regularly and have even talked about our gameplans this week but I won't let him know who is starting at QB for us. We're going to keep him guessing all the way up to the game. I feel very strong about this week and hopefully after our matchup we'll be 7-6."
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 02/03/2007) Replies - 3 :: Views - 36
Vikings to start Tarvaris Jackson against Cardinals
Tom Collins: "I'd like to thank you all for coming. I apologize but I'm going to have to make this a brief conference. We have one statement we would like to make. Tarvaris Jackson will be starting for us this week against the Cardinals."

Brian Fantana: "Tom, what made you decide to go with Jackson over veteran Brad Johnson?"

Tom Collins: "We reviewed the game film extensively from the Cardinals-Lions game. We feel that Jackson's mobility will give us the best opportunity to win. Kurt Warner struggled all day and hopefully Tarvaris will be able to escape from some of the pressure that we anticipate from Arizona."

Veronica Corningstone: "Last week you guys barely pulled off a win with Aaron Brooks. Now you're going to start a rookie over Johnson who has done well to this point. How much faith do you have that Jackson will be the answer for this team?"

Wes Mantooth: "Hey lady shut the fuck up."

Security: "OK that's enough. Grab your ankles son."

Tom Collins: "As for your questionTo be honest, not much. We have to see what we got in this kid. Jared Lorenzen played well for us against the Patriots. We may give him a shot next week depending on how this week works out for us. Our future is not with Brad, it's with the younger quarterbacks we have and we have to start giving them a shot."

Brick Tamland: "So are you saying that you're giving up on the playoff hunt and committing the rest of this year to rebuilding?"

Tom Collins: "No I'm not saying that. Johnson has done well for us but he's not a game changing quarterback. He's also on the wrong side of 30. We have made many moves to bring in young players that will be here for a while and help us win now. We realize we're only 1 game out from the playoffs right now and we don't feel that starting Jackson jeopardizes our chances."

Ron Bergundy: "Is it true Coors light is refreshing?"

Tom Collins: "Yes it is. Is it true you make love to farm animals? Final question."

Champ Kind: "What do you predict will be the outcome against the Cardinals?"

Tom Collins: "Jackson throws for 215 yards and 2 scores. He also rushes for 30. Deuce runs for 125 and a score. Our defense holds them in check for most of the day and we win 27-17. That's all for today, excuse me."
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 01/19/2007) Replies - 3 :: Views - 25
Vikings fans have hope now that GM fired.


The Minnesota Vikings have gotten off to another slow start so far, with a 4-5 record. But if you take a look around this week, the fans don't seem to be disappointed. That's because they hired a new general manager this week after firing former GM Tim Burns earlier in the week.

Many of the fans were asking for this earlier in the season after GM Tim Burns made several questionable moves. He traded for Deuce McAllister before the season started and the fans were pretty happy about that. But soon afterwards, he traded for Brandon Jacobs and moved Deuce McAllister to FB and put him on the trading block. This puzzled many of the loyal Vikings fans.

Next he moved FB Tony Richardson to TE, which made absolutely no sense to many of the league officials around the league. It is quite clear to many that Deuce McAllister is no FB and Tony Richardson is no TE. Because of these types of moves and the team desperately wanting to get back to it's successful days with former Vikings Chris Carter, Randy Moss, and Daunte Culpepper, the Vikings have made a change.

Tom Collins was introduced as the new Vikings GM. He has no experience in the RZL but the team promised he was exactly what they needed. While that is nice to hear, the Minnesota front office hasn't exactly set the world on fire with decisions they've made in the past. But they may have finally made the right move for a change this time.

The first thing Collins did was clear up the running back situation. He was ready to appoint Brandon Jacobs the team's featured back but after an impressive offer from the Tennessee Titans, he decided to let him go. The team received a 1st, 2nd, and 4th round pick for the young running back. Deuce McAllister was then anointed the starting RB and the team had been talking to Chester Taylor about restructuring his contract.

The next move the team made was signing Aaron Brooks to a 1 year contract. The team is clearly focused on the future and they were tossing around the idea of letting Jared Lorenzen take over for the rest of the season. However, the team is 3-0 in the division and 2 games back from first place. They still have an outside chance of making it to the playoffs and signing Aaron Brooks gives them a better opportunity. Whether he stays beyond this season depends upon the team's future transactions and Aaron Brooks' play throughout the remainder of the season.

There are also unconfirmed reports that the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a trade. Pat Williams reportedly has been sent to the Lions in a deal for Shaun Cody, Mike Hawkins and a 4th round pick. The team had been shopping Pat Williams since Collins' arrival and hoping to get a 1st round pick out of him. The Vikings weren't likely to be able to draft someone like Shaun Cody, with a 1st round pick had they traded for one.

Another source speaking on the condition of anonymity told us that William Peterson is being traded back to the Saints for Minnesota's 1st round pick, a deal that former GM Burns made. The team is without Fred Smoot for 7 more weeks but they apparently have faith that Mike Hawkins or other possible acquisitions could fill the role. It's hard not to like someone like William Peterson but the team wanted it's 1st round pick back and once Fred Smoot is healthy, will not need a Nickel Back of that stature.

All in all it was a busy week for the Vikings and the fans sure seem to appreciate having someone run their team like it should be. The future looks brighter and hopefully Collins returns this team back to the successful days we remember just a short while ago.
Forum Discussion (by T_Collins on 01/15/2007) Replies - 9 :: Views - 83

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At A Glance

VIKINGS FRONT OFFICE
GM T_Collins
Head Coach Cam Cameron
Offensive Coordinator Pete Mangurian
Defensive Coordinator Troy Vincent
Special Teams Terrell Owens
Salary $183.51M
Cap Penalty $15.06M
Cap Room $760K

INJURY REPORT
PLAYER POS OVR LENGTH
Vikings George Iloka FS 90 Out for season
Vikings Tra Strong WR 76 3 weeks

NFC North
RNK TEAM W-L-T PCT DIV
#3 Vikings Vikings 13-3-0 0.81 6-0
#18 Lions Lions 8-8-0 0.50 3-3
#20 Bears Bears 7-9-0 0.44 2-4
#32 Packers Packers 3-13-0 0.19 1-5

VIKINGS SCHEDULE
WK DATE OPPONENT TIME/RESULT
1 Sun at Seahawks Seahawks #7
Won 38-31
2 Sun vs Packers Packers #32
Won 34-21
3 Sun at Texans Texans #17
Won 28-19
4 Sun vs 49ers 49ers #28
Won 17-14
6 Sun vs Lions Lions #18
Won 17-7
7 Sun vs Rams Rams #30
Won 31-21
8 Sun at Lions Lions #18
Won 42-39
9 Sun at Cardinals Cardinals #24
Won 45-17
10 Sun vs Jaguars Jaguars #9
Lost 22-26
11 Sun at Titans Titans #2
Lost 12-30
12 Sun vs Bears Bears #20
Won 36-32
13 Sun vs Colts Colts #31
Won 12-7
14 Sun at Packers Packers #32
Won 26-6
15 Sun at Bears Bears #20
Won 42-10
16 Sat at Redskins Redskins #11
Won 13-12
17 Sun vs Saints Saints #4
Lost 7-24

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