Harrison Smith Mr Nice guy in TC

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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vikings announced first wave of cuts


Football is a game we all love as each week life seems to shut down on game days. The preseason is coming close to being done. The life of a football player is like no other sports because 90 players come to camp and the sad part is the first wave of cuts now have been down with the Vikings going from 90 to 78 and need to cut 3 more.

Here is a list of the first wave of cuts:

Released

PLAYER                      POS.                 EXP.                  COLLEGE

Joe Banyard.................... RB....................... 3......................... UTEP

Brandon Bostick.............. TE....................... 3................... Newberry

Jalil Carter....................... CB....................... 1......................... Akron

Justin Coleman............... CB...................... R................. Tennessee

DaVaris Daniels............. WR...................... R............... Notre Dame

Stephen Goodin................. T....................... 3.... Nebraska-Kearney

Josh Kaddu...................... LB....................... 4....................... Oregon

Jordan Leslie.................. WR...................... R........................... BYU

Caesar Rayford.............. DE....................... 2................ Washington

Chrishon Rose................. DT...................... R............. East Carolina

DeMarcus Van Dyke...... CB....................... 4......................... Miami

The two big names to go to me were Joe Banyard and Brandon Bostick. I will add with Banyard is that I really enjoy his running style as he is more of a power back putting his head down and going north and south.

Brandon Bostick was a mild surprise to me although I have not seen him in preseason games much so I guess that may have been a sign.

My wish to all these guys is they find employment and enjoy the rest of their NFL career.

My thought also on this is coming into camp for each of these players they know they have their work cut out but you never know unless they try.

This is one of my major like of Training Camp watching these guys give everything they have in the 2 a days.

Once again good luck to these 11 individuals with the pursuit of their NFL dream as the dream may have come to a halt in Minnesota but there are 31 other possible destinations.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget the last game is Thursday night in Tennessee.

Have a god week

Todd Walkingstick

 

 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Vikes win on the road and stay unbeaten


The Minnesota Vikings came in 3-0 while the Dallas Cowboys were 0-2 and after the game ended we saw the Vikings remain undefeated and the Cowboys remain winless. Yes, Vikings win 28-14 giving Coach Zimmer another win in preseason.

The record is nice but as preseason goes means absolutely nothing rather how do the Vikings players perform? Who stood out? Who made too many mistakes? Which player is putting pressure on the coaches not to cut?

The Raider game last weeks is a game I am sure Blair Walsh would like to forget as well as the coaching staff and hope Blair can come out Saturday night in Dallas and rectify things. Walsh started out in the first quarter with a much needed field goal made. I know I sat in my chair nervous for Blair knowing pressure on. Yes, the distance was only 28 yards but the point is it went through the uprights for a 3-0 Vikings lead.

The Cowboys quarterback threw a very nice pass to Terrance Williams which in my opinion should have been for shorter than it ended up going all the way for 6. A defensive mistake cost the Vikings a long touchdown catch and run. I felt a bad angle taken by safety, Robert Blanton but also could have been caused by Blanton and Harrison Smith colliding didn’t help either, but regardless 6 points for the bad guys.

The Vikes down 7-3 get another big play from a controversial player from last week in Cordarrelle Patterson in which he was questioned of his route run that resulted in an interception in the Raiders game. What does Patterson do? He takes the ball 107 yards for a kickoff return touchdown. The move on the kicker and that’s all she wrote, touchdown Vikings. I do get concerned with players when they are 10 yards or so from the end zone and they seem to high step it or slow down just a little. Please just cross the goal line and then celebrate anyway you want.

Dallas goes down and scores the go ahead touchdown on a play where no pass rush and you give Tony Romo that much time that he will make you pay the price and he did. Cowboys go back up 14-10.

Vikings get another big field goal this time from 45 yards out so big self-esteem boost for Blair Walsh again and Vikes are within a point.

This would be the last point the Cowboys would score in the game. This is the 4th game in a row for the Vikings that they did not give up any points in the fourth quarter.

Yes, the Vikings scored 2 more touchdowns on runs by Dominique Williams along with a beautiful 2 point pass from quarterback, Tyler Heinicke to Chase Ford making the final: Vikings 28 Cowboys 14.

PLAYERS AND POSITIONS THAT STUCK OUT

I am obviously have nothing to do with cutting or making the team but I can still be impressed with players.

-The Vikings defense holding Dallas to 0-11 on 3rd down

-Teddy Bridgewater going 9-9 is playing out of his mind this preseason. His 38 yard connection with Mike Wallace down the sideline was one of perfection.

-Taylor Heinicke who I have no idea if he will make the team as quarterback in my mind was very good tonight showing ability to scramble and had a strong arm. His stats, 11-11 for 83 yards and a 98.1% Quarterback rating was amazing.

- Antone Exum Jr. lead the team in tackles but what I loved was his hard hitting and not backing down. The man in my mind will be on the 53 man roster. I would love to see him paired up with Harrison Smith as 2 hard hitting safeties.

- Erick Kendrick, what can I say? The man is pure hustle and what a tackler. One play I go back to is Kendricks is clearly being held by an offensive lineman yet Erick still gets in on a tackle.

-Edmond Robinson, 7th round 2015 draft choice has really played his butt off now 2 straight games. The linebacker group is going to be a tough group to make cuts from and after Saturday night coaches’ decision just got that much

NEGATIVES ABOUT THE GAME

I love this team but even I can’t overlook some serious problems in the win over Dallas starting with:

-way too many penalties with 11 for 80 and yes I know Dallas had 11 as well

- Third down conversion going 0-11 is very concerning but I also know in the regular season the team will have Adrian Peterson

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE GAME

It is a win and no serious injuries to the Vikings players. Blair Walsh does go 2 for 3 so an improvement from last week. I believe this might be the best linebacker group we have had in many years. Quarterbacks continue to look sharp. I would like to see Jerick McKinnon break more tackles and I would definitely love to see Matt Asiata get more carries next week. Yes, one more game and it’s off to regular season. I leave Saturday with the feeling even more that the Vikes will make noise in 2015.

Thanks for reading

Go Vikes

Todd Walkingstick

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Previewing the Vikings-Cowboys game


The Minnesota Vikings spend the last 2 preseason games on the road with the first of two on Saturday August 29 at 6:00 vs the Dallas Cowboys.

Yes, the game will be simulcast once again with TV being on Fox 9 and the radio dial you can find at 100.3FM with Paul Allen and Pete Bercich in the booth and once again Ben Leber and Greg Coleman handle the sideline duties.

Dallas will be playing their first home game after going 0 and 2 on the road. It is preseason and once again the objective is stay healthy and offense and defense must look smoother each preseason game that is played.

It seems as of late the Cowboys in the Medias eyes are a playoff contender yet each year something happens and they just can’t get it done.

The Cowboys Quarterback, Tony Romo has a tremendous arm and with one of the better receivers in Dez Bryant give defensive coordinators headaches but in Minnesota’s case we not only have one of the best defensive minds in Zimmer he has coached in Dallas so this may be advantage Minnesota.

Dallas running back last season, DeMarco Murray was in my opinion one of the best running back in the league last season and in the offseason he bolts Dallas and heads to Philadelphia. This was one of the biggest head scratchers for me this offseason.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS-DALLAS COWBOYS CONNECTIONS

-Mike Zimmer was the Cowboys defensive back coach from 1994-1999 and defensive coordinator from 2000-2006

-Vikings defensive coordinator, George Edwards entered the NFL with the Cowboys in 1998-2001

-Norv Turner was the Cowboys offensive coordinator from 1991-1993

- Vikings Defensive Line coach, Andre Patterson was the DL coach for Dallas from 2000-2002

-Vikings Tight End, Chase Ford was on the Dallas practice squad in 2012

-Vikings defensive back, Terrance Newman was a Cowboys first round pick in 2003 number 5 overall and he was with Dallas until 2012

-Vikings safety, Andrew Sendejo made his NFL debut with Dallas in 2010 and that was his only year with Dallas

-Dallas Quarterback Coach, Wade Wilson was drafted by the Vikings in 1981. Wade led the Vikings to 3 playoff years in 11 seasons.

-Cowboys Offensive Coordinator made his NFL coaching debut with the Vikings in 2002

-Cowboys assistant offensive line coach, Steve Loney was the Vikings offensive line coach from 2002-2004 then offensive coordinator in 2005

-Cowboys linebacker, Jasper Brinkley was a Vikings linebacker from 2009-2012 and returned to Minnesota in 2014

MINNESOTA VS DALLAS ALL TIME RECORD

Dallas leads the series 15-14 with the Vikings 7-9 at home and a 7-6 record in Dallas

UPDATED VIKINGS NUMBERS IN PRESEASON

Scoring

Vikings 60 Opponents 31

Minnesota    9  34  17  0  0- 60

Opponents  9  12  10  0  0- 31

As you can see Minnesota has not allowesd a point in the 4th quarter in the first 3 games.

Quarterbacks

Teddy Bridgewater   22-28  219 yards   78.6 completion

Shaun Hill                   19-26  186  yards   73.1%

Tyler Heinicke             19-30  154  yards   63.3%

Mike Kafka                    9-12  75 yards      70%

Rushing Top 3

Dominique Williams   14-68 yards

DuJuan Harris              15-67 yards

Matt Asiata                   12-58 yards

Receiving Top 3

Ryan Thielen                    7-104 yards

Matt Asiata                      6-54 yards

Jerick McKinnon               6-50 yards

Punt Returns

Stephan Diggs                 6-150  and 25 yard average

Kickoff return

 

Marcus Sherels                2-81  40.5 average

Tackles

3 Tied with 9 (Erick Kendricks, Andrew Sendejo and Anthony Harris)

Gerald Hodges is 2nd with 8

5 are tied with 7 (Josh Thomas,Shaun Prater,Trae Waynes,Danielle Hunter and Brandon Watts)

SUMMING IT UP

Yes, it is the 4th game on preseason and we have seen plenty of good and some definite concerning areas but that why preseason is there for teams to fix the errors and hope they are solid for the regular season.

I am already excited and what makes it extra special is the national media is actually saying good things about the purple.

Enjoy the game and while you are watching see who you want to make the 53 man squad. Who will be the surprise man to make it and of course who will be the shocking cut?

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Interesting start to the week for the Vikings


The Minnesota Vikings week started out very interesting as early Monday morning the Vikings cut longest tenure player on the roster, Cullen Loeffler.

If I could personally I would love to thank him for being who he was, a great guy with a great personality.

I saw him at Training Camp every year he was employed by the Vikings and from my own personal experience saw his smile and just seemingly good mood. Fans would always yell for Cullen like every other player but this man most of if not always would look at the crowd smile and just acknowledge fans. I will remember his hook em horns he would hold up at times which is the gesture University of Texas fan and players are known to do.

I loved his southern accent and just his happy go lucky outward appearance. It was a guy you just want to pull for in life.

Cullen came to the NFL the hard way making the tem as a rookie free agent back in 2004. The man had 11 years which up until Monday made him the longest tenured Viking on the roster.

Loeffler played in 155 games which is number one all time for a Viking long snapper with Mike Morris coming in second with 144 games. He also in the 11 year career only missed 5 games total.

Cullen also is in the Vikings record book as he was the long snapper for 10 of the 11 longest field goals in team history.

I don’t know what the future hold for him but I hope an NFL team does pick him up and I would love to see him after his NFL career is over maybe do some talk radio with his great personality that would make him so fun to listen to.

Monday also gave more news as Las Vegas released the updated odds to win the Super Bowl. The Vikings fan I am can’t help but not like the number one team to win the Super Bowl and that is the Green Bay Packers. Minnesota Vikings come in tied for 10th with 35/1 odds with Kansas City and Miami. The Lions come in 20th with 60/1 odds and Chicago is way at the bottom tied at 26th with the New York Jets with a 100/1 odds.

That’s all for now and Thanks for reading
Todd Walkingstick

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Vikings stay unbeaten with win over Oakland


The Minnesota Vikings improved to 3-0 in the preseason after a 20-12 win over the Oakland Raiders. The team has 2 more games on the schedule going to Dallas then Tennessee to finish out and then the real season begins.

I am a season ticket holder and take pride in saying I had only missed 1 home game in 17 seasons but Saturday night was my 2nd game missed as I proudly walked my daughter down the aisle to get married.

We did go to a restaurant/bar for a late supper and I did see the fans mass exodus along with the players leaving the field on TV. A game we are not there and weather like this it was hard to imagine being there.

Life is funny because the delay allowed me to watch the game when I got home and study what is transpiring with the continual building of the team.

I must say with weather conditions like that along with a strong wind to see Teddy go 10-14 is just one more reason to be excited about the Vikings quarterback’s future. The man after 3 preseason games is 22-28 good for 214 yards and one touchdown good for 111.2 passer rating. One more impressive stat is Teddy has thrown no interceptions or taken a sack in these 3 games.

I felt the Vikings run game struggled last night with no running backs really get big stats although I really like Matt Asiata’s hard running going back to last season as well.

One guy who really stuck out offensively is tight end, Chase Ford as he caught the touchdown and took a beating doing so yet hung onto the ball. He also drew a 15 yard personal foul as a Raider defender tried to take his head off.

Jack Del Rio is the new head coach but one thing that has not changed is the amount of dumb penalties the black and silver take. They are not the 5 yarder either it seems to be multiple 15 yarders.

The defensive side of the ball 4 guys really stuck out and they are Eric Kendricks who really is showing just why the Vikings took him. He is the all-time leading tackler at UCLA. I think of how good that program has been in the past and he is number 1 in tackles in his career. I also enjoy his passion on the sidelines wearing his helmet and showing emotion to the defense coming off after a defensive series stop.

Defensive end, Justin Trattou (#94) to me is showing each week he has a motor and again last night was hustling.

Linebacker, Brian Peters (#45) with the interception and returns it inches from the goal line while dragging a would be tackler with him. Yes, the ball was right to him but how many times have we seen drops. The Vikings punch the ball in after that and on the next kickoff who is down on the tackle? Yes, Brian Peters. I don’t know if he will make the 53 man roster but with hustle like that he will be in the NFL this season.

Veteran, Josh Thomas had an impressive 4th quarter including an interception late. I like that he is a veteran hopefully making the team to bolster the secondary.

One thing being at a game you cannot always sees what goes on over on the sidelines. The kicks Blair Walsh missed and the camera shot of Zimmer giving Walsh the look was captured extremely well.

I do like this new 33 yard extra point but I don’t like Walsh missing them. It will be an interesting year watching kickers especially in the winter. It has been automatic for so many years and now this year will be a challenge. A holding penalty now pushes it to 43 yards and not so much a for sure any more.

The play of return man, Stefan Diggs in unbelievable as the play last night in the 4th quarter in which he was going to let the ball bounce but instead picks it up and 30 plus yards later, wow.!! All 3 games this preseason the man has showed the speed he has.

I do believe with Marcus Sherels who has been the return man that he is so valuable because of his kick return speed along with his defensive back experience he will make a great member of the 53 man squad.

It is preseason only but I do feel the Vikings have showed enough already to show we will be much better in the 2015 season.

Go Vikes

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

 

 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Vikings-Raiders preview

The Minnesota Vikings host the Oakland Raiders Saturday August 25th at 7:00 at TCF Bank Stadium. This is the 2nd consecutive home game and is also the last preseason home game for the Vikings.
The game will be simulcast live locally on FOX 9 and KFAN 100.3 FM with Paul Allen and Pete Bercich in the booth and Ben Leber and Greg Coleman with sideline duties.
VIKINGS VS RAIDERS SERIES FACTS


-Oakland leads the all-time head to read regular season 10-4
-Oakland traveled to Minnesota in 2014 for a preseason game as well
-2014 Preseason game vs Oakland was Coach Mike Zimmer’s first ever head coaching game with the Vikings as Minnesota won a low scoring battle 10-6


MINNESOTA VIKINGS PLAYERS BIG GAMES VS OAKLAND
-Kyle Rudolph caught a 1 yard touchdown pass from Christian Ponder on 11/20/14 for Rudolph’s first NFL touchdown in his career
-Chad Greenway had 22 tackles including 4 for yard loss on 11/20/14
-Mike Wallace has had 2- 100 yard games vs the Raiders with 3 catches for 116 yards and 8 for 123


VIKINGS-RAIDERS CONNECTIONS
-Norv Turner, Vikings Offensive Coordinator was Oakland Head Coach from 200-2005
-Jack Del Rio, Raiders Head coach played linebacker for the Vikings from 1992-1995
-Bill Musgrave, Raiders offensive coordinator was Vikings Offensive Coordinator from 2011-2013
-Mike Tice Raiders Offensive Line Coach was Vikings Tight End Coach in 1996, Offensive line Coach from 1997-2001, and Vikings Interim Head Coach in 2001 then Head Coach from 2002-2005
-Vikings cornerback, Marcus Van Dyke was Raiders 2011 3rd round draft pick
-Donald Penn, Raiders starting offensive tackle was with the Vikings in 2006 as an undrafted rookie
Christian Ponder, Raiders quarterback was Vikings quarterback from 2011-2014


LOCAL CONNECTION
Raiders Quarterback Coach, Todd Downing is from Eden Prairie, Minnesota and was the Football coach at his Alma matter Eden Prairie from 1999-2000. Todd graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2002. Downing played semi-pro football for the Minnesota Maulers from 2000-2002.


A LOOK AT A FEW VIKINGS VS OPPONENT NUMBERS
Possession Time: Minnesota 31:02 vs 28:58 for opposition
Net yards: Minnesota 633 vs 502
Net yards rushing: Minnesota 190 vs 157
Net yards passing: Minnesota 443 vs 348
Quarterback completion: Minnesota 78% vs 49.3%
Sacks: Minnesota 5 vs 2
Scoring: Minnesota 40 vs 19
Minnesota 9 21 10 0 0- 40
Opponents 3   9     7 0 0- 19
VIKINGS OFFENSIVE LEADERS
Quarterbacks
Tyler Heinicke 19-26 for 154 yards 73.1%
Teddy Bridgewater 12-14 for 130 yards 85.7%
Shaun Hill 8-9 for 104 yards 88.9%
Mike Kafka 7-10 for 66 yards 70%
Receiving
Adam Thielen 5 for 82 yards
Jarius Wright 4 for 64 yards
MyCole Pruitt 4 for 51 yards
Kyle Rudolph 4 for 46 yards
Stefan Diggs 4 for 40 yards
Rushing
Dominique Williams 8 carries for 55 yards
DuJuan Harris 10 carries for 44 yards
Matt Asiata 10 carries for 43 yards
Tackles
Eric Kendricks- 6
Andrew Sendejo- 5
Anthony Harris- 5
Trae Waynes- 5
Shamar Stephen- 5
Tom Johnson- 5
Gerald Hodges- 5
Brian Peters- 5


THOUGHTS ON THE GAME
The talk I have heard all week is will Christian Ponder get booed? Yes he will but I don’t care he is gone to a new team and it is our job as fans to take interest in our current team which I happen to think is going to be a team that opponents better not take lightly.
Preseason game can be boring to watch but it is at the same time to watch if the first string is making strides and looking smoother each game. The next 2 to 3 wave of players that play the rest of the game who do you think looks good and should be on the 53 man roster?
Raider’s rookie wide receiver, Amari Cooper will be a fun matchup to watch against our secondary. The other key match will be the offensive line vs 2 players in particular and that is Justin Tuck and Khlail Mack. The loss of Loadholt will be big this game to see just who does step up to replace Phil.
I look at this also as this is one game closer to the regular season. A Vikes win will be nice especially at home in front of some hungry Viking fans.
Go Vikings


Thanks for reading
Todd Walkingstick

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Thoughts on the Vikings 2015 season


The Minnesota Vikings schedule was released on Tuesday night April 21st and with that brought a few pleasant surprises.

The schedule is comprised of a few firsts and a 2 game road trip to Detroit and Chicago along with 2 out of the last 3 at home in this the final year of TCF Bank Stadium so the cold elements will be in place.

The Vikes face 5 of last year’s playoffs and will go head to head against 5 teams with brand new coaches.

Week 1 is a Monday night 2nd game of a national TV doubleheader when the Vikes travel to San Francisco with new coach Jim Tomsula in charge after Jim Harbaugh left and took the University of Michigan job, 49ers defense took a he hit in the defense with a couple of unexpected I am truly excited to see Bridgewater in year 2 on national TV. The 49ers took major hits in the linebacker corps due to retirements. It will be fun to see Vikes defense take on Colin Kaepernik and his athleticism.

Week 2 the Vikes open the home schedule when last year’s playoff team, the Detroit Lions comes to TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikes had a 5-3 home record last year including winning the final 3 at home. An NFC North opponent is a great way to start the home schedule.

Week 3 sees the San Diego Chargers come to Minnesota. It is the first time Minnesota has faced the Chargers since the regular season opener in 2011 in San Diego.

Week 4- The Vikes travel to 2014 Playoff team, Denver and take on new coach, Gary Kubiak, Peyton Manning and the rest of the Broncos. The game is scheduled for a 3:25 CST time.

Week’s 1-4 summary sees Vikes have 2 home and 2 away, 2 playoff and 2 non-playoff teams and 2 AFC West opponents in a row giving the Vikes a heck of a way to start the season.

Week 5 is the Bye week which I am not a fan of with it being so early in the season.

Week 6 has the Kansas City Chiefs come to Minnesota. This will be the first meeting of the 2 squads since week 6 in 2003.

Week 7 and Week 8 are back to back road games against NFC North division Lions and Bears in respective order. The Vikes will get their first look at new Bears coach, John Fox. Will Jay Cutler be a different quarterback under a new system?

Week 9 sees the St. Louis Rams come to Minnesota with a new quarterback. I was so excited to see the Vikes defense go against Sam Bradford but with Sam going to Philadelphia we will see Nick Foles in charge. This will be the 3rd meeting in 4 years with the Rams.

Week 5-9 summary sees a bye week, 2 home and 2 away with the 2 away being back to back with Lions and Bears.

 

Week 10 the Vikings travel to Oakland to take on new head Coach Jack Del Rio and the Raiders. This will be the first meeting between these 2 teams since 2003.

Week 11 the Vikes will host the border battle when the Green Bay Packers come to town. The way the Packers season ended last year in the playoffs was something to never forget. Packer’s Coach Mike McCarthy gave up the play calling duty so we will see what the Packers offense will look like.

Week 12 the Vikes travel to Atlanta and take on new coach, Dan Quinn and the rest of the Falcons. It is every time I see the Falcons on the schedule I look back at 1998 and always wonder, what if?

Week 13 the Seattle Seahawks come to Minnesota. This will be a great challenge for the Zimmer lead defense as they take on Russell Wilson and bruising running back, Marshawn Lynch.

Week 10-13 sees 2 home and 2 away once again. The Vikes will face Atlanta and Seattle who are connected by one name. Yes new Falcons coach, Quinn was last year’s Seahawk defensive coordinator.

Week 14 the Vikings travel to play the Arizona Cardinals and play on Thursday night national TV which will be a first time in Vikings franchise history. This game is the 2nd national TV game of the year for the Vikings with Week 1 also. Mike Zimmer’s team is getting noticed and TV wants to show how this young team is developing the right way.

Week 15 and 16 are back to back home games when Chicago comes followed by the New York Giants. How will the weather be on December 20 an 27th? Will cold records be set? Yes, I am a season ticket holder and will brave the weather on matter what!!!

Week 17 the Vikings travel to Lambeau Field and take on the Green Bay Packers. It is the first time in this long border battle rivalry that these 2 will face off in the last game of the season. What if the winner of this game goes to the playoffs? I can only hope the Purple will have this problem.

Weeks 14-17 sees 2 home and 2 away with the 2 home back to back weeks and the season ends in Green Bay. What a way to end the season.

The schedule Is tough but I have so much faith in Coach Zimmer and the team I believe this team can compete and win.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick