MEETING AP IN MANKATO

MEETING AP IN MANKATO
THE BEST RUNNING BACK IN THE NFL

Friday, August 29, 2014

Excitement in the air

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SKOL VIKINGS

Thanks for reading

Purplestick

 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Ready for final chapter of the 2014 Preseason


CASSEL NAMED STARTER

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

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

FIRST CUT NAMES RELEASED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Waived/Injured

PLAYER POS. EXP. COLLEGE

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

A LOOK AT IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS

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

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

ALL TIME VIKINGS PREASON NUMBERS

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

 

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

VIKES OPPENENT: TENNESSEE TITANS

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

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

 

THINGS TO WATCH FOR

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

Thanks for reading

PurplestickPhoto






Sunday, August 24, 2014

The 2014 season has a special feel to it

COACH MIKE ZIMMER

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

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

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

TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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



THE 53 MAN SQUAD

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

TCF BANK STADIUM SEATING

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

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

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

TRANSPORTATION TO THE GAME

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

THE 2014 VIKINGS

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

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

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



FIRST ROUND PICKS

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

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

Thanks for reading

GO VIKES

Purplestick

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Vikings already draft filled roster sees 10 more added


The 2014 draft has just concluded and now it’s time to move on. It was a 3 day period of awesomeness being able to watch an event that hopefully builds the team in getting better.

I remember in the offseason I can recall Rick Spielman throwing out the figure of wanting 10 picks and he accomplished that. I could not be happier with what we got. Yes, the players must now practice and show why they were picked but I believe we got some much needed depth and great competition.

In reading the bios we got guys who are fast and very athletic. We get a first round pick in Anthony Barr who goes from running back to linebacker and a 3rd round pick, Jerik McKinnon who comes as a running back but is good enough to play on the defensive side as well.

Saturday night radio on ESPN radio analysis, Rodney Harrison was asked his opinion by the cohost on who Harrison thought was the steal of the draft. He responded, “Teddy Bridgewater.” If that doesn’t get you excited that someone from the national media actually spoke high of a Vikings move well than I don’t know what will.

I love the fact that the team continues to build through the draft. In the last 3 seasons the team has seven, 1st round picks. In 2012 we saw Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith be drafted and in 2013 we saw three with Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarelle Patterson. The just finish 2014 draft saw Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater.

I looked at the roster and now see the team has 37 draft choices on the team meaning over half the team is a draft choice which includes 10 picks from his year.

Thank you Vikings organization for keeping true to your word with trying to stay young and build from within.

I would also like to throw out a congrats to two former Gophers players, Ra’Shede Hageman and Brock Vareen for getting drafted over the weekend. We saw Hageman go 2nd round to the Atlanta Falcons and Vereen go in the 4th round to the Bears.

The 2014 Vikings home schedule we will get to see 5 former Gophers players in action. The Falcons and Hageman, the Bears and Vereen, the Jets and Eric Decker will be the visiting Gophers we will see. The Vikings right now on the roster have Marcus Sherels (CB) and Simoni  Lawrence (LB).

I loved the draft and feel the Vikes did a great job of executing their plan.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick
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Friday, May 9, 2014

Draft night at the Minneapolis Convention Center


The night was finally here after seemingly unending days and night of mock drafts. I for one hope the draft date moves back to April due as it just seemed like forever until May 8th.

We arrived at the Minneapolis Convention Center with the first thing we see is hundreds of fans dressed in the most beautiful color in the world, purple. I heard the figure 6000 fans and I will say that does not shock me as the room was just packed.

We saw the signs for the draft party and just followed them until we reached our destination. The room was absolutely huge and already filled with fans and we were an hour early. The room was a little on the dark side with the lights that were on had a purple tint going. It really did have a cool effect. There were regular lights on around the edge of the room so it wasn’t total darkness.

The KFAN team of Paul Allen, Paul Charchian, Ben Leber and Pete Bercich did a tremendous job with the draft giving their input on the picks. A huge TV screen was overhead the cast of characters so the fans could watch the draft while also listening to the voice of the Vikings.

The crowd was getting antsier the closer number 8 pick was getting. Cordarrelle Patterson made an appearance on stage and was asked who he wanted the team to pick and he yelled out to the crowd “Johnny Football” that really got the crowd stoked.

The tension of who Minnesota would pick was peaking even more as Cleveland traded up to 8 switching with Minnesota and they take cornerback, Justin Gilbert leaving Vikings fans chant Johnny, Johnny.

The TV screen showed the words “The pick is in” and we see Commissioner Roger Goodell walk across the stage to make the announcement of the Vikes pick. The crowd stood as one in hopes and the name, Anthony Barr was called. I never headed a place go so quiet so fast in a long time. It was the most unreal feeling sitting at the party. I watched several fans pack up and leave the party.

It was a little later that Rick Spielman was on the TV screen and talking about the pick which drew a good amount of booing from the fans.

It seemed as time went on and the Vikings radio cast was talking up Barr it seemed to help quite a bit. My feeling coming into the draft was I felt totally sure the Vikes would go defense and not a quarterback so I was not disappointed when the pick was called.

The Barr stats are unbelievable along with his speed should make for an interesting story line in camp to see how he does.

I had a gut feeling the Vikes were not done and would move up again to the first round. It is amazing the connection the Vikings-Seahawks have and this time Seattle trades the last pick in the first round and the Vikes end up with their quarterback of the future.

I give the Vikes an A for the draft Thursday night and am continually impressed with how many first round picks the team has gotten over the last 3 seasons.

Overall it was great to have football back and sit in amidst thousands of crazy Viking fans. It is the most awesome feeling to be able to do this. It is not fun to hear booing but I did also understand people have a right to their opinion.

The rest of the draft this weekend should be fun to watch as the Vikings have so many needs. What will they do with the first 3rd round pick Friday night?

Thanks for reading

Purplestick
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Thoughts on the 2014 Vikes schedule


Football fans the time and day is finally here as 7:00 Central Standard time NFL Network is having a release the schedule program for 3 hours. The only trouble is twitter and other media outlets were leaking the schedules early really leaving no surprises uncovered.

I saw the Vikings schedule and will say I absolutely love it. We knew the home and road opponents quite a while ago and now we have the formality of times and dates.

The end result shows 8 home games with 7 at noon and 1 at 3:25 while the road games also have 7 noon games and one Thursday night tilt with the Packers at Lambeau. Wow, 14 noon games is awesome with no having to wait all day for the Purple to play.

The month of September is an awfully tough task as the team starts on the road in St. Louis. The next week is the home opener vs the New England Patriots. I was hoping maybe a Packers game to open TCF Stadium but since not I can’t think of a better opponent than the Patriots. We get to see Bill Belicheck, Tom Brady and the rest of the cast early in the season.

The team then goes to New Orleans to revisit the scene of the crime of 2010. The month concludes with Atlanta coming to town. A Falcon team that struggled in 2013 I do not believe will be that bad again.

The summary of September has 2 home and 2 road games and the defense will see Sam Bradford, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. If the Vikings defense is going to ever get a challenge to see if they have improved it will be this month.

October starts out great with a Thursday night tilt at Lambeau followed by a home game vs the Lions then 2 road games in Buffalo and Tampa Bay.

Summary: 1 home game and 3 road games  I am excited to watch the Tampa Bay game and see how Lovie Smith is doing In Tampa.

November brings us closer to winter and with that the coldness we all love. This month is very intriguing to me due to the fact that the Vikes have struggled generally in cold weather. Our new home is outside as we know.

The first game of the month is home vs Washington then the next week which is week 10 is the bye week. I really look forward to the game coming out of the bye as the team travels to Chicago and get a look at Jared Allen in a Bears uniform. The last 2 games of the month are at home as the Packers and Panthers come to TCF Bank Stadium.

Summary of November we see 3 home games and 1 road game. The Vikes face the Bears and Packers in back to back weeks.  The 3 home games most likely in cold weather so how will the Vikes fair?

December starts out with a home game against the New York Jets so the end of November and beginning December the Vikes get a3 game home stand. The Vikes then travel to Detroit and  Miami. I like the Miami game in this month because hopefully the weather is decent and the worst case scenario will be rain. The Vikes then close up the 2014 campaign with a home game vs the Bears. It’s obvious right now we don’t know the records then and see who is in playoff contention. The real sight and sounds in just how will Minnesota fans treat Jared?

It’s strange to say but the 16 games we will only see 2 dome games with one in New Orleans and one in Detroit. I can’t wait to hear the TCF Bank fans and see just how loud we can get it.

Thanks for reading

PurplestickPhoto


 

Monday, April 14, 2014

An Eagle has landed


http://www.rotoworld.com/images/headshots/NFL/6000.jpg Kurt Coleman

The Vikings showed on Monday that they are not through trying to make the team better even before the draft.

Kurt Coleman signed a one year deal with the Vikings. Coleman was a 2010 7th round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles. He has had 221 tackles and 7 interceptions with the Eagles.

Coleman did end up playing mostly special teams last season which I like getting a guy who has special teams experience.

I love the fact the Coach Zimmer and the organization keep bringing in guys with NFL experience to give each until better competition.

I have done so much reading and it all stems around Zimmer and his ability to get the most of his guys.

I think instead of speculating if guys coming in are washed up or not let’s see how they perform in the offseason before we cast our doubts if any.

I am becoming every day a bigger and bigger supporter of Zimmer and am anxious to see how he gets the team to be a team.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick