MEETING AP IN MANKATO

MEETING AP IN MANKATO
THE BEST RUNNING BACK IN THE NFL

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

Draft Day movie- A must see


The mock drafts are rolling each day with so much speculation and seemingly football stories that are never ending. I decided to take a break from reading and take in football in a different capacity. I went to opening night of the movie “Draft Day” starring Kevin Costner.

I am by no means a movie critic but I felt this movie I owe all fellow football fans something to think about and hope you see it.

The day of a draft we can read about but to watch it in the movie and see a little bit of what it is like in the “war room” and be given a glimpse at some of the disagreements amongst the panel was awesome.

The story attempts to show the stress that a general manager goes through. The calls, the offers, the pressure that Costner went through in making sure his team got the best player that could make an immediate impact. The fans, the media, the owner all give their opinions adding to Costner’s stress was well done as well.

The movie took us to stadiums in Buffalo, Kansas City, Seattle and Jacksonville as well as Cleveland as these teams were in talks to make trades with the Cleveland Browns.

The movie also did a great job in New York City with the draft itself. I loved how the movie had Chris Berman, Rich Eisen and John Gruden involved as though the 2014 draft really was going on. Gruden gave his 2 cents about players that were to be drafted in the first round even though the names of these players were not actually in the real draft next month. It was just cool to see how the movie makers made this happen.

Commissioner Roger Goodell played a part in introducing the players that were taken just like he does in the real draft. Deion Sanders and Ray Lewis were in the movie as well as they were in the backstage.

I did not want the movie to end as I really felt this production gave football fans a small glimpse of the stress of what goes on behind the scenes.

The movie also gave us some feel into a draft party as we were part of the Cleveland Browns party. The first round picks were brought on stage to meet the fans.

I know May 8th is the real draft and I will be at the Vikes at the Convention Center so to see this in the movie gets me pumped to be part of the event.

I recommend this movie big time to all football fans. It is a keeper and when it becomes available it will be part of my football collection.

Thanks for reading

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Purplestick

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Preseason schedule released


The next step in football is here as the preseason schedule was released but no dates given as of yet.

Preseason has been a touchy subject for years with ticket holders because the price is the same for those games as regular season. The amount we see the normal starters is very little making it tough on fans at times not knowing who the players are out there without looking at the rosters given to them.

This problem I can definitely see so my days in Training Camp are beneficial as I watch the daily practices and get familiar with the different jersey numbers and how they practice. I enjoy asking myself are these players transforming their practice skills to game time.

The schedule as you may know by now has the first two games at home:

Oakland (Week of Aug 7-9)

Arizona (Week of Aug 14-16)

Oakland has been a major player in free agency brining in a new quarterback by way of trade when they acquired Matt Schaub from Houston. We also will see in Silver and Black: Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Tuck, James Jones and former Viking, Donald Penn who was in Vikings Training Camp in 2006.

The Raiders I believe are one of the top of the NFL fan following teams around the NFL so I will expect to see many black and silver clad fans.

Arizona has Larry Fitzgerald; do I need to say more?

On to the Road

Kansas City (Week of Aug 21-23)

Tennessee (Week of Aug 28-29)

The team then travels to the much improved Kansas City Chiefs. It is always tough to win at Arrowhead whether a preseason game or not.

The Tennessee Titans without Chris Johnson and not been a playoff team for a while, so how Tennessee look?

I know it only preseason but football fans, IT’S FOOTBALL!!!

Thanks for reading

Purplestick
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Vikings odds and ends info continue


The NFL season is a 24-7 a week and 365 days a year event which never gets old. Today’s date which is April 8th means one thing and that is 1 month until the draft on May 8th. The never ending mock drafts will finally come to an end.

It is fun to speculate but I find myself getting more into factual information. We start with a new rule as part of the new collective bargaining agreement which affects the Vikings and 6 other teams. A team with a new coach gets a nice advantage which goes as follows:

Offseason Program
Clubs With New Coaches:
Can begin April 7
All Other Clubs: Can begin April 21

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) mandates that each year offseason workout programs cannot begin prior to the first Monday in April for Clubs that have hired a new head coach after the end of the prior regular season, and cannot begin prior to the third Monday in April for all other Clubs.

Aside from the starting date of the offseason program, rules for new head coaches impact the entire span of time in which the offseason program may exist.

Clubs With New Coaches:  Can conduct a 9-week offseason workout program over a 12-week span with 8 of the weeks required to be consecutive and subject to Article 22, Section 3 of the CBA (Minicamps).
All Other Clubs: Can conduct a 9-week offseason workout program over a 10-week span with 8 of the weeks required to be consecutive and subject to Article 22, Section 3 of the CBA (Minicamps).

NOTE: While Clubs with new head coaches can begin their offseason programs two weeks before Clubs with returning head coaches, scheduling requirements are such that the actual length of the offseason program is one week longer (not two). Essentially, the new rules for new coaches is less about there being extra work and more about the teams with head coaches being able to get to work sooner so the new staff and players can become better acclimated.

 

The next fact to look at has to do with the playing home games at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikes and the U have an agreement when it comes to night games and it goes as follows:

 

*The Vikings can only use the stadium for one weeknight game each season when class is not in session. That game must be coordinated and approved by the school in its sole discretion, according to the agreement.

The school semester ends on Dec. 18. Thanksgiving (Nov. 27) would be the only possibility of a weeknight home game during the school year that would work. The Vikings hosted every Thursday night game (Tampa Bay and Washington) since the NFL forced every team to play at least one Thursday night game two years ago.

Without a university off day on Monday during the fall semester, it’s very difficult to see the Vikings host a Monday Night Football game given their only opportunity will be in Week 16 on Dec. 22.  That doesn’t exactly sound appealing when Monday Night Football games can’t be flexed and the team went 5-10-1

*The Vikings can host a Saturday home game when there isn’t a scheduled Gophers football game. The NFL brought back Saturday games this season after a one-year hiatus and will have a two-game Saturday doubleheader in Week 16 on Dec. 20.

In staying with the theme of TCF Stadium my wife and I got called from the Vikings asking if we wanted to move our seats down in the same section for the same price. My answer was an emphatic yes. We went from row 17 to row 13. I know it only 4 rows but to me that is a big difference in seeing the game a little closer.

The Vikings on April 8th also signed a 4 year pro formerly of the Houston Texans. Lestar Jean

Jean has appeared in 27 games, making 1 start, over the past 2 seasons after spending his rookie season in 2011 on injured reserve. Jean has caught 10 passes for 186 yards and 1 touchdown in his career. He caught his lone touchdown on a 54-yard reception at Tennessee (12/2/12). A product of Florida Atlantic, Jean entered the NFL with Houston as a rookie free agent in 2011

The one fact I do like of the signing is seeing he is a big receiver at 6’2” and 203 pounds. I like these big guys but now it will be up to Jean to see if he can make the 53 man roster. I am all for depth coming into training camp.

That all for now

Thanks for reading

Purplestick
Source: Vikings.com
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