Minnesota Vikings: O-Line Trouble Continues, But Costs More.

I’ve said in various earlier posts, that for the most part, if you want to know how a player will play for your team; look at his past. As a blogger, I can say, those players are who we thought they were.

The Minnesota Vikings played their first pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills. They continue to be plagued by inept O-line play. Last year was a disaster, but optimism prevailed as they made some off season moves, and drafted a great prospect from Ohio State. Their on field performance against the Bills, saw no change from their 2016 collapse.

They signed free agent Riley Reiff to a long term contract, for more than $11.7 million annually (Total contract is $58,000 million). The average salary for the NFL’s OffensRily Reiffive line is $ 1.7 Million. That makes Riley the 2nd highest paid Viking, behind Sam Bradford. He’s making more than Griffen, Rhodes, Smith, & Joseph.  Does that make sense?? He did start for Detroit,  but was criticized for his play, and no attempt was made to keep him. Therefore the Vikings rode with their white hats, into Detroit, with saddlebags full of money …

The Vikings also signed free agent Mike Remmers, from the Tampa Bay BuccaneMike_Remmers_2016ers for over $ 6 Million (Total contract is for $30 Million).  Prior to that,  he was with a couple of teams, including the Vikings, who cut him. Obviously, Tampa didn’t want him, so guess who charged into picture, with big money??

Let’s not forget Adam Boone, who signed last year as a free agent, for over $ 7 million annually (total contract is for over $28 million. If he played half as good, as he talks, he’d already be in the Hall of Fame.

The power egos of the Vikings have a philosophy, that if you pay a player more. he will be better. I strongly disagree. How did Koren Robinson, Bernard Berrian, & Michael Williams work for you??

If a team wants to make the playoffs, it all starts with the O-Line. If you can’t protect the quarterback, he can’t pass effectively. With the mid-range passes, and long range passes, not part of the offensive strategy, the defenses add players to the box, which limits your running game. It’s not that difficult!!!!MinnesotaVikingsreverse

Minnesota Viking Training Camp Highlights

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  • 2017 will be the last year that University of Minnesota – Mankato will be used as the Minnesota Viking Training Camp. The Vikings have been using Mankato for 52 years. Next year they move to their new corporate facilities, in Eagan, MN ,which are being built as we speak. Lot’s of memories there for all the old coaches, players, and fans.
  • Coach Zimmer has indicated, he may turn over defensive play calling, to  George Edwards. They will try with a couple of pre-season games. Under ZimViking DSC_0635.0mers play calling, the Vikings went from last in 2014 to fifth in 2016.
  • Teddy Bridgewater was at camp, but didn’t take any actual reps. He just threw on the sidelines, and worked out, just to be with the team. Doesn’t appear to be any thoughts of him playing this year.
  • First year in 10, that Adrian Peterson isn’t here in Mankato.
  • Off-season acquisition, LT Riley Reif, hasn’t practiced all of training camp. Appears to be ready as of 8/10/17. The Vikings are counting on him to be a big contributor in 2017, after their O-line collapse in 2016.
  • 1 st year Pat Elflein has worked out at guard, and center, and looked good at both, buy I think the Vikings have him projected, as a starter at center. He has been praised by all.
  • The biggest surprise at camp has probably been  Michael Floyd. Offensive Coordinator, Pat Shurmer called Floyd an adult sized, manly receiver, with great hands. He has made some great catches over Rhodes and Harrison Smith. Unfortunately, he will miss the first 4 games.Vikings_training_camp_to_move__0_3816831_ver1.0_640_360
  • Bradford has looked great, and definitely more comfortable all around. He has a very strong and accurate arm. He had a 61% completion rate last year when hurried. It sure looks like the offense will be opened up a lot, this season. There have been several 40 plus attempts, in camp scrimmages. He has been particularly in sync with Stephon Diggs and Floyd.
  • Some big contracts were signed during camp: Everson Griffen – $ 58 Million;  Linval Joseph – $ 50 Million; and Xavier Rhodes – $70 Million
    Viking stadium images5NMC1MJ6

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Minnesota Viking Camp: Find Someone To Stretch Field

The NFL season is upon us. All the teams are in summer camp, about to start the preseason. As I ponder the season for the Minnesota Vikings,  I have these basic thoughts:

DefenseVikings 99-55-54-BH1

The defense is going to be good. Linval Joseph plugging the middle, Our strong Defensive Ends. Hopefully, an improved season for Barr and Kendricks, and a secondary led by Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes

Offense

On the Offense, we have Bradford at QB, who is looking good, with a strong arm. I never realized how tall he was, 6-5. New RB Dalvin Cook,  looks great. RB Latavious  Murray has been on the PUP list until Monday 8/7. That should make for a good battle for playing time. There are 2 major areas of concern for me:

  • The offensive line. The Two new tackles that the Vikings acquired, have to exceed expectations. Neither Reemers or Reiff came from a team where they started. Reiff has been injured all training camp. The O-Line has to gel as one unit, not just a collection of journey men.  The jury is still out on all the new faces including Elfein. They need to be much better than last year, and block for Bradford to throw a pass beyond 10 yards.
  • Wide Receivers. I’m hopeful that Treadwell will ascend to a starting type receiver. viking imagesKU2705H5I hope local boy, Adam Theilen continues to impress, and that Michael Floyd contributes, as well as he has in camp. We also have holdovers Stephon Diggs and Jarious Wright.  I don’t see any of these as being a Randy Moss type to stretch the field. We Have 2 speedy rookies, Stacy Coley & Rodney Adams. The hope is one of those will catch on quick to the offense, and be that deep threat they have to cover.

 

Viking stadium images5NMC1MJ6

Sam Bradford: They Love Me; They Love Me Not

The powers to be of the Minnesota Vikings, have certainly not shown any love for Sam Bradford, at training camp in Mankato, Minnesota. Rick Spielman has stated several times, that he is interested in keeping the core of the group,  together for several years.

Vikings 99-55-54-BH1

Proof of that direction, comes in the contract extensions, for Xavier Rhodes @ $ 70 Million for five years, and approximately $ 58 Million for Everson Griffen. for 4 years. Spielman indicated there are still a few, he would like to sign to extensions, such as Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter and Linval Joseph.

When asked about Bradford, he basically said that is not as important right now. An Vikings 455867868.0attitude and actions that indicate they don’t include him in their mid-term and long term plans. It sure doesn’t build any kind of confidence in Bradford for the 2017 season. So far much more attention has been on Teddy Bridgewater, who isn’t expected to play in 2017, or maybe ever.

As a quarterback, it is very important that he is confident, that the brass supports him. If he is confident, that extends to the whole team, especially the offense. If the front office supports him, the players believe in him, and jell under him in games, especially when they need to come from behind, to win. If they fail to make him comfortable, his on field performance will suffer.

Viking stadium

I’m Irked, That Grand Poo-bah Zygi Is Irked!!!!

It was reported on July 17th, 2017 in the Minneapolis StarTribune that the Grand Poo-Bah Zygi  with his lapdog, Lester was irked that the new Chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facility Authority (MSFA), Mike Vekich, had turned over control, of the 2 suites, to SMG, the stadium operator.  Those 2 suites were designated at the outset, as sales and marketing  tools, for the MSFA, to market the new stadium, for non-football use; ie concerts, soccer, Xgames, and home shows.  The Vikings feel they should get any monies, that come from the use of those suites. Some key facts on this:

Viking stadium

  • Vikings insist that they gifted those 2 suites to the MSFA. You can’t gift something you don’t own.
  • The state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis owns the stadium. Not the underworld Wilfs.
  • The MSFA, along with the SMG run the US Bank stadium, not Zygi.

wilf

This is just the latest, in a long list of demands to fleece money, from the ticket holders, and residents of Minnesota, such as:

  • A seat license fee, of up to $10,000 per seat, in addition to the per game ticket price.
  • He followed that up with a tailgating fee of  $ 600 per year.
  • Zygi, the winer, and Lester the lapdog somehow negotiated a deal, that gives the Vikings, all the revenue from the new parking ramp, across the street, from the new stadium. What makes this a true WTF moment, is that the state owns it, and sold naming rights to Mills Fleet Farm.
  • Then they began selling paver bricks for up to $360 each. They adorn space under the Viking ship.

money uhgvfrimages

Zygi must stay up late at night, to come up with plots to squeeze more money, out of Minnesota and the Viking fans.  What could be next?Zygi jhjhgfunny-toilet A toilet fee; $25 to drop a load  & $10 to urinate. How about a usage fee for using the roads, that lead to the stadium, on Sundays. How about an excise tax, on television viewership of the Vikings, on Sundays?

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Minnesota Twins Win The 1987 World Series Again

My biggest and most meaningful baseball memory, was when the Minnesota Twins returned to Minneapolis after winning the 1987 American League Championship, which meant they were going to play in the 1987 World Series. The media had put out a call, to have the fans surprise the players, when they returned home to the Metrodome.   It was after 11 pm, and the Metrodome was packed to the rafters, with a crowd over 50,000, when they arrived. When they entered the Metrodome, they were expecting maybe a couple hundred, so they were blown away, when they saw the crowd. It truly was a magical moment!!

On July 22nd, 2017, the Minnesota Twins honored the 30th Anniversary, of the 1987 team. I was a big fan of that team, more so then all the others, I suppose,  because it had star power and some characters.Twins 1987-minnesota-twins-honored

  • Tom Kelly
  • Kirby Pucket
  • Kent Hrebek
  • Juan Berenger
  • Tom Brunansky
  • Bert Blyleven
  • Al Newman

I  always remember these guys, in their uniforms and hats, as I only saw them on the field, or in print, in their uniforms and hats. So when they were introduced at the Twins game, celebrating the 30 year anniversary,  I was surprised. I certainly wasn’t used to seeing them in casual slacks and golf shirts. Some were balding, some had protruding bellies, some were gray, and some didn’t walk too briskly. But that didn’t matter, they still were hero’s to me, and a real special treat for me.

The 1987 World Series :

  • The first World Series played in a dome.
  • Both teams won all their home games.
  • The Twins, had the worst regular season record, of any World Series winner; 85-77.
  • The Twins parade, in Minneapolis, had an estimated crowd of 250,000.
  • And….. who could forget the Homer Hankie.
  • Twins Homer Hankie

                        Thanks for the memories!!

Minnesota Twins Bomb The Bronx Bombers

In my early days of sports addiction (still not cured), the New York Yankees were always the epitome of baseball. They are the winningest franchise of any sport. They have won 27 World Series Championships. They have had 44 players and 11 coaches elected to the Hall of Fame. Here are some of the Yankee Greats, who are also Baseball’s greats:

Babe Ruthyankeesgreatspf-1
Lou Gehrig
Joe DiMaggio
Mickey Mantle
Roger Maris
Yogi Berra
Casey Stengel
Whitey Ford
Reggie Jackson
Don Mattingly
Thurmond Munson
Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Mariano Rivera

The team at various times, has answered to the Damn Yankees, the Bronx Bombers, the Bronx Zoo, Murderers Row, and the Pinstripes. Whether you loved them, or hated them, they were baseballs biggest draw. In any Major League city, as soon as the single game seats were available, the games against the feared Yankees sold out.

They have had a curse on the Minnesota Twins for many years, highlighted by the fact that during Ron Gardenhire’s  years with the Twins, they could only muster a 23-69 record against the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees always beat Minnesota in the Playoffs, during those years, going 12-2 against the Twins. As a matter of fact, the Twins have not won a series against the Yanks since 2008.

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Until……..July, 2017, when they took 2 out 3 from the power hitting Yankees, at Target Field, in Minneapolis. The 2 games they won were by scores of 4-2 & 6-1. Could this stop the curse?

Twins logo