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Vikings to Host USA FB Coaching School on Saturday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 24, 2009 – 3:10 pm

The Vikings will partner with USA Football to host a coaching clinic at Winter Park this Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Approximately 180 Minnesota Youth Football Coaches, representing more than 3,600 players, will attend the event.

Saturday’s coaching clinic is one of 48 similar events that will be held in 35 states during 2009. The contingent of youth coaches gathered at Winter Park this weekend will gain insight from keynote speaker Heath Farwell and receive instruction from top high school coaches from throughout Minnesota.

The event will be broken down into individual sessions, and the range of topics covered will include coaching philosophy and best practices, responsible coaching, teaching proper fundamentals, executing drills, and communicating with players, parents and other coaches.

USA Football, which was started by the NFL and the NFLPA in 2002, is based near Washington D.C. and serves as the national governing body of America’s favorite sport on youth and amateur levels.


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Remember to Submit Your Mailbag Questions

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 24, 2009 – 2:11 pm

Just a reminder to everyone that the Monday Morning Mailbag feature will continue through training camp. Each Monday during the offseason, we’ve posted fan questions and the answers to those question. We’ve also answered every question submitted to us that we didn’t post as part of the Monday Morning Mailbag feature.

So, if you have a question or if you just want to submit a comment, lob in an email to me at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. We’ll post the best ones and will respond to each email.


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NFL Moves Draft to Prime Time in 2010

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 24, 2009 – 12:03 pm

The premier offseason event on the NFL calendar will become even more accessible to fans next year, as the League announced on Thursday that the NFL Draft will kick off in prime time for the 1st time in 2010. Although the news was announced yesterday, we didn’t mention it because of the Asher Allen signing and the contract extension signed by Antoine Winfield.

According to a press release issued by the NFL, the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft will start on Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 PM ET with the 2nd and 3rd rounds on Friday, April 23 at 6:30 PM ET followed by rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 24 at 10:00 AM ET.

The draft will continue to be televised by ESPN and NFL Network. The 2010 NFL Draft – the 75th draft in NFL history – will again be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

“We continue to look for ways to make the draft more accessible to more fans,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Moving the first round to prime time on Thursday night will make the first round of the draft available to fans on what is typically the most-watched night of television.”


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The Last Word (for now) on the Winfield Extension

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 24, 2009 – 9:04 am

There were a lot of moving parts yesterday as we tried to give you as much information as possible pertaining to the contract extension signed by CB Antoine Winfield. From the press release to a couple blog entries to the sitdown interview, there was a lot of Winfield-related coverage on vikings.com.

And now we have some more. But I think this will be the last word on it.

When word broke internally of the completed contract extension between Winfield and the club, I hustled up to the front office to congratulate Antoine and get his reaction. As time went on, Winfield spoke to local beat writers from the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Associated Press and Viking Update. Through it all, Winfield gave some candid answers and we just weren’t able to incorporate all of his quotes into yesterday’s coverage.

So, instead of trying to incorporate them into our coverage and create the illusion that I can actually string together several thoughts and compliment those thoughts and opinions with actual quotes, we’ll just list the quotes below.

“It was important for me because I want to finish my career here. This is my last stop. You usually see a lot of players, when they get up there in age, they go to different teams. That won’t happen with me. I won’t be bouncing around from team to team. Once I’m done playing for the Minnesota Vikings, my career is over.”

“I’ve been in the league ten years. My last five years in this purple uniform I’ve played my best football. Not only that, this team gives me an opportunity to win a championship right now. That’s very important to me. I definitely want to win a Super Bowl. My family is comfortable here. It gives my kids a few more years to go to school with their friends. And some security. Who wants to go into their last year on their contract with so much uncertainty? I’m glad the Vikings stepped up and reached out and got a great deal done.”

“I always enjoy going out and playing football in front of Minnesota Vikings fans. This is a great place to raise a family. I am just excited, I can’t wait.”

“When you get up in years in this league, I’ve seen it happen. Guys get over 30 and teams aren’t sure about their abilities. Guys start sliding around from team to team or they get cut. But this gives me a chance to exhale and not have to worry about that. I’m just excited about the season and I think we can do something really special this year.”


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Scout.com’s Preseason All-NFC North Defensive Team

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 24, 2009 – 7:36 am

The Vikings were well-represented with 4 players on Scout.com’s preseason All-NFC North offensive team. On Thursday, the site unveiled it’s All-NFC North defensive team, and 3 Vikings were recognized. You can view the team by clicking here.

Even when looking at the division’s top defensive players with an objective lens, one would have to wonder how only 3 Vikings could be recognized. There are probably 3 players along the defenisve line alone that rank among the division’s best – Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. So where does that leave players such as Antoine Winfield and the talented corps of starting linebackers that play in Minnesota?

Well, if you check out the link to Scout.com’s team, you’ll see that Allen and Kevin Williams are included, and so is Winfield. Absent from the list is Pat Williams, with Chicago’s Tommie Harris in his place instead.

Personally, Pat Williams would be a lock on my preseason All-NFC North defensive team. He’s coming off 3 consecutive Pro Bowls and he is literally the anchor of a unit that has led the league in rushing defense for 3 straight years. Nothing against Harris, who has been a great player over the past 3 seasons (when healthy), but the absence of Pat Williams on this team seems to be a fairly significant sum.

Having said that, Scout.com did a nice job picking 3 LBs. Although no Vikings are on the list, the 3 players who are named – Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher and Julian Peterson – are legitimate players. You are familiar with Briggs and Urlacher, but those of you not familar with Peterson will become familiar with him this year. He was acquired by Detroit in the offseason via trade with the Seattle Seahawks and he will strengthen a group of NFC North LBs who already comprise a very strong group.

Just a few of the NFC North LBs who didn’t quite make the list include Chad Greenway, A.J. Hawk, E.J. Henderson, Ben Leber and Ernie Sims.


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