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What Peterson Really Wants

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 14, 2010 – 5:05 pm

We mentioned earlier in the day that the Associated Press announced its 2009 All-Pro Team and that the Vikings led all NFL teams with 4 players honored. We also said that the All-Pro team is a bit more prestigious because it’s composed of fewer players than the Pro Bowl teams.

But All-Pros don’t suit up and play in an all-star game at the end of a season. So which is better – being named an All-Pro or being named a Pro Bowler?

Well who better to ask than Vikings RB Adrian Peterson. He’s a notorious and ambitious goal-setter, plus he’s already been named to 3 Pro Bowls and 2 first-team All-Pro teams.

Peterson was actually asked the question while meeting with reporters, and his answer should make every Vikings fan smile.

“I’m looking at the Super Bowl, that’s what I want,” Peterson said. “Everything else really doesn’t mean anything if you don’t accomplish the ultimate goal. That’s what I’m looking at. If I get a Super Bowl ring, that would be lovely.”


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“Good Guy” Award Goes To Shiancoe

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 14, 2010 – 4:14 pm

Each year the Twin Cities media awards the Kory Stringer Good Guy Award to a Vikings player who is the most cooperative and personable with reporters. Today before the Vikings practiced, Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune honored TE Visanthe Shiancoe with the award.

It’s a good choice because Shiancoe is indeed one of the most personable and willing-to-talk Vikings on the roster. Good game or bad game, late week or early week, Shiancoe is there to talk about it.

Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune cited a recent example of an exchange Shiancoe had with reporters on a Monday. While Shiancoe is often detailed and sincere during his interviews, he also has the ability to be funny and care free. This is clearly an example that displays his sense of humor.


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Tahi Added To Injury Report; No Other Changes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 14, 2010 – 3:45 pm

Thursday’s injury report didn’t look much different than Wednesday’s for the Vikings or Cowboys, with only one change for each team.

The Vikings added FB Fahu Tahi to the report, indicating he didn’t participate in practice because of a back ailment. Everyone else on the Vikings report was limited; you can read the full report by clicking here.

For Dallas, the only change was that RB Marion Barber (knee) was a limited participant on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. Everyone else on the Cowboys report was a full participant.


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Big Challenge Ahead For Productive Vikings D-Line

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 14, 2010 – 2:03 pm

The Vikings defensive line put up some big numbers this season, racking up 38.5 of the team’s NFL-leading 48 sacks. This Sunday at Mall of America Field, though, the Vikings defensive line will have a big challenge on their hands.

The Dallas Cowboys bring with them an offensive line that is among the NFL’s largest. From LT to RT, here are their sizes: 6-7, 338 pounds; 6-5, 307 pounds; 6-4, 318 pounds; 6-6, 353 pounds; 6-8, 318 pounds.

“I’ll tell ya, they are huge across the board,” Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “From Leonard Davis to (Mark) Colombo, those are some big, big men; and Flozell (Adams). That’s a tremendous challenge for every defense that lines up against them to defend the run and find a way to get around those guys. They are huge.”

As large as the Cowboys linemen are and as well as they’ve been playing over the past 4 games, the Vikings defensive line will certainly relish the challenge rather than succumb to the pressure. The Vikings boast 2 All-Pros in DE Jared Allen – who has 14.5 sacks on the season – and DT Kevin Williams. Plus, DE Ray Edwards is coming off the best regular season of his career and DT Pat Williams will be rested and ready after missing a game toward the end of the season with an elbow ailment.

On top of the quality starting talent the Vikings possess, they’ll also benefit on Sunday from adequate depth that is provided by players such as DE Brian Robison and DTs Fred Evans, Letroy Guion and Jimmy Kennedy.

The fact that the Vikings have the right personnel to give the Cowboys offensive line a good battle is key because, as Frazier told reporters on Thursday, relying on schemes to defeat Dallas powerful offensive line is not the way to go.

“There are some things that you can do at times, but in general, you look at anybody that’s played against them, and sometimes it’s just a guy winning in a one-on-one situation,” Frazier said. “And that’s really what our league is for the most part. If you’re personnel is not up to snuff, you’re going to probably fall short.

“You can only trick people for so long in this game and at some point you’ve got to line up and play football and go man-on-man sometimes.”


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Vikings Lead NFL In All-Pro Nods With 4

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 14, 2010 – 11:19 am

The Associated Press has announced its 2009 All-Pro Team and the Vikings led all NFL squads with 4 selections.

The Vikings had 2 offensive players honored – G Steve Hutchinson and RB Adrian Peterson – as well as 2 defensive players – DE Jared Allen and DT Kevin Williams.

An All-Pro distinction is more prestigious than a Pro Bowl berth because the All-Pro team is reserved for a smaller portion of elite players. They are the best of the best. Pro Bowl rosters consist of several players at each position, while the All-Pro team is made up of just 12 offensive players, 12 defensive players and 3 specialists.

The quartet of Vikings named to this year’s All-Pro team have an impressive number of 1st-team selections. Together they have 16 first-team selections. The breakdown is as follows: Hutchinson (6), Williams (5), Allen (3) and Peterson (2).


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Vikings, Cowboys Offenses Good For A Few Twists

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 14, 2010 – 9:17 am

At this point in the season, a team’s offensive identity is pretty well established. And while some of the game’s greatest and most-creative minds are still actively coaching at this time of year, there’s still a prevailing thought among those coaches to stick with what got you here.

“I guess what I’ve learned is particularly with a two-week game plan, that you don’t want it to be a voluminous game plan,” Childress said on Wednesday when asked if playoff teams like to change anything schematically heading into the postseason. “There’s something to having it simple, concepts you understand, that you can do in your sleep, maybe dress it up a little differently, but you’re still attacking the defense and doing the things that you know. You don’t want to get out of body.”

With that being said, the Vikings and Cowboys offenses have enough versatile and talented players that they can deviate from their respective norms from time to time.

The Cowboys primarily rely on a grinding ground attack with Marion Barber and Felix Jones leading the way as well as an aerial assault that features QB Tony Romo finding TE Jason Witten and WR Miles Austin all over the field. But Dallas has a 3rd RB – Tashard Choice – who does a great job of running the so-called “wildcat” offense, with Jones often included in the formation.

So the Vikings have to deal with an exotic package from the Cowboys offense in addition to stressing about the ground game and Romo’s passing ability.

But this is a 2-way street, according to Cowboys Head Coach Wade Phillips. Speaking with Minnesota reporters on Wednesday, Phillips was complementary of Childress’ coaching style.

“Brad has just worked his way up and been outstanding at everything that he has done,” Phillips said. “He has continued that as a head coach. He comes through that West Coast kind of tree there and he is right on the top of that tree.”

So does Phillips anticipate some wrinkles from the Vikings offense, too?

“Oh yeah, they’re always going to do something to give you problems,” he said. “That is one thing that you can count on from Brad. They are going to come up with some things that are going to give you problems defensively. We have to hope that we can counteract those things.”


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