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Report: Pat Williams To Return In 2010

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on February 17, 2010 – 4:45 pm

According to this report by the Pioneer Press, Vikings DT Pat Williams will return to the team in 2010 after pondering retirement.

Williams, who just wrapped up his 13th NFL season, spoke shortly after Minnesota’s NFC Title Game to New Orleans about being “50-50″ on returning to the Vikings this fall.

Williams was as Pro Bowler from 2006-2008 and had another solid season in 2009, totaling 44 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.


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Possibilities Concerning The Vikings RB Situation

Posted by cjsiewert on February 17, 2010 – 4:11 pm

Obviously, the main concern the Vikings are faced with for the 2010 season is at the QB position – will the “Silver Fox” (as Jared Allen named Brett Favre) return for a 20th season in the NFL?  This question may not be answered until early September, so, a more prevalent current concern the Vikings must solve for the 2010 season is the back-up RB.

Chester Taylor will be a free agent, thus giving him the option to sign with another team.  If the 9-year veteran is not re-signed, it would leave a large gap to fill behind All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson.

The Vikings have the 30th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft and could select a CB, given that Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield are currently plagued with injuries – but with the possibility of Taylor no longer standing behind Peterson, the Vikings will certainly consider drafting a RB.

With top-prospects such as C.J. Spiller (Clemson), Jahvid Best (California) and Jonathan Dwyer (Georgia Tech) most likely to be drafted in the 1st and early-2nd rounds, the Vikings would be looking for a reliable 3rd-down back that has proven capability to catch balls out of the backfield – just as Taylor provided.

USC’s RB Joe McKnight could quite possibly be the best fit for replacing Taylor (if he’s gone).  McKnight has all the qualities that the Vikings would be looking for – he’s a talented runner and a very capable pass-catcher.  Just this past season, McKnight caught 22 passes for 146 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per reception.  Those numbers fall a little short of Taylor’s  ‘09 campaign – 44 receptions for 389 yards, averaging 8.8 yards per reception – but they are also skewed by the fact that McKnight played in 13 games compared to Taylor’s 16.

Certainly, there are many different factors that may possibly make McKnight unavailable for the Vikings 62nd overall pick, but if the situation calls for it, McKnight would be a great fit in the Vikings backfield.


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Free Agency Terminology

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 17, 2010 – 2:15 pm

The NFL has entered into the Final League Year of the CBA and soon the free agency period will begin with several rules changes that will create a different environment in the open market.

What does all of this mean? What is the CBA and how are the rules in the Final League Year different from a normal league year? Those are questions with complex answers, and vikings.com has enlisted the help of Vikings VP of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski to clarify some of the language you will hear regarding in the upcoming weeks and months regarding free agency and NFL business in general.

Click here to learn more…


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Stars Out Of The Spotlight Series Continues

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on February 17, 2010 – 11:25 am

Our 5-part series recognizing 5 Vikings players who had excellent seasons but remained mostly out of the spotlight continues today.

So far this week the series has identified LB Chad Greenway and P Chris Kluwe as stars out of the spotlight, highlighting their important contributions to the team’s success in 2009.

To read about today’s star out of the spotlight and how he significantly impacted the Vikings 2009 season, click here


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Around The NFC North: Green Bay Packers

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 17, 2010 – 8:00 am

Our look around the NFC North this week concludes today with a glance at the Green Bay Packers…

More 3-4 Defense Transition?
Green Bay’s defense last season underwent a major changed when defensive coordinator Dom Capers was hired – they went from a 4-3 base alignment to a 3-4 scheme. Depending on how you look at it, the results were varied. On one hand, Green Bay was 2nd in total defense (yardage) and 7th in scoring defense (18.6 points per game), both very good numbers.

But on the other hand, one of Green Bay’s best defenders – Aaron Kampman – was displaced in the new scheme. In the former 4-3 alignment, Kampman was a disruptive force as a right DE. But in the 3-4 scheme he was primarily standing up as on OLB and he was less effective because of the change. In addition, Kampman injured his knee was lost for the season in November.

This offseason, Kampman will be a free agent and the 2-time Pro Bowler’s future is unclear. Will he stay with Green Bay, the franchise for which he’s played 8 seasons? Or will he hit the market and find a new home?

Either way, the Packers defense is in for more transition this offseason.

TE Finley Stands Out
Because of his size and athleticism, as well as his 3rd round status, TE Jermichael Finley entered the NFL and his Packers career with sizable expectations. A rookie season that included just 1 start and 6 receptions in 14 games didn’t excite many people. But the same cannot be said for Finley’s sophomore campaign in Green Bay.

Finley came on strong late in the season and I couldn’t help but be impressed with how he played, especially in Green Bay’s playoff loss at Arizona. For the season, Finley had 55 receptions and 5 TDs. His numbers spiked as Green Bay made its late-season run – he had 28 receptions and 4 TDs in the team’s final 5 games. And he was even more impressive in the playoff game, registering 6 grabs for 159 yards.

At 6-5, 247 pounds, Finley has great size and has already displaced his athleticism and ability to catch the ball. I haven’t followed him closely enough to assess his blocking skills and other intangible factors, but Finley certainly passes the eye test and I’m sure he’ll be factor in Green Bay’s offense for many seasons to come.


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