Vikings Add Assistant DBs Coach

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 15, 2010 – 5:11 pm

Matt Sheldon is the newest member of the Vikings coaching staff. The Vikings announced his addition to the staff – as an assistant DBs coach – on Monday afternoon.

Although Sheldon is a new member of the Vikings staff, he’s not new to Minnesota. Sheldon was a DB for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 1990s before moving on to a career in coaching. His first taste of coaching came as a defensive graduate assistant (secondary) with a Gophers rival, the University of Wisconsin (1997-1999).

While at Wisconsin, Sheldon was part of a Badgers squad whose defense led the nation in 1998 and who became the 1st team in Big Ten history to win Rose Bowls in consecutive seasons (1998-1999).

Now, Sheldon is heading into his 10th season coaching in the NFL. Prior to joining the Vikings, Sheldon spent 4 seasons coaching LBs with the Buffalo Bills. While Sheldon was in Buffalo, the team’s LBs were instrumental to the team ranking #2 in the NFL in pass defense. The unit was led by middle LB Paul Posluszny, who emerged as a playmaking force in the Buffalo defense.

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Youth Night At Winter Park

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 15, 2010 – 1:17 pm

Football and soccer are obviously different games with different rules, but the two sports will come together on Tuesday evening at Winter Park for a good cause.

The E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation and Coerver Coaching will team up on Tuesday evening to put on a Youth Night at Winter Park for over 250 E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation and Coerver soccer students that will include festivities such as a warm-up by personal trainer Kyhaunn Woods, an opening message from Henderson, a silent auction and guest appearances by players from both the Vikings and the new NSC Minnesota Stars soccer team.

Also during the event, Henderson will receive the 2009 Vikings Community Man of the Year Award – which will be presented by Vikings Executive Director of Community Relations/Youth Football Brad Madson. Henderson was nominated for the award based upon his commitment to Twin Cities youth.

The mission of the E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation is to provide opportunity and encouragement to urban youth through academic, life skills and athletic programs developing each student in mind, body and soul.  The goal is to provide youth with the skills to become responsible members of their communities and find success in their futures.

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Moving Forward At The RB Position

Posted by cjsiewert on March 15, 2010 – 10:34 am

Now that LaDainian Tomlinson’s decision to sign with the NY Jets has come and gone, the Vikings can start looking elsewhere to fill the void left by Chester Taylor’s absence.  Although LT appeared to be the best option to complement Adrian Peterson in the running game, there are plenty more options that the Vikings could exercise.

One option that would cost nothing to the team would be to move RB Albert Young into the #2 slot.

Young provides a fresh look at the RB position and may be the Vikings best bet when considering the team’s future.  Perhaps the most appealing feature of Young’s abilities is his ball-catching capability.  During his 4 seasons at Iowa, Young caught 79 passes for 705 yards and 2 TDs.  His experience of catching passes out of the backfield may allow him to step in and take over Taylor’s role as a 3rd down back and in passing scenarios.

If the Vikings want to keep an experienced back in the #2 spot, they could acquire other free agent RBs currently on the market.  Before Tomlinson showed any interest in the Vikings, one name that gained a lot of attention was free agent RB Brian Westbrook.

Westbrook would make a nice fit in the Vikings #2 role and could make a seamless transition into Purple given his familiarity with Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress.  Westbrook has also proven that he is a more than capable pass catcher out of the backfield, but his history with concussions may raise a red flag to the organization.

Free agent RB Willie Parker has also been thrown in the mix of names that the Vikings should consider, but one of his biggest concerns over the past couple of seasons has been his inconsistency.

In 2008, Parker only scored 5 TDs and 3 of them came in the first game of the season against the Texans.  He also missed 5 games and produced a 100+ rushing performance only 4 times in the regular season.  The 6-year veteran was rarely used in 2009, with only 98 attempts for 389 yards and 0 TDs.

What may be the most conceivable route for the Vikings is to draft a RB.

Drafting a RB would allow the Vikings coaching staff to develop that player into the type of back they see most suitable for their needs.  This would also ensure a long-term solution at the RB position while providing a healthy competition with the Vikings current back-up RBs.

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Monday Morning Mailbag Is Posted

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 15, 2010 – 8:26 am

This week’s Monday Morning Mailbag is posted. You can view hit by clicking here.

Do you have a comment or question? Submit it to us and it could be a part of next week’s Monday Morning Mailbag. To submit a comment or question, send an email to me at and remember to include your name and town.

We can’t post every comment and question, but I’ll respond to every question.

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Tomlinson Signs With Jets

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 15, 2010 – 6:45 am

Free agent RB LaDainian Tomlinson is no longer a free agent – he’s signed a 2-year deal with the NY Jets.

Tomlinson’s decision came on Sunday after visiting the Vikings on Wednesday and Thursday and then the Jets on Friday. He flew back to San Diego on Saturday to make a decision with his family and word emerged of his choice on Sunday.

In New York, Tomlinson joins a Jets team that eliminated his Charger team on the way to the AFC Championship Game in 2009. New York ranked #1 in rushing offense last season and already features a young, rising star in Shonn Greene.

Perhaps Tomlinson’s most attractive trait at this point in his career is his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, a skill set that will make him dangerous in New York’s offense but would’ve made him a spectacular weapon in the Vikings offense. He also brings plenty of NFL experience – he’s entering his 10th season – to the Jets locker room.

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