Blogs

No Announcement On Marquee Games Expected Today

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 23, 2010 – 8:48 am

Yesterday we passed along a report that the NFL had postponed its announcement of marquee 2010 games to today (Tuesday). The report was relevant to the Vikings because it’s been widely speculated that the Vikings will play in the NFL’s season opener on Thursday, September 9 at New Orleans.

But today, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle tweeted that the NFL said there will be no announcement today regarding the identities of the teams who will play in some of the marquee games of 2010.

So, we don’t know when the announcement will be made. But when it is made, we’ll pass along the info.


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Vikings Receive Compensatory Draft Pick

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 23, 2010 – 7:53 am

The NFL announced on Monday that 32 compensatory selections in the 2010 NFL Draft have been awarded to 19 different teams, including the Vikings. According to this story on NFL.com, the Vikings received 1 compensatory pick and that selection will be the 36th in the 5th round (#167 overall).

Under terms of the NFL collective bargaining agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of 4.

Before the 2009 season, the Vikings lost free agents Matt Birk and Darren Sharper, and signed only CB Karl Paymah.

The compensatory pick gives the Vikings a total of 8 selections in next month’s draft.


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Looking Forward To The NFL Draft

Posted by cjsiewert on March 23, 2010 – 6:43 am

With the 2010 NFL Draft now less than a month away (April 22), speculation on which teams will select which players will hit full swing.  But instead of offering my opinion on who the Vikings should consider, I’d like to speculate on what positions (in no particular order) the Vikings might address and how it will impact the depth on the roster.

CB – There are a few question marks at this position, especially considering that Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield will be coming off of injuries.  It’s good that Benny Sapp will return because he provides stability at the position and there’s reason to be optimistic about Asher Allen, though he still needs to gain experience. Statistically, the Vikings ranked 19th in passing yards allowed and just 26th in INTs, so perhaps the Vikings address this position during the draft to add talent and depth to a unit with a lot of potential.

S – Madieu Williams has directed traffic in the secondary since signing before the 2008 season, but drafting another safety would push Williams and fellow starter Tyrell Johnson and it would also provide friendly competition between reserves Husain Abdullah, Eric Frampton and Jamarca Sanford, who have all spent the majority of their playing time on special teams.

DT – Yes, the Vikings did just sign Jimmy Kennedy to a multi-year deal, but Pat Williams will be entering his 14th season and adding another young DT would certainly help out with depth at this position.

LB – Chad Greenway and Ben Leber have obviously proven themselves to be steady contributors for the Vikings defense, but the uncertainty of E.J. Henderson’s return may lead to a LB being drafted this year.

RB – The Vikings lost arguably the best 3rd down back in the NFL with Chester Taylor’s departure to Chicago. This loss of experience could have the Vikings looking for a solution in a complementary player to All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson.  The Vikings may feel comfortable in Albert Young, though, and that might steer them away from using a draft pick on a RB in 2010.

OL – Not to say that the Vikings’ offensive line needs help – 2 Pro Bowlers in Bryant McKinnie and Steve Hutchinson along with 1st-year stand-out Phil Loadholt – but the Vikings may want to add some extra protection and depth along the line for future Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre.

Keep in mind that drafting based on a perceived team need is not always the best route to take.  Case and point – the 2007 draft. Taylor was coming off a career-best 1,216 rushing yards and 6 TDs.  The RB position seemed to be the least of the Vikings worries heading into the 2007 season, but despite Taylor’s accomplishments the Vikings used their 1st round pick (#7 overall) on RB Adrian Peterson.

And I can be almost certain that nobody is opposed to that decision now.

Also, the WR position didn’t appear to be an immediate need during last year’s draft, but Florida’s Percy Harvin offered a versatility that couldn’t be passed up.  Result: 2009 Rookie of the Year and the Vikings’ 2nd ROY in the past 3 seasons (Peterson in 2007).

All things considered, I would look for the Vikings to select the best available player that fits their needs rather than having a predetermined selection by position.


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For Favre, Wilf Willing To Wait

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 22, 2010 – 3:19 pm

Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf is in Orland at the annual NFL Owners’ Meetings, which is why you’ve likely heard sound bites or quotes from him on several league issues – including the proposed change to the structure of overtime.

Another issue that Wilf has commented on, however, is his starting QB – Brett Favre – and whether or not #4 will return for his 2nd season with the club in 2010.

Both Head Coach Brad Childress and VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman have indicated this offseason that they are willing to be patient with Favre and give him the time he needs to make a decision on his return. Wilf is on the same page and echoed those sentiments to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.

“I really don’t know at this time but like I said before I’d love to have him back and [we’ll] just give him the time necessary to make that decision,” Wilf told Zulgad.

While speaking with Zulgad, Wilf also said that he hasn’t spoken with Favre this offseason but that at some point down the road he might just reach out to the future Hall of Famer.


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Marquee Games In 2010 To Be Announced Tuesday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 22, 2010 – 12:30 pm

Prevailing thought was that the NFL would announce the schedule for many of its 2010 marquee games today at the NFL Owners’ Meetings in Orlando, FL. But, as is often the case, prevailing thought was wrong.

According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post and a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL will wait until Tuesday to make the announcement.

The reason this news is relevant to the Vikings is because the prevailing thought (uh-oh) among NFL followers is that the 2010 season-opener – which traditionally pits the defending Super Bowl champions against an intriguing opponent on the Thursday before the 1st Sunday of the regular season – will have the Vikings traveling to New Orleans for a tilt against the Saints in what would be a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game.

While we’re speculating on who will play in the NFL’s marquee games of 2010, let’s also throw out the idea of the Vikings – who play at the NY Jets in 2010 – traveling to the Big Apple for a Thanksgiving night contest against the Jets.

Stay tuned to vikings.com for more news and updates, including an announcement regarding these marquee games.


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Monday Morning Mailbag Is Posted

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 22, 2010 – 9:29 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 wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net 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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Saints Rematch Possible For Season Opener

Posted by cjsiewert on March 20, 2010 – 7:48 am

The Vikings might have an opportunity to begin their 2010 season and push for Super Bowl XLV in the very same place and against the very same team that ended their 2009 season.

NFL Owners’ Meetings begin this Sunday in Orlando, Florida and it’s expected the NFL will unveil its plans for the season-opening Thursday night (September 9) game, which typically pits the defending Super Bowl champions against a compelling opponent.

There has been speculation for over a month that the Vikings and Saints would meet on September 9 and the Star Tribune’s Chip Scoggins mentioned the possibility again on Friday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter also tweeted on the matter, stating : “It would be an enormous upset if the NFL’s season-opening Thursday night game on Sept. 9 were not Minnesota at Saints.”

We’ll have more information on this and other topics covered at the NFL Owners’ Meetings, so be sure to stay tuned to vikings.com.


Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 52 Comments »

Personnel Guru Brandt Ranks Top Undrafted Players

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 18, 2010 – 3:42 pm

In little over a month, NFL teams will use the NFL draft to select players they feel will become core members of their team for seasons to come. Some of the NFL’s best players – from Hall of Famer’s to current superstars – saw their careers begin on the day they were drafted.

But with 53 roster spots on each of the league’s 32 teams, a 7-round draft once per year isn’t enough to replenish and supplement the talent pool. Teams must also find undrafted players who have the ability to play at the NFL level.

NFL personnel guru and NFL.com contributing writer Gil Brandt certainly understands this concept. His knowledge of and respect for the process of finding talented undrafted players is on display at NFL.com right now, as he penned an article that identifies the top 75 undrafted players in NFL history.

Vikings fans might appreciate the piece by Brandt because several of the names will be familiar. QB Warren Moon, who was originally signed by the Houston Oilers but also played well for the Vikings late in his career, is ranked by Brandt as the 4th-best undrafted player of all-time.

Also, DT John Randle makes Brandt’s list. He’s ranked as the 12th-best undrafted player of all-time.

There’s a current Vikings (hint: one-half of the Williams Wall) who is ranked somewhere between #26 and #50 and a former Vikings Head Coach who is ranked somewhere between #51 and #75.


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Vikings With Rooting Interest In NCAA Tourney

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 18, 2010 – 9:25 am

Today is a slow news day for the Vikings. Today is also the beginning of the NCAA Tournament. But instead of ignoring my job this morning and focusing only on the basketball tournament, I thought I’d come up with a blog entry related to both the Vikings and the tournament so that I could ignore my job this afternoon and focus only on the basketball tournament.

So here it goes.

There are 24 players on the Vikings roster who played college football for schools that will participate in this year’s tournament. Those 24 players represent 18 different institutions, with Maryland and Texas being the schools with the most players (3 each).

There are no players on the roster who represent a #1 seed but 7 players who will be paying close attention to #2 seeds. TE Visanthe Shiancoe represents the lowest-seeded school – Morgan State University, seeded 15th in the East bracket.

There are 3 matchups between players on the Vikings roster. They are:

– Tennessee (Anthony Herrera) vs. San Diego State (Heath Farwell)
— West Virginia (Darius Reynaud) vs. Morgan State (Shiancoe)
— New Mexico (DeAndre Wright) vs. Montana (Colt Anderson)


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Vikings Agree To Terms With Kennedy

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 17, 2010 – 2:49 pm

Several reports last week indicated that DT Jimmy Kennedy would return to the Vikings, even after a free agent visit with the Buffalo Bills. Today, the Vikings have announced that the 7-year veteran and the club have indeed agreed to terms.

Kennedy will enter his 3rd season as a Viking in 2010 after originally joining the team in December of 2008. He enjoyed one of his most productive seasons in 2009, matching his career-best 3.0 sacks in the regular season and adding another sack during the playoffs. Kennedy made 1 start in 2009, filling in for Pat Williams at Chicago and tallying 9 tackles that night.

The former Penn State standout wa the #12 selection in the 2003 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams and has played for St. Louis, Chicago and Jacksonville, along with the Vikings, during his career. He has played in 77 career games with 31 starts and has posted 10.0 career sacks.


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