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Cook, Gerhart Look To Contribute In 2010

Posted by cjsiewert on April 30, 2010 – 5:40 pm

The Vikings top 2 selections in the 2010 NFL Draft seem to fit the mold for what the Purple are looking for in adding depth and strengthening particular areas on both sides of the football.

CB Chris Cook will have the opportunity to play a significant role in helping the secondary as Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffen are recovering from injuries, while RB Toby Gerhart has relieved concerns from Vikings fans on the backup RB position after the departure of Chester Taylor to the Chicago Bears via free agency.

“My goal is to contribute to the team in any way I can, whether it be special teams, nickel package, where ever they want me, I’m just out here trying to help the team win games,” Cook said.

Cook, a 6-2, 212 pound CB, also feels that his size will offer him a slight advantage in coverage at the NFL level.

“There’s some big receivers out there that can run and jump and do everything that you want them to do, and me being a bigger corner, I feel like that’s a little bit of an advantage for me over those 5-9 guys, 5-8 guys,” Cook said.

Head coach Brad Childress agreed with Cook on the notion of his size offering a big plus going against big WRs.

“Provided that he can do everything that a corner has to do in this league, there is no down side to being bigger in stature,” Childress said.  “You don’t get bodied when the ball goes down the field playing against a guy like the one from Detroit (Calvin Johnson). There are receivers with length and at that time is nice to have a corner with length. All things being equal there is no downside to that.”

Also looking to contribute to a Vikings team that was one play away from reaching the Super Bowl last season is Gerhart.

“I’m confident in my abilities,” Gerhart said.  “Whatever role they have me embrace I’m just going to try to work hard and contribute […] It’s the first day of practice so I’m just trying to learn the system and learn the rules and just make the team.”

Gerhart has been gifted with great athleticism and versatility; both were factors leading the Vikings to trade up and grab him in the 2nd round.  Childress also noted after the 1st day of the 3-day rookie minicamp on his overall impressions of the 6-0, 231 pound RB out of Stanford.

“It’s a big, thick body,” Childress said.  “You can see it on film and you can see it on tape. It will be interesting when he gets padded up and see how he comes out the other end. He catches it way better then anybody probably gives him credit for. You can’t be a centerfielder and not be able to catch the ball and have some hand-eye coordination. He can do all those things and I know how looks at the inside zone because that is on tape.”


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Fresh Start For Perrilloux

Posted by cjsiewert on April 30, 2010 – 4:42 pm

Vikings rookie QB Ryan Perrilloux has dealt with a lot of adversity throughout his life and specifically pertaining to his collegiate football career.  As one of the top QB prospects coming out of high school, a lot was expected from him when he committed to play at LSU.  After some off-field transgressions, Perrilloux decided to transfer to Jacksonville State in 2008 to have an opportunity to be the starting QB for the Gamecocks.

The transfer to Jacksonville State gave Perrilloux a new perspective on the game of football but what he experienced today may perhaps be the freshest of new beginnings for the rookie QB.

“This is a new start, Minnesota giving me an opportunity to come out here and start fresh, and I just want to thank them for that,” Perrilloux said when asked about regrouping after the issues he dealt with during college.  “I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be a Viking and be in the position that I’m in.”

Perrilloux also spoke to QB Brett Favre before he came to Winter Park for the 3-day rookie minicamp.

“Mainly we just talked about just coming up here and getting ready for minicamp and what to expect up here in Minnesota.”  Although Favre didn’t tip his hand as to what he was planning on for the 2010 season, he did offer the rookie QB a few pointers on what to expect.  “He mainly just told me to come up here and just be myself and get in my book and just study.”

Although Perrilloux’s past has raised a few question marks on his maturity, head coach Brad Childress prefers to look to the future when evaluating players.

“I find him to be a humble kid here and I’m not judging him for backwards, I’m judging him going forwards,” Chidress said.


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Report: Favre Needs Ankle Surgery To Play In 2010

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on April 30, 2010 – 9:07 am

According to a report by ESPN’s Ed Werder, Vikings QB Brett Favre will need to have surgery on his left ankle, which was injured in the NFC Championship Game loss to the Saints, if he hopes to return to the Vikings in 2010.

Video: NFL Network Reports On The Story

Video: Favre’s Friend And Former Coach Steve Mariucci Gives His Take

Video: Head Coach Brad Childress Addresses The Report

Article: Favre Tells ESPN He Needs Ankle Surgery To Play

“We have spoken,” Favre said in an e-mail to Werder. “To play again, I would need the surgery, as I suspected. This decision would be easy if not for my teammates and the fans and the entire Vikings staff. One year truly felt like 10 — much like Green Bay for many years. That’s what I was missing in my heart I suppose, a since of belonging.”

As Werder points out in his story, this is somewhat similar to Favre’s situation last offseason in that he needed to have a procedure done on his throwing shoulder, which troubled him for much of his time with the New York Jets in 2008, before playing again.  As we all know, Favre had said procedure, signed with Minnesota, and went on to have one of his best seasons of his career.

I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear of the situation in the weeks and months ahead.

UPDATE – Favre has updated his official website with this addition of a statement from Favre himself:

I want to add to the information provided in the article that was published this morning on ESPN’s website. Given the reaction to the article, and the typical conclusion jumping, I thought I’d clarify a few things.

While my ankle has been bothering me, the injury is not debilitating. For example, I’m able to work around my property without any problems. Sure – certain exercises cause some ankle pain, but it’s nothing that I haven’t experienced (or played with) before. In fact, many people don’t realize that I injured my ankle before the NFC Championship game. I’ve had surgery on this ankle twice before, and I’ve played with the pain before. The hits I took throughout the 2009 season, including the Saints game, just added to the ankle pain and likely caused some bone spurs.

I don’t believe major surgery on the ankle would be required for me to return in 2010. I’ve consulted with Dr. Andrews on the phone, and a relatively minor procedure could be done to improve the dexterity of the ankle, and to relieve the pain. I’ve put up with pain worse than this in my career, and I didn’t want anyone to assume that the possibility of surgery was the sole factor that would determine whether I return or not. Some people reacting to the ESPN story have made this assumption. I don’t blame them for doing so, given that the term “surgery” often covers a variety of procedures, some more complex than others.

The ankle pain is a factor, but one of many factors that I’ll need to consider in making my decision. Other factors include the input of my family, and the wonderful experience that I had last year with the Vikings.

– Brett Favre


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LB Triplett Stays To Play In Minnesota’s Backyard

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 30, 2010 – 7:45 am

Delano, MN native Nathan Triplett didn’t have to go far to find a place to play college football. He attended the University of Minnesota and was a standout special teams player and LB for the Gophers from 2007-2009.

During the 2010 NFL Draft, the Vikings didn’t have to go far to find a solid 5th round draft choice. They tabbed Triplett as their choice with their second of two 5th round picks and have designs for him to contribute on special teams and perhaps in any or all of the 3 LB spots.

Continuing with the “not having to go far” theme of this blog entry, Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman won’t have to go far to see Triplett suit up in purple for the 1st time. Triplett will be among a large contingent of young players participating in this weekend’s rookie minicamp at Winter Park.

Spielman, Head Coach Brad Childress and the rest of the Vikings defensive and special teams coaching staff will begin to see where and how Triplett could fit into the team’s plans. He has good size – 6-3, 250 pounds – for a LB and produced in college both as a defensive player and as a special teams player. As a senior and starting LB, Triplett had 104 tackles. The 2 seasons prior to that, he was a standout special teams player. His ability to perform in both roles was likely a big reason why he stood out to the Vikings, who clearly target players with position flexibility and a penchant for performing on special teams.

“The one thing about him is he does have some position flexibility at linebacker,” Spielman said last weekend after drafting Triplett. “Maybe can play some Mike, Sam, or Will. The special teams stuck out; he didn’t play as much this year as he did in 2008 where he was a very good special teams player.”

Spielman didn’t have to go very far (that theme is really working in this entry) to see Triplett standout for the Gophers. Playing against the Wisconsin Badgers last October, Triplett collected 9 tackles and also had an INT. Fortunately for the LB, Spielman happened to be in attendance for that game.

“Yeah, I saw him play live against Wisconsin,” Spielman said. “He always got his hands on the ball; every game that I saw live or on tape he had a tendency to come up with a turnover. That is a knack or an instinct that a lot of guys don’t have.”

All joking aside, getting drafted by and potentially playing for your home town team is a fun situation and one that’s not all too common. Triplett is looking forward to the opportunity.

“Staying in Minnesota here has been a dream of mine since I was a little guy,” Triplett said. “You live in Minnesota your whole life, and I wanted to be a Gopher since I could walk and I’ve wanted to be a Viking ever since I knew what football was. It’s been a long trip through there, and I’m sure it means a lot to my family as well.”

Staying in Minnesota here has been a dream of mine since I was a little guy. You live in Minnesota your whole life, and I wanted to be a Gopher since I could walk and I’ve wanted to be a Viking ever since I knew what football was. It’s been a long trip through there, and I’m sure it means a lot to my family as well.

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QB Perrilloux Gets A Shot With Vikings

Posted by cjsiewert on April 29, 2010 – 2:54 pm

In recent days, a lot of interest from the Vikings faithful has been directed towards the idea of adding former LSU and Jacksonville State QB Ryan Perrilloux.  This interest in Perrilloux is duly noted as 6-3, 223 pound QB has displayed a great deal of athletic ability and potential throughout his collegiate career.

Coming out of high school at East St. John High in Reserve, Louisiana, Perrilloux was considered to be the top high school QB prospect in the 2005 class alongside current NY Jets QB Mark Sanchez.  Being a top prospect, heavy recruiting came with the territory and after verbally committing to Texas, Perrilloux decided LSU was the better fit.

After being redshirted in 2005, Perrilloux saw very limited action in 2006 behind QBs JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn, completing just 1 pass for 10 yards in an early-season game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The 2007 season was not a whole lot different than his ’06 campaign, although Perrilloux got his first collegiate start when head coach Les Miles decided to rest Flynn due to a previous injury.  Perrilloux stepped into the spotlight completing 20 of 25 attempts for 298 yards and 3 TDs in a 44-0 crushing of Middle Tennessee.

A few off-field transgressions kept Perrilloux from seeing much of any action for the rest of the ’07 season until the SEC Championship game against Tennessee.  Flynn was sidelined by another injury resulting in Perrilloux’s 2nd career start.  Perrilloux didn’t let the Tigers faithful down, leading his team to a 21-14 victory, completing 20 of 30 attempts for 243 yards and 1 TD.

After the ’07 season, Perrilloux was suspended from the team for violating team rules.  This resulted in Miles cutting Perrilloux from the team entirely.  The cut prompted Perrilloux to seek for a continuation of his football career elsewhere, where he then transferred to Jacksonville State and was deemed the Gamecocks’ starting QB for the 2008 season.

In Perrilloux’s 1st season as a starter in 2008, he completed 186 of 296 attempts (62.8%) for 2,298 yards and 19 TDs.  His 2009 campaign was his most productive season during his collegiate career, completing 138 of 236 attempts (58.5%) for 2,345 yards and 23 TDs.  He also only threw 2 INTs and had a QB rating of 172.4.

Perrilloux appears to have a strong head on his shoulders after dealing with some adversity throughout his collegiate career.  This has landed him an invitation and opportunity to practice with the Vikings during their 3-day rookie minicamp held this weekend at Winter Park.

If Perrilloux shows the Vikings coaching staff that he is capable of performing as an NFL QB, it is likely that he would then get an invitation to their summer workout program and quite possibly an invitation to training camp come August.

Numerous scouts have compared Perrilloux to Redskins QB Donovan McNabb.  I wouldn’t go that far, yet, as Perrilloux has a lot to prove to even make it into the NFL.  It’s nice to see, though, that the Vikings coaching staff is giving him a chance to prove himself and showcase his gifted athletic abilities.


Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 38 Comments »

Rookie Minicamp Set To Get Underway

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 29, 2010 – 2:21 pm

A large contingent of draft picks, undrafted rookie free agents and tryout players continue to roll into Winter Park today as the Vikings are set to host their annual rookie minicamp, which begins today and runs through Sunday. The players will work with the Vikings coaching staff on the field and in meeting rooms for the next couple of days as the club continues to shape its roster.

Be sure to stay with us because we’ll have coverage of the minicamp this weekend as we all try to see what this year’s draft class and crop of rookie free agents can do. Tomorrow morning we’ll have a feature on former Gopher standout and MN native Nathan Triplett to kick things off and the coverage will continue all weekend.

We hope to see you here frequently, and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts in the comments section below each entry.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 16 Comments »

Stadium Bill May Be Introduced To Legislature On Monday

Posted by cjsiewert on April 29, 2010 – 1:12 pm

Since the 2010 NFL Draft concluded this past weekend, the hot topic of Vikings discussion has revolved around whether or not the Vikings selections will make an impact, which undrafted players have a shot at making the team and which free agents the Purple should pursue.

But another topic gaining momentum over the past couple of days has been that of finalizing the details for a Vikings stadium bill.

WCCO’s Pat Kessler reports that top legislative leaders and Vikings officials met Wednesday, preparing for a bill to be introduced at the Legislature as early as Monday.

“This issue has been thoroughly discussed and debated. It’s down to what is the right plan,” Vikings VP of Public Affairs/Stadium Development Lester Bagley told Kessler on introducing the bill to legislature. “What fits Minnesota, what protects taxpayers.  That solves the problem and keeps the Vikings here for the next generation.”

Getting the bill passed this Legislative Session may take some hard-pressed motivation from certain individuals as the current session ends May 17.  This timeline does not have Bagley too concerned as he feels they “can get it [stadium bill] solved in 14, 15 days.”

Although the Metrodome location seems to be the most conceivable spot for a new stadium, the new stadium bill will be “site-neutral,” which means any city or county can bid on the stadium.

On Wednesday, Bagley chatted with fans on vikings.com about the stadium issue. Click here to replay the chat.

Stay tuned to vikings.com for continuing coverage of this issue.


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Clarifying Point On Developing Young Offensive Linemen

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 29, 2010 – 7:57 am

In the most recent edition of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag, I addressed a question from a reader asking why the Vikings didn’t draft more offensive linemen. As a reader has pointed out to me, I need to clarify and correct a few facts contained within that response and then I also want update a few of the figures I originally included.

In my response, I stated that 7 of the Vikings 11 offensive linemen currently under contract (including 5th round draft pick Chris DeGeare) were 23 or younger and that Ryan Cook was just 24, indicating that the Vikings had a bevy of young linemen to develop and therefore didn’t need to be aggressive in picking more up during the draft. In reality, 7 of those 11 offensive linemen are 24 or younger and Cook is actually 26. Although the numbers are slightly different, the point remains that the Vikings have a roster full of developmental prospects at offensive line.

Since that Monday Morning Mailbag was posted, the Vikings have added players – both as undrafted rookie free agents and tryout players – that strengthen this point. Five undrafted rookie free agent OL will participate in this weekend’s rookie minicamp and they’ll be joined by 4 more OL who will be trying out. That brings the total number of OL with the Vikings to 20 and 16 of them are at or under the age of 24, with Cook at 26 (turning 27 on May 8).

Maybe more than any other position, unheralded prospects can turn into productive players along the OL. In 2010, 3 OL who entered the NFL as undrafted players (Jason Peters, Shaun O’Hara and Kris Dielman) made the Pro Bowl and another (David Diehl) was taken in the 5th round.

So after all of that, the point remains: the Vikings are in a good position to develop some young OL and groom them to be solid players. But I wanted to clarify and correct the facts, and also include that update. So thanks to Jesse, who pointed out the need for clarification.


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MVC Final Auditions Tonight At Mall Of America

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 28, 2010 – 3:22 pm

Even if you don’t have anything on your shopping list, tonight is a good night to be at Mall of America because the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders (MVC) are holding their final auditions at the Best Buy Rotunda.

The event is free and open to the public and will feature 58 ladies competing in dance, cheer and other elements as they try to earn 1 of 34 spots on the 2010 MVC squad. The audition process began with 150 ladies and it concludes with tonight’s 2-hour competition.

Be sure to check out the show at the Best Buy Rotunda at Mall of America and then tune in to vikings.com tomorrow for the announcement of the 2010 MVC squad.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 1 Comment »

The Dangers Of Grading Draft Classes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 28, 2010 – 8:35 am

Now that the 2010 NFL Draft is in the rear view mirror, NFL draft grades are going to be seen as frequently as NFL mock drafts were seen prior to the draft. And the practice of assigning a grade to a team’s draft efforts just days after the draft concludes is as silly an exercise as actually trying to predict what will actually happen in the NFL draft.

But that doesn’t seem to stop anyone.

ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay were critical of the Vikings draft, with Kiper assigning a C- to the Purple and McShay using some complicated formula to determine the Vikings had the 24th best draft of the league’s 32 teams. NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks disagreed and gave the Vikings a B+, saying “The Vikings routinely draft well by sticking to their philosophy of taking the best available player regardless of position. In adhering to the premise this year, they came away with three players (Chris Cook, Toby Gerhart and Everson Griffen) that could be key contributors in 2010.”

We won’t be assigning a draft grade to the Vikings 2010 draft effort. Instead, click here to read why it’s such an inexact exercise.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 10 Comments »