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.”
Tags: Chris Cook, Toby Gerhart
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 23 Comments »
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.
Tags: Ryan Perrilloux
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 25 Comments »
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.
“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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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.”
Tags: Nathan Triplett, Rick Spielman
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 3 Comments »