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Pending Physicals, Vikings Trade Rosenfels, Reynaud

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 3, 2010 – 7:29 pm

The Vikings on Friday traded QB Sage Rosenfels and RB Darius Reynaud to the NY Giants in exchange for an undisclosed draft choice in the 2011 NFL Draft and a conditional draft choice in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The trade is contingent upon both Rosenfels and Reynaud passing physical examinations with the Giants.

By my (unofficial) count, the trade reduces Minnesota’s roster to 73 players; NFL teams must trim their rosters to the limit of 53 players by 5:00 p.m. CT on Saturday.


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Vikings Set To Announce 53-Man Roster By Saturday Afternoon

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 3, 2010 – 10:51 am

Training camp has concluded, the last preseason game is in the books and the regular season is now less than a week away. But before the Vikings can devote their undivided attention to game planning for the New Orleans Saints they must conduct a little roster maintenance.

NFL teams are required to reduce their rosters to 53 players on the Active List by Saturday at 5:00 p.m. CT; the Vikings currently have 75 players on the roster and will need to reduce that number by 22 before Saturday’s deadline.

Teams can begin shaping that 53-man roster today but Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress indicated after Thursday night’s preseason game that his club would likely wait until Saturday to announce its 53-man roster. Then, beginning at 11:00 a.m. CT on Sunday, each team will be able to build their 8-member practice squad.

Also on Sunday, the Vikings will be back to work on the practice fields at Winter Park in preparation for the season-opener at New Orleans. With a Thursday game, the Vikings will treat Sunday as a typical regular season Wednesday, meaning both Childress and QB Brett Favre will hold press conferences and the locker room will be open to the media. The press conferences will be streamed live right here on vikings.com, so be sure to tune in on Sunday afternoon for complete coverage of the Vikings as they prepare for Week 1.

Stay tuned to vikings.com for updates on the Vikings roster and any other team news that develops. You can also follow the Vikings on Twitter (@VikingsFootball) to stay current on Vikings news.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 84 Comments »

Active Night For Vikings Defense

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 3, 2010 – 9:51 am

I came away from training camp and the preseason impressed with and excited about the Vikings 1st-team defense, specifically with the health and strength of the front 7. I think they are poised to have another dominant effort in 2010.

But coming away from Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Denver Broncos, I’m also impressed with what I saw from the reserves on defense, and again it was particularly the front 7 that caught my eye.  On the night, the Vikings defense forced 4 fumbles, tallied 3 sacks and 7 tackles for a loss, held Denver to 2.7 yards per carry, held the Broncos scoreless on 3 of 5 trips in the red zone and they even had a goal line stand.

“Those guys have played that way all year long, all training camp long, and they’ve played consistently,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said after the game. “Whether you’re talking about Letroy Guion, or Jayme Mitchell, Fred Evans. Any of those guys. Brian Robison. They’ve all made plays at different times throughout training camp, and it’s (defensive line) probably one of the stronger positions on our football team right now.”

While the defensive line as a group played particularly well all preseason, it was a pair of LBs and a starting S that starred in Thursday night’s victory. Erin Henderson led the club with 9 tackles and also added a pair of fumble recoveries, one of which he returned 35 yards for a TD. Jasper Brinkley also impressed from the LB position, tallying 7 tackles (1 for a loss) and also forcing a fumble. And S Tyrell Johnson had a nice night, hauling in an INT off of Tim Tebow and also adding 6 tackles (1 for a loss).

Speaking of Tebow, the rookie QB flashed some positive signs for the Broncos. But he also endured some rough spots. Here is how Tebow’s 8 series ended: fumble, INT, fumble, fumble, goal line stand (turnover on downs), TD, TOD, TOD.

The most impressive part of the night for the Vikings defense began with Henderson’s fumble return for a TD and ended when the Vikings were able to register a rousing goal line stand following an INT off of Joe Webb that was returned to the Minnesota 6-yardline. From there, Denver ran 4 plays and never got into the endzone, with the 4th down play resulting in a 2-yard loss on a rushing attempt.

In fairness, I must point out that the Vikings gave up 27 first downs, 21 points and 437 net yards. But the victory, 4 turnovers and the 4th-down and goal line defense more than made up for the negatives and, more importantly, it should yield even more confidence in a Vikings defense that already looked quite formidable.


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Submit Your Question For Coach Childress

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on September 3, 2010 – 9:05 am

Click here to submit your question for Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress as part of the “Ask Coach” segment that airs each week on the “Vikings GamePlan” television show.

As part of the “Ask Coach” segment, one fan question will be selected and answered on the show by Coach. The fan whose question is selected will win an autographed item from Coach Childress. Vikings GamePlan airs at 10:30 AM on both KARE 11 and FS North each Sunday throughout the season.


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Local High School Team To Play Games In Canada

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 3, 2010 – 8:36 am

The Vikings wrapped up their preseason on Thursday night with a 31-24 victory over the Denver Broncos and will wait until next Thursday night to open the regular season. In the meantime, though, another Minnesota football team with Vikings ties will hit the gridiron – in Canada.

The Eden Prairie Eagles football team, coached by Mike Grant, son of legendary Vikings Head Coach Bud Grant, will play a pair of games today in Winnipeg, Canada as part of the Can-Am Challenge. The Cam-Am Challenge is being presented by Football Manitoba in association with Canad Inns and will feature Eden Prairie along with the Vincent Massey Trojans and Oak Park Raiders of Winnipeg.

“We are extremely excited about hosting this event and welcoming Coach Mike Grant and the Eden Prairie Eagles to Winnipeg,” said Canad Inns spokesperson Paul Robson. “Mike has always hoped to one day coach a game in the same stadium as his famous father and Canad Inns is delighted to be a supporting partner in the delivery of this special initiative.

Robson added that all proceeds generated from ticket sales will be donated to the Winnipeg High School Football League (WHSFL).

Before taking the reins of the Vikings, Bud Grant was the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Grant led the Bombers to 6 Grey Cup appearances and 4 Grey Cup titles. Many years later, Mike Grant will patrol the same sidelines as his father.

Eden Prairie High School has enjoyed great success over the past 18 seasons under the direction of coach Mike Grant. His teams have amassed an impressive regular season mark of 136-7 and have won the Lake Conference 15 times. Under Grant, the Eagles have participated in 43 section playoff games (35-5) and advanced to 14 section championship games, winning 12 times to advance to the state tournament. The Eagles have played in 30 state tournament games with an overall record of 23-7, winning 6 of the large-school state championship games.

“Vincent Massey and Oak Park are looking forward to the challenge of taking on this perennial powerhouse from Minnesota,” said WHSFL Commissioner Ron Gustafson. “There is no question that this will be a challenge but I have great confidence that both WHSFL programs will provide competitive opposition.”

The CAN-Am Challenge will kickoff at 3:00 p.m. with the Vincent Massey Trojans taking on the Eagles. That game will be followed by the Eagles challenging the Oak Park Raiders 5:30 p.m.


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Webb Opening Some Eyes, Wide Open

Posted by cjsiewert on September 3, 2010 – 8:05 am

With unquestionable athleticism and pure talent, rookie QB Joe Webb has made a big splash this preseason by having his way with the defenses thrown at him. There was skepticism prior to preseason play on whether or not the former University of Alabama-Birmingham standout would be able to handle the dynamic defenses of the NFL, but by way of showcasing his athleticism during the 4 preseason games, the rookie QB has turned that skepticism into optimism.

Webb’s passing stats are nothing remarkable, but they are respectable for a raw rookie QB – 17 of 30 for 191 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs (95.3 rating) – but what the stats don’t show is the “playmaker” factor. Pure and simple, Webb makes plays that many other QBs cannot make.

The former Blazer has done a great job of making his reads while evading the pass rush nearly every time he’s been hurried. He’s been sacked just twice in 4 games played and without his ability to avoid the pass rush, that number could easily be doubled or tripled. But avoiding the rush is just half the equation; it’s what he can do after escaping defenders in the pocket that makes #14 a special football player.

Webb finished the preseason as the Vikings leading rusher, topping the combined numbers of RBs Adrian Peterson and Albert Young. The Vikings 4th-string QB tallied 126 yards on 11 attempts and 1 TD with not 1 of those attempts as a called running play. Quintessentially, Webb has gained 126 yards by evading the pass rush. Two of Webb’s rushing attempts this preseason were big “playmaker” plays. One coming on a 48-yard sprint down the middle of the field in San Francisco for a TD and the other occurring Thursday night on a scamper along the Bronco sideline for a 41-yard gain.

“I think I did pretty good,” Webb told reporters after Thursday night’s 31-24 victory over Denver. “Just went out there and made a couple of plays and opened up some eyes a little bit. There is a lot to learn from this tape. I just thought I did all that I could.”

What is uncertain at this point is how the Vikings coaching staff will address their backup QBs with a 22-man cut to take place on Saturday. The Purple have not held 4 QBs on their regular season roster during Head Coach Brad Childress’ time at the helm and Webb is currently in that QB4 slot. What is certain, though, is that Webb’s potential as an NFL “playmaker” has thrown another dynamic into the roster cut-down assessment.


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Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 35 Comments »