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Frazier Pleased With Griffin’s Play, Sees Good Things Ahead For Him

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 27, 2011 – 6:02 am

Cedric Griffin has been a much-maligned member of the Vikings defense recently, and his season may have reached a low point about two weeks ago when he was benched during the Vikings Week 14 game in Detroit and then did not start or play much at all in the Vikings Week 15 game at home against the New Orleans Saints.

But Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier has since had a chat with Griffin, and it appears the soft-spoken but ultra-competitive CB has responded well. A quick glance at the stat sheet from Saturday’s game against the Redskins will not reveal gaudy statistics for Griffin, but a longer look at the game tape apparently didn’t reveal many errors, either. Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier couldn’t say enough positive things about the game Griffin played on Christmas Eve Day.

“Cedric played well,” Frazier explained. “He was active. He was really into it, in all areas. He did a really good job. I’m really proud of the way he played, the way he approached things throughout the week in practice. He had his best week of practice and it showed in the way he played on Saturday. He was very competitive, he played smart, executed the techniques that we asked of him, repeatedly. So, that’s really, really encouraging and it’ll be great to see that again this Sunday against Chicago. I was really encouraged by his play and his attitude and his effort as well.”

When he plays well, Griffin is a big asset for the Vikings defense because he has the size to battle with some of the NFL’s best and biggest WRs. This season, though, Frazier has indicated that he wants Griffin to execute basic techniques of the CB position better and also play with more confidence.

“It would have been very, very difficult to walk off that field with a win yesterday if he didn’t play the way he played,” Frazier said. “He played well enough to give us a chance to win that football game. It was very, very encouraging to see his play.

“I haven’t lost my confidence in Cedric along the way. What I’ve tried to do is encourage him to regain his confidence, because I believe that he can do certain things that he has to believe he can do. Saturday, he executed some of those things without any inhibitions, without any concerns. He just played freely. If we get that out of him, which I expect us to going forward, there are good things ahead for him.”


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Vikings Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman Speaks On Peterson’s Knee Injury

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2011 – 3:33 pm

Before Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier fielded questions at his customary Monday afternoon press conference, he introduced Vikings Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman to the assembled media and had Sugarman further explain the injury sustained by RB Adrian Peterson. Sugarman also remained at the podium to field questions from reporters regarding Peterson’s injury and the protocol going forward.

You can watch Monday’s press conference by clicking here, but in the event you can’t watch video of the press conference I’ll leave you a few important notes right here on the blog…

– As you’ve heard by now, Peterson did tear the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee and he also suffered a tear to the medial-collateral ligament (MCL) in the left knee. He also has some injury to both the medial and lateral meniscus in the knee. That’s obviously the bad news. The good news is that posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is normal and so is the lateral-collateral ligament (LCL). And most importantly, Sugarman said, is that all the chondral surface in Peterson’s knee is also non-injured, which is a very positive aspect of this injury.

– Currently, Peterson is in Minnesota and he’ll be rehabbing at Winter Park, with the goal being to restore the range of motion in his left knee, decrease the swelling and keep the quadriceps strong in order to prepare him for surgery. Peterson will undergo surgery with a to-be-determined surgeon in the next 7-10 days.

– After the surgery, the Vikings expect that Peterson will rehab with the club and that recovery time will be in the range of 8-9 months.

– “Adrian is, I feel, very unique,” Sugarman said. “If there was anyone that is going to be able to recover from this injury, it’s Adrian Peterson, and you may ask why, and it’s because Adrian has a great work ethic. Adrian has the DNA to heal quickly, which he has shown in the past. He certainly will have the desire and the mental toughness to be able to get through the rehab process, which will take months and months as you know, so I think if anyone can get better quickly and safely in that time period, it would be Adrian Peterson.”

– Sugarman was careful to make clear that Peterson’s status and the timeline on his recovery are subject to change.

– As for whether Peterson could be ready to go for the 2012 season, Sugarman said: “We are going to hold the goal to have him ready for the first game. Although I ask the permission to please let Coach Frazier update that process as we go through the protocol.  The goal is around 8-9 months, around 8 months is going to probably be our first game.  So we do think the potential is to have him ready for the beginning portion of next season, so that is going to be our goal.”


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Vikings Place Peterson On Reserve/Injured, Promote Caleb King

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2011 – 3:02 pm

The Vikings made 4 roster moves on Monday afternoon, with 2 involving RBs and 2 involving TEs.

RB Adrian Peterson was placed on the Reserve/Injured list, and rookie Caleb King was promoted from the practice squad to take his place on the roster.

TE Allen Reisner was waived, and TE Mickey Shuler was promoted from the practice squad to take his place.


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Several Vikings Step Up In Win Over Washington

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2011 – 2:27 pm

The Vikings earned a tough 33-26 road victory over the Washington Redskins on Saturday, and there was nothing conventional about how the game unfolded. Minnesota jumped out to 10-0 lead, trailed 13-10 early in the 3rd quarter, watched both Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder leave the game due to injury, and then outscored Washington 23-13 the rest of the way to notch the win.

To be on the road and face that much adversity – Peterson left with a severe knee injury and Ponder suffered a concussion – but still come out with a win is a testament to the Vikings depth and refusal to quit on the season.

Peterson and Ponder were both forced out of the game early in the 3rd quarter. Backups Toby Gerhart and Joe Webb stepped right in and were productive for the rest of the game. Gerhart finished with 109 yards on 11 carries, the first 100-yard game of his career, and Webb was 4 of 5 for 84 yards and 2 TDs, and he also added 5 carries for 34 yards and 1 TD.

But it was more than just Gerhart and Webb who stepped up on Saturday. Seven-year veteran Joe Berger started at LG in place of Steve Hutchinson, rookie interior OL Brandon Fusco replaced Anthony Herrera at RG after Herrera left with an injury, rookie S Mistral Raymond grabbed an INT and ended a big-time drought for the Vikings defense, and Brian Robison forced and recovered a fumble off of Rex Grossman.

There are more examples of guys who stepped up in the victory, but you get the picture. And Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier was clearly pleased with the way his team played, from the top of the roster all the way to the bottom.

“As I mentioned earlier, just a good overall effort by our football team to go on the road and get a win against a Redskins team that had just come off a big win against the Giants the week before,” Frazier said during his customary day-after-the-game press conference. “And to handle some of that adversity that occurred during that game, to see the number of players who stepped up like they did, whether it be Toby Gerhart, Joe (Webb) coming into the game when Christian (Ponder) was injured, some of our defensive guys just stepping up, Mistral Raymond coming back and getting an interception for us, the big caused fumble by Brian Robison as well.

“A lot of good things in that football game. A lot of guys contributed to that win on Saturday, which really should be a spring board for us as we prepare for this ball game against Chicago.”


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Monday Morning Mailbag Extra: Clearing The Air With Dares

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2011 – 1:37 pm

In this week’s Monday Morning Mailbag, a reader named Dares from Burleson, Texas submitted a question asking if the Vikings made a tactical error by winning this past weekend because it eliminated the Vikings from being able to secure the #1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Given that the Vikings were 2-12 entering last weekend’s game in Washington, Dares was suggesting in his question that it benefited the Vikings more to lose the game and secure better draft positioning than it would to win the game and improve the record.

My response to Dares was blunt, and in hindsight I should’ve replied in more diplomatic fashion. I used the term “despicable” to describe the idea of laying down and not trying to win and I also used the phrase “statement of ignorance” to characterize Dares’ assertion that a win or loss against the Redskins made no difference in the season. While I stand by the opinion that winning the game does more benefit than losing to secure better draft positioning, I regret coming off as rigid as I did.

The question/suggestion raised by Dares was easily the second-most common sentiment to come from fans to this week’s Monday Morning Mailbag, behind the bombardment of emails I received regarding Christian Ponder-versus-Joe Webb discussion. I chose Dares’ email for inclusion in this week’s Mailbag not to single him out personally, but because his email was the most eloquently written of anyone else who submitted a similar comment/question, and because I wanted to speak out against the idea of not going all-out to win the game.

 After reading this week’s Monday Morning Mailbag and my response to his question, Dares emailed me again to apologize for any offense I took to his comment/question, to further explain his opinion, and to ensure me that he is not a despicable or ignorant fan. I’ve included his email to me below because he deserves to be heard, especially in light of how unfairly I treated him in my response. As you’ll read, Dares is a great fan, a credit to the Minnesota Vikings, and a person with a sincere interest in seeing the team succeed.

Implying that a fan’s opinion is despicable or ignorant and thus making that fan feel like less a part of this team is not ever my intention. I very much enjoy the interaction I am fortunate enough to have with fans, and in fact the Monday Morning Mailbag is my favorite written content element of vikings.com because it allows fans to direct the content we house on the website. A big reason vikings.com exists is to let the fans have an eye on their favorite team. I embrace the fans’ passion and I know that without them, the NFL would not be as great as it is. That is why it was important for me to clear the air with Dares and offer my apology to him. I hope he accepts it, and I hope his passion for the Vikings never wanes. Again, it is because of fans such as Dares, who stick with their team through thick and thin, that the NFL enjoys the success that it does.

Here is the email Dares sent to me on Monday morning.

Dear Mike,
I apologize if I offended you with my question/comment about the Vikings losing the #1 pick with their win on Saturday.  You slammed on me pretty hard for that.  At the least please let me explain away my “ignorant” point of view.

I’ve been a Vikings fan for 40 years.  I remember hanging on every play through all four Super Bowl losses and every big game, and season, since.  Please know this, I would never ask my beloved Vikings to intentionally ‘throw’ a game.

I do understand, though, that with the installment of so many new people, systems, ideas etc., the Vikings have clearly been affected in a greater way than the rest of the NFL with the lack of an offseason.  That should automatically yield some measure of protection to the players/coaches who truly deserve a full chance to work the new system.

With that, the fact we only had two wins on the season, and the #1 pick became available within our grasp, I was suggesting playing the younger, newer guys.  Instead of ‘resting the good players for the playoffs’ like the winning teams do, rest them to allow the back-ups to prove their value to the team (see what Toby G has done for us these past few weeks). Your coaches, players, scouts, and everyone else whose jobs are being judged still have to perform to the best of their abilities.  It does, however, greatly increase your chances of losing the game at hand which, at this stage of this season, is much less important to me.

I agree with you that the concept of asking your QB to go out and throw an interception, or your RB to go fumble the ball, or your defender to stop tackling is just wrong.  It’s just as much cheating as the Patriots filming defensive signals on the opposing sidelines.  I’m sorry but intentionally screwing up to throw a game is not an option to me … and I would never suggest it for my team.  It’s despicable.

Look, you still may or may not agree with my logic, and that’s ok.  I just wanted you to have the whole story.

Please, if you will, at least let the Vikings know that Dares Olson in Burleson, TX is not the ignorant, despicable thinking fan it sounds like I am in your response.  I have been a die-hard fan through all the good, bad, AND the ugly for a very, very long time.  I’ve endured a lot of criticism for it too because I haven’t been able to live in Minnesota for all of those years (Cowboys fans and Saints fans hate the Vikings, you know).

I have even attached a pic of my son and me from a couple years ago proudly wearing our Purple Pride in front of a Cowboys store at the mall, and one of a letter Coach Jerry Burns sent me (many years ago) thanking me for my support (that was a tough season also).  I really am a true and good fan and that’s what I’d like to be associated with my name.  Please let them know.

Thank you.

Dares Olson


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 34 Comments »

This Week’s Monday Morning Mailbag Is Posted

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 25, 2011 – 7:00 am

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Hopefully many of you have Monday off, that way you can read the Monday Morning Mailbag from the comfort of your own home. This week’s edition of the Mailbag is posted, and you can read it by clicking here.

To submit a comment or question, send an email to me at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. You can also submit your comment or question in the comments section below this entry.

Remember to include your name and town on the comment/email. We can’t post every comment/question, but we’ll try to answer each question.


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Peterson Suffers Knee Injury vs. Redskins

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 24, 2011 – 1:51 pm

Early in the third quarter of Saturday’s game vs. the Redskins, Adrian Peterson took a hit from safety DeJon Gomes and suffered a left knee injury.  The Vikings medical staff helped him to the sideline and he was later carted to the locker room.

We’ll have more on this story as it unfolds.

POSTGAME UPDATE: Head Coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson will have an MRI once the team gets back to Minnesota on Saturday night.

UPDATE NO. 2: The Vikings issued the following statement on Saturday night: An MRI this evening revealed that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suffered a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Head Coach Leslie Frazier will give a further update Monday at his 12:30 p.m. press conference.

Here’s video of the play where Peterson got hurt.

Here’s video of Peterson talking about the injury after the game.

Click here to watch Leslie Frazier’s postgame speech to the team following the win vs. the Redskins.

Click here to watch Frazier’s postgame presser where he talked about the injury and much more.

Click here to read a game recap from the Associated Press with postgame quotes from Peterson and others.


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Mr. Hippe’s Weather Report

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 24, 2011 – 12:00 pm

It’s a great day for football in the Washington D.C. area. Since it’s an outdoor game, Mr. Hippe has checked in with a weather report.

Mr. Hippe reports a temperature of 47 degrees with sunny skies and winds from the south-to-southwest at 10-15 mph.

As we said, a great day for football.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 2 Comments »

Vikings-Redskins Inactives

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 24, 2011 – 10:29 am

Here are today’s inactive players for the Vikings:

CB Asher Allen, CB Chris Cook, LB Xavier Adibi, OL DeMarcus Love, OL Steve Hutchinson, TE Allen Reisner and DE D’Aundre Reed.

Joe Berger will start in place of Hutchinson at LG.

Here are the Redskins inactives:

No. 29 RB Roy Helu
No. 55 LB Markus White
No. 58 OL Erik Cook
No. 87 TE Rob Myers
No. 88 WR David Anderson
No. 90 DE Doug Worthington
No. 93 DE Kentwan Balmer


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Jared Allen, Adrian Peterson Chasing Illustrious Records

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 24, 2011 – 10:10 am

The Vikings are 2-12 and there are no playoff implications in their game against the Washington Redskins today, but there is still plenty of reason to watch.

Jared Allen, with 17.5 sacks, ranks 2nd in the NFL and he’s just 3.5 sacks away from tying the Vikings single-season record, which is held by Chris Doleman. If Allen has a big day today, he could also challenge Michael Strahan’s NFL single-season of 22.5 sacks next week against the Chicago Bears.

Adrian Peterson is just 105 yards away from breaking Robert Smith’s team record for career rushing yards. He is also just 68 yards away from notching his 5th straight 1,000-yard rushing season. The Redskins rank 15th in the NFL against the run, giving up 112.0 yards per game on the ground. Today is a good matchup between the Vikings running game – ranked 4th in the NFL – and a talented front 7 in Washington’s 3-4 defensive scheme.


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