Peterson Advances To “Sweet 16″ In Madden Cover Voting

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on April 1, 2011 – 8:13 am

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has advanced to the “sweet 16″ in the cover voting for EA Sports Madden NFL 12 video game.  Peterson registered 57 percent of the vote in his first round match-up against Bears DE Julius Peppers, and now is squaring off against Chargers QB Phillip Rivers.  Voting for the Peterson-Rivers matchup ends on April 3, so click here to cast your vote for AD.  The winner of this matchup will move on to go against either Saints QB Drew Brees or Jets QB Mark Sanchez.

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Lots To Check Out On

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 21, 2011 – 6:48 am

With the NFL in a work stoppage and the great action of college basketball’s March Madness, it’s understandable if you let a few updates on slip through the cracks over the weekend. But now that it’s Monday morning and a new week has begun, it’s time to get you caught up.

We’re here to help.

Mock Madness 2.0 is up and there are several notable changes to the mock drafts of NFL insiders.
– This week’s Monday Morning Mailbag tackles several topics, including the idea of trading Adrian Peterson (I fell off my chair when I first saw it, too) and a look at what other teams have received for trading back in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.
Last week’s edition of Vikings Weekly took a close look at new Vikings LBs coach Mike Singletary and current Vikings LB Jasper Brinkley.
Minnesota lost a football legend last week with the passing of former Vikings assistant coach and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Head Coach Murray Warmath.
– NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to NFL players.

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Emptying Out The Notebook From Thursday’s Combine Action

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 25, 2011 – 7:20 am

We’re all settled into the media center at Lucas Oil Stadium for Day 2 of the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, but before we get rolling too quickly here today let’s empty out the notebook from yesterday’s action.

Specifically, I wanted to share a few more thoughts from Rick Spielman’s meeting with reporters. Here we go…

– Spielman said that he and Vikings VP of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski were schedule to meet with player agents on Thursday afternoon. On-field workouts don’t get rolling until later today, so Spielman and Brzezinski had time to talk business with the agents of players currently on the Vikings roster. NFL teams are prohibited from talking to agents about players from other teams, but there is enough to talk about regarding players on their own teams, especially with the current labor situation complicating matters.

– Speaking of the labor situation, Spielman was asked if reaching a contract extension with RB Adrian Peterson was a priority for the Vikings. Spielman said that the club and Peterson’s representatives would likely wait until a new CBA is reached before they talk turkey on a new contract. Spielman also said that Peterson is a crucial component of the team, indicating that indeed the Vikings will be interested in locking him up to an extension as soon as possible.

– Spielman has led an effort over the last few weeks to get the Vikings prepared not only for the draft at the end of April but also for restricted and unrestricted free agency, which will begin at a date to be determined later. Part of that process is also evaluating the current roster, which is a bit more complex this year because the Vikings have several new coaches on staff. Through it all, though, Spielman said it’s been great working with new head coach Leslie Frazier. With the way the Vikings are structured, communication between Spielman and the head coach is key. Spielman said Frazier has been a clear communicator and is doing a nice job leading the coaching staff in the offseason.

– Every draft has a different identity. Some years the draft is very top heavy, with several elite-level players but not much depth in the later rounds. Some years the draft is stocked with offensive talent but is low on defensive stars. It sounds like this year’s draft is an especially deep one at many positions. This could play into the Vikings hands because Spielman is known for a propensity to trade back in order to accumulate additional picks and collect talented pieces.

This could be a strategy the Vikings employ this year, especially because they hold a relatively high 1st-round pick (#12 overall) that has high trade value and because the Vikings don’t have a 3rd-round pick (Randy Moss trade); Spielman has been vocal in saying he wants to get a 3rd-round pick back somehow.

“We want to have depth everywhere, especially with the roster turnover we’re probably going to have,” Spielman said on Thursday. “And that’s why when you look at the draft and look at the potential of moving out of the 12th pick and accumulating more picks, because I think it’s a really good draft, very deep draft. There are some positions in this draft that are extremely intriguing to say the least and that position (defensive line) is pretty intriguing.”

– Lastly, Spielman was asked about the status of the Vikings offensive line, a unit that endured much scrutiny last season. He spoke very highly of 3 young players in particular, saying RT Phil Loadholt has a lot of promise and C John Sullivan is poised to bounce back in 2011 after a tumultuous and injury-plagued season in 2010. Spielman also had a lot to say about G Chris DeGeare, the team’s 5th-round pick last year. We’ll have more on what Spielman said about DeGeare later this weekend.

Ultimately, Spielman said the Vikings have good, young talent along their offensive line but he also acknowledged the Vikings must continue to add youth and depth to the position.

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Peterson, Winfield Make Big Plays At Pro Bowl

Posted by cjsiewert on January 30, 2011 – 11:26 pm

The Vikings may be in full offseason mode, following the assembly of a new coaching staff under 1st-year head coach Leslie Frazier, but 2 members of the Purple capped off their 2010 campaigns with impressive showings at the Pro Bowl on Sunday.

Vikings star RB Adrian Peterson and 12-year veteran CB Antoine Winfield each made their presence known at Aloha Stadium. Peterson recorded a game-high 14 carries for 80 yards and a TD, while Winfield tallied 2 tackles and an INT.

In his 4th consecutive appearance in the NFL’s all-star game, Peterson highlighted the NFC’s 3rd offensive drive with 3 carries for 33 yards and a TD. His 1st touch of the game only amounted to 2 yards, but the following 2 touches resulted in a 17-yard gain setting up his own 14-yard TD run. Peterson also received an onside kick late in the 4th quarter for a 12-yard return.

On the other side of the ball, Winfield – who made his 3rd-career Pro Bowl appearance (3rd consecutive) – made his impression with an INT of Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel midway through the 2nd quarter. On the play, Cassel’s pass intended for Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne was underthrown and Winfield came down with the ball for a 19-yard return.

Vikings middle LB E.J. Henderson made his 1st-career appearance at the Pro Bowl to balance the NFC roster following a series of injury and Super Bowl-related withdrawals, but did not dress.

DT Kevin Williams was also selected in replacement of injured Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, but did not make the trip to Honolulu, Hawaii because his wife, Tasha, is expecting a child.

The NFC defeated the AFC 55-41 in the highest-scoring Pro Bowl since 2004 when the NFC defeated the AFC 55-52.

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Kevin Williams Named To NFC Pro Bowl Squad

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 7, 2011 – 11:39 am

Vikings DT Kevin Williams was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team on Friday, replacing injured Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh. It marks the 5th straight season that Williams was recognized as a Pro Bowler and the 6th time overall in his 8-year career.

Kevin Williams

Williams started all 16 games for the Vikings during the 2010 season and finished with 49 tackles, 9 tackles-for-loss, 7 passes defended, 1.0 sack and 1 forced fumble. He has totaled 49.5 sacks in his career, the most among DTs in the NFL since he entered the NFL in 2003.

“I look at it as a great honor by your peers and your coaches around the league to be selected to the Pro Bowl,” Williams said. “I really enjoy it and I really appreciate the honor.”

Williams joins RB Adrian Peterson as the 2nd Viking on the NFC Pro Bowl squad.

“It’s great to be with Adrian,” Williams said. “I see him every day and he’s going to give you the same thing. Those guys better watch out. It’s a nice time to converse with all your peers and just catch up with all the guys after a tough season.”

RB Adrian Peterson (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
DT Kevin Williams (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)

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What 2 Watch 4

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 2, 2011 – 6:29 am

The Vikings and Detroit Lions will battle today at Ford Field beginning at 12:00 p.m. CT. While the game has no playoff implications, there are still plenty of interesting subplots to watch. Here are a few…

– With a rushing TD, RB Adrian Peterson can set a new Vikings team record for the most career rushing TDs. In just 4 years, Peterson has 52 rushing TDs and is now tied with Chuck Foreman and Bill Brown for the most as a Viking. Peterson can also continue to climb higher in the top 10 in NFL history for most rushing yards in the first 4 years. He currently has 5,751 rushing yards, which ranks 6th and trails Jamal Lewis’ 5,763 for 5th.

– The Vikings can finish with a top 10 defense for the 3rd straight year for the first time since 1992-94, when the team finished 8th, 1st and 5th. The Vikings are currently 7th after ranking 6th in ‘08 and ‘09.

– A win would give the Vikings a 4-2 record under Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier. The team finished 3-3 in the final 6 games of the 2009 season.

– With his sack at Philadelphia last Tuesday, DE Jared Allen reached double digit sacks for a fourth straight year (10.5 sacks currently).

– P Chris Kluwe can set the team record for the most games with a 50-yard punt. Kluwe has 68 career games with a 50-yarder, which is tied with Greg Coleman for the most in team history. Kluwe can also break his own record for most punts inside the 20 in a single season. Kluwe has 30 on the year, and his team record is 33.

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Vikings Injury Roundup

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

The Vikings face a condensed week as they prepare for the Detroit Lions because their game with the Eagles was postponed and moved from Sunday night to Tuesday night. As a result, the team did not practice on Wednesday and will instead resume on-field activities today.

Wednesday is typically the day NFL teams install their game plan, hold their initial practice of the week and submit the first injury report of the week. The Vikings, though, got back from Philadelphia around 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning and interim head coach Leslie Frazier gave his players the day off.

But, per NFL protocol, the Vikings still had to submit an injury report in advance of Sunday’s date with the Lions. So the team had to make a guess at to which injured players would or would not have practiced. Also, Frazier held his usual day-after-the-game press conference and addressed the status of several of his injured players.

Here is the injury roundup as of Thursday morning…

CB Asher Allen (hip), QB Brett Favre (concussion/neck/right shoulder), LB Erin Henderson (concussion), WR Sidney Rice (concussion), FB Fahu Tahi (ankle) and S Madieu Williams (concussion) were all listed as non-participants in practice. Frazier indicated all players with concussions would be day-to-day this week, and he specifically mentioned that Favre has not yet passed the ImPACT test, which is the test all players must pass before being cleared to resume on-field activities. As for Tahi, Frazier said the team expected him to be available for this weekend’s game in Detroit.

S Tyrell Johnson (knee) and RB Adrian Peterson (knee) were both listed as limited participants in practice. Johnson has been out for several weeks with his injury and Peterson has been battling leg injuries for several weeks as well.

“The fact that Adrian was able to complete the game is a big plus for us,” Frazier said on Wednesday. “We’ll have to keep an eye on him during the course of the week, because you’re right, the very first contact he got was right in that spot, so we’ll have to see how he goes. He played well. He played terrific, even with that injury, so we’ll have to see what happens the rest of this week.”

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Team Leaders Stepped Up For Vikings

Posted by cjsiewert on December 29, 2010 – 4:16 pm

Headed into Tuesday night’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings had lost consecutive games by a combined score of 61-17 and were forced to wait an extra 2 days to play their Week 16 game due to another weather-related delay.

Frustration and anxiety could have best suited the feelings among Vikings players while waiting to play the Eagles, but instead, team leaders took a stand to staying focused and making sure the rest of the team had the same mindset.

“After having a couple of tough losses like we had and some of the circumstances involved in those losses, guys can tend to, especially young guys, begin to think more about the offseason than the next opponent,” Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier said during his day-after-the-game press conference. “I needed our veteran guys to step up in that locker room, on the field and at practice to lead the way and that’s exactly what Jared Allen did, Kevin Williams, Antoine Winfield, Adrian (Peterson), different guys that are in leadership roles, that’s exactly what they did.

“They stepped up and not only backed it up with talk but they did it on the field as well and our younger players really followed their example last night.”

Frazier re-established a group of team leaders after he assumed his current role as interim head coach in order to create a stronger relationship between himself and his players. He also wanted to make sure that the team leaders would gain a better understanding of what was expected of them and to communicate that message with the rest of the players in the locker room.

The days leading up to Tuesday night’s victory and the outcome of the game may well have been the best example of the Vikings cohesiveness between the head coach, team leaders and the rest of the club.

After the decision had been made to postpone the game until Tuesday night, Vikings team leaders shared their thoughts on the issue and it is clear that everyone remained focus on the task at hand.

“Coach Frazier told us to continue to stick together, to stay focused, and that’s what we’ll do,” RB Adrian Peterson mentioned on Monday.

Other leaders voiced their opinions on Monday as well. DE Jared Allen said, “We have to remain together as a team and keep a positive mind frame.”

Vikings K Ryan Longwell referenced a meeting the team leaders had with Frazier on Monday.

“We have every reason, because of the season, to say ‘this is the last straw and I’m checking out,’” Longwell said. “But this is the NFL and you can’t do that. You have to show up ready to play Tuesday night and that’s what we’re trying to get the young guys and everybody to understand.”

Frazier needed his leaders to step up on Tuesday night and that’s exactly what they did. And it rubbed off on the younger players as well en route to the 24-14 upset victory over the Eagles.

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Peterson & Webb Need Your Votes For Weekly Awards

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 29, 2010 – 11:48 am

Last year, seemingly every week there would be a Viking up for one of’s weekly awards.  Not so much this year of course, but thanks to last night’s upset win over the Eagles, two of the key components to that win are in the running to take home some hardware and need your votes.

Adrian Peterson, the lone Viking Pro Bowler for 2010-11, is up for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week award.  Peterson rushed 22 times for 118 yards and a touchdown to help the Vikings upset the Eagles 24-14 on Tuesday night.  To vote for Peterson, click here.

Also up for an award this week is QB Joe Webb, who completed 17 of 26 passes for 195 yards and rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown in the win vs. Philly.  To vote for Webb as the Pepsi Rookie of the Week, click here.

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Peterson Named To 2011 Pro Bowl Team

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 28, 2010 – 6:15 pm

The 2011 Pro Bowl rosters were announced tonight during an exclusive television event on NFL Network and Adrian Peterson was the lone Vikings representative. Other Vikings could be added to the NFC’s roster as alternates should injuries or other reasons prevent starters from playing in the game.

Heading into tonight’s action, Peterson has 1,149 yards rushing with 11 TDs. He’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry and hasn’t lost a fumble yet this season (knock on wood). Currently Peterson ranks 11th in the NFL in rushing, but keep in mind that everyone in front of him played a game this past weekend. Peterson has been among the top 3 or 4 rushers during the season.

This will be Peterson’s 4th Pro Bowl honor – he’s made the all-star game in every season of his career.

The 2011 Pro Bowl will be played on January 30 in Honolulu, HI.

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