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Roster Rundown: Safeties And Tight Ends

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 19, 2012 – 6:40 am

The Vikings made key additions to the safety and tight end positions this offseason, but they utilized different methods in doing so. At safety, the Vikings looked to the draft to add young talent and infuse the position with competition. At tight end, the Vikings turned to free agency to bolster the position.

Safeties and tight ends are the subject of today’s Roster Rundown. Let’s begin with the safeties…

Four players listed as safeties will return from last year’s team. Jamarca Sanford, who started 15 games in 2011 and is entering his fourth season, has the most experience playing defense of the bunch. Eric Frampton, entering his sixth season, has been a core special teams player for the Vikings since 2007 and should retain at least that role in 2012. The two other returning players are Mistral Raymond and Andrew Sendejo. Raymond started five games last year and Sendejo was added to the active roster via free agency in late November 2011.

The Vikings added two safeties to the roster via the draft, using a 1st-round pick to select Harrison Smith and a 5th-round pick to select Robert Blanton. As a 1st-round pick, the expectation for Smith is that he’ll emerge from training camp with a starting role. Blanton is converting from cornerback to safety and will compete for time at the other safety position. Others who will compete for time at safety are Reggie Jones and perhaps Zack Bowman (he could rotate between cornerback and safety).

Safety is a position to watch during training camp and the preseason. The assumption is that Smith will hold down one starting spot while Blanton, Raymond and Sanford compete for the other position. But don’t be surprised to see others insert themselves into the mix, including Bowman and Sendejo.

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The Vikings shed a fair amount of experience at tight end this offseason, with 13-year pro Jim Kleinsasser retiring and nine-year pro Visanthe Shiancoe not returning. But now the position is full of youth and play-making athleticism. Not many teams used more multiple-TE formations than the Vikings a season ago, so this will be an important position to watch develop during training camp and the preseason.

Kyle Rudolph was a 2nd-round pick of the Vikings last year and he came on strong at the end of the season. He and QB Christian Ponder clearly have a good rapport, so it won’t be a surprise to see Rudolph take a huge step forward in 2012. As if one athletic, field-stretching TE from Notre Dame wasn’t enough, the Vikings added John Carlson to the mix during free agency. A Litchfield, MN native, Carlson is a proven talent in the NFL with a pair of 50+ reception seasons and a per-catch average of 11.1 yards for his career.

Behind Carlson and Rudolph, the Vikings have a pair of former Big Ten tight ends who are also talented pass catchers in Allen Reisner and Mickey Shuler. Both have two years of experience and both will have to display an ability to help on special teams as well as on offense to earn a roster spot.

The last player we’ll mention in this space is Rhett Ellison, even though he may eventually be listed as a FB. The Vikings selected Ellison in the 4th round of this year’s draft and he could be asked to fulfill a variety of roles on the Vikings offense, including as a tight end. Billed as a big, physical blocking-type of tight end entering the draft, Ellison displayed fluid route running and pass receiving skills at the Vikings rookie minicamp in May. A blue-collar, nose-to-the-grindstone player, Ellison will quickly become a fan-favorite in Minnesota, similar to how Kleinsasser’s career progressed.

Carlson and Rudolph will be the main threats at TE for the Vikings in 2012. While both are capable blockers, that is not their forte. That leaves opportunity for Reisner and Shuler to prove their worth during training camp; it will also be important for Reisner and Shuler to perform well on special teams during training camp and the preseason.


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Vikings Sign Seven Reserve/Future Free Agents

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 2, 2012 – 3:45 pm

The Vikings on Monday signed the following 7 players to Reserve/Future Free Agent contracts:

WR Kris Adams
G Chris DeGeare
DB Reggie Jones
G Butch Lewis
LB Tyrone McKenzie
TE Allen Reisner
WR Kerry Taylor

These players will be on the Vikings roster for the offseason and are eligible to participate in the offseason program, minicamps and Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and training camp.


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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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Vikings Promote TE Allen Reisner To Active Roster

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 26, 2011 – 11:32 am

The Vikings have tweaked their roster in advance of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

TE Allen Reisner has been promoted from the practice squad to the active roster. To make room for Reisner, the Vikings waived WR Stephen Burton.

With both Visanthe Shiancoe and Kyle Rudolph on the injury report this week, Reisner could be a factor for the Vikings on Sunday.


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Vikings Add Reisner To Practice Squad; Injury Notes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 5, 2011 – 3:33 pm

The tweaked their roster on Tuesday by adding FB Ryan D’Imperio to the 53-man roster and clearing room for him by waiving TE Allen Reisner. On Wednesday, the Vikings added Reisner back to the team by placing him on the practice squad.

The Vikings returned to the practice field on Wednesday to begin on-field preparations for the Arizona Cardinals. The return to the practice field means the return of injury reports.

Three Vikings – P Chris Kluwe (hamstring), C John Sullivan (ankle) and CB Antoine Winfield (neck) – did not participate, while four others practice on a limited basis. The 4 players who were limited were S Husain Abdullah (pelvis), LB E.J. Henderson (knee), T Charlie Johnson (elbow) and S Jamarca Sanford (knee).


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Vikings Tweak Roster; Add D’Imperio

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 4, 2011 – 1:11 pm

The Vikings on Tuesday made a roster change, signing a player from their practice squad to the Active Roster.

FB Ryan D’Imperio, a 7th-round draft choice from 2010, has been added to the 53-man roster.

To make room for D’Imperio, the Vikings waived TE Allen Reisner.

 


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Vikings Tweak Roster

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 13, 2011 – 9:07 am

The Vikings have made a few changes to the roster over the past day or so. Here are the changes…

– C Joe Berger was signed to the active roster and C Jon Cooper was waived to make room for Berger.

– DL Cedric McKinley was signed to the practice squad. The Vikings had a spot open on the practice squad after activating TE Allen Reisner on Saturday.


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Vikings Tweak Roster Before Heading To San Diego

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 10, 2011 – 10:47 am

The Vikings have adjusted their practice squad and 53-man roster just before heading to San Diego for the 2011 season opener against the Chargers.

TE Allen Reisner has been promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. To make room for Reisner, the Vikings waived OL Seth Olsen.

Stay tuned to vikings.com and the vikings.com Blog for all your Vikings information leading up to this weekend’s game against the Chargers.


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Vikings Tweak Roster, Sign LB Xavier Adibi

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 4, 2011 – 5:35 pm

The Vikings on Sunday tweaked their roster by signing LB Xavier Adibi, a 4th-year player who was most recently with the Houston Texans. To make room for Adibi, the Vikings waived TE Allen Reisner.

Adibi, who measures in at 6-4, 242 pounds, was drafted by the Texans in the 4th round (#118 overall) of the 2008 NFL draft out of Virginia Tech. Houston employs a 3-4 defensive scheme, so it’s hard to compare what his role was in that defense to what it will be in the Vikings scheme. But watch for Adibi to backup Vikings middle LB E.J. Henderson. It wouldn’t be surprising, though, to see Adibi train at outside LB and also on special teams.

A native of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Adibi has appeared in 34 games through 3 NFL seasons and he’s registered 68 tackles and also 2 forced fumbles (according to NFL.com).

No other roster moves or announcements are expected on Sunday.


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