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Vikings Stats Of The Week

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 28, 2010 – 10:13 am

A few interesting stats to look over as you wait for kickoff of today’s Vikings-Redskins game…

– Leslie Frazier’s 1st career INT came against Tommy Kramer and the Vikings on November 28, 1982, which is 28 years to the day from his 1st game as a (interim)head coach of the Vikings.
— DE Jared Allen now has 78.5 sacks since entering the league in 2004, which ranks 5th among all all NFL players for the most in the first 7 seasons. Allen surpassed Bruce Smith’s 78 in 5 years.
— G Steve Hutchinson can block for his 10th consecutive 1,000-yard rusher (had a 1,000 yard rusher in each of his 9 previous seasons) if RB Adrian Peterson rushes for 20 yards or more.
— TE Jim Kleinsasser can block for his eighth 1,000-yard rusher if  Peterson rushes for 20 yards. Kleinsasser has blocked for 4 straight 1,000-yard rushers.
— Kleinsasser can move into 2nd place for the most consecutive games played by a Vikings TE. Currently he has played in 90 consecutive games, which ranks 3rd and trails Brent Novoselsky’s 91 (2nd).
— K Ryan Longwell can move up the NFL charts for career FGs made. Longwell currently ranks 16th in NFL history with 333 FGs made. He can tie George Blanda (335) for 15th place with 2 FGs.
— Peterson has 49 career combined TDsin 55 career games. With 1 TD, he can move into 7th place in Vikings history, tying Sammy White with 50 career TDs.


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Player Reaction To Coaching Change

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 22, 2010 – 3:42 pm

Several Vikings players have provided their thoughts on the Vikings coaching change. Here’s what they had to say…

DE Jared Allen
“Today is really a mix of emotions. I’m going to miss Coach Childress. Brad brought me here back in 2008, and I’m thankful for that. I wish him nothing but the best. At the same time, Leslie is a stand-up guy who has our respect. He helped turn this defense into a top ten unit year in and year out. Now this will be a chance for him to lead the organization. Leslie’s great at managing players and coaches, and I know the guys will play hard over the next six weeks.”

LB Heath Farwell
“Coach Frazier is very capable of stepping into this role. He’s an even-keel type of guy who has the respect of the locker room. This is a great opportunity for him to showcase his skills as a head coach, and I support him 100%. I feel bad for Coach Childress. Unfortunately he’s the guy that took the fall for us as players who haven’t been playing as well as we should. I have a lot of support for Brad and I wish him and his family the best moving forward.”

QB Brett Favre
“Leslie is a respected, knowledgeable coach and a quality person. I’ve enjoyed being around him the past couple years and I know he’s going to take this opportunity and make the most of it. What you see is what you get with Leslie. He has a background of winning Super Bowls as a player and coach and he knows what it takes to win in the NFL. He can relate to players having been in their shoes himself and will prepare the team well. Brad Childress is a good guy, a man with strong faith and a great family; I wish him the best in the future. I think we all, starting with me, could have done more to make this a successful season.”

LB Chad Greenway
“I’m saddened and humbled by the firing of Coach Childress. He gave me the opportunity to play for this organization and was responsible for bringing me into the NFL. He shouldn’t have to take the fall for our performance on the field, but now we have to move on. I have a lot respect for Coach Frazier. Leslie is a guy we’re very comfortable with. He’s never too up and down, and he does a good job with game-planning and preparing for opponents. He deserves the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL.”

G Steve Hutchinson
“It’s a tough day because I respect the work that Brad Childress put into this team. Nobody in this locker room would have thought we would be in this position at the start of the season but we have to try to make the most of it now. Brad wanted to win more than anybody, and for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened. I have confidence that Leslie will do a great job moving forward. He’s a standup guy and has a great demeanor.  I know Leslie will be a positive presence for the guys on the team and we’re going to be behind him.”

K Ryan Longwell
“I’m excited for Coach Frazier to have an opportunity to be a head coach. At the same time, it’s disheartening to see Coach Childress go. Ultimately this game comes down to players playing, and we weren’t getting the job done.”

RB Adrian Peterson
“Leslie is a good man and will do a great job as the interim coach. He’s got great football smarts and players can relate to him and vice versa. He has a certain vibe and energy that everyone can feel when they’re around him. When he speaks, guys perk up and tune in. I feel for Coach Childress today. I’ve got the utmost respect for him and I will always owe him. One of my goals when I was drafted here was to win a championship with Coach Childress. He took a chance on me and I’ve always wanted to accomplish our ultimate goals together; I’m sad it didn’t work out that way.”

DT Kevin Williams
“We’re excited to go into the rest of the season with Leslie. We’re ready to roll from here and get back on the field. I wish Brad the best in the future. He and his family were always great to me and my family. As players, we’ve got to move forward from here with a new focus.”

DT Pat Williams
“I’m sad to see Coach Childress leave. I respect him as a coach and a person, but we have to keep fighting as a team for the remainder of the season. Leslie has my full support. He’s a good person and a good coach. He deserves to be a head coach in this league. Whether it’s here or somewhere else after this season, he deserves the opportunity.”


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Hutchinson Poised To Set Impressive Mark

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 18, 2010 – 10:35 am

Part of the reason – a big part of the reason – for the NFL’s popularity on America’s sports landscape is its unpredictable nature. From season-to-season and even from week-to-week, no knows what to expect. Look no further than the Vikings for a perfect illustration of that point – they were 12-4 last season but are struggling at 3-6 with a similar lineup this season.

But whatever makes the NFL unpredictable and so apt to change has not impacted Vikings G Steve Hutchinson. Year-after-year, Hutchinson is at the top of his game and the numbers support that assertion. Adrian Peterson is 92 yards from 1,000 rushing yards this season, and when he reaches that total it’ll mark the 10th consecutive season Hutchinson has blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher.

While 1,000 yards rushing might not be the standard by which NFL RBs are measured anymore, the streak Hutchinson has going is impressive nonetheless, especially when you look at the rushing performances the Vikings have recorded since Hutchinson signed with the Vikings in 2006. The Vikings have had one of the best running attacks in the NFL since that point, rushing for 9,802 yards over the past 73 regular season games. The Vikings 134.3 yards per game average ranks 5th in the NFL during that span.

Pro Bowl voting is underway and we’ve been promoting both LB Chad Greenway and P Chris Kluwe this year because they’ve never earned an all-star nod and they deserve consideration this year. Hutchinson, though, has 7 Pro Bowls to his name and through 8 games this year it’s clear to me he deserves another one.

You can cast your Pro Bowl ballot by clicking here.


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Vikings, Patriots Issue Wednesday Injury Reports

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 27, 2010 – 2:23 pm

QB Brett Favre (foot/ankle) and G Steve Hutchinson (quadriceps) were held out of practice on Wednesday, according to the Vikings initial injury report of the week. The Vikings listed 7 others on the report and New England has 6 players listed on their report.

S Husain Abdullah, who suffered a concussion 2 weeks ago, was a full participant as was CB Chris Cook (knee). T Chris DeGeare (ankle), DT Letroy Guion (hamstring), CB Lito Sheppard (hand), C John Sullivan (calf) and DT Pat Williams (quadriceps) were all limited.

For the Patriots, QB Tom Brady (right shoulder) was the only player listed on the report who was a full participant. S Patrick Chung (knee), S Jarrad Page (calf), WR Matthew Slater (ankle), RB Fred Taylor (toe) and NT Vince Wolfork (not injury related) did not participate.


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Childress Expects “Tooth And Nail” Battle On Sunday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 13, 2010 – 12:21 pm

The Vikings dismantled the Dallas Cowboys the last time they saw them, logging a 34-3 lambasting on their NFC foes in the Divisional round of the playoffs at Mall of America Field. That day both teams entered the game playing at their best, with the Vikings coming off a 1st-round bye and the Cowboys coming in off of 2-straight blowout victories over the Philadelphia Eagles.

This time, though, the Vikings and Cowboys come into the matchup not at their best. Both teams entered the 2010 season with high expectations and now both teams sit at 1-3 after 4 games, facing pressure to win and get back on the winning track.

As a result, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress is expecting a tightly-contested game on Sunday.

“It’s no secret where are records are right now,” Childress said on Wednesday before his team’s practice. “Neither one of us are happy with it. In my experience, typically in these kind of games the most desperate team wins. The most desperate team that’s clawing for a victory. I expect it to be contested tooth and nail.”

Here are a few other things to watch for during Sunday’s game…

– If the Vikings win, it will be the team’s 24th regular season win since 2008. The Vikings are 23-13 since 2008 and 18-8 over their last 26 games.
— WR Randy Moss needs just 2 catches to move into 9th place in NFL history for the most career receptions. Moss’s 939 catches trails Art Monks’ 940 for 9th place.
— RB Adrian Peterson can surpass 5,000 rushing yards (currently at 4,964) with just 36 rushing yards. If
he does, it will have taken Peterson just 51 career games to reach 5,000 yards.
— The Vikings defense has given up just 5 off ensive TDs through the first 3 games. Opponents are averaging just 13.3 offensive points per game against the Vikings, fewest in the NFL.
— G Steve Hutchinson will move into a 3rd-place tie for the most consecutive starts by a Vikings guard. Currently Hutchinson ranks 4th with 68 consecutive starts. He trails David Dixon’s 69 for 3rd place. If Hutchinson continues his streak, he will move into 2nd place before the end of the 2010 season.


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Vikings Captains

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 8, 2010 – 10:49 am

The 5 Vikings team captains in 2010 will be the same group of players that fulfilled the role a season ago when the squad went 12-4 and won a 2nd consecutive NFC North title.

Offensive captains will be QB Brett Favre and LG Steve Hutchinson, defensive captains will be LB E.J. Henderson and DT Kevin Williams and the special teams captain will be K Ryan Longwell.

The 5 captains have a combined 60 years of NFL experience and 23 Pro Bowls. Favre leads the way in both categories, with 11 Pro Bowls to his name and with this being his 2oth NFL season. Hutchinson has 10 years of experience and 7 Pro Bowls , Williams has 8 years of experience and 5 Pro Bowls, Longwell has 14 years of experience and Henderson has 8 years of experience.


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Brett Back At Winter Park

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 17, 2010 – 3:10 pm

In a scene nearly identical to what transpired a year ago today, Vikings QB Brett Favre has arrived at Winter Park after an offseason of contemplation on whether he would return for another season of football.

Reports surfaced earlier this morning that 3 of Favre’s teammates – DE Jared Allen, G Steve Hutchinson and K Ryan Longwell – had flown down to Mississippi to speak with the QB. By the time practice had concluded late Tuesday morning, word had spread that the quartet of Vikings were on their way to Minnesota.

The plane carrying the 4 players landed in Eden Prairie around 4:00 p.m. CT and then the group hopped into a car and drove to Winter Park, arriving to a throng of media and fans just as Favre had done a year ago.

No word yet on a press conference, but stay tuned to vikings.com for updates and more information.


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Hutchinson Given Top Billing By NFL Network’s Dukes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 6, 2010 – 8:21 am

The NFL Network is doing a “Best in the Biz” series, which will take a look at the league’s best players at every position. The series kicked off on Monday with analyst Jamie Dukes going through his top 5 OL.

As you can tell by the title of this entry, Vikings G Steve Hutchinson was #1 on Dukes’ list. The 7-time Pro Bowler is an appropriate choice for the top of this position group and it’ll be interesting to see how other Vikings, such as DE Jared Allen, QB Brett Favre and RB Adrian Peterson, fare in the Network’s series.

Here is a list of guys who, in my opinion, are worthy of top 5 billing at their position: Allen, Favre, K Ryan Longwell, Peterson, WR Sidney Rice, TE Visanthe Shiancoe, DT Kevin Williams and CB Antoine Winfield. What do you think? Did I leave anyone off this list? Or is there someone on the list who shouldn’t be there? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below this entry.

You can watch the 1st installment of NFL Network’s Best in the Biz series by clicking here.


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Other Childress Notes From KFAN Interview

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 12, 2010 – 8:55 am

As we mentioned in the previous entry, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress called into the Power Trip Morning Show today to discuss the LaDainian Tomlinson visit as well as several other Vikings-related topics.

The audio from the interview is available via KFAN’s website with this MP3 file.  The interview is at the end of the segment.

Here are a few other non-Tomlinson notes from the interview this morning…

Adrian Peterson’s fumbles: Peterson had a handful of fumbles this season that cost the Vikings in critical situations and it’s an issue that has brought on some criticism for #28. When asked about it today, Childress said that the issue has been brought to the RB’s attention frequently and that he’s confident Peterson will “take care” of it. “I don’t want to eliminate his running style,” Peterson said. “He has an aggressive, attacking running style. So I don’t want to take anything away from that. However it’s critical obviously that the ball travels with you.”

On finding a replacement for Chester Taylor: Should Tomlinson sign with the Vikings, he’ll fulfill the same role (although perhaps a bit differently) that Taylor filled while with the team. Other RBs have also been linked to the Vikings as possible replacements for Taylor, including Brian Westbrook and even incoming rookies who will be drafted in April.

But Childress suggested another possible solution to filling the role vacated by Taylor.

“Probably not enough has been said about Albert Young,” the head coach said. “Albert Young has been a guy that’s developed here tremendously the last two years. As a matter of fact, Brett Favre and I had a long conversation about him. He believes he’s got the chance to be a good back in this league.”

Childress on the greatest thing to come out of the 2009 season: “I guess first of all, the greatest thing to come out of it was the enthusiasm of this state and community about the Vikings. Everybody started with the toe in the water. ‘Are they gonna be this? How are they going to play in September?’ But I just think as the season went, it really became a snowball (effect).”

Childress then added, “In the locker room, I have one of the [most fun] bunch of guys that I’ve probably lined up and coached in thirty years. And certainly not without fifty-three different challenges when you’re talking about the Jared Allens, Pat Williamses, Steve Hutchinsons, Brett Favres, Chester Taylors.

“There are personalities galore in there. But one thing those guys never were afraid to do was to take a challenge. They competed tooth and nail with each other, and it didn’t make any difference whether they were on the football field or playing cards or shooting hoops. They’re avid competitors in all areas. They weren’t afraid to work, they weren’t afraid to take criticism constructively and improve. That’s always satisfying and I had a great time doing it.”


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Childress, Spielman Talk Tomlinson

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 10, 2010 – 5:53 pm

Many times when a free agent visits with a prospective NFL team, said team doesn’t allow said free agent to leave the building without a contract. With free agent RB LaDainian Tomlinson visiting the Vikings this week, some are under the assumption that the Vikings and Tomlinson won’t part ways until a deal has been reached.

But both Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress and VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman, while speaking with reporters at Wednesday’s University of Minnesota pro day, didn’t sound as if they were operating under such an assumption. While they are no doubt interested in the idea of adding Tomlinson to their roster (which is why they’re visiting with him), they’re just as insistent that they do their homework before making a decision.

“We’re just going through our process,” Spielman explained. “He was a guy out there that we felt was a viable option and we’ll go ahead and have him come in; we’ll visit with him and just see where things are. It’s just a normal process that we go through.”

Among the topics that will likely be addressed during Tomlinson’s visit, aside from money and length of contract, are surely Tomlinson’s specific role in the Vikings offense and as a veteran on a team that went 12-4 last year along the way to the NFC Championship Game.

“I think probably he’s coming in and touching and tasting us, and we’re doing the same thing to see where his mind’s at,” Childress, who talked to Tomlinson on Wednesday, said. “It’s a little bit of both. Does the situation fit him? I’m sure he wants to know what our vision is for him. And then our sense for him. Will he fit? From a mindset standpoint, from a physical standpoint, from a system standpoint.”

Childress indicated that part of the Vikings decision-making process as it relates to Tomlinson is to turn to resources who might be familiar with the 5-time Pro Bowler, such as LB Ben Leber (a teammate of LT’s in San Diego), G Steve Hutchinson (who shares an agent with LT) and also Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner.

Both Childress and Spielman commented on Wednesday that LT has gas remaining in the tank, even after a 9-year career in San Diego that saw him carry the ball 2,880 times. If both sides like what they here this week while meeting with one another, LT may be driving the rock with Peterson for the Vikings in 2010.


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