Vikings Community Tuesday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 20, 2009 – 9:13 am

A few Vikings players, along with Viktor the Vikings, will spend their day off today by helping the Vikings organization and the Midwest Dairy Council kickoff the 2009-10 season of their school program “Eat Right, Get Movin’ With Viktor.”

The event will take place today from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. in Lakeville

P Chris Kluwe, S Tyrell Johnson and T Phil Loadholt, along with Viktor, will be present at the program and will lead students in several football-related exercises.

The “Eat Right, Get Movin’ With Viktor” program is an interactive assembly that helps teach children about the importance of eating healthy and staying physically active every single day.  While stressing these 2 points, the program draws on messages from the NFL and National Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative.

“The entire Minnesota Vikings organization is thrilled to continually partner with the Midwest Dairy Council to teach children the importance of eating healthy and staying physically active,” said Steve LaCroix, VP of Sales and Marketing/Chief Marketing Officer for the Minnesota Vikings.  “Viktor the Viking mascot, radio broadcaster Paul Allen, Vikings cheerleaders, and players like Chad Greenway have all played an active role in the Eat Right, Get Movin’ with Viktor school assembly program, and our entire team will continue to promote health and nutrition throughout Minnesota schools.”

The Eat Right, Get Movin’ With Viktor program has already reached more than 3,000 students and will make it to more than 80 Minnesota schools in the coming months.

 “While helping kids across the State of Minnesota, this program will fulfill the local Wellness Policy that was mandated for all school districts in the 2004 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, Eat Right, Get Movin’ With Viktor is geared to help schools address these policies and the issue of children’s health and nutrition,” said Mike Kruger, CEO/Executive Vice President, Midwest Dairy Association and Council.
Midwest Dairy Council is the nutrition education division of Midwest Dairy Association. The Council’s mission is to promote a healthy diet through nutrition education and the use of dairy products to consumers, health professionals and teachers. Midwest Dairy Council is funded by check-off dollars from dairy producers in our local region. For more information, visit

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Vikings Defense On Red Alert In Red Zone

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 13, 2009 – 6:22 am

The statistic that had the most profound impact on the outcome of Sunday’s game between the Vikings and Rams (besides, you know, points scored) was red zone efficiency.

The Vikings offense was perfect in the red zone, scoring TDs on all 4 of their trips and needing just 8 total plays inside the Rams 20-yardline. But the Vikings defense was perfect in the red zone, too, holding St. Louis to 0 TDs in 4 trips (they gave up a FG on one trip).

As a result, the Vikings notched their 5th victory of the season via a 38-10 thrashing of St. Louis.

St. Louis’ shortcomings in the red zone were the product of turnovers. While the Vikings scored quickly upon entering the red zone, the Rams labored inside the Vikings 20-yardline, running a total of 14 plays. Those 14 plays provided enough time for the Vikings to register 3 takeaways inside the 5-yardline.

“They are doing a great job of breaking on the football, whether you are talking about (Chad) Greenway’s hit and E.J. (Henderson) rallying behind that, or you’re talking about Tyrell Johnson’s interception,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said of his defense. “I just think they are doing a great job of running to the football and moving to the football when the ball comes out.”

Childress pointed out that even on the Rams 1st red zone turnover – a failed exchange between QB Kyle Boller and RB Steven Jackson on the 1-yardline – the Vikings defense is to be credited for making a play.

“Then obviously on the one where I guess there was an exchange issue you have to be aggressive from the standpoint of penetration, knowing where the ball is and being able to cover that thing up,” Childress explained. “So I just thought they were on top of it down there (in the red zone). They picked their game up down there.”

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Tyrell Johnson Live Chat Tomorrow

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 4:25 pm

Join us on tomorrow around 2:00 p.m. as S Tyrell Johnson chats live with fans.

Every Friday afternoon during the regular season we will have a player chatting live with fans. To chat with Tyrell, come back to this page on Friday at about 2 p.m. and make use of the provided interface.

These live chats have been big hits in the past, so we look forward to hearing from you tomorrow afternoon.

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The Trickle Down Effect

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 17, 2009 – 11:03 am

The blog entry before this one featured some praise from Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz about Vikings DT Kevin Williams. So it’s fitting then to mention that yesterday Vikings S Tyrell Johnson spoke about the influence the defensive line has on the entire defensive unit.

“It does start up front and Kevin is a big leader for our team,” Johnson said yesterday after practice. “He and Pat and the whole defensive line, when you see those guys making plays up front and you see their enthusiasm, it does trickle down to the secondary and linebackers and it makes us want to play that much better.”

The Lions offense will have a tough time on Sunday if the Vikings are somehow able to manage to play better than they did on Sunday. On the surface, Cleveland scored 20 points. But when you consider that 7 of them were the product of a punt return and 7 more came via a late-game TD that was trivial, you can see that the Vikings defense was dominant all day.

The Vikings held Cleveland to 3 of 12 on 3rd downs, forced 2 turnovers and kept Browns possessions to 4 plays or fewer a total of 7 times in 12 possessions. In fact, Cleveland penetrated Minnesota territory just 3 times all day.

But each game stands on its own merits and the Vikings defense will have to regroup on Sunday and put forth another solid effort to aide in a road victory.

Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will meet with local reporters today following practice, so it’ll be interesting what he has to say about the Lions offense.

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Reverse Psychology

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 16, 2009 – 3:12 pm

It’s been well-chronicled that the Detroit Lions were 0-16 in 2008. Because they lost their last game in 2007 and were defeated by New Orleans last week, the losing streak has reached 18 straight games.

At some point the Lions will win for the first time in over a year, but if they do it against the Vikings it won’t be because of complacency. Vikings players are well-aware of the losing streak Detroit is currently enduring. Rather than looking past a team that hasn’t won in over a year, they are digging down even deeper this week to avoid being “the team.”

“It doesn’t make it easier,” S Tyrell Johnson said of playing a team down on its luck. “You have to remind yourself that this team can beat you.”

The Vikings certainly realize it’s possible for the Lions to beat them. It almost happened last year, twice.

“I don’t have any illusions,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said on Wednesday. “Detroit always plays us very, very tough. It’s a divisional game so it counts as two. Tarvaris had to come in and win that game for us last year (at Detroit) and when they were here it was “fire Childress” to kick three points and win. Detroit plays us hard, and we’re well aware of that.”

While Johnson expressed the sentiment of not wanting to be the team to end Detroit’s losing streak, Childress explained that there are plenty of other reasons the Lions can be a dangerous team.

“I don’t know anything about that streak,” Childress said. “They’re playing hard. I think they’re dangerous for the reasons that I stated in terms of having a strong-armed quarterback, exceptional wide receiver, a good runner, (offensive coordinator) Scott Linehan is very good at putting those people in different places and a defense that’s playing hard and their first home game. I see it more for those reasons that anything.”

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5 Things To Watch Today

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 13, 2009 – 9:53 am

Earlier this week we identified 3 key matchups to today’s game in Cleveland. But while you’re keeping an eye on those individual matchups, here are 5 other elements of the game to pay particular attention to that will go a long way toward determining the outcome of the game.

1. Penalties – The Vikings had penalty issues during the preseason – 40 penalties were enforced against the Purple for 286 yards. You can bet this was addressed by head coach Brad Childress as he and his team prepared for Week 1. Also keep in mind that holding calls are a point of emphasis for NFL officials this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how rookie Phil Loadholt and 1st-year starter John Sullivan fare in Game 1.

2. Adversity – One team has to deal with adversity first, and it’ll be interesting to see how that team responds. Either the Vikings will encounter it early as a road team playing in a hostile environment, or the Browns will face it with a young Brady Quinn at the helm and the league’s top run defense lining up on the other side.

3. The Vikings Secondary – Madieu Williams and Tyrell Johnson form the Vikings new starting safety tandem. It goes somewhat unnoticed, but the starting safeties must play off of each other and complement one another well. It’ll be interesting to see how Williams and Johnson perform for an entire game in the regular season. We’ve seen them in the preseason and there didn’t appear to be any major issues, but now the bullets are live and the games really count. Veteran Darren Sharper became expendable this season because Johnson was in the fold, but now he must perform well on the field and show the coaching staff and personnel staff that he is worth the 2nd-round billing.

4. The Browns 3-4 Defense – Cleveland uses the 3-4 alignment as their base defense, something the Vikings have tried to familiarize themselves with over the preseason. The tricky part about this defense is that there are only 3 down linemen, but on most plays there will be more than 3 defenders attacking the line of scrimmage. The offensive line and QB Brett Favre need to identify the attacking players and assign the proper blocking strategy. This is important in both the run game and the passing attack. Remember, Adrian Peterson set the NFL single-game rushing record against the San Diego Chargers, a 3-4 defense.

5. 3 Key Matchups – There’s a reason the 3 matchups we pointed out are key; they will help determine the outcome of this game. DE Jared Allen vs. LT Joe Thomas and C John Sullivan vs. DT Shaun Rogers are vital matchups in this game, and both happen to be along the line of scrimmage. Something tells me this game is going to be very, very physical.

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