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  • Minnesota Vikings News and Links: February 27th, 2020
    by just_rob on February 27, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images Thorsday Open Thread Good Morning, It’s Thorsday! Guess who just figured out how to embed gifs and tweets up here? Huge shoutout to my friend and fellow blogger, our own Skelly10 for giving me hints showing me how to do it since she had to basically walking me through it via Twitter -okay boomer. How’s everyone’s week going? I’m off service for the next seven days so I finally have time to plug back into my family and get stuff down around the house; and I’m already planning to put something on the smoker this weekend. Mrs_rob continues with her Johnny Cash media requests for the week, I blame all of you for this. Meanwhile we’ll carry on with our news and links full of crockpot recipes, nap strategies and beer recommendations; drop by for some fan wisdom, snark and it’s Thorsday - I was informed this is cultural appropriation, but I’m not smart and don’t know what that means. Around the DN since our last open thread: Ted posted Rickspeak: NFL Combine edition. The Vikings GM had his NFL Combine press conference, and said a lot without saying anything. Ted notes Vikings coach Mike Zimmer dropped some big news at his NFL Combine press conference and provided some updates on Everson Griffen and Ant Harris. Unbelievable! - The End of Everson? BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald break down Everson Griffen’s decision to opt out of his contract and assess his future with the organization. Vikings news from other sources: From Vikings.com HC Mike Zimmer’s Full Combine Press Conference Discussing Griffen’s Possible Return, Use of Analytics, QB Kirk Cousins’ Performance, from the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports the latest on defensive end Everson Griffen’s future with the Minnesota Vikings. Lunchbreak: ESPN Names Biggest Draft Needs for Each Team. Matthew Coller at SkorNorth.com ponders: Which positions should the Vikings look for instant help in the draft? League News: Franchise tag window will open Thorsday as scheduled. 46 players asked to work out at second position at NFL combine. 2020 NFL franchise/transition tag primer: No-brainer candidates? McCarthy: Dak Prescott can be championship-level QB. We come to today’s media selection: Johnny Cash - God’s Going to Cut You Down Again, we all know the rules, but in case someone is new:-No discussion of politics or religion-No feeding of the trolls-Leave the gender hatred at the door-Keep the bad language to a minimum (using the spoiler tags, if you must)-Speaking of which, if discussing a newer show or movie, please use spoiler tags-No pictures that could get someone fired or in serious trouble with their employer-If you can’t disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away-While navigating the open thread, just assume it’s sarcasm.With that, the beer light is on and the bar is open. Belly up & tie one on. Don’t forget to tip your waiter, and Welcome Aboard!

  • Rickspeak: NFL Combine edition
    by Ted Glover on February 26, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images The Vikes GM had his NFL Combine press conference, and said a lot without saying anything At the NFL Combine, teams converge to scout draft eligible players, talk to player agents and work on new deals, and get an overall lay of the land. You start your planning for upcoming free agency and the draft, and then go home and try to implement it. As a GM at the Combine, other teams watch every move and listen to every word, because the NFL is as secretive as the NSA, and trying to find out what opponents are planning is part of the game. You have to carefully guard your secrets while still acting as if you have no problem sharing those secrets in a public forum. That’s where Vikings GM Rick Spielman comes in. Spielman is a master at saying a lot without really saying anything, because Rick Spielman is the master of a language we like to call Rickspeak. * Only someone as seasoned as Spielman can turn this form of vocabulary into a near art form, and Spielman is a verbal Michelangelo.** *It’s not so much a language as it is verbal deception **To be honest I don’t even know if his artistic ability rises to the level of a paint by numbers thing. I’m just making all of this up as I go along. He took to the podium yesterday, and spent part of the afternoon trying to tell us the outhouse is the Sistine Chapel. He began with an opening statement: What Rick said: Just assessing where we’re at, last year, we did have a good season. We ultimately didn’t reach our goal, but you can see the progress that we made from the year before. I do believe that we have a very strong foundation, not only with this roster, but also with this coaching staff. The coaches have always done a great job developing young talent, and I know we have a lot of tough roster decisions to make, with where our cap situation is right now. As much as we’d like to keep everyone, I know that’s not always going to be the case. I do know, with the strong coaching staff that we have under Coach Zimmer, and even some of the coaching staff changes that he made this year, that we have a lot of young guys in the pipeline, when their opportunities come up, they’re able to step in and we don’t miss a beat. It’s going to be a very busy combine for us, in general. We’re going to meet with most of our players’ agents down here. We’ve been through our process on evaluating our roster, where we’re at, evaluating the free agent market, evaluating the draft, of where it is before this event. What’s different this year is, the league year doesn’t start for two weeks after we get back. So once we get back, we’ll assess where we’re at after we’ve met with some of the agents down here and their final plan. What Rick meant: WOO HOO I DIDN’T GET FIRED! I mean seriously, it takes some damn talent to go from Super Bowl short list that missed the playoffs last year to a wildcard win and then bounced by San Francisco this past season. Could anyone else do that? And now we’re gonna go full YOLO and hire all our coaches kids to be assistants. Then I’m going to laugh in the face of the agents when they ask for anything more than 20 bucks because we have more issues with the salary cap than a teenager’s face does with acne, and then get you to believe this is a 12 win team. And by July, many of you will, in fact, believe that. (On the value of having both Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison) What Rick said: I think we’re very fortunate to have two running backs like that. I know when Dalvin went down last year and Mattison had to play, we really didn’t lose much on offense. That was a little unique last year, because I know he was a guy that we had targeted in the third round. The work that George Paton, Jamaal Stephenson, all of our scouts, as we assess moving up and down in the draft, I think we moved down three times last year and were able to accumulate a lot of other picks that ended up having some players from those other picks that we accumulated, contributing. But Mattison, we felt very strongly about what he could do in this offense. What Rick meant: You guys are going to love Mattison as RB1 when Dalvin Cook asks for a big contract that we won’t be able to afford. The analytics crowd will love that move, but the rest of you will hate the move. Or we’ll sign him to a big extension when we all know running back is the most disposable position in the game right now. (On an extension for Kirk Cousins) What Rick said: We have a lot of things on the priority list. I know, just assessing where Kirk was last year, and putting him in a system that pretty much emphasizes what he does well, with the play action, and establishing a running game, and his accuracy is second to none, I believe, in this league, when he has time in the pocket — not only short or intermediate, but also when he throws down the field. I think the second year, which I don’t think he’s been in, to go into a system for two years in a row, we just see him progressing and improving more. From a business side, I won’t talk about anything on contract negotiations or what we’re doing, but I do know we were very excited. And I think the other thing Kirk answered last year, too, was, ‘Can he win the big game?’ And when you see him go down there and lead us in Dallas. And then, even when we didn’t play very well for the first half in Denver, for him to bring us back to win that game, and to go down there and have a big signature win against New Orleans in the playoffs in overtime. So you’re seeing a lot of things, and I give a lot of credit to Coach Zimmer and Gary Kubiak, putting him in situations to have success. I think it’s even going to go farther next year being in the same system. What Rick meant: Kirk’s a great QB when everything goes perfect, and I am talking myself into believing he is a QB that can win us a big game. His extension is going to be massive. (On the lack of left-handed quarterbacks in the NFL in recent years.) What Rick Said: Boy — I don’t know if I have that prepared in my notes at all. Yeah, I don’t know — maybe there’s more right-handed babies. I don’t know, like in baseball, when you’re a little kid, do they put the ball in your left hand? That one, I can honestly say, I usually have an answer or can dance around a lot of things. That one I have no answer to — but I’ll get our analytics department on that and get back to you. What Rick meant: /Rick with blank stare /phone buzzes /Rick reads a text off of phone ‘Well, the reason there aren’t more left handed throwers is because quarterbacks in the league throw with their right arm. That makes them right handed. If they threw with their left arm, they’d be left handed. Back to you, Tess.’ /Spielman looks up Thanks for that, Booger. Appreciate the help. (On whether Tua Tagovailoa being left-handed changes the Vikings’ evaluation of him) What Rick said: No. All we’re going to do is evaluate if he’s accurate, can he function in the offense, can he make plays? There’s a pretty good left-handed quarterback in this draft. What Rick meant: I am looking for any reason to not draft a QB because I am going to give Kirk a $50 mil/yr deal and ride the lightning with Kirk all the way to the unemployment line, if necessary. (On Irv Smith) What Rick said: We drafted Irv, and we’re very fortunate, just like the two receivers we have, to have two tight ends like that, two different tight ends, and what Kyle Rudolph brings to us in the red zone and some of the things he does and how much he’s improved as a blocker. I think you’re going to continue to see Irv step up, because he can create mismatches. If you look at our offense, and how many times we were in three-wide, compared to two tight ends. The reason we were in two tights ends a lot more was because of the physical skill set and the playmaker that Irv showed last year. He’s just going to continue to develop even more. What Rick meant: Irv will be moving to WR3. We can’t afford anyone else. (On the success of players from Iowa) What Rick said: Iowa’s phenomenal. I think that, especially the offensive linemen that come out of there, they’re very well-coached, they’re disciplined football players, they’re very high-character guys, and the other thing is, they love to play the game. I know, watching those kids come in at Iowa, and some of those guys get passed up that are maybe not five-star recruits, to see what that program does and how they develop talent, they can take a three-star guy and make him into a first-, second-round pick, just by the coaching they’re getting, and also, the high-character kids they bring into that program. What Rick meant: They love it when we punt on fourth and 2 from the opponent 37. (On whether Iowa’s style of play translates to the NFL.) What Rick said: I think you look at all that, too, because they do run a pro style of offense. I think that has a little bit, but you still have to have the physical traits to play at that level. What Rick meant: The Kirk Ferentz ‘run, run, pass, punt’ offensive philosophy translates to the NFL so well I’m stunned that Ferentz himself isn’t an NFL head coach. (Rumors about trading Stefon Diggs) What Rick said: Stefon, last year, had probably his most productive year, and he’s a young receiver we just extended [before the 2018 season]. He’s not only a major part of our offense and a major part of our organization winning games, but he also does a lot of things for this organization off the field. There’s no reason — the rumors or whatever you’re talking about — to anticipate that Stefon Diggs is not going to be a Minnesota Viking. When you have some of the offensive talent that we have, with him and Thielen together, with Rudy and Irv Smith, with Dalvin Cook and Mattison, we have a pretty good support cast around our quarterback. What Rick meant: LOL shut up. He’s not going anywhere. (Offensive line) What Rick said: I think it’s still a work in progress. I think when we went to the outside zone guys that have to have specific physical traits we’re looking for, I think that’ll be an area we continue to try to improve. But we made tremendous strides from last year. I give a lot of credit to Gary Kubiak and I give a lot of credit to Rick Dennison and Andrew Janocko for what they did to develop those guys. I think we have two really good, young cornerstone-type players in Brian O’Neill and Garrett Bradbury. I think we’re going to continue to grow and develop that. To me, all the passing and everything that’s done in this league, you want to win up front in the trenches – both offensive and defensive sides. What Rick meant: This offensive line rebuild is taking longer than road construction on I-35, and just like the government, we spent way too much money for something that is STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION SEVEN YEARS AFTER I WAS NAMED GM. AND IT WILL REMAIN UNDER CONSTRUCTION AS LONG AS I AM HERE! (Anthony Harris, is he a priority for you guys?) What Rick said: Everybody is a priority for us this offseason. Anthony is a perfect example of, again giving credit to the coaches, he was a corner at Virginia and he had an [injured] shoulder when he came out and didn’t get drafted. We look at all these young guys that maybe might not get on the field right away, but how I assess how they develop is how well they do on special teams. Anthony developed into one of our special teams players and I see the same thing this year with Kris Boyd happening. Once Anthony got that opportunity to start, and even when he started last year at times, he’s proven that he’s phenomenal and one of the best safeties in the league right now. What Rick meant: LOL nope. Kris Boyd will replace Anthony Harris as a starting safety because we can’t afford Ant. So I am now hyping Boyd as the next Anthony Harris. (Late-round success, what are you looking for?) What Rick said: We are all on the same page in the physical traits we’re looking for. Not only our scouts, but our coaches, we take that Saturday and college free agency as series as we do the first couple picks in the [draft]. I think also what has helped us identify these guys more is Scott Kuhn, our director of analytics, we’ve implemented some analytics as another tool. It’s not a decision-maker for us, but they can really vet out guys that legitimately have a chance and guys that don’t. So, when you have 700 guys on your backboard, they may pull out 20-30 guys that have a legitimate chance to make a roster and then we hone in on those guys to see if they’re a fit for the Minnesota Vikings. What Rick meant: This year? About four starters on defense, minimum. (You discussed Alexander Mattison, RB depth, so do you envision paying Dalvin Cook when the time comes?) What Rick said: I’d put Dalvin in the same class as I have all our other young guys, whether it’s Danielle Hunter, we’ve always tried to keep our core, young talent that we draft and develop. Kennedy Polamalu has done a phenomenal job at that position. We’ll look at that. Usually we do not look at extensions until after we get through the draft. Right now, we have so much ahead of us and a lot of decisions to make before free agency begins and the new league year begins, and then we look at the draft once we settle down and everything. But I consider Dalvin as one of those core group of players that we definitely want to try to keep. What Rick meant: Well, I know Dalvin and his agent envision it, but the analytics crowd will shat their pantaloons if we give him a big contract extension. So I’ll probably do it just to see that reaction.

  • Mike Zimmer presser: Updates on Griffen, Harris
    by Ted Glover on February 26, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images Vikings coach Mike Zimmer dropped some big news at his NFL Combine press conference With the NFL Combine underway, we’re getting some Vikings news thanks to the Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman press conferences. We’ll have a Rickspeak coming along in a little bit, but Mike Zimmer’s presser had some interesting news regarding free agency, specifically DE Everson Griffen and S Anthony Harris: Zimmer on Everson Griffen: “We met with his agent yesterday, I think it was. Everson is a terrific person for us. I think our situation is the right one for him. We expect him to be back. I think he wants to be back and so those kind of things usually work its way out." #Vikings— Vikings Corner (@VikingsCorner) February 26, 2020 Griffen coming back is no guarantee, but I do agree with Zimmer’s comment. If you want the player back, and the player wants to be back, you’ve got more than half the battle won. If they do strike a deal, the numbers will be interesting, and how they affect the 2020 salary cap. He also dropped what is potentially some serious foreshadowing about free agent S Anthony Harris: Mike Zimmer on #Vikings UFA Anthony Harris, who tied NFL lead with six INTs in reg season: "I love Anthony. If he doesn't come back, I think he's earned everything he's got, but if you put up the positions most important on defense it's probably not going to be safety."— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) February 26, 2020 Reading the quotes, it appears to me that that Harris isn’t the top priority to re-sign, and the Vikings are prepared to let him walk because they can’t afford him. Again, nothing is guaranteed here, but Zim’s language seems to indicate that if Harris does leave, they aren’t going to be surprised. And the way he spoke about the safety position in general makes it seem like they aren’t going to use the franchise or transition tag for Harris, either. All of that said, nothing has been set in stone, the Combine is famous for deception and subterfuge, and anything can happen. Let’s see how things work out.

  • Unbelievable! - The End of Everson?
    by reidellr4 on February 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald break down Everson Griffen’s decision to opt out of his contract and assess his future with the organization. The Daily Norseman and the Climbing The Pocket Network have joined forces to create a one-stop shop for Vikings podcasts delivered to your eardrums daily. This collection of shows promises to deliver the top independent voices covering the Vikings from every angle. Subscribe below: Click here for iTunes Click here for Stitcher Click here for Spotify Click here for iHeartRADIO Click here for YouTube Click here for Google Play Music In this episode: BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald break down Everson Griffen’s decision to opt out of his contract with the Minnesota Vikings, assess his future with the organization, make fun of combine measurements and debut a new segment. Follow the show: Subscribe and review the Unbelievable! podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever else you find your podcasts. Find Unbelievable! on Twitter @Unbelievable_MN and on YouTube. You can also find BJ Reidell @RobertReidell and Drew Mahowald @DrewMahowald. We encourage you to submit your thoughts either through social media or in the comment section below. Thank you for listening.

  • Minnesota Vikings News and Links: February 26th, 2020
    by just_rob on February 26, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Photo by NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images Hump Day Open Thread Good Morning! As Gone Fishin is still on vacation from Hoth, I’m going to continue as the backup thread poster; just like QB2 it’s a good job if you can get it. mrs_rob’s Johnny Cash request for today is below. Today is Wednesday Hump Day but it’s finally my Thursday, not that I was counting. Meanwhile we’ll carry on with our news and links full of crockpot recipes, nap strategies and beer recommendations; drop by for some fan wisdom, snark and at it’s Hump Gif Day. Around the DN since our last open thread: Rick Spielman shoots down dumb Stefon Diggs trade rumors notes Chris. Vikings news from other sources: From Vikings.com Rick Spielman’s Full Combine Press Conference Talking Stefon Diggs’ Status, Kirk Cousins’ Play In 2019, Dalvin Cook’s Contract, More. Vikings GM Rick Spielman joined Paul Allen, Ben Leber and Paul Charchian live from the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday and Discussed Upcoming ‘Difficult Decisions,’ Faith In Young Players, More. Former Vikings LB Ben Leber talked with Albert Breer, Senior NFL Reporter for the MMQB, about the XFL’s impact on the NFL, and then about the offseason ahead for the Vikings and how the team could look to potentially create cap space and keep some key players set to hit free agency. Vikings 2020 Mock Draft Tracker: Version 3.0 Lunchbreak: NFL.com Breaks Down 16 New Combine Drills. Matthew Coller at SkorNorth.com ponders: 25 names Vikings fans should know heading into the NFL Combine. League News: Survey: Teams not in favor of retaining PI replay rule. Bucky Brooks 2020 NFL mock draft 2.0 Nagy: Mitchell Trubisky has ‘clean slate’ with Bears. Retaining Derrick Henry a top priority for Titans. We come to today’s media selection: Johnny Cash - One Piece at a Time Again, we all know the rules, but in case someone is new:-No discussion of politics or religion-No feeding of the trolls-Leave the gender hatred at the door-Keep the bad language to a minimum (using the spoiler tags, if you must)-Speaking of which, if discussing a newer show or movie, please use spoiler tags-No pictures that could get someone fired or in serious trouble with their employer-If you can’t disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away-While navigating the open thread, just assume it’s sarcasm.With that, the beer light is on and the bar is open. Belly up & tie one on. Don’t forget to tip your waiter, and Welcome Aboard!


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