Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wildcat Offense a Staple at Mini Camp

The Vikings are wasting no time at all embedding the Wildcat offense in to their playbook. According to multiple sources, the Vikings were seen using Wildcat sets with most notably Percy Harvin, Darius Reynaud and Chester Taylor with Harvin even lining up at QB at times.

It was no secret the Vikings were looking to incorporate the wildcat into their packages when they drafted Percy Harvin, who excelled at Florida in receiving and running reverses among other things. The unpredicatble offense burst on to the scene last season with the Miami Dolphins being the ringleader. Several teams followed suit, but the Vikings didn't really have a WR on the active roster that could really be used in the formation.

Harvin obviously will make the team and should see a lot of playing time this season, but another player that could benefit from the offense is 2nd year WR Darius Reynaud. Reynaud was signed as an undrafted free agent following 2008's NFL Draft and saw some time after being promoted from the practice squad mid-season last year.

The product of West Virginia and former teammate of prototypical Wildcat offense QB Pat White, finds himself in the midst of an immense competition for one of the last wide receiver spots on the team. With Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and Bobby Wade all essentially being locks, Reynaud will be up against the likes of Aundrae Allison, Glenn Holt, Jaymar Johnson and a plethora of undrafted free agents.

Reynaud's versatility as a returner, receiver, and runner give him a realistic chance at beating out the aforementioned players. Aundrae Allison has returned kicks in the past, but after his TD, his performance dropped off significantly and he struggled to make it out to the 20. Reynaud showed an immediate spark last year upon being called up and had returns of 49 and 43 yards in back to back games. His flexibility gives him an edge on the other young WR's he's up against and could earn him a spot on the '09 roster with an opportunity to operate in the Wildcat package.

Back at it...

I apologize for the little vacation from the site. It's been a busy week. I got a new car, started my internship and am still working my other job too. Anyways no one cares. Back to the Vikings, who are also back at it...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Williams' Suspension Still in the Air

Last year the NFL suspended both Kevin and Pat Williams 4 games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, then multiple appeal processes and court cases pushed the ruling all the way out of the 2008 season. Now the suspension has officially been upheld. Wait no it hasn't. This is becoming way too much like the Favre situation. Nobody really knows what's going on.

Pro Football Talk broke a story yesterday saying that the court ruling meant the suspension would be upheld, but they have since taken it down and posted this and this. I don't know much about the court of law and what not so I'm not going to pretend I do.

If the Vikings were to lose both DT's for 4 games it'd without question be a huge loss, but looking at the first four games of the season it isn't exactly the end of the world. The Vikings open at Cleveland then travel to Detriot before returning home to face San Francisco and Green Bay. The Browns had the 26th ranked rushing attack a year ago, while the Lions had the 30th, the 49ers were 27th and the Packers were around mid-pack at 17th.

Teams obviously make off-season moves, but still the Vikings won't be facing any intimidating opponents from a running game standpoint to start the year. Jamaal Lewis, Kevin Smith, or Ryan Grant aren't going to cause defensive coordinators to lose any sleep and they shouldn't cause fans too either. Frank Gore is really the only legitimate threat the Vikings would be facing without Kevin and Pat.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Notes


  • According to Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins' twitter accounts, CB's Derrick Roberson and Benny Sappy both had INT's off of John David Booty and Sage Rosenfels respectively. Kenechi Udeze was doing individual drills and Ryan Cook was practicing at RG.
  • Adrian Peterson weighs in on his fumbling issues a year ago.
  • Expected to start at C this year, John Sullivan is ready for the challenge.
  • Childress reportedly hasn't talked to Brett Favre in a few weeks, but didn't close the door on number four making a possible return to football.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vikes add FB

It was a little surprising the Vikings didn't bring in a FB to compete after the draft, but they have found one now and his name is no easier than Naufahu Tahi. The team signed Nehemiah Broughton today. Broughton played college ball at Citadel and was a 7th round draft choice of the Washington Redskins back in 2005. He missed all of 2007 after being placed on injured reserve and was on the Redskins practice squad last season.

  • WR Percy Harvin is expected to attend the OTA's that begin on Thursday. He of course missed the rookie mini camp after being hospitalized with extreme dehydration.
  • DE Kenechi Udeze will make his return to the playing field at mini camp after missing all of 2008 battling leukemia.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Turning Over a New Leaf

Well, as I mentioned last week I am officially done with college. I graduated with honors last weekend and have just been offered an internship with the Mankato MoonDogs baseball team. In addition to doing gameday promotions for them, I will be orchestrating a new blog on the team website in which the players will hopefully actively partake in. That said, I know I haven't updated the site as much here lately, because I've been extremely busy with other things, but I still plan on keeping up on things here as much as possible. I am very excited to see what the future holds and couldn't be happier to be a part of MoonDogs baseball.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ramblings...

  • What a boring time of the football year. Some teams reported to mini-camp this past weekend, but the Vikings are a week behind this year. Other than speculating, there's not a whole lot worth talking about. I have training camp battle articles ready, but it's probably too early for them.
  • It's crazy, but Twitter has become a new source of information for the media. The Star Tribune cited Drew Rosenhaus' Twitter account as a source for saying that Sidney Rice will expect to receive a larger workload this season. I'm not a fan of Twitter. I have an account, but haven't logged on in months. Not really my cup of tea...
  • I've taken a backseat to the Favre watch. There's so much confusion as to what actually is going on that I decided not to mention it again until something actually does happen. Who knows if Childress actually ever planned to meet with him and what not. I'm sick of Favre and the media circus drama that follows him around.
  • OT Nick Urban, who signed after a mini-camp try out two weeks ago, was featured on ESPN's first take on Monday. The STrib did an interview with him here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Winfield, Vikes End Discussions

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Graduation Day

Later today I am graduating with honors and will receive my Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing with minors in Management and Business Administration from Minnesota State University-Mankato. With that said, I won't be able to update you on when Brett Favre mows his lawn, trims his bushes, or waves to his neighbors today.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Flip Flop

Brett Favre might sign with the Vikings if major surgery is not needed.

Make it stop.

That is all I have.

Favre to Stay Retired

When things seem too good to be true, they usually are.

Brett Favre reportedly will stay retired, at least for now. It's crazy to imagine what this offense could've been with a QB like Favre under center. A Pro-Bowl QB teamed with the best running back in the game and a top 10 defense. The Vikings likely would have been Super Bowl favorites had they plucked the old-fashioned, Mississippi QB out of retirement. Instead, they'll likely be second fiddle to the Bears, maybe even the Packers, when season predictions start rolling out.

The thought of having Favre, for me anyways, wasn't even so much that we'd have a legit starting QB though. I was more excited for what it meant for Packer fans. Being our biggest rival, Favre coming out of retirement to sign with the Vikings would be the ultimate slap in the face to the Green Bay organization and its fan base. Favre was a God like figure in our neighboring cheese state. I'm sure a select Packer faithful have moved on and wouldn't be bothered by the move, but the majority of them would be heartbroken. How about the Vikings' first Super Bowl Victory with the man that once was the emotional leader of their biggest rival for nearly two decades?

Wishful thinking it was.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Childress Back at Winter Park

The Star Tribune is reporting that Brad Childress arrived back at Winter Park around 7AM this morning. The footage was captured by Fox 9's cameras. It is unclear, but seems unlikely that Childress actually met with Favre yesterday. The meeting was rumored to be a two day meeting, but that obviously isn't the case if the meeting even existed.

This could mean one of three things.

1.) Childress and Favre met and things went well, so well that they didn't need a second day and Childress returned back to Minnesota early.

2.) Childress and Favre met and talks weren't productive, thus Childress returned home.

3.) The meeting never took place.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Favre Anxious?

The latest on Favre, as reported by the Star Tribune, is that the retired QB is anxious to become a Viking and will likely undergo surgery to repair a partially torn bicep in his throwing arm. The surgery, which would quicken the healing process, would basically ensure that Favre would be ready to go for minicamps and OTA's. The off-season work seems to be an important factor in all of this as Childress would prefer that Favre, who traditionally hasn't done much work in minicamps, would participate in them in order to better prepare for the season and get a feel with the new players around him.

Current Vike Bernard Berrian and former Vike Darren Sharper both shared their thoughts to all of this. The WR told the Star Tribune, “I try not to get too caught up in it because I don’t want to get too overexcited, thinking that he’s coming and then all of a sudden he doesn’t. He would be a great addition to the team. He’s a great player. He’s done so much for the NFL by himself. He definitely would bring leadership to the team."

Sharper went on to add this in an ESPN interview, “This is a perfect opportunity for him not only to come back, but also to put a foot in Ted Thompson’s rear.”

Childress En Route to Mississippi

  • Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported last night that the Vikings were split on whether or not to sign Brett Favre.
  • A new Fox Sports report has now revealed that head coach Brad Childress and Favre will meet today, as Childress will be flying down to Mississippi. The meeting will supposably take place over two days.
  • Kevin Williams gave his comments on Favre saying, “He’s a great guy. I think he just had a tough end to the season last year but he started out so well I think he definitely still can play. If he came back to our team and [is] going to help us we’d definitely want to take him.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Favre, Childress to Meet

It just won't go away.

Ed Werder of ESPN is reporting that head coach Brad Childress will meet with retired QB Brett Favre about possibly making yet another return to the football field. It was no secret that the Vikings had Favre discussions last year and that he wanted to play for the Vikings.

The veteran QB asked for and was granted an unconditional release by the Jets a couple weeks ago. Favre would obviously be an upgrade over both Jackson and Rosenfels, but from what I've seen Vikings fans are split 50/50 on whether they want him in purple.
  • Percy Harvin missed all of rookie mini camp, but has recovered from his dehyrdation and is back in Florida working out.
  • Former Vikings' WR Travis Taylor was released by the Lions, while another former Viking, G Toniu Fonoti, signed with them.
  • The Colts waived LB Rufus Alexander. Alexander spent time with the Vikings the last two seasons after being a 5th round choice back in 2007.

Another OL Signed; Rosenfels on Favre

The Vikings announced the signing of center Juan Garcia of Washington. Garcia is the second lineman in as many days to receive a contract offer after trying out at the rookie mini camp over the weekend. Yesterday, OT Nick Urban signed a deal.

Garcia battled injuries through out his collegiate career and went undrafted, but was a three year starter for the Huskies. The Vikings were thin at center coming of the draft. Garcia joins Jon Cooper as the second center to be signed by the team following the draft.

Meanwhile, Sage Rosenfels added his thoughts to the undying Favre rumors...

“Nothing really surprises me anymore. There are a lot of rumors in the NFL and I have learned to just go about my business. … It doesn’t change the way I work out or the way I prepare. I always say frustration is a self-inflicted wound. For me to get frustrated would just hurt me as a player and doesn’t benefit me whatsoever. Some people in my family called and asked me about it like, ’What’s going on, do you know anything about it?’ It is something that I really don’t think about because there is nothing I can do about it. All I can do is get ready for these minicamps and OTAs later this month.”

Monday, May 4, 2009

Vikes add OT

The Vikings had several try outs at the their rookie mini-camp over the weekend and so far one player was lucky enough to get a contract out of the deal, OT Nick Urban. Urban is a local guy, who played collegiately at Winona State and earned several D-II awards while doing so. He went undrafted, but has been working out for the past 6 months at Velocity Sports in preparation for this opportunity. Urban adds depth along the line and will likely compete for a practice squad spot this training camp.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Harvin Hospitalized, Other Notes

Post-Draft 53 Man Roster Projection

Offense -

QB: Sage Rosenfels, Tarvaris Jackson, John David Booty

HB: Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor, Ian Johnson

FB: Naufahu Tahi, Jeff Dugan

WR: Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, Bobby Wade, Percy Harvin, Aundrae Allison

TE: Visanthe Shiancoe, Jimmy Kleinsasser, Garrett Mills

OT: Bryant McKinnie, Ryan Cook, Phil Loadholt, Drew Radovich

OG: Steve Hutchinson, Anthony Herrera, Artis Hicks

C: John Sullivan, Jon Cooper

Defense -

DE: Jared Allen, Ray Edwards, Brian Robison, Jayme Mitchell, Kenechi Udeze

DT: Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, Fred Evans, Jimmy Kennedy, Letroy Guion

OLB: Chad Greenway, Ben Leber, Heath Farwell, Erin Henderson

MLB: E.J. Henderson, Jasper Brinkley

CB: Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Asher Allen, Charles Gordon, Karl Paymah

SS: Tyrell Johnson, Eric Frampton

FS: Madieu Williams, Husain Abdullah

Special Teams -

K: Ryan Longwell

P: Chris Kluwe

LS: Cullen Loeffler

Possible noteable cuts -

Marcus McCauley: McCauley saw his playing time slashed last year and will face an uphill battle to make the team over new draftee Asher Allen and solid contributors Charles Gordon, Benny Sapp, and Karl Paymah.

Benny Sapp: Sapp faces a similar situation as McCauley. He may be caught in a numbers game if the coaching staff opts to go with a younger crowd. Charles Gordon's versatility on returns makes him a more attractive option over Sapp and McCauley.

Aundrae Allison: Allison was considered a steal in the fifth round two years ago and has been a training camp all-star, but has failed to live up to the hype in the regular season. Allison has struggled to get seperation and lost his kick returning job after mixed results.

Garrett Mills: Garrett Mills is a versatile player, but can't seem to stay heatlhy. He is a nice addition to the offense when he's able to play, but ultimately the coaching staff could grow tired of his oft-injured ankle.

David Herron: Herron failed to take advantage of the opportunity he was presented with when E.J. Henderson went down. He is an average special teams player, and doesn't have much potential as a starter. Jasper Brinkley being drafted could spell the end to Herron's career as a Viking.

Jamarca Sanford: Sanford doesn't have much for competition at the back-up safety spots, but both Eric Frampton and Husain Abdullah excel on special teams. Sanford will need to impress on that area during the pre-season to surpass them. Neither Frampton or Abdullah, nor Sanford have much potential to be anything other than special teams players in their career.

Glenn Holt: Holt was signed this off-season to be the teams kick-returner, but the recent draftings of Percy Harvin and Asher Allen may have hurt his chances of keeping that job. It'll be interesting to see how much time Harvin sees as a returner. If Aundrae Allison is cut, Holt would be the likely candidate to take his roster spot, unless a younger undrafted player emerges from the shadows.

Noteable UDFA:

Ian Johnson: Johnson surprisingly went undrafted after enjoying a very successful college career at Boise State. Without much competiton behind Peterson and Taylor, Johnson has a real chance to make the team over last year's UDFA RB Albert Young. The coaches like Young's versatility, but could likely keep him on the practice squad another year. I think Johnson has more long term potential than Young.

Jon Cooper: I picked Cooper to sneak on the roster as a back-up center. Cooper was the anchor of Oklahoma's offensive line, and obviously a former teammate of Adrian Peterson and OT Phil Loadholt. Cooper was the Big 12's offensive lineman of the year, but may be undersized in the NFL. Without much depth at center, he stands a realistic chance of making the team.

Nick Walker: Walker is a huge TE at 6'5, 250 lbs. He is a good blocker and has decent hands, but lacks speed and overall athleticism. If he can perform consistently through training camp and the pre-sesaon, he could sneak on the roster, but is most likely a candidate for the practice squad.

Nick Moore: Moore is the younger brother of stud Saints' WR Lance Moore. Moore won't make the team, but could earn a spot on the practice squad.