Should the Vikings Risk Playing Adrian Peterson in the Preseason?

Adrian-Peterson

Playing a star player in preseason is always a risky proposition, and for the Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer, the player that he’s debating should play or not is running back Adrian Peterson.

AP for the majority of his career has been healthy, minus the ACL injury in 2011, but at the same time, why play your best offensive player in a meaningless preseason injury and risk injury?

NFL.com way of the Star-Tribune wrote about that very situation today.

In Minnesota, that person is Adrian Peterson and his coach, Mike Zimmer, was asked when or if the star running back would be taking preseason snaps.

“If he wants to,” Zimmer said, via the Star-Tribune.

He added: “Well, I’m going to sit down and talk to him about it. If he wants to play, we’ll discuss what we think. If he goes in there, he’s probably not going to get one pass and out. He’s going to play.”

According to the Tribune, Peterson has not taken the field before the regular season opener in three years and has not logged a rushing stat in the preseason in five years. While it makes perfect sense given the short lifespan at the position and the increased potential for a devastating injury, Zimmer at least seems remotely interested in seeing his offensive centerpiece against another opponent before their season opener on Sept. 11.

Personally two words come to mind when I think about AP playing in the preseason – bad idea.

If Peterson plays and gets hurt, the Vikings chances of a repeat of the NFC North title seem to basically slip away before they even take the field.

Don’t play him till the first play of September 11th, that’s when it counts and he’ll be needed the most.


Vikings Announce Contract Extension for Head Coach Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer

The Vikings announced they have signed Head Coach Mike Zimmer to a contract extension. Terms of the contract are not disclosed.

Zimmer led the Vikings to an 11-5 record last season and the club’s first NFC North Championship since 2009. Zimmer holds an 18-14 record in his two seasons as a head coach, the second-most wins by a Viking head coach his first two season trailing only Dennis Green who had 20 wins.

“Mike has instilled a very positive atmosphere over the past three years and our players have thrived under his tutelage and leadership. His focus on helping our players develop and maximize potential, individually and collectively, is critical for our current and future success. We believe the continuity established with Mike leading our football team is a very positive step for our organization.” – Zygi Wilf, Owner/Chairman

“We are very excited about the direction of our football team with Mike Zimmer as our head coach. His leadership and the strong partnership he has with Rick Spielman has helped transform the culture of our football team. They have established a positive identity for this team with tough minded, disciplined, and smart football players and we believe Mike’s continued leadership bodes very well for our future.” – Mark Wilf, Owner/President.

It’s a great move for the Vikings to make sure they lock up Zimmer, who has done a very nice job with Minnesota since coming on, leading them to a division title last season.

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New Vikings Stadium Damaged; Could Take Up to Two Months to Fix

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They had the official showoff today at the new Vikings Stadium, but it came with a price, as the stadium was hit with a rock and vandalized prior to its official opening.

Here’s the story on the incident – stating it could take two months to fix.

On Wednesday morning, stadium officials — and pedestrians, as well as passersby in cars, trains and buses — could see a broken window at ground level of the newly completed, not-yet-open U.S. Bank Stadium.

And it’s going to remain broken for a while.

It’s likely to take six to eight weeks to receive and install a new pane because the glass is custom to the building, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The break leaves the building in less-than-perfect condition for the ribbon-cutting Friday in which hundreds will fill the field to watch dignitaries congratulate each other about the $1.1 billion building that was the largest public-private effort in state history. According to the source, the glass was broken by someone walking along the north side of the building who picked up a rock and threw it at the ground-level wall of glass.

Former Vikings Coach Dennis Green Passes Away at Age 67

Dennis G

He led the Vikings to within one missed field goal of the Super Bowl. Dennis Green, the coach that led Minnesota to an incredible season in 1998 when they lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Title Game at the Metrodome, passed away at 67 on Friday.

Green died after a cardiac arrest according to ESPN.

He was a head coach in the NFL for 13 seasons, 10 with the Vikings. He was just the second African American head coach in the NFL.

In his time in the NFL, Green had a career record of 113-94, and he went 4-8 in the playoffs. The 15-1 team in 1998 is still held by many as one of the best in NFL history, a team that embraced the west coast offense and rode it all the way to the NFC Title Game before losing to the Falcons.

The Vikings made the playoffs in 8 of his 10 seasons with the Vikings, including two trips to the NFC Championship game.

RIP Denny Green.

Vikings Sixth-Round Pick German WR Bohringer Facing Long Road to Making Team

Moritz Bohringer

Vikings sixth-round wide receiver Moritz Bohringer is on the “outside looking in” for a final roster spot according to Andrew Krammer of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities.

Bohringer was one of the best and most entertaining stories of the entire draft. The 23-year-old played for four years in his native Germany but has zero college football experience. He joined the set of NFL Network on the third day of the draft and analyst Mike Mayock shouted out on national tv for Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer to “call me” after Bohringer said the Vikings were his favorite NFL team. And Zimmer did-the Vikings made Bohringer the 180th-overall pick in the draft and both Mayock and the TV audience cheered wildly.

Boehringer (6’5/227) debuted in the German Football League last season, amassing 70 catches for 1,461 yards (20.9 YPR) and 16 touchdowns en route to Rookie of the Year honors. He created a ton of buzz at Florida Atlantic’s Pro Day in March, running an incredible 4.43 forty with a 39-inch vertical and explosive 10-foot-11 broad jump.

Alas, all fairy tales must come to an end. Bohringer admits that he is struggling with the “mental” part of the NFL game and he had numerous drops during OTAs and minicamp. He will likely spend 2016 on the Vikings practice squad and continue his adjustment to both life in the NFL and in America. Bohringer does have the size and athleticism to play in the league, but faces one of the steepest learning curves of any recent entrant into the pro football universe.

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Peterson Going Through Intense Training with Trainer James Cooper in Houston

Minnesota Vikings v San Francisco 49ers

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is participating in intense physical training at Houston’s O Athletik facility with trainer James Cooper, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com reports.

In Peterson’s mind, he’ll be successful longer because he works harder. Should he avoid a catastrophic injury, the typical regression of aging running backs need not apply to him. Age, in Peterson’s mind, is a variable that can be controlled.

“There’s nothing you can do about [it if] your body starts breaking down and you getting injuries and things like that,” Peterson said. “I mean, there are ways to try and prevent that, but I don’t know what [Walter] Payton did going into his last 1,000-yard season. I don’t know what Emmitt [Smith] did. All I know is that from the history I’ve seen, when it comes to athletes, I’ve [seen] so many athletes go way past what people think. That’s the mindset that I have, as well.

“It’s a mental battle that we fight. You know, look at [Floyd] Mayweather. He’s beating up on young guys, he’s taking them to class, and he’s what — 38, 39? He hasn’t lost a fight. Ever. If he was supposed to listen to people saying, ‘You can’t. You’re over the hill,’ and this, that and the other thing, then that would control what he was trying to accomplish. He would have several losses on his belt. Whatever someone says about him, you know he has that [zero] in the right place [in his win-loss record].”

The benchmark for Peterson this year, Cooper explains, is 10 40-yard dashes, with 30 seconds’ rest in between each one. The slowest of them should be no worse than 4.49 to 4.55 seconds.

“In this world we live in, people always like to just put you in this box,” Peterson says. “I guess it’s like what drives this world, you know, and it just hurts me that people take that approach, to viewing people and expectations they put on people, the limitations they put on people because of our age.

“Being 31, I’m able to see that I’m outdoing the younger guys that are fresh out of college. It’s always just confidence to inspire you to keep working hard.”

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Report: Safety Harrison Smith Inks New Deal to Make Him Highest-Paid Safety

Harrison Smith

Vikings have agreed to a contract extension with safety Harrison Smith on Monday morning, making the 2016 Pro Bowler the highest-paid safety in the league, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com reports.

Smith will earn $51.25 million over the next five years, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, including a $10 million signing bonus. Smith will get $15.27 million guaranteed over the course of the contract, the source said.

The 2012 first-round pick made his first Pro Bowl in 2016, a year after he tied for third in the NFL with five interceptions. Smith also had three sacks in 2014, and had established himself as one of the fixtures of Mike Zimmer’s defense.

General manager Rick Spielman said earlier this offseason that he expected an extension for Smith would be coming soon, and Smith had said he hoped to get a deal done with the Vikings in the near future.

The 27-year-old, whom the Vikings selected out of Notre Dame with the 29th pick in the 2012 draft, already holds a team record with four interception returns for touchdowns.

Vikings RB Peterson Feels the Vikings are Poised to Win the Super Bowl

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson believes the Minnesota Vikings have a chance to win the Super Bowl this season, Peter King of MMQB reports.

“We are going to have a good chance to win it this year — win everything,” Peterson said. “Sit back and watch. Sit back and watch. You can be like, ‘I thought you guys were at least a couple of years away.’ Nope. You sit back and watch, this year.”

“I am pushing myself to the max to win a Super Bowl, and then to break Emmitt’s record and Eric Dickerson’s [single-season rushing] record. It is my everyday life, what I think of every day. Mostly it’s that Super Bowl. Then the whole world will remember you.”

The odds seem to be against the Vikings, as a Nigerian bookmaker has them at 18 to 1 to win Super Bowl LI, to be played on February 5th in Houston, Texas.

The Vikings had a successful 2015 season in terms of coming on and winning the NFC South, but a bad miss of a chip-shot field goal in the Wild Card loss to the Seahawks by Blair Walsh has a bad taste still in the mouth of many fans.

The team has plenty of work to do before the start of the 2016 season, and Peterson having a breakout season like a few years back would go a long way in the team having a legit shot to reach the Super Bowl.

The Vikings New Home – U.S. Bank Stadium – Is 90 Percent Complete

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The Vikings new digs are coming along nicely, and reports say are now about 90 percent complete.

Work on U.S. Bank Stadium is ongoing, and the stadium will be ready to go when the the team takes the field at the new stadium for the first time in August.

The price of the new stadium is north of $1 billion.

Team, stadium and construction officials led reporters on a tour Tuesday, revealing about two-thirds of the 65,000 purple seats installed and much of the space finished in the six club areas.

The Vikings locker room will be put together in the coming weeks. The five, large pivoting glass doors on the building’s front will be tested in April. The artificial turf will be laid in May.

Vikings vs Falcons NFL Week 12 Capsule

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-3) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (6-4)

SERIES

VIKINGS FALCONS
SERIES LEADER 16-10  
STREAKS   2 of past 3
COACHES VS. OPP. Mike Zimmer: 1-0 Dan Quinn: 0-0
LAST WEEK L 30-13 vs. Packers L 24-21 vs. Colts
LAST GAME 9/28/14: Falcons 28 at Vikings 41. Minnesota RB Matt Asiata rushes for 78 yards & 3 TDs. Vikings WR Jarius Wright has 8 receptions for 132 yards.
LAST GAME AT SITE 11/27/11: Falcons 24, Vikings 14. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan throws for 262 yards & 3 TDs. Falcons WR Roddy White has 10 receptions for 120 yards & TD.
REFEREE Clete Blakeman
BROADCAST FOX (1:00 PM ET): Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (field reporter). Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker. SIRIUS: 108 (Min.), 82 (Atl.). XM: 82 (Atl.).

STATS

PASSING Bridgewater: 188-291-2106-8-6-86.6 Ryan: 264-403-2982 (2C)-15-10-89.6
RUSHING Peterson: 208-1006 (1L)-4.8-6 (T3L) Freeman: 167-764-4.6-9 (1L)
RECEIVING Diggs (R): 36-573-15.9-2 Jones: 89 (1L)-1189 (1L)-13.4-6
OFFENSE 330.0 399.5 (3C)
TAKE/GIVE +1 -1
DEFENSE 334.9 335.7
SACKS Griffen: 6.5 (T3C) 4 tied: 2
INTs Newman: 2 4 tied: 2
PUNTING Locke: 41.7 Bosher: 48.7 (1C)
KICKING Walsh: 83 (17/20 PAT; 22/26 FG) Bryant: 68 (26/26 PAT; 14/18 FG)

NOTES

VIKINGS: QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER won only start vs. Atl, passing for 317 yards with 98.9 rating & rushing for TD…RB ADRIAN PETERSON made NFL debut vs. Atl (9/9/07) & rushed for 103 yards. Since entering NFL in 2007, leads league with 11,196 rush yards & 92 rush TDs. Aims for 4th in row with rush TD…TE KYLE RUDOLPH had 6 catches for 106 yards & TD last week, 1st career 100-yard game. WR STEFON DIGGS leads NFC rookies with 573 rec. yards. In 7 games, has 36 catches for 573 yards (81.9 per game) & 2 TDs. In last meeting, WR JARIUS WRIGHT had career-high 8 catches & 132 yards. Since 2009, WR MIKE WALLACE is 1 of 2 in NFL with 6,000+ rec. yards (6,152), 45+ rec. TDs (48) & 15+ rec. avg. (15.3)…DE EVERSON GRIFFEN had sack in last meeting in Atl. Has 16.5 sacks in his past 21. DT LINVAL JOSEPH has 26 tackles, 0.5 sack & FF in past 3. LB ANTHONY BARR had sack in last meeting. S HARRISON SMITH had INT in last game vs. Atl…FALCONS: QB MATT RYAN aims for 3rd in row vs. Min with 3+ TD passes. Has 106.5 rating in past 2 meetings. In career, is 42-17 (.712) at home with 96.1 rating…RB DEVONTA FREEMAN leads NFC with 11 TDs (9 rush, 2 rec.). In past 8 (1st 8 career starts), has 1,078 scrimmage yards (134.8 per game) & 10 TDs (8 rush, 2 rec.). FB PATRICK DI MARCO had career-high 2 rec. TDs last week…WR JULIO JONES leads NFL with 89 catches, tied for most in team’s 1st 10 games in NFL history. Has 121 catches for 1,802 yards (128.7 per game) & 8 TDs in past 14. Jones (1,189) & Freeman (1,184) lead NFL in scrimmage yards. WR RODDY WHITE has 14 catches for 193 yards (96.5 per game) & 2 TDs in past 2 vs. Min & aims for 3rd meeting in row with TD…CB DESMOND TRUFANT had 1st career sack last week. Has 42 PD since entering NFL in 2013, most on club. S RICARDO ALLEN had INT last week. LB PAUL WORRILOW leads team with 62 tackles. Has INT in 2 of past 4 games.