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Five Things To Watch On Saturday

With a 90 man roster at this point of the preseason, there will be plenty of performances to note following Saturday’s preseason game in Tennessee. 

Starting in the morning, I am going to be taking a few days off to attend the wedding of some close friends, so I didn’t want to miss the chance to give you all a heads up in regards to what I will specifically be looking for when I watch the DVR’d game on Sunday night.

Here are my top five things to keep an eye on during Saturday’s game:

1.       The New Starters

It sounds like the Vikings only plan on playing their starters for a very limited amount of time on Saturday.  One quarter, tops.  Still, I can’t help but be interested in watching the new members of this roster that could be starting against the Titans.  Quarterback Donovan MCNabb, left tackle Charlie Johnson, defensive tackle Remi Ayodele, defensive end Brian Robison, weakside linebacker Erin Henderson, wide receiver Michael Jenkins, fullback Ryan D’Imperio, and whomever ends up starting at safety next to Husain Abdullah.  How these guys end up performing for the Vikings will greatly determine their success in the future, so it is only natural to be anxious to see them in action.

2.       The Top Rookies

Quarterback Christian Ponder and tight end Kyle Rudolph have had their rough stretches in training camp so far, but both have also shown some flashes.  The first step to being a successful first teamer is to be a successful third teamer.  These guys should see some decent time on Saturday and, as the top two picks of 2011, it will be fun to get our first glimpse of the two newbies.

3.       Injury Concerns

Despite what the Packers managed to accomplish in 2011, one of the most important factors in being a successful football team is staying healthy.  The Vikings have had some minor health issues in training camp but there have been no devastating injuries yet.  Saturday presents the best chance so far for a serious injury to take place, and every preseason game I can be found nervously biting my fingernails hoping and praying nobody goes down hard.  This game, for me, will be no different.

4.       Jaymar Johnson

It seems like every year the Vikings have a receiver featured in training camp that exceeds expectations, gets the hopes up of the fans, and seemingly becomes a favorite target for the backup quarterbacks.  Last year that guy was Logan Payne who didn’t survive final cuts, but this year it is Jaymar Johnson who seems likely to continue being a Viking for at least one more season.  Johnson has the speed and skill set to succeed in the Vikings offense and contribute on special teams.  One year after being place on I.R., it is long overdue that Johnson gets a chance to prove himself once and for all.

5.       D’Aundre Reed

At 6’ 4” and 261 pounds, the athletic pass rusher out of Arizona never saw much playing time in college, but caught the eye of the Vikings staff.  They opted to take a late round flier on the pass rusher and so far it is looking like the decision might be paying off.  Reed is playing very well in Mankato, constantly getting pressure and regularly coming up with the sack, I’m really looking forward to seeing how he does in a game setting.  The numbers game puts him on the roster bubble, so how he performs in these preseason games could greatly impact his chances of remaining on the roster into September.


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40 Responses to “Five Things To Watch On Saturday”

  1. CSlinde says:

    A-
    i think you educating us readers and, at least for myself, inspiring us to look things up we normally wouldn’t for ourselves is what makes us some of the best readers. that said, no need to apologize for going to to a wedding. good luck in the contest!

  2. Skol12 says:

    I agree but I’d add Christian Ballard as a number 6. or to the top rookies section. I think he could be great and even replace Fat Pat in the next year or 2. Guion may be the guy for now but Ballard will easily pass him(assuming he doesnt pull a B Mac).

    I also want to ask why did we get rid of Logan Payne? The kid was a great player, he was a local guy and better than Berrian with Favre in town.

    • Man of the Norse says:

      Remi Ayodele was sigined to replace Phat Pat. I don’t think he’s hit 30 yet, so I think he’s still got some milage left to stick around for a while, if he’s good. Right now it looks like he’s going to be the starter (thus why Adam placed him in the new starters section).

      • Skol12 says:

        Remi Ayodele isn’t a gamechanger like Fat Pat was, he will not even come close to playing the level Pat did. Ballard likely wont either but he has a chance, Ayodele is never going to be more than an average player.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      Agreed, had we not cut Payne (who reminded me of Wes Welker) perhaps we wouldn’t have had to trade for Camarillo.

  3. Zag says:

    Things I am most excited for:

    1. D’Aundre Reed – I love this guy so far. Nothing like a tall lanky DE who is athletic enough to do a standing backflip. I expect him to make the 54-man roster.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybfv7hpy-zk

    2. Jaymar Johnson – I really want this guy to shine when he gets a chance this preseason. He deserves a roster spot if the improvements he’s made in camp transfer to a game.

    3. Brian Robison, McNabb, Erin Henderson, and whoever plays the other safety spot.

    4. I’d like to see Kyle Rudolph, AP, or anyone else on the team hit Cortland Finnegan right on the chin and end his career, but that’s a fantasy.

    5. Can Ryan D’Imperio make a case that he deserves a roster spot?

  4. Tomb... says:

    I have a general aversion to people who have a damned apostrophe in their first name–however–if D’Aundre Reed proves to be a beast, I may well consider going by T’Omb.

    • B. Grant says:

      I suggest O’Tomb. Might get you a free beer on St. Patty’s day.

      • Tomb... says:

        …but then some joker will keep with the theme, and buy me an O’Douls.

        Non-alcoholic beer. Just the very idea that it exists fills me with an inner rage. Kind of like decaf coffee. I mean, what’s the point?? Why not draft an armless WR while you’re at it.

        To recap: I hate you, O’Douls.

        • Adam Warwas says:

          Well said, sir, well said.

          Quick, pick one: Armless WR or Troy Williamson?

        • B. Grant says:

          A recovering alcoholic who is trying to put his/her life back together probably looks at that product a little differently, Tomb. I have some familiarity, and it’s a real issue. Beverages like that do serve a very good purpose. But I fully defend your right to hate it anyway!!

          As far as Adam’s question, I’m gonna go with Williamson. The guy without arms isn’t even a decoy, and has little hope of improvement. (Both of which might also be true of Williamson now that I think of it.)

          • Tomb... says:

            What is a recovering alcoholic doing drinking fake beer? By that logic, does a recovering heroin addict mainline water? Recovering cocaine addict snort baking soda? Pshaw, I says.

            You’ve actually further solidified my hatred of O’Douls.

          • B. Grant says:

            Well good, then my work here is finished!!

  5. STONEY says:

    TOMB, lol, soda just came out my nose!

  6. hookem says:

    I will also be watching Everson Griffen to see if he puts down all the talent he has and shows his potential

    • Tomb... says:

      …and stops grabbing cops’ vein canes.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      Griffen had a great day of practice today… but that seems to be an easy thing for our D-linemen these days… O-Line sounds like it will be painful to watch.

      • B. Grant says:

        …and nothing will look good on offense if that’s the case. No offensive scheme works without good play up front. (I feel it to be my Viking civic duty to remind our fans of this fact.)

        • Adam Warwas says:

          You are nothing if persistent coach 🙂 You’ve been harping about the O-Line all offseason long and, shocker, it looks to be our most likely cause of failure in 2011.

          • B. Grant says:

            Think about last year, Adam…

            Favre often dropped back AND starting moving from the pocket all in one continuous motion. Check the film. And how often do we recall AP being handed the ball AND a view of three defenders all in the same instant? Both those guys are very good at what they do, but not when they’ve got that going on in front of them.

  7. Vikadan11 says:

    @JosinaAnderson Josina Anderson
    Sources: The #Vikings have just contacted t/ camp of CB Tony Carter to schedule a workout. Confirmed travel plans still pending @ this time
    1 hour ago via TweetDeck

    http://twitter.com/#!/JosinaAnderson/statuses/101309934825771011

  8. Wayup North says:

    yeah yeah yeah . . . I think the real point here is that Adam is choosing a wedding over a preseason Viking game . . . for shame Adam, for shame . . .

    😉

  9. Vikadan11 says:

    I quiet a list of new or young Vikings I will try to keep a eye on ~ Plus it will give me a reason to watch the game a couple of time before the next preseason game :~)

    Jaymar Johnson D’Aundre Reed Everson Griffen Remi Ayodele Christian Ballard Jasper Brinkley Erin Henderson Chris Cook Ryan D’Imperio Toby Gerhart Cedric Griffin Letroy Guion Ross Homan Christian Ponder Allen Reisner Kyle Rudolph Joe Webb Remi Ayodele

    And anyone playing safety ~

  10. Dynalee10 says:

    I say Homan might surprise some folks and move up the depth chart quickly.

  11. LeCount80 says:

    I had had hopes for Mistral Raymond being a diamond in the rough. Has he shown anything at all?

    • Justin gallardo says:

      When abdullah was not practicing it was Raymond and Sanford at safety..so that must mean he has shown something in practice that the coaches like… He has size and speed…i think he will be on special teams this yr but could sneek in and start next yr or even this yr if at some point our safeties play crappy or get hurt

  12. vikingman62 says:

    Vikadan11, Your question should have been “Has anyone played GOOD at safety” and from my line of sight its a big…..NO WE are doomed if we cant get better play at the position or some new faces in there. Those spread Offences like GB are gonna be Murder.

    Its like a neon light(Green) for cheese heads to come on this great web page and “punk” us and we aaaaaaaal know they will be here because they are Terrible loosers and even worse winners.

  13. Mark MyWords says:

    Give me break with Jaymar, already. He will do nothing, mark my words. He’s never done anything, ever. He’s like Albert Young.
    And I’ve noticed you just can’t get behind Joe Webb, even tho they like him at QB, they’ve said it over and over, he’s even proved himself to a certain extent, yes, with the Philly game. Yet, you don’t mention him. He’s number #2 on the depth chart today, and mark my words, HE will be the QB of the future. He’s the one I want to see the most. As far as him being a “running quarterback”, Fran Tarkenton was the original poster boy for the running QB knock. This year, second string behind Donavon, after a year with Favre, this kid WILL literally be ready to jump out of the gym. And I want to see Toby get his game on, too. Anyway, just my opinion.

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