The Minnesota Vikings are gearing up to take the field once again, but where will they be playing? With talks of a new stadium in the works, and Adrian Peterson eying a return, what should NFL bettors expect from the Vikings in 2012?
Vikings - The New Bengals?
By: Joe Catalano
There has been lots of trouble going on with two of the Vikings' best players. First, Percy Harvin doesn't give a definitive answer but wants to be traded, and now Adrian Peterson gets arrested after a scuffle at an after hours night club. That's not the AP that we all know. Remember that quarterback Christian Ponder is looking to get in sync with his two stars after Peterson went down with an injury last season. To put it bluntly, this entire situation stinks and the Vikes are more than a field goal favorite against Maurice Jones-Drew, newly-acquired Laurent Robinson, and rookie Justin Blackmon?
Blackmon gets a pass with his troubles as he's just a rookie and possibly the best wide receiver in the draft. I'm not a huge Blaine Gabbert fan, but he was given two possibly great receivers in Robinson and Blackmon. Take the Jags here.
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars +4.5
Problems With Percy
By: Joe Catalano
Percy Harvin is creating quite a stir in Vikings camp with his contradictory moves. Harvin has made no bones about it that he wants’ out of Minnesota, but do his actions speak otherwise?
Percy Harvin is one of the great young talents in the NFL. He can play so many different positions, and now he has Jerry Rice's seal of approval on being one of the top 5 receivers under the age of 26. What's the deal with Percy?
First it leaked out that Harvin was upset because he wanted to play solely the wide receiver position and now by two other sources, we're hearing otherwise. He seems like a player playing tactical games. If he has a legitimate gripe, why not make it public so it can be resolved or the Vikings might be willing to send him elsewhere?
To contradict his original declaration more, Harvin plan's on working with 2nd year quarterback Christian Ponder before training camp opens next month. You figure it out folks. Something tells me that Harvin will be a Viking for a long time.
Packing on the pounds
As an NFL quarterback, you have to be prepared for the physical beating that the job entails. Christian Ponder has done just that as he's put on 19 pounds of muscle during the offseason, going from 214 to 233 pounds. Vikings coaches are very encouraged as they were pleased with Ponders muscle mass to body fat ratio. Looks like Ponder is getting situated in the QB position, waiting for AP to come back and preparing to get comfortable with Percy Harvin and possibly make him happy as a Viking receiver.
Although backup Joe Webb has shown the ability to play and makes a great backup, it's confirmed that Ponder will start the regular season. Obviously not much of a surprise but it's always good to get the coaches confirmation. Look for dramatic improvement.
Not much more going on at Vikings camp at the moment as the news is Percy Harvin 24/7. It will definitely be interesting to see how this play's out. Stay tuned for any incoming news.
Harvin Wants Out
By: Joe Catalano
Mercy for Percy?
It's not about money, but Harvin has expressed his desire for a trade repeatedly and out of nowhere basically. Percy Harvin has great potential but has always had health issues. Last season, the Vikings wide receiver was third in the league in all-purpose yards. This is a player who can run, catch and play on special teams. His presence is necessary in the Vikings offense, but Harvin wants to play a larger role. That's quite difficult when Adrian Peterson has been a superstar back for the last several years. This will be interesting to see how this story turns out. The Vikings could get something of value back in a trade,but I don't see a trade happening. Sorry Percy.
Defensive end Jared Allen has made no bones about wanting the NFL season sack record. Last season, Allen recorded 22 sacks to go along with 66 tackles and 4 forced fumbles. This is a big-time player for the Vikings, and Allen achieving the record is not only a personal goal but would also give the Vikes some much needed publicity as they try to rebuild.
In essence, Allen should really have the sack record already. Former New York Giant Michael Strahan holds the record at 22.5 sacks, but we all know that he got his record-breaking sack on a play in which Bret Favre basically handed him the record. Favre and Strahan are friends, and since when does Bret Favre ever give up on anything? Allen has a legitimate shot to break this record, and his resume speaks for itself. I'm not one for personal records as it's all about the wins, but look for Jared Allen to be focused on accomplishing this feat.
That's all from Viking's camp. Things are looking up as Minnesota is also thinking about their new stadium that's not too far away and are looking to once again become a contender.
Peterson Leading From The Sidelines
By: Joe Catalano
Let's take a look at Minnesota Vikings camp, where it looks as if star running back Adrian Peterson is tired of settling for 2nd best and has put his teammates to the test.
Follow the leader
The story is that Peterson was off to the side at the Vikings training facility in Winter Park during the OTA and saw his teammates doing wind sprints. Peterson was not at all pleased, as he thought that his teammates could step it up.
With the permission of his coaches, AP proceeded to blow away his teammates on 4 different occasions. Mind you, this is a player that had his knee basically reconstructed in the offseason with surgery on his ACL, MCL, and meniscus. AP seems to be holding up, and this was his first test (which he clearly passed).
If Peterson continues to fire up himself and his team in this manner, we might see big things from Minnesot,a and more importantly, the old Adrian Peterson. He was once the best running back in the National Football League, and in his mind he still is.
Quarterback Christian Ponder needs a legitimate target to throw to, and he has one in veteran Percy Harvin. Unfortunately for Harvin, he's recovering from minor surgery last month where doctors cleaned out bone spurs from his shoulder. The Vikings are playing it safe and holding Harvin out of drills in OTA, but Harvin should be ready to go come the start of the season.
Know your role!
Apparently 6th round draft pick Blair Walsh is well aware that it's a privilege to be a member of the Vikings. Minnesota had to release kicker Ryan Longwell for financial reasons and Walsh considers it an honor to follow in Longwell's footsteps.
Saying that, Walsh needs to prove it on the field, as he slumped in his senior season with the Bulldogs, making just 21 out of 35 field goals. This is a former soccer prodigy, and look for Walsh to be clutch during the season as he takes over for one of the better kickers in NFL history in Ryan Longwell.
Looks like the Vikings mean business. Stay tuned for the next installment of the Vikings’’ blog. What else will Adrian Peterson challenge his teammates to do?
Change of Scenery
By: Joe Catalano
As we begin to take a look at the Minnesota Vikings, the team as a unit has been set on the back bruner, as both the fans and the media are caught up in the thought of a new stadium. The Vikings do play in one of the most frigid locations in the NFL, but will a new indoor stadium change the face of this team?
Less than a billion dollars!
Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has promised to sign a bill which would propose that a new stadium be built on the site of the Metrodome. The project is said to cost up to $975 million dollars, and it looks as if over half of the cost would be payed by public money.
On Thursday, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers came to an agreement that will allow the Vikings to play at TCF Bank Stadium (home of the University of Minnesota) while the new Vikings Stadium is being built. This will cost the Vikings $250,000 per game and will start in 2013.
Ryan Longwell released by the Vikings
It was bound to happen, as age had taken it's toll, but the Vikings released kicker Ryan Longwell. Longwell was a big time kicker for the Packers and the Vikings alike, but long term cap room needed to be freed up, and his head was placed on the chopping block. This saves the Vikings $7 million dollars for the next 3 years, as 6th round draft pick Blair Walsh will take over the kicking duties.
AP to start the season
It's a good sign when franchise running back Adrian Peterson says that he'll be ready to go for the season opener. Peterson tore his ACL on December 24th against the Washington Redskins.
Petrson is a workhorse, as he proved in his days at Oklahoma. Peterson had suffered a major injury in college, which caused his draft stock to fall slightly, but has been a resillient presence in the NFL. If AP say's that he'll be ready to play, get your cameras out as he'll be ready to cary a team with an inexperienced passing offense being led by Chistian Ponder.
It looks as if the NFL odds makers have little to no hope for this team as they currently sit at +15000 for a shot at the Superbowl. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns are worse off in the eyes of the odds makers, and this is a team that will hold little to no value with you NFL picks.