Teams stink, bosses don't?

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 11:31
Checking in on sports IQ of local teams
Categories: Local

Vikings 4 Downs: Best position group on the team?

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 10:14
@MasterStrib #VikingsST Is there a better position set on the team right now than the defensive line? Seem unstoppable when they’re clicking — Alex Phillips (@Papa_phil) November 12, 2014 Nope, there is not. Kudos to general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer for getting on the same page during the offseason. Zimmer made it clear when he got here that the defensive line would be the most important unit on his defense. He broke down each position in his defensive scheme to show the front office and scouts what he needed from each player, and the Vikings re-signed Everson Griffen while adding nose tackle Linval Joseph and defensive tackle Tom Johnson. After the disaster that was the Packers game, the defensive line has improved weekly with the ability to contain the run and bring in Johnson for Joseph on third down pass situations to pressure the quarterback. The defensive line has also done a good job of eating up blockers to free up linebackers, like Anthony Barr, on blitz situations. It’s by far the strongest position group on the team and should be for years to come with Griffen, 26, Joseph, 26, and Sharrif Floyd, 23, all still in their 20s. @MasterStrib Offensively, what skilled position player do you see being most productive in CHI Sunday? Exclude Teddy #vikingsST — Terrance X (@TerranceX1) November 12, 2014 You would take away rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw 11 touchdowns over the last two games. I can adapt. In all seriousness though, I’ll pick tight end Kyle Rudolph in his return. The Bears have allowed seven (!!!) touchdowns to tight ends over the last three weeks. Sure, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski accounted for three touchdowns, but the Bears defense is very suspect against tight ends. Rudolph will be a security blanket for Bridgewater, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he led the team in targets in what could be a windy game at Soldier Field. #vikingsST since our explosion vs Atlanta our offense has been up and down. How close are we from breaking out for another huge game — zach sween (@1Sween) November 13, 2014 Well, considering this week’s opponent has allowed over 50 points in the last two games, there’s a chance it could happen this week. I thought the offense had a good second half against Washington, but you’re right. They haven’t had a complete performance since the Falcons game in Week 4. That will all hinge on Bridgewater’s progression as a rookie, which as we’ve seen can be very impressive at times and head scratching as well. This will be a good opportunity for Bridgewater and the offense to attack a Bears defense that has been downright bad recently. The Bears are allowing a league-most 30.8 points per game, which I think the Vikings are capable of reaching that point total with Rudolph’s return on Sunday. @MasterStrib Any thoughts on trade opportunities for Adrian? To Arizona for Larry Fitzgerald? Larry comes home, helps Teddy. #VikingsST — Benjamin (@BKronick) November 12, 2014 I highly doubt running back Adrian Peterson gets traded in the offseason. I also feel the same way about Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. They’ll likely both get cut if they don’t restructure their deals. As great of a narrative as it might be for Fitzgerald to return to the team he once served as a ball boy for, the Vikings already have a decent group of wide receivers with the potential to be a really good unit if wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson takes that next step. Plus, take a look around the league and see how many rookie wide receivers have made an immediate impact this season. This was a great class at the position, but  I wonder at some point if we’ll view wide receivers the way we do running backs now where you can find a cheaper substitute in the draft (though I do feel running backs are strongly undervalued in this pass-happy era). I think that’s very possible that happens and if the Vikings feel like they need an upgrade at wide receiver, the draft is likely the route they’ll go.
Categories: Local

Thursday (Internet sensation 'Alex from Target' is a Vikings fan?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 09:29
The tale of “Alex from Target” is a fascinating and complex modern story about immediate fleeting fame in the digital world and the darker territory that comes with it. A photo of 16-year-old Alex Lee working at a Target store in Texas was posted online and became an immediate sensation, which is kind of the way things happen today: randomly, for little reason, but reaching a critical mass with lightning speed. The backlash, too, arrives swiftly — as noted by this New York Times profile. Within these rich societal quandaries, though, lies another question pointed out to us by the Star Tribune’s Casey Common: Is Alex from Target a Vikings fan? That question is asked based on photographic evidence from that NYT story — a portrait of Alex in his bedroom in Frisco, Texas. We’ve zoomed in on the relevant parts: A Vikings cap, a Vikings decal on his mirror and what appears to be — yes — a Brett Favre Vikings poster. The story makes no mention of this fandom (and why would it), but we’re going to roll with it. We can only hope this doesn’t become a distraction to the Vikings like Justin Bieber was to the Steelers.
Categories: Local

Gophers frontcourt will be focused on Louisville's Montrezl Harrell on Friday

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 07:37
Minnesota will need all hands on deck if it wants to slow the preseason All-America.
Categories: Local


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