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Updated: 12 min 19 sec ago

Epping thinks Gophers 'can be the best' offensive line in Big Ten

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 12:28
Zac Epping, a senior guard who has made 34 consecutive starts, said the key will be consistency.
Categories: Local

Zimmer officially names Matt Cassel starting QB

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 12:16
Head coach Mike Zimmer just made the big announcement that should have surprised no one. “Matt Cassel will be the starter going into the season,” Zimmer said after the morning walkthrough. Zimmer told the team this morning that he would go with Cassel over rookie Teddy Bridgewater for the season opener in St. Louis, now just 13 days away. Cassel has started every preseason game, completing 66.7 percent of his attempts for 367 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. “Matt did not do anything to lose the job this preseason,” Zimmer said. “I think he’s played great. I think the team has a lot of confidence in him. They feel good about the veteran leadership and presence, and I had to think about the whole football team. It wasn’t just about the quarterbacks. It’s not always the best player at that position — and I’m not saying that Matt’s not. … It’s all about how everything works together. And at this stage, where we’re at right now, it’s the best thing to do.” Zimmer had a conversation with Bridgewater about the decision, and he said that the first-round pick handled it well. He pointed out that Bridgewater was in this position his first year at Louisville. “I told Teddy this morning that I’m so happy that he’s here with us,” Zimmer said. “I’m glad he’s the guy we picked. I love everything that he’s done. It wasn’t anything that Teddy did or didn’t do. Teddy will be still, in my estimation, a great player for this franchise for years to come.” After an uneven performance in his first preseason game, Bridgewater has been efficient, and he led a game-winning drive in the second. He has completed 26 of his 40 attempts for 266 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, and his passer rating is 117.3, better than Cassel’s 103.3. While Zimmer has confidence in Cassel — who has started 68 NFL games, including six here last season — he did indicate that Cassel will have to play well early in the season to hold onto his job. “We will hold the quarterback position to the exact same expectations as we do every other position. If you perform, you play. If you don’t, then somebody else will get an opportunity at some point,” Zimmer said. “That position, just like the outside linebacker spot, we have an expectation for performance. And as long as those guys perform, they’ll play.”
Categories: Local

QB competition was mild

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 12:13
Cassel, Bridgewater, handled themselves well
Categories: Local

Vikings trim roster to 76, activate Chase Ford (foot) off PUP

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 11:01
The Vikings trimmed their roster from 90 to 76 players on Monday, announcing 14 players that were either released or waived due to injury. Safety Brandan Bishop, defensive tackle Kheeston Randall, tight end Kory Sperry, tackles Kevin Murphy and Pierce Burton, cornerbacks Derek Cox and Robert Steeples, defensive ends Tyler Scott and Jake Snyder and wide receivers Andy Cruse, Kamar Jorden, Erik Lora and Ty Walker were all released by the team. Safety Mistral Raymond (hamstring) was also waived with an injury designation. The Vikings also activated tight end Chase Ford off the physically unable to perform list. Ford missed all of training camp and the preseason due to a broken left foot. The Vikings still need to make one more cut by Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT. All 32 teams must have their rosters set to a maximum of 75 players at that time.
Categories: Local

Zimmer reportedly tells Vikings that Cassel will start

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 10:16
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer informed his players this morning that Matt Cassel will be the starting quarterback for the season opener against the Rams, according to a FOX Sports report. Cassel had been battling first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater for the chance to start. But despite impressive preseason numbers from Bridgewater, which included four touchdown passes and no interceptions, it was clear throughout the summer that Cassel was firmly entrenched as the starter. Cassel got the majority of the first-team reps during training camp and started every preseason game for the Vikings. He played nearly three quarters of Saturday night’s 30-12 win over the Chiefs. Bridgewater, meanwhile, only received reps with the first-team offense in the preseason opener. Since drafting Bridgewater in May, Zimmer and General Manager Rick Spielman have said that they do not want to rush Bridgewater onto the field before he is ready. And they re-signed Cassel before even picking a quarterback to be the bridge to whoever their next quarter of the future would be. Zimmer is expected to formally announce his decision at a press conference later this morning.
Categories: Local

The Love trade: Views from Cleveland and elsewhere

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 09:01
While Timberwolves fans are trying to figure out whgat to make of their new-look team, Cleveland Cavaliers fans have one thing on their minds -- winning an NBA championship now that LeBron James and Kevin Love have come to town.
Categories: Local

Access Vikings morning walkthrough: Perfect preseasons, Loadholt OK, Bradford hurt and more

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:35
Every weekday, our Vikings reporters walk you through what’s happening with the team that day. WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED — What have we learned about the Vikings during their 3-0 preseason start? — RT Phil Loadholt is going to be OK after injuring his ankle the other night. — The Vikings won’t be facing Rams QB Sam Bradford in the season opener. — Head coach Mike Zimmer has yet to name his starting quarterback. — Zimmer’s defense flashed potential in Saturday’s win over the Chiefs. TWEET OF THE (YESTER)DAY Say what you want about the preseason. Winning is contagious.. I love the way this TEAM goes to work!! #Vikings — Kyle Rudolph (@KyleRudolph82) August 24, 2014 AROUND THE NFC NORTH — Packers NT Josh Boyd is ready to step in for the injured B.J. Raji. — The Bears defense took a step back in a blowout loss to the Seahawks. — Lions rookie OLB Kyle Van Noy is worried that he has a sports hernia. TODAY’S VIKINGS SCHEDULE The Vikings return to Winter Park for two days of practice before heading to Nashville. Zimmer will talk before practice and the locker room will be open to media. Practice begins at 12:50 p.m. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT The Vikings have gone undefeated in the preseason six times in their history, but a perfect preseason is no guarantee for regular-season success. In four of the seasons, they had a winning record and in three they made the playoffs. One of their undefeated preseasons was 1973, when they advanced all the way to the Super Bowl. But the last time they went undefeated was 2001, the year after their 41-0 loss in the NFC title game. They would go 5-11 that season.
Categories: Local

Timberwolves Live Chat with Jerry Zgoda at noon

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 05:54
Categories: Local

Whalen showed 'leadership on full display' in Lynx series clincher

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 23:33
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve knows it when she sees it, and Lindsay Whalen showed it Saturday.
Categories: Local

Rand: Wiggins & Co. to appear at fair

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 23:19
Fans are hungry to cheer new, young Timberwolves additions.
Categories: Local

Postgame: Missed opportunities costly once again

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 23:03
Twins needed an inning or two more from Gibson; Dozier, Mauer left bases loaded; Arcia misplayed a line drive.
Categories: Local

Twins notes: Doubles record means little to Plouffe

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 22:58
“I don’t care,” the third baseman said about his 37th double that tied the team record.
Categories: Local

Hartman: Saunders has high hopes for all three Wolves players acquired for Love

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 22:17
The Wolves president says Anthony Bennett will improve and Thaddeus Young can be a team leader.
Categories: Local

Five takeaways from the Vikings' 3-0 start in the preseason

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 21:52
Though questions still exist and decisions still must be made, the 2014 Vikings are starting to take shape.
Categories: Local

College football braces itself for four-team playoff

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 21:14
It’s a big step forward, but four-team format won’t silence annual bickering.
Categories: Local

Chart: College Football Playoff primer

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 21:14
Categories: Local

Two-kicker approach developing for Gophers

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 19:56
Ryan Santoso and Andrew Harte both could have a role this season.
Categories: Local


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